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ALBUFEIRA GUIDE - PRIVATE GUIDES AND WALKS

WHAT TO DO IN ALBUFEIRA - LOCAL INFO IN ENGLISH

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT ALBUFEIRA? VISIT THIS FORUM

Albufeira Bus Terminal is a mile/1.6km outside town. Please read on.

The information has been obtained from printed timetables and other local sources (like taking the bus)
and is given in good faith.  Everything is correct to the best of my knowledge as of 12th July 2014

The Albufeira Bus Terminal is 1 mile/1.6km from the old town! Almost all buses* to and from ALBUFEIRA end or start here. Many do not go anywhere near the old town centre and beaches.

(* the only exception is the Frota Azul bus to and from Messines, Algoz, Guia and Páteo which goes via the terminal on its way to and from Areais São João (the strip).

Distances from the Bus Terminal (by road) which is why you might need a a local bus or taxi to get to your final destination.

Old Town Square 1.6km/1mile "The Strip" 2.3km/1½ miles
Marina 3km/1¾ miles
Oura Praia Hotel 3.2km/2 miles Páteo Village 2.4km/1½ miles
Montechoro 1.8km/1 mile and a bit
Oura Beach 3.1km/1¾ miles
Brisa Sol/Modelo 1km/1100 yards
Olhos de Agua 5.8km/3½ miles
Balaia 4.7km/3 miles

There are usually taxis at the Bus Terminal. If you need one phone 289 583 230. Official Albufeira taxi website with fares etc here.

Albufeira Bus Terminal has a covered waiting area, and café/bar. There are eighteen different bus stops, clearly labelled with the routes and destinations. There are however no maps to show where the buses go nor any timetables, except those on the noticeboard inside.

At my last visit all timetables were posted on the noticeboard. Timetables can of course be obtained from the ticket/enquiry office. The electronic destination boards were not showing all departures, only those to ‘important’ places! There are separate enquiry and ticket offices for local and long-distance bus services. Remember that, if boarding at the Bus Terminal and except for GIRO and Frota Azul buses, you are supposed to buy your ticket at the ticket office. Some drivers are very strict about this!

THIS A VERY BASIC MAP TO SHOW HOW THE LOCAL BUSES LINK THE BUS TERMINAL AT ALBUFEIRA WITH THE SURROUNDING AREA
CLICK ON THE MAP TO SEE A LARGER SIZE
THE LOCAL 'GIRO' BUS ROUTES ARE COMPLICATED AT FIRST SIGHT AS THEY DOUBLE BACK AND GO ROUND VARIOUS LOOPS.
The official GIRO bus map for Albufeira's town buses is here - external link, opens a new window; there are other maps here.

ABFMAP

For interactive street maps of Albufeira, visit www.albufeira.com For a simple map of the town showing the 'roundabouts' often referred to when giving directions, click here.

There is a good street map here which can be downloaded and saved to your computer and printed if you have a good printer.

Albufeira local GIRO bus services

giro logo

The local GIRO bus network connects the Bus Terminal, the old town and other districts of Albufeira. Buses on these routes run every half-hour, seven days a week. Cash fare is €1,40 valid one hour from time of issue. A one-day ticket costing €4,00 is also available on board buses. For irregular users, a pre-pay card (€3) is available which can be loaded with ten rides for 8 Euro or twenty rides for 16 Euros ie 80 cents each. Monthly passes are also available, photo ID required. Ask at the Bus Station, or at the Bus Shop in the town. Prepay cards will de-activate if not used for three months. Adding more credit will re-activate them.

Click on the GIRO logo (left) for the official route network map in PDF file format. You can save this to your own computer. Printed copies of this map can be obtained at the bus station or the bus shop in town. The map will open in a new window.

Timetables are NOT published, even though buses run only every half hour. Please take a look at my timetables, which have been compiled after many journeys of exploration by myself and others! These do not list all the stops for reasons of brevity, but I have a link to the official diagrams showing all stops.

There are new style GIRO route maps now at the bus stops - here's a picture - but still no actual timetables.

SUMMER times on the GIRO network apply from 1st June to 30th September. All routes operate seven days a week, all holidays included, every 30 minutes.

Buses on four routes, Vermelha (Red 01 and 02), Verde(Green) ,Azul (Blue) all leave at the Bus Terminal at the same times, on the hour and on the half hour. The Laranja route buses to Ferreiras and the station leave at about 10 and 40 minutes past the hour. They run seven days a week (including holidays) at the same times. Except for Laranja, first buses leave at 0700, with last buses from the Bus Terminal at  2100 during the winter and 2300 during the summer.

