The information has been obtained from printed
timetables and other local sources(like taking the bus)and is
given in good faith.
Bus operations in the Algarve are possibly quite different from what you may be used to back home!
In particular, the buses running between various towns sometimes do not show route or line numbers.
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
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 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 and use the
same stops as VAMUS buses, but fares are different and tickets are
not generally inter-available.
(Route 56) until May 2023, two buses each way daily
Faro - Faro Airport - Albufeira Bus Station - Lagoa Bus Station -
Portimão Rua Abidcada Bus Station - Lagos Bus station. It stops
only at these places. Fares are higher than on other buses. From
1st June until 30th September there may be a more frequent
(VAMUS route 57) (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 plus the Algarve Shopping mall
near Guia and Portimão Hospital.
Transrápido buses carry a sign in the driver’s window and
they are identifiable by the paintwork! Download
and print the latest timetable.
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) (VAMUS route 51) 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 or she is!
Between Faro and Albufeira some buses on weekdays (ie
Mondays to Fridays) are labelled ‘DIRECTA’ and miss out some
stops, notably in the outskirts of Vilamoura and the outskirts of
Faro. The differences in stopping places between the NORMAL and
DIRECTA routes are detailed here.
NB - there few bus services at the airport except for a local bus
into Faro city centre, three buses each weekday to Loulé and
Aerobus 56 to Albufeira, Lagoa, Portimão and Lagos. Route 55 runs
in the summer between the airport, Almancil, Quarteira and
Vilamoura. Details will be 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
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 - details here.
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 two
I have listed some timetables for Rede-Expressos here but check their website
for changes also service at other locations. The website is
available in English.
These long-distance services are operated REDE EXPRESSOS but you
will sometimes see 'borrowed' vehicles in other companies colours.
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 ticket offices and agents, with opening hours, on their
Rede - Expressos stops in larger towns will be the main bus
station, but elsewhere it may be just an ordinary bus stop by the
side of the road. The Rede Expressos website does have a system of
maps showing stop locations and local ticket sales offices and
agents. Beware that in Lisbon two different bus stations are used.
Some journeys to or from the Algarve use both, but most use one or
the other. These are ORIENTE which is out in the north-eastern
suburbs near the airport and SETE RIOS which is to the north-west
of the city centre.
Both of these are several km from the city centre, but have metro
(underground railway) stations adjacent for the final part of your
journey. Lisbon Aerobus service
no longer operates.
Ticket offices in Algarve bus stations etc 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 from
the Rede Expressos website. You can get times and buy tickets
You cannot buy tickets from the driver for long distance trips.
These services do not carry local passengers in the Algarve,
except on the route out of Lagos towards Aljezur etc where no
other services exist.
It will cost about €22 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 hourss from Albufeira and
obviously more the further afield you are.
Flixbus is a low cost operator running daily services between
Lisbon and some of the larger Algarve towns. Internet booking via
their app or website www.flixbus.com - they may not use
the usual bus stations. In Albufeira their calling point is the
'small' bus station in Avenida da Liberdade in the old town.
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 areas, 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. In some towns stops used
by local buses have their own design. Those pictured to the left
are of the former EVA and Frota Azul buses, now VAMUS, that
connect the different towns and villages. The bus stop signs are
now being changed and, for the first time ever, a list of
departures and maps are appearing! These are at my local stop, but
when installing them they have removed the far more useful
information about the local GIRO buses. The number below the stop
name is the number of the stop on their travel planner. You can
therefore find that stop using their website or 'app' and see
if there is a bus coming your way. The map looks impressive at
first sight, but remember that many routes only run two or three
times a day. CLICK THE MAP TO SEE IT FULL (ENORMOUS) SIZE.
The routes 8 and 75 around Albufeira are now part of the Albufeira
GIRO network as routes 6 and 8 respectively, with much more
frequent service. Click or tap here for details.
