This page is unofficial. 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 16th September 2016
Bus operations in the Algarve are possibly quite different from what you may be used to back home!
Click here for a list
of all the timetables on the site; please first read the various
notes on this page.
An alphabetical list of all the places included in the timetables is here.
A diagram showing the train and bus routes in the Algarve is here
The EVA bus company operates most inter-urban bus services in the Algarve. Their buses are predominantly white with green and yellow trimmings.
In the west, particularly around Portimão, some buses are
operated by Frota Azul (Algarve). Their buses are mostly
white with blue and green trimmings. All the buses in regular use
are modern air-conditioned vehicles.
To slightly confuse the issue, the companies do often use each others buses and you may see a sign ‘Em serviço de EVA’ as well as the destination. Local buses (Urbanas or City buses) in the main cities or towns are run by a number of different companies.
Apart from local city/town services, buses do not carry route/line numbers as they do in most other parts of the world. No I don’t know why not. You therefore need to check the destination display on the front of the bus, which is often just a paper sign pinned in the driver’s window.
Almost every bus driver in Portugal has the radio on during the journey. Too bad if you don’t like their choice of music, but most of the time it’s OK!
There are four different types or operations of bus on rural and
interurban services. In the major towns and cities, the local city
or urban mini-buses may operate along the same roads as EVA or
Frota Azul, but fares are different and tickets are not
(picture below) runs as an express service the length of the coast
between Faro and Lagos. It stops only at the places shown in the
timetable. Transrápido buses
carry a sign in the driver’s window and they are identifiable by the paintwork! Download
and print the latest timetable. Transrápido buses are now fitted with wifi for those who must be on line 24/7.
TOILETS - or lack of! Transrápido buses do NOT have toilets on board and neither is there sufficient time at any stop to use one. So if you are travelling the whole way, make sure you go before getting on! This may be an issue at Armação de Pera and Guia where there is no bus terminal building and therefore no toilets nearby!
DELAYS - Transrápido buses are frequently delayed by traffic.
Anticipate delays of 15 - 20 minutes on all the Transrápido buses
and also on the buses between Albufeira and Lagos, even at
weekends! These delays are a combination of unrealistic timetables
and heavy city traffic.
- LAGOS (Linha Littoral) route runs as a
limited-stop service between Lagos and Albufeira. If two buses
arrive at the same time to the same destination, you may need to
ask the driver which one he is! Some
buses continue to and from Albufeira to/from Faro via Vilamoura or
Loulé although this is not advertised. I have included details in
the relevant timetable pages. These buses are also often
delayed by traffic.
INTERURBANAS (Interurban) are the ‘normal’ buses between all the
main towns and to the surrounding areas. Between Faro and
Albufeira several buses on weekdays (ie Mondays to Fridays) are
labelled ‘DIRECTA’ and miss out some stops, notably between
Albufeira Bus Terminal and Modelo, in the outskirts of Vilamoura
and the outskirts of Faro. The differences in stopping places
between the NORMAL and DIRECTA routes are detailed here. There are also some 'Directa'
runs between Faro and Olhão. Yes I know it would be easier if
there were route numbers! NB - there are NO BUS SERVICES AT THE
AIRPORT except for a local bus into Faro city centre - details here.
Several towns have local city (Urbanas) mini-buses operated or
sponsored by the city or town council. I have included details for
Faro, Albufeira ,
Lagos and Portimão in
these pages and links on the alphabetical
index page to the local council website for the timetables
for the Loulé and Quarteira services. I have included brief
details of the operations in Olhão and Tavira in the relevant pages. There is also a
local bus running between the airport and Faro city centre -
All towns and many villages have express buses (coaches) to and
from Lisbon and further afield. Larger places eg Faro, Albufeira
have 12 to 15 departures a day. Smaller places might have only 2
I have listed some timetables for Rede-Expressos here but be aware that these are difficult for me to check.
These long-distance services are operated by two companies, REDE
EXPRESSOS* and RENEX. You should reserve a seat in advance for all
long-distance buses, especially at weekends and around holidays.
Tickets can be bought from the various offices and agents around
the Algarve. There is a list of EVA and Frota Azul ticket offices,
with opening hours in English, on their website here.
* Rede-Expressos is a consortium of several bus companies
operating under this network banner. Your vehicle may therefore have a different company name on it.
In many towns the two companies have separate offices and
stopping places. These are sometimes quite some distance apart, so
check that you are at the right place, as the timetables do not
tell you. The RENEX office in Lagos is about 300 metres from the
bus station down near the indoor market. You will see a sign
'Caima Viagems'. In Faro it is opposite the bus station and in
Vila Real about 200 metres away. In Portimão the RENEX ticket
office is a little wooden hut, opposite the REPSOL petrol station in
Avenida Guanaré, about 50 metres from where their vehicles stop
to take on passengers
Ticket offices are NOT
open 24 hours. If your bus / coach leaves late at night or during the
early hours of the morning, you will need to buy a ticket in
advance or on-line. You cannot buy tickets from the driver for long distance trips.