The LINHA VERMELHA Giro 1 (RED) route (timetable here) runs around the west side of town from the main bus terminal to Albufeira Camping, down to the old town at Av. Da Liberdade, then to Páteo and Vale  Santa Maria, back through Páteo, then down to the Marina, back up via Cerro Grande and the old town, then to the Cámara and back to the main Bus Terminal   in its meanderings it does stop at some places twice. Also, four buses each day make an extra stop down in the Marina near the entrance to the fishing harbour.

The LINHA VERMELHA Giro 2 (DARK RED, a sort of plum colour really) (timetable here), runs as follows: Bus Terminal, Health Centre, Dolphins Roundabout, Cerro Grande, the old town at Ave. da Liberdade, then straight back to the Health Centre, past the Bus Terminal (stops outside, across the road!), then to the Câmara, Continente Modelo shops, Areais São João (The Strip), Bullring, Globes Roundabout, Quinta da Balaia (why I cannot imagine!) back to the Bus Terminal via Areais São João, the 'Worms' roundabout and Modelo. The maps do show this a bit better. The red routes are often delayed in the summer, when traffic clogs the Av. Da Liberdade in vain efforts to find a parking space.

The LINNHA VERDE (GREEN) route (timetable here) runs a clockwise route to the Vale das Pedras, Stadium, Câmara, Old Town (Rua Alves Correia), back to the Câmara, then along to Continente Modelo shops, Montechoro, Brejos, Globes Roundabout, Santa Eulália, Oura, Inatel, Cámara again, Cerro Malpique and back to the Bus Terminal.

The LINHA AZUL (BLUE) route (timetable here) is the same as the green route (more or less) but in the opposite, anti-clockwise, direction. It also stops in the old town (Rua Alves Correia) before embarking on its great circle round the city. Unfortunately it doesn't stop there on the way back.

The LINHA LARANJA (ORANGE) (timetable here) route runs between the Bus Terminal and Albufeira Railway Station via Camping Albufeira, Ferreiras and Vale Serves.

The BLUE route is the shortest way from the Terminal to the Old Town. It will take you to the Rua Alves Correia, which is near the square and the 'Fishermen's Beach' area. The RED GIRO 01 route goes a rather roundabout way from the Bus Terminal to the old town centre (Avenida da Liberdade) about 300 metres from the square.

There is NO DIRECT BUS from Rua Alves Correia back to the Bus Terminal. You must either go up the escalators to the Pau da Bandeira stop by the roundabout for the Linha Verde bus, or across the square to Avenida da Liberdade for either of the Linha Vermelha routes.

On your way back to the Bus Terminal, the RED GIRO 02 route from the Av. Da Liberdade is the quickest, but stops OUTSIDE the Terminal across the road. The RED GIRO 01 route goes a longer way round but goes inside.

Quick summary of bus times FROM the old town centre. Full timetables: RED 1, RED 2, GREEN, BLUE, ORANGE

SUMMER times on the GIRO network apply from 1st June to 30th September. All routes operate seven days a week, holidays included, every 30 minutes.

From Old Town at
To
buses leave at these minutes past every hour
Route
Avenida da Liberdade Stand 3
Páteo, Vale Santa Maria, Marina
(in winter last bus to the Marina is at 2045)
15 and 45, last bus 2115 in winter, 2315 in summer
Vermelha (Red) 1
Avenida da Liberdade Stand 4
Câmara, Secondary School/Indoor Market, Bus Terminal
15 and 45, last bus 2145 in winter, 2345 in summer
Vermelha (Red) 1
Avenida da Liberdade Stand 4
Health Centre, Bus Station, Continente / Modelo,
'The Strip' and Quinta da Balaia
20 and 50, last bus 2120 in winter, 2320 in summer
Vermelha (Red) 2
Rua Alves Correia* Câmara, Continente / Modelo, Brejos, Montechoro
15 and 45, last bus 2115 in winter, 2315 in summer
Verde (Green)
Rua Alves Correia*
Oura, Sta Eulália, Montechoro
11 and 41, last bus 2111 in winter, 2311 in summer
Azul (Blue)
Pau da Bandeira (top of escalators)
Câmara, Cerro Malpique, Bus Terminal
11 and 41, last bus 2141 in winter, 2341 in summer
Verde (Green)
Pau da Bandeira (top of escalators)
Oura, Sta Eulália, Montechoro
15 and 45, last bus 2115 in winter, 2315 in summer
Azul (Blue)
THE LINHA LARANJA (ORANGE ROUTE) TO FERREIRAS AND THE RAILWAY STATION STARTS FROM THE BUS TERMINAL AND DOES NOT SERVE THE OLD TOWN.
BUSES LEAVE AT 10 AND 40 MINUTES PAST EACH HOUR. LAST BUS TO FERREIRAS LEAVES THE BUS TERMINAL AT 2040 IN WINTER, 2240 IN SUMMER
.
'CONNECTIONS´ FROM THE OLD TOWN LEAVE 25 MINUTES EARLIER AND REQUIRE 15 MINUTES WAIT AT THE CENTRO DO SAÚDE (HEALTH CENTRE) STOP OR THE BUS STATION
* this is behind the multi-storey car park  and the tall chimney