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, Quarteira, Vilamoura, Olhos D'Agua) pass through town and it’s best to get off near Albufeira Shopping (the stop is officially called Rotunda dos Rélogios - Watches roundabout in English - 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 stop at Silves
has no office, there is an enquiry office/agency nearby at the
municipal market building. Portimão has an
outdoor bus station for local and regional services - click here for more information. A
separate bus station in Portimão is used by long distance and
international bus / coach services. This is about 1.5km or
nearly a mile from the city centre. Information here .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.
Individual details are not published on the
official website so those below may be incorrect, but are my
best guess from information available.
IMPORTANT! When boarding at a BUS STATION/BUS
TERMINAL you must usually buy your tickets at the ticket office
BUS TICKET MACHINES NOW BEING INSTALLED AT BUS STATIONS
VAMUS, the regional bus company, is installing ticket machines at bus stations. These will make it easier to purchase tickets and recharge pre paid passes. They are now up and running at Faro, Lagos, Albufeira and Tavira bus stations, also at the Faro Airport bus stop. Soon to follow at Loulé and Quarteira bus stations, also at Aqua Shopping at Portimão. They have instructions in English and Portuguese, but will not sell tickets and passes for the urban networks such as Vai e Vem in Portimão and Giro in Albufeira. I have read that these will be available at some future date.
BUS COMPANIES DO NOT ACCEPT
CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS ON BOARD THE BUS. AT TICKET OFFICES, THEY
TAKE DEBIT CARDS ONLY.
Allow a few minutes for buying tickets at the ticket office,
especially at Faro! Ticket prices for single journeys are
currently not available at the VAMUS website.
There is a list of ticket offices and agents at https://vamusalgarve.pt/#/pt/vamus%20algarve/point-of-sales
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 on an ordinary bus will cost only about €7.
Sample bus fares for adults when paid on board. These are my
best guesses at fares for typical journeys from information
available at the official website. Details of specific fares for
single journeys are not published. Any contributions gratefully
received! Email email@example.com and thank you!
Faro to Lagos - €6.30; Albufeira to Portimão and Praia da Rocha -
€5,35, Albufeira to Alvor - €5,35, Albufeira to Lagos -
€6,90; Albufeira - Faro €5,35; Albufeira to Armação de Pera
and Vilamoura €4.75; Portimão - Silves, €3.70; Portimão -
Lagos €3,95; Albufeira to Silves, Quarteira or Loulé €5,35; Monte
Gordo to Tavira €2,70, Monte Gordo to Vila Real de Santo António
€2.60, Monte Gordo to Faro €6,55, Tavira to Faro €4,75.
Trains are often cheaper than buses where they offer service between the same towns, except Faro - Lagos, but the trains are 30 minutes quicker and more frequent!
VAMUS Apps for Android and Mac
These can be downloaded from Google Play and
https://apps.apple.com and offer all ticket discounts etc and
paperless travel for the VAMUS buses.
Pre-paid rechargeable ticket cards - VAMUS buses - save money
If you are staying a while and intend to use Vamus buses more
than a couple of times and don't want to use an app, it will be
worth investing in a pre-paid ticket card. This rechargeable card
stores cash for amounts of €5 or more. It saves money compared to
on board tickets (in many cases as much as 50%) and queuing time,
but you do have to pay a €2.00 fee for the card. You can buy the
cards using the VAMUS website, app or from any bus
station or ticket agent. Also on sale at tourist information
According to the website, they can be recharged on a bus. I have
been told that drivers say that this is not possible.
Details here. On
boarding, place the card on the ticket machine pad, count three
and your ticket is automatically printed.
Monthly Season tickets VAMUS buses
There is 50% discount on monthly point to point season tickets.
That's is primarily aimed at commuters and students. For long
stayers who may be using their buses frequently, this may be of
value. These passes can be obtained from any bus station ticket
office or you can download the application form from https://vamusalgarve.pt/#/pt/vamus%20algarve/pre-purchase-fares
and select Requisição de Títulos de Transporte (passes mensais).
The form does not require a photo but does ask for some kind of ID
number e.g. citizen card or passport number.
