When we arrive in Portugal the best way to get to your hotel and to get around while you are there is to Hire a car. there are a lot of Car hire companys which operate from Faro airport, All the major car hire companys are there as well as a lot of smaller ones. You can naot fault the service from the like of Avis and Hertz but they can be a bit expensive, The one we use now is called YOR car rental and is really reasonable.
YOR CAR HIRE COMPANY
Address: Faro Airport - Montenegro 8000 - Faro - Portugal
Administrative person: Mr. João Correia
UK Phone number: 0871 733 6759
Portuguese Phone Numbers: (+351) 969 777 854
Your journey from Faro airport in the Algarve at the start of your holiday to your apartment, hotel or villa needn't be as difficult as you think.
Shuttle bus (most cost effective for smaller groups)
Private Transfer for your party only
Taxi/Minibus/Coach - private vehicle suited to the size of your party and not shared by other travellers.
Public Transport - Local Bus or Train Services
there is a small train station in portimao which is only a short bus ride from alvor much more accessible than going to lagos. From here you can get to silves, Faro, Tavira and many other places which might cost you a lot of money on organised trips where a full day is not necessary. The station looks a bit dilapidated like a wildwest town as do the trains but they are excellent with a friendly conductor on board and the scenery is magnificent.We are not the most adventurous people but we travelled from alvor to tavira and it cost 7 euro each(90euro in a taxi) so great value. We also went to silves for the day for a couple of euros each-just bear in mind some of the staions are situated a little out of town so may require a little walk which is not a big deal. It all seems a bit scary at first but well worth the effort. There are good websites for all the printable timetables just google it!
You will find information about local buses from Alvor on my website www.algarvebus.info - Lisbon is around 4 hours away by bus or train (train from Portimao) so you would have to leave at 6am to get a meaningful amount of time there. Local tour operators offer day trips to Lisabon for around €30 but again leaving Alvor at around 6am.
I found that the best way to get to Alvor was to hire a car, I did this both times. It is really easy to drive there, pretty much a straight road all the way. From the airport, you follow the signs for Lisboa and Portimao until you see two slip roads on the right, the first one is for Spain, do not take this one, it takes you onto the A22 in the wrong direction. Take the second slip road and from there it is straight until junction 4 and from then on it is really well signposted.
It is really easy to drive around Alvor also, except for the tiny streets in the centre, see my tip on the dangers of cobbled streets!