ARRIVING IN ALBUFEIRA FROM OTHER TOWNS? LEAVING ALBUFEIRA FOR A VISIT SOMEWHERE?

Only GIRO buses go down into the ‘Old Town’ area – Centro Antigo. For most destinations you must go to the main bus station. Except, depending on where you may be staying, you don’t have to go to the Bus Terminal if travelling to/from Guia, Galé, Loulé, Olhos D'Agua, Vilamoura or Quarteira.

Except for one route, buses to other towns are run by the EVA company, whose official website is here. I have a summary of the main places you can get to here with links to detailed timetables.

None of the inter-urban buses go into the centre of old town of Albufeira. The old town is basically a pedestrian zone, with limited access for residents and those important beer deliveries. There are car parks on the edge of the area, but the closer you get the earlier they fill up. During high summer season, most of the town centre car parks, including the two multi-storey, are full by 9am so you may end up parking a fair way out and having to take a bus into town and back up the hill afterwards. The car park at the top of the Avenida Liberdade (marked on the map below) was converted into proper paying parking area. There are spaces during the day in high season, as locals baulk at paying the €5 per day fee, but it is full in the evenings. A new multistorey car park is under construction as marked on the map. Completion date is not known.

If you are coming into or leaving Albufeira on the Transrápido or the Lagos - Albufeira fast buses, the Bus Terminal is the only place they stop. You might need another bus or taxi as an alternative to a long walk to your final destination. Buses from Vilamoura etc stop opposite the Continente Modelo supermarket a few minutes walk into town - see above and the map below.

If you are coming into town on an ‘ordinary’ bus from the north (eg Ferreiras, Guia or Silves) these buses stop at the Centro de Saude (health centre) before the Bus Terminal.  That is much  closer to the old town than the Bus Terminal, about 7 or 8 minutes walk along the flat footpath into town. This goes under the main road in a tunnel, so is quite safe.

abfcentre

You don’t have to go to the Bus Terminal if travelling to/from Guia, Galé, Loulé, Olhos D'Agua, Vilamoura or Quarteira. Click on the map to see it double the size - close the window to return to this page

For the Old Town of Albufeira , the nearest stop for EVA buses to/from Olhos d'Agua, Balaia etc  is at the Continente Modelo shopping centre. There is NO BUS from there into the old town. Walk down to the traffic lights by the fire station, cross the main road, turn right, keep the Cámara (Town Hall) to your left and go down the hill that's just about in front of you (the Rua do MFA) to the bottom, then turn right again and you will be in the square. It’s about 5 - 7 minutes walk in all. MAP TO THE LEFT - walking route marked in red - CLICK TO SEE DOUBLE SIZE. You can catch a bus back up the hill from Rua Alves Correia to the Camara and Modelo; Linha Verde (Green) at about 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.

The buses to and from Loulé stop along the Estrada Vale das Pedras, which runs to the north of Montechoro. There is a stop called Montechoro (X) or Crossroads up near the roundabout where the road leads off towards Fontainhas. The GIRO buses stop there also; they call the stop Montechoro Norte. Using that stop will save you a long walk if you are staying in that area and wish to go to Loulé. See map.

Buses to and from Galé and also the very infrequent local buses via Vale de Parra to Armação de Pera, Lagoa and Portimão stop at the Health Centre (Centro de Saude) and on the edge of the old town. Outbound buses stop in Av. Do Ténis outside the Escola Primaria. Inbound buses stop on Rua Coronel Aguas and also on Rua 1 Dezembro near Merlins Bar.

The FROTA AZUL bus between Messines, Algoz, Guia and Albufeira also stops at Modelo and Areias São João, close to 'the Strip.'.

Buses to and from the Almancil, Quarteira, Vilamoura, Olhos d’Agua and Balaia directions stop at Sta. Eulalia, also near the bullring, at Areias São João, and outside the Modelo shopping centre.