DISCOUNTS FOR THE YOUNG AND OLD
CHILDREN - those aged between 4 and 12 pay half fare on
VAMUS buses, but those aged 13 or over have to pay full fare
unless they have a 'school pass', so in effect that's for
residents only. Children aged under 4 years travel free. There are
however NO child discounts on the city and town bus systems except
SENIORS - discounts are often available only to
residents. Buses are not free here for seniors as in many
European countries. You need to be 65 or over to get senior
discount. You will need to ask at a local bus station or ticket
agent what senior discounts are available, fill in a form, provide
proof of age and sometimes a passport size photo. A typical senior
pass costs €5 for the card itself then €11 a month for unlimited
travel, for example on Albufeira's local GIRO buses. For the buses
between towns and villages operated by VAMUS, all passes and
tickets (except the tourist passes) are for travel only between
two specific places.
Tickets and passes are not interchangeable between
different operator's buses. All the urban buses require a
different ticket or pass.
The local bus systems in and around Albufeira, Faro, Lagos,
Loulé, Quarteira, Tavira and Vilamoura have different fares and do
not accept VAMUS tickets, nor vice-versa. All offer pre paid multi
journey passes and monthly season tickets. Those in Loulé,
Quarteira and Vilamoura are currently free of charge.
Separate cards are available for these local city buses not
operated by VAMUS, 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 next year.
Children using local buses around the main towns (eg GIRO in Albufeira) normally pay full fare - child discounts are again only available to residents
Timetables are sometimes 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
VAMUS bus company website does have a
timetable search facility and timetables that can be downloaded,
saved and printed.
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.
Portugal uses the 24 hour clock - all timetables are in the 24hr
clock format. 1300hrs = 1pm, 1400hrs = 2pm etc.
Many bus routes are very irregular and infrequent, especially at
weekends and on public holidays when many routes have no service
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 many fewer buses than on weekdays. Last buses are often much earlier than on 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.
Buses do not usually run at regular intervals i.e. 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
Point-to-point timings, but currently not fares, for VAMUS
services from the main towns can be checked and official
individual timetables downloaded on their official website here.
The local city buses (GIRO) in
Albufeira mostly 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 Alvor 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
and around Lagos and Portimão is sparse, especially in winter.
Check carefully. Many routes only operate on weekdays.
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.
Details and links to timetables are included within the various
sections of this website.
Many bus journeys do not run every day. Weekend and holiday buses are very few in some areas. In the various timetable pages, there are column headings, colour highlights and notes to indicate the days a particular bus runs. In one or two timetables, 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 in both directions.
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.
I have tried to be consistent with these headings in all the
pages. Apologies if I fail anywhere.
Operational dates on the
On the official VAMUS website timetables abbreviations are used to show the different days of the week etc that buses run. Timetables are shown with the times vertically. The downloadable timetables do show the weekday, Saturday and Sunday times in separate boxes, but confusingly for some the winter and summer timetables are put together.
At the TOP of the column you will see either A (Annual) meaning
the bus runs all year round, E (Escolar - schooldays) meaning the
bus runs only when schools are open. For some routes and times you
will also see EA (Época Alta - High Season) meaning that the bus
runs only between 1st May and 31st October or EB (Época Baixa -
Low Season) meaning the bus runs only during the winter (low)
In the next row you will see U (Úteis - weekdays) meaning that
the bus runs only on weekdays, S (Sábados - Saturdays) meaning the
bus runs only on Saturdays or DF (Domingos e Feriados - Sundays
and Holidays) meaning that the bus runs only on Sundays and Public Holidays. In
practice, times for almost all routes with weekend and holiday
buses are the same on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, but do
check just in case.
Finally, for buses that serve very rural areas and that run less
than five days a week, you may see the days of the week shown as :
2 = Monday 3 = Tuesday 4=
Wednesday 5= Thursday 6=
Friday or some combination, for example 35 = bus runs on Tuesdays
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 afternoon
buses to Albufeira and also from Silves to Albufeira. You may have
to stand for a while - no they are as unruly as in any other
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.
For a list of all the timetables on the site,
For an alphabetical list of places in the Algarve, click here
For some important general notes about buses in the Algarve, click here
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