The city of Faro is located in the Algarve province, southern Portugal, and is the administrative capital of the region. A beautiful city full of restaurants, cafes and monuments but yet calmer during the evenings in comparison to other towns. The regions international airport is located here, which in many tourists minds, makes it only an entry & exit point into the province. However, this shouldn't be the case as Faro itself has much to offer.
Auto Europe has been providing car hire services in Faro for numerous years and therefore we have an abundance of local knowledge. Knowledge that will help you find the perfect car, at the best price. In Faro, our clients can pick up their car hire at Faro Airport, which is the most convenient location for travellers arriving from the UK.
Traffic in Faro is generally not very heavy and pretty empty in comparison to other cities. The busiest routes tend to be heading out of the city towards the A22. Since the A22 became a toll road, much of the traffic now heads towards the EN125, which links to other towns within the Algarve.
If you plan to drive around the Algarve, it's important to know that the highway A22, which previously was not paid, now has electronic tolls. Many car hire suppliers already have devices installed in the car that make payment of the tolls easier. In order to activate this device, a daily fee is usually required. Alternatively, you can also pay for the tolls at a Portuguese post office or Pay Shop. This must be done 48 hours after you have used the road, but not later than 5 days. If you prefer, you can also purchase a pre-paid card at a post office.
Most street parking in Faro is paid. You can identify paid parking by the blue square signs with a white P. There are meters along the streets where you can pay for the parking, and then you need to display the ticket on the dashboard. If the parking sign also includes the word "Residentes", that means the parking is for residents only.
There is an underground car park in Avenida 5 de Outubro. Parking there is paid, but it's a good option if you are having trouble finding parking on the street. This car park is very centrally located.
There is also a free parking area near Largo de São Francisco. This square is located near the city walls and is within walking distance of the centre. While it is a free car park, there are often "professional parkers" around, "helping" people find spots for their cars. While not mandatory, giving them a spare coin is highly recommended for anyone who values their car's paint job.
Faro is located in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve region. The region has a temperate Mediterranean climate, with warm sunny days in summer and mild days in winter. The beaches in the whole region are famous for their warm waters, influenced by both the Mediterranean Sea and the closeness to Africa. The sea near the coast is generally calm, and the beaches in and around cities tend to be watched by life-guards during the summer. However, it is extremely important to observe the warning flags. Green means that the sea is calm enough for swimming; yellow means that caution is needed; red means the sea is too rough for swimming. If there's a chequered flag flying on a beach, it means there is presently no life guard on duty and swimming should be avoided.
Historically, Faro has had a rich and varied existence. The Ria Formosa lagoon has signs of human inhabitants dating back to the Palaeolithic age. Founded by the Phoenicians, the settlement fell under the control of Romans, Byzantines, Visigoths and then conquered by the Moors in 713. In 1143, Tavira became part of the Kingdom of Portugal and prospered due to its salt minerals. In 1540 Faro was granted city status but it wasn't until 1756 that, due to the earlier earthquake of 1755 and subsequent tsunami, did Faro become the administrative capital of Algarve.
Faro Airport is approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Faro city in the Algarve, Southern Portugal. The airport was established in 1965 and quickly grew in popularity with tourists holidaying in the Algarve. In 2015 up to 6.4 million passengers travelled through this airport.
Official Name: Aeroporto de Faro (FAO). Also known as Algarve Airport.
Address: Aeroporto de Faro. 8006-901 Faro
Official website: www.ana.pt
Phone number: +351 289 800 800 (Free number from Portugal: 800 201 201)
Information Office: Phone: +351 28 9818582.
If you plan to go further afield, take your car rental from Faro towards the west and within 1 hour and 24 minutes along the A22, you'll reach what was once known as the end of the world - Sagres. This unique place is full of history and is the location for the founding of the first ever nautical school by Prince Henry the Navigator in the 15th Century. With its early connection to the Portuguese Age of Discovery, Sagres has numerous forts dotted around its landscape. With only around 2,000 inhabitants, the land is mainly barren but has impressive cliffs rising up from the Atlantic sea, in which two lighthouses are located at Ponta de Sagres and São Vicente.
Only 40 minutes from Faro along the A22, you will come across the seaside town of Albufeira. By far one of the most popular tourist spots, especially among the British. Albufeira has a very lively nightlife with numerous bars, cafés and restaurants that provide Portuguese, English, Dutch, & Irish dishes, with pubs and clubs also dotted along its narrow streets (The Strip) or in its old town. Originally a fishing village, the population is now around 41,000 inhabitants, but during the summer the population swells up to 300,000 residents. With wonderful beaches, local world renowned golf courses and excellent hotels, this small town has much to offer.
Once you have picked up your car hire from Faro, it is only 32 minutes along the A22 to the seaside town of Tavira. Situated on the eastside of the Algarve, this town dates back to the Bronze Age and was an important settlement for the Phoenicians. Due to numerous cultures being present, Tavira is a wonderful blend of architectural buildings. It contains 37 churches, many 18th Century buildings, Tavira castle and a Roman/Moorish bridge that spans the River Gilão linking both parts of the town. The town itself is very pleasant; with only around 26,000 inhabitants it is very calm when wandering around its old town. So relax, grab a coffee in one of its many cafés or restaurants and watch the world go by.
The city's public transportation is run by Eva Transportes. There are numerous bus routes that serve urban and interurban areas. Two buses routes numbered 14 and 16 serve both the airport and Faro Beach. You can buy the tickets directly from the driver.
Estação Ferroviária de Faro - Faro's railway station is located near the Marina, close to the town centre, in the Largo da Estação dos Caminhos de Ferro. The train station is at walking distance from the old town. Faro has train connections to other main cities in the Algarve, such as Lagos and Portimão. Trains from the city also depart to Lisbon.
Regional lines in the Algarve:
Lagos - Portimão - Albufeira - Loulé - Faro
Faro - Olhão - Tavira - Vila Real de Santo António
In the same area there's also a bus station, located in Avenida da República, with buses departing every day to Porto and Lisbon.
Auto Europe has expanded its offer and we are proud that we can now offer you a whole new level of adventure in Faro. Book a campervan and start exploring the Algarve at your own pace!