Visiting Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city and Albufeira, in the Algarve in the south of the country are two very popular destinations that people visit when travelling to Portugal.
I myself did the same during my month in Portugal. My husband and I spent two weeks in the Lisbon area before heading to the south and travelling from Lisbon to Faro on the Algarve Coast.
The train also went from Lisbon to Albufeira which is one of the more popular places to disembark the train.
(Tip: if you’re heading to Albufeira, be sure to check out parasailing in Albufeira, it’s so much fun!).
The Algarve is a beautiful area with so many beaches to explore and a super impressive coastline. There are miles and miles of sandy beaches and beautiful clear waters and the weather is sunny pretty much all year round.
Check out this 2-day itinerary for Lisbon!
If you’re looking for a beach holiday in Portugal, chances are the Algarve is where you’ll head.
But perhaps you’re wondering what the best way to get from Lisbon to Albufeira is? Maybe this will surprise you, but it’s definitely not flying.
Whether you’re in Portugal for a short amount of time and want to combine some city exploring with beach days or are spending longer in the country, travelling from Lisbon to Algarve is a popular route that can be done in various ways.
From catching the Lisbon to Albufeira train, the bus from Lisbon to the Algarve, flying or driving, there are pros and cons to each method.
Below, I’ll go into detail about how to get from Lisbon to Albufeira and Faro so you’re prepared for your trip and answer the question of whether you can do a day trip from Lisbon to Algarve.
Quick answers on how to get from Lisbon to Albufeira
- Book a train from Lisbon to Algarve with Omio
- Book buses from Lisbon to Albufeira with Busbud
- Check flight prices with Skyscanner
- Rent a car in Lisbon with Discover Cars or RentalCars
Want to explore another beautiful beach area? Check out Portugal’s Silver Coast!
Table of Contents
Lisbon to Albufeira train
The easiest way to travel from Lisbon to the Algarve is to take the Lisbon to Albufeira train.
It’s a quick and easy way to travel with no changes needed and you’ll get from Lisbon to Faro in around 3 hours, slightly less if you’re getting off at Albufeira, or 2.5 hours if you’re travelling on the faster Alfa Pendular train (AP) route. The latter is a high-speed train which cuts off 30 minutes from your journey.
The Lisbon to Algarve train time isn’t too different from driving, or even flying once you’ve factored in the time to pick up your bags and wait at the airport.
However, if you’re getting off at the train station in Albufeira, you should bear in mind that the station is not right in the town like it is with Faro.
The Albuferia train station is about 7 km north of the town so you’ll need to arrange a taxi to wherever your accommodation in Albufeira is, or catch the Linha Laranja bus, which runs from the station to the Albufeira Bus Termina bus in town.
The main train company in Portugal is Comboios de Portugal and they have a train which runs several times a day from two Lisbon train stations to Faro in the Algarve.
The first station is the Lisbon Oriente and the other is the Entrecampos in Lisbon. Just pick whichever you’re staying closest to.
When I took the train from Lisbon to Faro, we got on at Oriente and had reserved seats, having booked online in advance which made for a suitable comfortable ride.
The seats actually had far more legroom than the flight we took from London to Portugal and there’s plenty of overhead space for a small backpack and luggage at the end of the carriages for bigger bags.
Top tip: Book online in advance for the cheapest tickets. Train tickets are released 2 months in advance and the tickets are cheapest in advance rather than last minute.
I booked my train ticket online through Omio which was super easy and quick to do! You can check prices and compares timetables and the website was easier to manage that the Portuguese one which kept crashing on me before I tried Omio to book train tickets.
Since we just went one-way I only booked Lisbon to Albufeira, but you can also use Omio to book the Albufeira to Lisbon train too.
Omio is a great platform for booking European and UK travel on. You can check train and bus prices and schedules and book super easily!
How to get from Lisbon airport to Albufeira?
If you want to get the train from Lisbon Airport to Albufeira without stopping in Lisbon, the easiest way is to get the metro from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon Oriente station and then catch the train from Lisbon to Albufeira as above.
This will only add about 20 minutes to your journey time stated above.
Lisbon to Albufeira by bus
Another option is to catch a bus from Lisbon to Albufeira.
There are lots of reliable bus services that connect major destinations and towns across Portugal. They’re pretty reliable and usually a bit cheaper than the train even though they take a bit longer.
Renex, Rede Expressos and Flixbus all do a Lisbon to Albufeira bus.
Many of the buses have Wifi and power sockets (which the train did not) depending on which company you book.
Busbud is a great company to book your buses through as they have the prices and schedules for multiple companies so you can just book what works for you, without having to visit each of their websites. You can also use Omio.
It’s best to book your Albufeira to Lisbon bus tickets and vice-versa in advance to avoid having to queue at the station (and potentially missing your bus!), and to get the best prices.
There are two main bus stations in Lisbon which have buses going to Albufeira in the Algarve.
There’s one at Lisbon’s Oriente Station which also has a large train station and another is Lisbon Sete Rios. The Sete Rios station can be accessed via the Jarmin Zoológico metro station.
Both have a similar number of departures and one-way bus tickets to Albufeira from Lisbon will cost around €15 and take around 3 hours.
They run all throughout the day and some buses even leave Lisbon after midnight, or super early in the morning.
One advantage of choosing the bus over the train is that it’s a bit closer to the town centre with the bus terminal in Albufeira being just 2 km from historic downtown Albufeira.
Private transfers from Lisbon to Algarve and guided tours
Another option for visiting Albufeira and the Algarve from Lisbon is to arrange a private transfer or a guided tour between the two.