These services do not carry local passengers in the Algarve. You
can get times and buy tickets at www.rede-expressos.pt or
www.renex.pt but be aware that
the Renex site is in Portuguese only and currently has NO one line ticket sales.
Below is the diagram of the RENEX routes serving linking the
Algarve and Lisbon. Note the use of the Vale Paraiso 'terminal' at
Albufeira as a 'terminal'. This is about 3km out of town on the
Ferreiras road, at the retail/industrial park. Some journeys
require you to change buses there, but this is not obvious from
the timetable! RENEX provide connecting buses between the old town
centre of Albufeira (Avenida Liberdade) and their terminal at Vale
Paraiso. They do not serve the main bus station in Albufeira.
It will cost about €20 to get to Lisbon from anywhere in the Algarve. A round-trip (return) fare is slightly less than the cost of two singles. The journey is around 3 - 4 hours from Albufeira and obviously more the further afield you are. If travelling to and from Lisbon. CHECK which bus station in Lisbon your bus will use. EVA/Rede Expressos buses use the Sete Rios terminal. Renex use the terminal at Gare Oriente. Both of these are several km from the city centre, but have metro (underground railway) stations adjacent for the final part of your journey. Sete Rios has an infrequent but direct bus connection by Aerobus Line 2 to and from the airport - details here. Aerobus vehicles have a dedicated space for large bags etc.
The Lisbon metro goes to the airport direct from Oriente train and
bus station in
about 5 minutes, trains run every few minutes 6am - 1am. From
Jardim Zoológico station (at Sete Rios) it takes about 25 minutes to the
airport with one
change of train required, at São Sebastião station. The metro is
cheaper than the Aerobus.
Stopping places are clearly indicated with signs of various
types. PARAGEM is the Portuguese word for bus-stop;
helpfully many signs also display ‘Bus Stop’ in English. In rural
the bus stop sign may be only on one side of the road. The bus will
stop on the opposite side if you are waiting. All bus stops are REQUEST
stops. If you are waiting at a stop, give the bus driver a clear signal
as the bus approaches. If you are on the bus and wish to get off, ring
the bell in good time
before your stop.
Most of the larger towns have a bus station or terminal, ranging from the large busy bus stations in Faro, Lagoa and Albufeira, down to simple waiting shelters, for example in Silves. These are usually at the edge of town, as the roads in the town centres are either too narrow or too busy to accommodate buses.
The bus terminal in Albufeira is about a mile/1.6km from the old town centre and major hotel areas. If arriving from the west, north or on Transrápido from Faro, you will need another bus, a taxi or maybe 15 minutes walk to reach the old town centre and beaches. Local buses from the east (eg Faro, Vilamoura) pass through town and it’s best to get off near Modelo supermarket before you end up in the middle of nowhere. Click here for more information about the bus terminal and ways to get into town.
The bus terminal in Faro is in the centre
of town and 150 yards/metres from the railway station. The bus
terminal in Tavira is three
minutes walk from the town centre.
The bus terminal in Loulé is about four
minutes walk from the main shopping area, indoor market and town
centre. Most buses also make a stop in the town centre near the
indoor market. The terminals at Silves
and SB Messines have no office,
but in both cases there is an enquiry office/agency nearby at the
municipal market building. Portimão does
not have a bus terminal as such - click here for more information. At Lagos, the bus terminal is a few minutes
walk from the historic town centre and about five minutes walk
from the railway station and marina, which are on the other side of the river.
IMPORTANT! When boarding at a BUS STATION/BUS
TERMINAL you must usually buy your tickets at the ticket office
Allow a few minutes for buying tickets at the ticket office,
especially at Faro! Ticket prices are available at the EVA BUS website or the Frota Azul website, depending of
course which company operates the route in question. There is a list of EVA and Frota Azul ticket offices, with opening hours in
English, on their website here.
If boarding elsewhere or when the ticket office is closed, have small change ready and pay the driver as usual. For our North American readers drivers will make change, but they will not thank you if you hand over a €50 note! Even the longest journey here will cost only €5.90.
Sample bus fares for adults : Faro to Lagos - €5.90; Albufeira to Portimão and Praia da Rocha -
€4.60, Albufeira to Lagos - €5.50; Albufeira - Faro €4.70;
Albufeira to Armação de Pera or Vilamoura €4.10; Silves – Portimão
€3.25; Silves – S.B Messines €4.10; Albufeira to Silves, Quarteira or
Loulé €4.30; Monte Gordo to Tavira €4.10, Monte Gordo to Vila Real
€2.25, Monte Gordo to Faro €5.50
Trains are usually cheaper than buses where they offer service between the same towns.