Click here for a map showing all the EVA and Frota Azul bus stops in and around Albufeira.

The fast TRANSRÁPIDO bus to and from Faro and all fast buses to and from Lagos, Alvor, Praia da Rocha, Portimão, Lagoa, Armação de Pera, Guia and Faro STOP ONLY AT THE BUS TERMINAL - nowhere else!

ALBUFEIRA TOURIST TRAIN

Runs a circular route all year and every day between the Old town, Brisa Sol/Modelo and Areias São João (for 'the Strip') - official website

The tourist train also stops at the Tres Palmeiras roundabout outside the Forte do Vale hotel. However their official website has not yet been updated to show this.

This is one of those little things disguised as a train but is in fact a ‘road train’. It runs between in one direction only between Areias São João (the stop is just off the top end of the ‘The Strip’ in Rua Julio Diniz, across the road from Vila Nova), via a stop at the Tres Palmeiras roundabout outside the Forte do Vale hotel, to the Pau da Bandeira (top of the escalators), then up to the Brisa Sol Hotel and then back to Areias São João. The two central stops are marked T on the map above.

It stops only at these places and does provide a useful direct link between the old town area and São João.

Timetable : Operates in summer every 20 minutes from about 0900 until about 0100. It no longer runs into the early hours. In spring and early summer it starts at about 0900 then runs every 20 minutes until about 2230. On winter evenings the service is once every 40 minutes. Timetables are clearly displayed at the stops. Winter fare is €2.00 for a single ride (children age 6 to 11 or those over 65 pay €1.50); €3,50 for a day pass with unlimited rides.

ALBUFEIRA SIGHTSEEING TOUR

This is not a public transport option for the most part, as it is €13 for one day's travel, €20 for 4 days. Children 12 and under travel half price. However, if you are in somewhere like Salgados, São Rafael or Galé, where normal bus service is very limited, you might find this option more economical than using taxis every day. Visit their website for maps and more information. There is no proper timetable published anywhere, but buses run every 30 minutes in summer, every 60 minutes in winter.

Other places to visit in and around town - outdoor markets, Algarve Shopping Mall, Marina and Bull Ring

Albufeira outdoor market (first and third Tuesdays of the month, mornings) is held just around the corner from the Bus Terminal in Estrada Vale das Pedras. Parking nearby is very difficult on market days so, unless you are planning to buy something huge, the bus will suit. There are two parking areas for maybe 300 cars in all, one by the Bus Terminal about 100 yards from the market entrance and another one on the other side of the Bus Terminal about 250 metres away from the market. You can also park on the road that leads towards the swimming pool - if you get there early enough. The Albufeira outdoor market is a great place for shopping. You can find custom t-shirts, trinkets and other souvenirs here.

Ferreiras outdoor market (a smaller version of the Albufeira one) is held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. This is on the N395 road, just to the south of the village centre opposite the concrete works. All buses serving Ferreiras stop about 150 metres away. Map.

Albufeira Marina is on the western edge of town about a mile/1.6km from the old town centre and about two miles/3.4km from Areias São João. The Marina is served every half hour from the old town (Av da Liberdade) etc by the GIRO 1 red route, which costs €1.40 In winter, the last bus to the Marina leaves Old Town (Av da Liberdade) at 2045 and from the Marina up the hill into town at 2100. In summer all buses go down to the marina until 2315, last bus back up is at 2330.

Algarve Shopping Mall (website) and Albufeira Retail Park
mall

Algarve Shopping website no longer has any pages in English. The Albufeira retail park (with Iceland) is adjacent but there is now a fence around the site and no obvious walking route. Leroy Merlin DIY and Sportdirect.com are across the road. The cinema at Algarve Shopping has re-opened. Programmes daily from around 1400hrs,  details at http://cineplace.pt/programacao-cineplace-algarveshopping-em-albufeira/

These locations are about four miles out of town on the N125, about a mile east of the village of Guia. They are not well served by bus. The only buses are those from the Bus Terminal to Lagos (Transrápido and Albufeira - Lagos) and those to Portimão via Guia. Times below, but in all honesty unless you are fairly brave a taxi is probably the best way. There is a taxi rank at the Mall for the ride back. Taxi fare is about 8 or 9 Euros, depending on where in Albufeira you are coming from/going to.

Local buses also run to and from Alcantarilha, Armação de Pera, Porches and Lagoa - times here. There is no bus from Ferreiras. The village of Guia is served by buses from Páteo, Algoz and Messines but that leaves you a mile (1.6km) walk (uphill) to the Mall along a very busy road with no proper footpaths.

