Located on the southern tip of Portugal, Faro is the hub of the Algarve coast. The region has long-been a favoured getaway to Portugal for sun-seekers from all over Europe. And now with a barrage of budget flights opened up to the international airport, reaching Faro has never been more convenient. Car rental is commonplace in Faro and is the preferred way of getting about for most tourists.
Who to Book With
There are plenty of car hire agencies to choose from in Faro, many with locations at the international airport for convenience. The top rental companies of Avis, Budget and Hertz are located here, or you can venture into town for yet more operators. In any case, it is always best to book online before you arrive in Faro to secure the best deal and widest choice of vehicles.
Best time to go
The best time to visit Faro is during the summer, when the days are hot and the evenings are warm; the climate benefits from the country’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and the cooling Atlantic coastline. There are year-round scheduled flights to Faro, including those offered by budget operators, so to beat the crowds and for lower accommodation prices, you may want to visit during the low season.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your rental car you must provide the following documents:
- A valid EU driving license or an approved International Driving Permit
- A second photo ID alongside your licence, such as a passport
- Evidence of the credit card used to make the booking
- A printed confirmation of your booking, if possible
For more info read our FAQ's.
The airport is located west of the city centre, and takes about 15 minutes to drive to with no traffic. Roads in and around Faro can get busy, particularly during the summer, when Portuguese and other holidaymakers tour the beauty of the region. Driving is the best way to travel the Algarve, since the roads are of high standard and have good signage, making driving a breeze.
Parking in Faro town centre is difficult, since there aren’t that many spaces. There are some multi-storey car parks located at the shopping malls, which are also close to the restaurants, but they will always charge a fee. There is one free car park next to the ship yard, from where the tour boats depart.
See our guide to Portugal for more information on driving here.
Public transport around Faro isn’t particularly convenient, although there are two public bus routes that ride around the town centre and then connect up with the airport. Mostly, travel around Faro is done via the fleet of metered taxis or fixed-rate minicabs, although it is quite feasible to simply walk around the town centre with no trouble. For reaching destinations farther afield, there is a train line that goes through the Algarve to reach the town Lagos.
There is a high-speed express train that runs between Faro and Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The journey takes 2.5 hours and tickets cost €20. There are also regional trains serving the Algarve coast, reaching Lagos, about an hour away.
There are plenty of metered taxis operating around Faro, usually taking the form of large white sedan cars or minivans. The metered taxis operate on two tariffs, with the cheaper being between 6:00 and 21:00. After that, and on the weekends and public holidays, you pay a surcharge for travel. There are also several minicab firms operating in Faro that offer fixed fares. For example, you can call FaroTaxi on +351 960 204 709.
There are a few bus routes that run around Faro. Numbers 14 and 16 go around the city centre and connect to the airport. Tickets can be bought from the driver when you board the bus. There is also a long-distance bus service headed to Lisbon and Porto, the two other major cities of Portugal. It is also possible to travel direct to the neighbouring country of Spain from Faro. Routes go to Madrid and Seville.
The Algarve is one of the most beautiful spots in Europe, and for this very reason, alongside the fine weather, it attracts hordes of tourists each year. Faro is a great place to base yourself if you want to explore this enigmatic coastal area. You can also venture north to experience some of the verdant mountains that make up the landscape of Portugal’s interior.
Lagos - This is a cosy little Portuguese seaside town that speaks volumes of the charm of the Algarve. It is easily reached from Faro, either on the major A22 road or on the 125 westbound route. Along the way, you will pass through the quaint villages of the Algarve, including the Porches Pottery.
Serra de Monchique - To get away from the coast for a day, take a drive to the Serra de Monchique for some fresh mountain air. Once you reach the peak of Foia, you will be rewarded with stunning views and some great trails. Expect about a 1.5 hour drive either way from Faro, so it’s a full day out.
Sagres - This is a stunning coastal town, seemingly at the end of the world. It sits on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, and is the most southwesterly part of Portugal. The drive takes about 1.5 hours from Faro using the A22. Note that there is a toll booth on this road.
Frequently asked questions
Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest?
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
What do I need to do when picking up a car?
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
Are there any additional costs?
In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance).
What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental?
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
What is a worry-free label?
This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you.
How can I change or cancel my reservation?
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
When will I get a confirmation of my booking?
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).
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