Pre-paid rechargeable ticket cards - EVA and Frota Azul buses
If you are staying a while and intend to make the same journey
during your stay five or more times, it may worth investing in a
pre-pay card. This rechargeable card stores a set number of
journeys in either direction between two points. It saves money
(in many cases as much as 50%) and queuing time, but you do have
to pay a €3.00 fee for the card. You can buy the cards from any
bus station or, in Albufeira, also at the bus office in Avenida da
Liberdade. Separate cards are also available for the local city
buses not operated by EVA, for example the GIRO service in
Albufeira. You can get your money back for the card if you hand it
in at a bus office before leaving. You can of course keep it for
On EVA and Frota Azul, you can use a pre pay card for any journey
that costs the same or less. It is not restricted to journeys between
two places. Check the fare payable on the official website before
travelling - EVA --- FROTA AZUL
On boarding, place the card on the ticket machine pad, count
three and your ticket is automatically printed.
Tickets and passes are not interchangeable between different operator's buses, except the Algarve tourist pass, which can be used on EVA and Frota Azul buses. All the urban buses require a different ticket or pass.
Timetables are, in many places, not displayed at bus stops
especially in rural areas. Even at Bus Terminals, you may find
only a list of departures to principal destinations. That’s one of
the reasons for my making these pages! Printed timetables are
usually available at the Enquiry Desk or Ticket Office.
English is spoken at most locations but it is polite to ask first!
The EVA and Frota Azul bus
company websites do have a timetable search facility, but not all
routes and destinations are included.
Click here for a
list of all the timetables on the site; please first read the
various notes on this page.
An alphabetical list of all the places included in the timetables is here.
24 hour clock - all timetables are in the 24hr clock format. 1300hrs = 1pm, 1400hrs = 2pm etc.
In general, bus services linking the various towns and villages in the Algarve start around 0700hrs on weekdays and finish by 2030hrs, which means that, in most places, last buses are on their way around 1930hrs. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays first buses are generally fairly early, but there are a lot fewer buses than on weekdays. Last buses are often earlier than weekdays. Many villages out in the countryside have no buses at all at weekends or on public holidays, but the main inter-urban routes do have weekend and holiday service, albeit at reduced levels.
There are often long gaps in service on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays. Buses do not usually run at regular intervals ie at so many minutes past each hour. Buses away from the main coastal tourist areas are mostly few and far between, as they cater for local needs of schools and shopping. You are strongly advised to double-check the times of last buses back if you are off hiking in the hills.
The local city buses (GIRO) in
Albufeira operate until 2200hrs during the summer (1st June to
30th September) and until 2000hrs for the rest of the year. Buses
between Portimão and Alvor also Portimão and Praia da Rocha run
until about 2000hrs all year. There is a late
night service between Portimão and Praia da Rocha
during the summer. The Lagos area has
local buses until midnight on some routes during the summer,
otherwise service ends around 2000hrs. Weekend and holiday service on the urban
routes in Lagos and Portimão has been drastically reduced in
recent years, so do check carefully as many routes do not operate at all.
In other cities and towns, local buses usually operate between about 0700hrs and 1900hrs on weekdays and between 0700hrs and 1400hrs on Saturdays. They either run very limited schedules or not all on Saturday afternoons, Sundays or holidays.
Point-to-point timings and fares for EVA services from the main towns can be checked and most downloaded on
their official website at http://www.eva-bus.com/
but beware that some of the information on the website is
demonstrably at variance with even the most recent printed
timetables! Frota Azul has a similar website. The EVA
website does not have all timetables available foir download. One of
the reasons for this site!
Most bus journeys do not run every day. In the various timetable pages, there are column headings and notes to indicate the days a particular bus runs. In one or two cases, there are separate sections for weekday and weekend services where the times are very different, but on most pages there is one table for the whole service.
These codes and information en Français, auf deutsch, em Portugues please click here
Daily – runs every day including holidays (NB - buses and trains DO
RUN on Christmas Day, New Year's Day etc)
MFO – Mondays to Fridays (weekdays) only; does not run on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays
SSH – runs on Saturdays,Sundays and Holidays only
SHO – runs on Sundays and Holidays only
SHX – does not run on Sundays or Holidays
SAT – runs on Saturdays only except holidays
SCH – runs on SCHOOLDAYS only ie will not be running in July and August, nor during Christmas and Easter breaks or on Public holidays.
NSC - runs weekdays but during School Holidays only
XXX – used where bus runs only on certain days that do not fit into these headings – look for a special note.
PORTUGUESE HOLIDAYS 2016
- details here.
I have tried to be consistent with these headings in all the pages. Apologies if I fail anywhere.
A word of 'warning' - between 0800hrs and 0900hrs also between 1630hrs
and 1700hrs on schooldays, buses to/from the main towns are VERY
crowded with schoolchildren and older students on their way to and
from school/college. In some areas schools operate early and late
'shifts' (because of overcrowding) and you may get an extra 'rush
hour' around 1300hrs, for example in Lagos.
I personally have experienced this at Loulé on the 1340hrs and 1640hrs
buses to Albufeira and also the 1655hrs from Silves to Albufeira. You
may have to stand for a while - no they are as unruly as in any
The good news is that schools are closed during the main holiday
season of July to early September, for two weeks at Easter and for two weeks
over Christmas and New Year.