Bus times from Albufeira Bus Terminal to Algarve Shopping and back

There are NO BUSES between Albufeira Old Town area or the 'strip' area and Algarve Shopping. All buses leave from the main bus station and most stop nowhere else.

Buses highlighted run non-stop from Albufeira bus terminal to Algarve Shopping. The other buses also stop at the Health Centre (bottom of the hill near Eden Resort) about 2 minutes after leaving the bus terminal and at Albufeira Camping about five minutes after leaving the bus terminal. Fare is €3,25 on the non-stop buses, €2,25 on the others.

Weekdays (Mondays to Fridays) except holidays at 0835, 0840, 0855, 0910, 1000, 1030, 1150, 1325, 1415, 1525, 1615, 1720, 1800, 1820, 1910 and 2030
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 0840, 0910, 0940, 1030, 1150, 1325, 1405 (Saturdays only), 1415, 1600, 1800, 1820, 1910.

When you get off these buses there is a very busy road to cross. Use the bridge, even though this means an extra 200 metres to walk.

Bus Times Algarve Shopping back to Albufeira - buses highlighted run non-stop to Albufeira Bus Terminal. The others stop at Albufeira Camping and the Health Centre.

Weekdays (Mondays to Fridays) except holidays at: 0651, 0751, 0817, 0846, 0931, 0952, 1131, 1136, 1316, 1336, 1531, 1552, 1601, 1716, 1816, 1916.
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 0817, 0846, 0931, 0952, 1316, 1322 (Saturdays only),  1601, 1602, 1716, 1902, 1916.

The stop for return journeys is directly opposite where you got off.

WARNING - THE AFTERNOON BUSES FROM ALGARVE SHOPPING TOWARDS ALBUFEIRA ARE ROUTINELY 10 - 15 MINUTES BEHIND SCHEDULE OWING TO TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

Free bus Olhos D'Agua <> Albufeira <> Algarve Shopping

There is a  free bus between 17th March and 14th  October from certain hotels out to Algarve Shopping.To print just this information, click here. Details for 2014 confirmed.

Buses run on WEEKDAYS only except holidays
Buses return from the Mall
at

1145

1445

1715

dropping off as required

at the same places.
Olhos D'Agua Riu Palace Hotel
0933
1230
1530
--Porto Bay Falesia Hotel
0931
1233
1533
--Hotel Riu Guarana
0926
1235
1535
Oura Praia Hotel
0918
1243
1543
Montechoro Hotel
0912
1249
1548
Oura Hotel
0906
1255
1558
Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel
0903
1258
1558
Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa
0900
1301
1600
Arrive Algarve Shopping
1000
1315
1615

The bus used  has 40 seats and seats cannot be reserved. Buses stop at the 'hotel entrance' in all cases. You can also, I am told, use the bus if not staying at these hotels, but check locally before committing yourself. The first bus goes round the hotels in the reverse direction.

ALBUFEIRA BULL RING

The Albufeira Bull Ring (Praça do Toiros) is in Areias São João. The GIRO 2 Red, blue and green routes pass nearby. Also stopping outside are the buses to/fromVilamoura etc but these do not run in the late evenings for any possible trip back to your hotel..

TAXIS

Licensed taxis in Albufeira are painted either beige or green and black. There is just one number to call if you need a taxi at your hotel or other lodgings - 289 583 230. You can't reserve in advance, just call a few minutes before you need to leave. Base fare is €3,25 for the first three kilometres, then it's 90 cents per kilometer afterwards. Fares (including base fare) are 20% higher after 10pm, at weekends and on public holidays. Baggage is €1,60 extra. If you phone for a taxi, that's 80 cents extra.

You can try to hail a taxi in the street, but 99% of the time they are already on a call so will not stop. If you are in the old town centre or other tourist hotspots, you must go to a taxi rank. Be warned that in high summer queues can be VERY long; half hour waits are not unknown. You may find the GIRO bus, tourist train or walking a better choice!

Outside the peak season the drivers will bite off your hand for a fare.

For some sample fares between the centre of Albufeira and various locations near and far, take a look at the official notice copied here. This will open in a new window.

There is also the official Taxis Albufeira website you may wish to consult here.

And this might sound stupid, but do make a note of the address at which you are staying and have it on a  bit of paper to show the driver if need be. I have heard tales of people forgetting where they are supposed to be going back to, especially after a good night out! It's 'a big white hotel' will not help much.

For a list of all the timetables on the site, click here
For an alphabetical list of places in the Algarve, click here
For some important general notes about buses in the Algarve, click here

Back to the main page here

www.algarvebus.info