For a private transfer, this one can be booked for up to 6 people and includes A/C and water during your trip. Prices are for 2 people and you can arrange drop off to most places in the Algarve.
Although I recommend spending at least a week in the Algarve to get to experience the beaches, the old towns and relax, you can actually go between the two in a day with some of these guided tours.
I’ve included some of the best guided tours from Lisbon to the Algarve below. You can also do a day trip to Lisbon from Albufeira by booking a transfer and checking out my post on how to spend one day in Lisbon.
From Lisbon: Guided Day Trip to Algarve
This 1 day tour from Lisbon to the Algarve takes you on a journey of some of the best things to see in the area.
After leaving Lisbon, you’ll arrive in Lagos, one of the biggest and prettiest cities in the Algarve. Here you’ll visit the Ponta da Piedada, a super scenic point on the coast, and have the option to take a boat ride to see the cliffs, caves and sinkholes.
Next, you’ll get some beach time on “Praia do Camilo,” which is known for its beautiful sand and clear water before going to the famous “Praia da Rocha” beach in Portimao.
You’ll also get to visit Benagil Caves by boat and enjoy lunch at a great local restaurant before checking out Albufeira where the Moors first landed during the Arab domination in the 8th century. Finally, you’ll finish up in Porches to admire the splendid “Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Rocha” (Chapel of Our Lady of the Rock) before heading back to Lisbon.
From Lisbon: Algarve 2-Day Private Tour
This 2-day tour is similar to the above and includes return transport from your Lisbon hotel.
You’ll first stop in Tavira to explore Praça da Republica, where you’ll see the City Hall and can explore the Tavira Municipal Museum and Misericórdia Church, a remarkable Renaissance building that dates back to 1541-1551.
You’ll then head to the city of Faro, one of the region’s major cities with a rich history before visiting the Vilamoura marina where there are a tonne of luxurious yachts before travelling to Albufeira to stay overnight and visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve.
On the second day, you’ll travel to Lagos and then on to Sagres at the end of the world (well Europe) to explore the fortress and the small town before making your way back to Lisbon.
Flying from Lisbon to Albufeira
The quickest way to get from Lisbon to the Algarve is by flying. However, I strongly ask you to think about whether you really need to fly when there are such good public transport links instead of looking for flights from Lisbon to Albufeira.
Flying is so much worse for the environment and the trains are, in my view, a lot more enjoyable as well as being cheaper. There are no strict luggage limits on the trains, you don’t have to get there an hour early to board the plane, and the train takes you right from the centre of Lisbon to the centre of Faro with a far less damaging impact on the environment.
If flying is the only option available to you then look for flights from Lisbon to Faro as Faro is the closest airport to Albufeira as well as being the main international hub for the Algarve region.
TAP Air Portugal is the sole airline offering flights from Lisbon to Faro and the flight takes just 45 minutes.
Once you arrive at Faro, you can get to Albufeira in about 45 minutes again by bus, taxi or private transfer.
- To book a bus from Faro to Albufeira use Busbud
- Get a private transfer to Albufeira from Faro
- Alternatively, take the local number 16 bus from the airport to the Faro Bus Terminal next door to the train station and then transfer to another bus going to Albufeira.
Driving from Lisbon to Albufeira
For some, hiring a car is the most comfortable and convenient option for reaching Albufeira from Lisbon.
There are numerous benefits to this choice, as you’ll get the most flexibility not only during the journey but also after arriving in Albufeira.
I think the best way to visit the Algarve if you want to see towns and beaches up and down the coast is to rent a car so you might decide to rent in Lisbon anyway.
The downside is that you’ll need to pay for petrol and toll fees if using the highways and it’s not quite as relaxing as getting a train. But, you can stop off when you feel like it and I always think road trips are fun!
When it comes to how to drive from Lisbon to Albufeira it’s pretty easy and takes about 2.5 hours and there are plenty of signs to the Algarve.
Top tip: When you rent a car in Portugal, you’ll be asked if you want to pay an additional fee to use the highways/motorways. The cars come fitted with a tag that allows you to use the highways and pass through the toll roads. I rented a car from Faro in the Algarve and opted not to pay the additional fee since it was easy enough to use the smaller roads when exploring the coast.
Final thoughts on how to get from Lisbon to Albufeira
There are several ways to get from Lisbon to the Algarve coast in Portugal.
Whether you prefer the convenience and flexibility of a car rental, the comfort of a bus journey, the speed of a flight to Faro the romanticism of the Lison to Albufeira train or the ease of a private transfer, you can choose the method that best suits your preferences and travel needs.
Each option offers its own unique advantages, allowing you to embark on a memorable journey to explore the stunning beaches, charming towns, and rich cultural heritage of the Algarve coast.
FAQs about travelling from Lisbon to Algarve and Albufeira
How long to drive from Lisbon to Albufeira?
Albufeira to Lisbon by car takes about 2.5 hours, traffic dependent.
What is the Faro to Albufeira distance?
The distance from Albufeira to Faro is about 45 km and takes around 45 minutes.
How far is Lisbon from Algarve Portugal?
Depending on the method you use to travel from Lisbon to the Algarve it takes between 2.5 – 3 hours. It’s around 277 km.
How to get from Lisbon to Albufeira by train?
You can catch the train from Lisbon Rio Sete or Lisbon Oriente station to Albufeira/ There are several departures a day and it takes around 2.5-3 hours depending on which train you take.
How long is train from Lisbon to Albufeira?
The train takes either 2.5 hours or about 3 hours depending on which line you take as the AP line is a bit quicker.
Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Hannah
Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe, a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada, you’ll find posts on all of this.
Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.