Take advantage of the blue Tourist Train, which takes about 40 minutes to do one circuit from The Strip, down to the Old Town, and back. It only runs in a clockwise direction, about 20 minutes between trains during the day.
A single journey is Euro 1.50, and a return journey is 2 Euros, so it is better to buy a return ticket. A single journey will enable you to make once complete circuit of the route, signtseeing if you like, but you can't break your journey, and join the 'train' later. Whatever you decide, it is very worthwhile.
There are only three stops; one at The Strip, one in the Old Town, and one on the return, opposite McDonalds
Eva bus connects Lisbon with towns in algarve – and so does rede-express. However Eva makes fewer stops so you get there much faster.
Buses leave Lisbon, from the Arco Cego station at 8.15, 10.30, 12.30, 15.15, 18.30 and 20.30.
Buses leave Albufeira (from the Eva office) for Lisbon at 9.45, 12.00, 14.30, 16.45, 19.45, 22.30. The journey takes about 2 h 40.
Eva buses call at albufeira, arracao de pera, lagoa, portimao, praia da rocha and lagos
The best way to explore the south of Portugal is to rent a car for a few days.
This way you can see a lot within a few days.
Our trip last a week and during that time we want to see whatever was possible in that week.
I am sorry I don't have too much information for you, but it has been about 18 years ago we visit Portugal for the last time!!
I think it is about time we are going back again :-)
We hired a car when we were there. We hadnt intended to hire a car, but our holiday was one where we didnt know where we were staying until we arrived. It wasnt very central and quite a lot walk into Albufeira. Also you can get about more easily and find some wonderful virtually deserted beaches.
Unlike Spain where a lot of the holiday areas are built next to the coast, the Algarve is a lot more spread out.
You will find loads of Car Hire companies in and around Albufeira, and most seem to offer similar rates or deals. typically, you would pay 80 Euros for three day car hire, but some companies offier hire for, say, 5 days, and pay for 3! Don't forget that in addition to the hire cost there are 'extras' for additional drivers, full insurance, and if you intend travelling to Spain, there is a surcharge of around 30 Euros!
We booked our Fiat Punto using our hotel rep, and it cost us 54 Euros for one day (we didn't want a car for a longer period). Just make sure you top the tank up before returning the car! (We did!).
Oh, and driving in Portugal is far easier than in Spain (we thought), but do remember if you are coming from England, they drive on the wrong side of the road, LOL!
I was surprised to see the petrol prices a little higher than in Spain. Stacy said the difference was higher, but we realised at the end that it was only 30 cents more (well if you drive a lot around you will notice more!)
There are indeed regular buses along that route. I have the timetables on my personal website at www.algarvebus.info/002e.htm for buses Albufeira - Olhos D'Agua - Vilamoura - Quarteira - Faro and .../002w.htm for buses in the reverse direction. They are somewhat irregular (ie not at so many minutes past each hour) but they run at least twice an hour for most of the day during the week but are rather sparse (especially in the afternoons) on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Last buses are around 730pm; there are no later evening buses.
The GIRO routes (Albufeira town bus services) do not go out to Olhos D'Agua.
The long-distance buses do not stop in Olhos D'Agua. Albufeira bus terminal is about 3 miles/5km away.
There are frequent buses from Albufeira to Lisbon and the journey takes about 3 hours. For example there is a bus at 0800 arriving at 1100. There is a bus back at 1830 arriving in Albufeira at 2120.
The Lisbon bus terminal at Sete Rios is about 4km from the city centre and you will need the metro to complete your journey.
The www.rede-expressos.pt website has all the times as has been mentioned. This website is in Portuguese only; there is no information in English available.
Tickets should be bought in advance if possible. One-way fare about €18.00
Olhos D'Agua is about 15 minutes by bus from the Albufeira terminal. I have the bus times for local buses at www.algarvebus.info/002w.htm
The evening buses from Lisbon to Albufeira arrive after local bus service has ended, so you will need a taxi back to Olhos D'Agua.
The Albufeira Railway Station is 4 miles/6km from the town; 7miles/10km from Olhos D'Agua and would only be practicable by taxi as the morning train to Lisbon leaves at 718am.
Before we hired a car we had tried getting a bus and waited for such a long time and when none came decided to walk. On speaking to some other people who were on holiday we were told buses were not very reliable, but taxi's were quite reasonable.
Taxi's cannot pick up anywhere along the road, you either have to order them or go to a designated taxi rank.
Always agree on a price with the taxi driver before your journey.
Here we are, with our friends Geoff and Mary, when we took them back at the hotel ƒº after enjoying our first dinner together nearly 2 years after our last meeting.
Even if distances are not bad inside Albufeira, a car is needed to drive around the area.
For inside Albufeira is better to walk and get a taxi back as from the center to our area was a round 5 euros.
I wanted to rent a car while in Albufeira since I wasn't that keen on spending the whole time in the beach. I wanted a small cabrio for couple of days and it proved out that Auto Prudente was the cheapest one. the car, Punto Cabrio, was cheap for a reason. It ran out nicely, no problem there but the roof mechanism was bit of a problem. The lights were dim and the wipers were ready to meet their makers giving some extra thrill for the driving.
We wanted to go to Spain, as well. For some reason, don't ask me why, normally you can NOT drive the car to Spain without extra insurance. And in this case, we couldn't drive the cabrio to Spain in anyway. Therefore, we had to book another car for that purpose. The other car was new Fiat Palio, in rather top condition. Couple of problems, the indoor light fell down then closing the doors too hardly and some plastics were falling down here and there. It had 10000 km but I think it's merely an indication about the bad car quality rather than lousy car rental agency.
So, why you need an extra insurance for Spain? If renting from large rental agencies, such as Avis or Europcar, you don't need them but the prices are higher anyway so they are anyway included. The traffic was surprisingly smooth and we didn't found any problems neither in Spain nor Portugal.
There are quite a few hidden costs in the lists, not just in this place. Full insurance costs extra, as well as the extra insurance needed for the Spain.
Other thing that kind of annoyed us was the protocol that we had to fill the tank to the location where it was when we rented that. It would've been so much simpler just to fill it up.
The personnel were friendly so no complaints there.
Getting around to the old town I needed a taxi/cab. Like most places there are all over the place but its easier to ask at your hotel or apartments.
This is a pic from the taxi I was in leaving the old town,
if you need a car, Book it directly on www.algarvecaronline.com! They are delivering cars to every point in Algarve. it's the cheapest way to see all that algarve has to offer you. Avoid the big car rental companies they are to expensive. Algarvecaronline Car Hire - has a friendly and competent staff that are truly committed to make our stay in Algarve the most memorable and enjoyable, they can give you nice tips for places to visit, restaurants, beaches and more... hope you enjoy as much as i did!!
Parking is a nightmare in Albufeira. The best solution is to use a small and dusty area east of the beach, and use the escalators nearby.
The problem is that, after the construction of the mechanic escalators, the park seems to be shrinking!
The fast growth of Albufeira justified the creation of a local bus network, called Giro. It covers all the city now, with four different routes, identified by diffferent colours.
If you decide to go a little further there are regional buses, being EVA the main company in Algarve.