site logo

DISABLED OR FIND IT HARD TO GET AROUND?

The information has been obtained from printed timetables and other local sources (like taking the bus) and is given in good faith.
Everything is correct to the best of my knowledge as of 13th September 2017

I have to say, unfortunately, many of the buses and trains in the Algarve are not very disabled-person friendly.

Many of the buses have high steps in and out. You will often see what you in the UK would call a ‘coach’ being used on local buses; these of course have steep steps in and out.  Most newer buses are accessible, some of the older ones are not. It is impossible to say for some routes at which times which buses will be used.

Some good news is that the GIRO (local) buses normally used in Albufeira and have only one step and should be suitable for the majority of travellers. The mini-buses in Portimão's Vai e Vem network and the local network in Lagos are also accessible.  These have ramps for wheelchair users.

On the trains, the combination (in some places) of low station platforms and steep steps into and out of the train will make it very difficult for some. Wheelchair access is out of the question; it seems just not to be catered for. Newer trains are now in service, but these also require steps to board/alight. For more information about the stations and trains, click here.

These are personal opinions (I am able-bodied) but based on observations and frequent use of buses and trains!

Many thanks to the Administrator at www.albufeira.com for an improved French translation:

VERSION FRANÇAISE

Je dois dire, malheureusement, que nombreuses autobus et trains en Algarve ne sont pas pratiques pour les handicapés.  La plupart des autobus ont des marches élevées a l’entrée  et à la sortie.  Vous verrez souvent ce que nous appelons un ‘autocar’ (autobus de long parcours) étant utilisés sur les parcours locaux;  ceux-ci naturellement ont des marches raides. Par contre, les autobus du «GIRO» à Albufeira et aussi de 'Vai e Vem' en Portimão et les autobus 'A Onda' á Lagos, n’ont qu’une seule marche et devraient être accessible à la majorité des voyageurs. Ils existent accès pour fauteils roulants.

Pour les trains, la combinaison de quais de gare (plateformes) abaissés et de hautes marches aux portes des trains rendra l’accès très difficile pour certains.  Le passage de fauteuils roulants est impossible;  il ne me semble pas avoir été prévu.  Ceux-ci peuvent être plus faciles à utiliser pour les personnes à mobilité restreinte.

And, to the same source, for a much improved Portuguese version.

VERSÃO PORTUGUESE

Tenho que dizer, infelizmente, que muitos dos autocarros e dos comboios no Algarve não são muito amigáveis para pessoas com deficiência motora.  A maioria dos autocarros têm degraus altos à entrada e à saída.  Irá encontrar com frequência o que nós, no Reino Unido, chamamos um 'coach' (autocarro de longo trajecto tipo Renex ou Rede Expressos) utilizado em  percursos locais;  os quais naturalmente têm degraus  bastante íngremes.

Os autocarros do rede GIRO em Albufeira e 'Vai e Vem' em Portimão e A Onda em Lagos, no entanto, têm apenas um degrau e deverão ser apropriados para a maioria dos viajantes.

Nos combois, a combinação das plataformas da estação baixa e íngremes degraus dentro tornará muito difícil para alguns. Acesso para deficientes está quase fora de questão, que parece só não ter servido para

Thanks to Markus Frühauf for this German translation:

DEUTSCHE VERSION

Ich muß leider sagen, daß viele Busse und auch Züge an der Algarve nicht unbedingt für Behinderte geeignet sind. Die meisten Busse haben hohe Stufen an den Ein- und Ausgangstüren. Fernreisebusse (wie in Großbritannien die "Coach") werden häufig auch auf lokalen Linien verwendet; gerade diese haben steile Stufen an den Türen.  Eine gute Nachricht für Albufeira: Die lokalen Busse des GIRO in Albufeira auch 'Vai e Vem' Portimão und 'Onda' Busse im stadt Lagos haben nur eine kleine Stufe und sollten für die meisten Reisenden passierbar sein. Rollstuhlfahrer xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Die Kombination von niedrigen Bahnsteigen und hohen Einstiegen verhindert bei den Zügen einen behindertenfreundlichen Zugang, besonders Rollstuhlfahrer werden hier Schwierigkeiten haben.

STATIONS AND TRAINS - ACCESS FOR THE LESS ABLE

I must emphasise that there is NO STEP FREE ACCESS at any Algarve station to any train while it is in the platform. All trains in use have steps up into the carriage. Some platforms are very low making it difficult for some. Things will be easier at those very few stations with modern high platforms, but access with a wheelchair is still not possible without assistance. Only those stations named in BOLD have staff present but none are normally visible on platforms

If boarding at an unstaffed station, buy local tickets on board the train. Payment can be made in cash only. Tickets for trains to Lisbon cannot be purchased on board. Go to www.cp.pt for online sales.

Station name
Access to station and platforms
LAGOS
Flat access to the station and all platforms. Modern high platforms.
MEIA PRAIA
Flat access to the single low platform.
MEXILHOEIRA GRANDE
Flat crossing over the tracks to the westbound platform. Access to station is along a badly maintained road and there is a kerb of about 12cm / 6" at the station entrance.
PORTIMÃO
Flat access to the westbound platform. For access to the eastbound platform use the flat crossing over the tracks, where there is a fairly steep ramp and small step.
FERRAGUDO
Flat access to the single low platform.
ESTOMBAR LAGOA
Step free access to both platforms via a foot crossing over the tracks. Approach to the station is up a short hill.
SILVES
Step free access to the station area and both platforms via a foot crossing over the tracks. High level platforms now on both tracks.
Picture of the station taken 27th October 2016 here.
POÇO BARRETO
Flat access to the single platform.
ALCANTARILHA
Step free access to both platforms via a foot crossing over the tracks.
ALGOZ
Flat access to the single platform.
MESSINES - ALTE
Step free access to the platform normally used - Platform 2 - is via a flat crossing over the tracks. The station is on an embankment high above town and road access is by way of a steep hill.
TUNES
Modern high platforms except on platform 1. There is a bridge over the tracks with a lift / elevator for those unable to use the steps.
ALBUFEIRA
Ramp into station and main platform, lift / elevator available to cross tracks to second platform. Modern high platforms (mostly) but regional trains sometimes stop partly on the old low section!
BOLIQUEIME
There is a ramp to the main platform used by nearly all trains, to the left of the station building. There is no step free access to the second platform used by a couple of trains each day. There is a step of about  10" / 30cm down to the foot crossing over the tracks.

See this picture - click for full size.
.
LOULÉ
Flat access to main platform. Access to second platform via a foot crossing at the end of the main platform. Modern high platforms.
ALMANCIL
Flat access to the single low platform.
PARQUE DAS CIDADES
Station is on an elevated section of track.There is a steep ramp up to the platform high)  used by most trains, but not to the other.
FARO
Easy access to the station, flat access to most platforms, access to one other is via a foot crossing with a small step.
Modern high platforms.
BOM JOÃO
A fairly steep ramp leads down to the single platform. No steps.
OLHÃO - updated
Station reconstruction is now complete and high platforms are now on both sides, with a ramp and flat crossing between them.
Station is now unstaffed after 11.10am daily. Buy local tickets on the train, cash only.
FUZETA - A - updated
Flat access to the single high platform. Staffed at certain hours.
FUZETA MONCARAPACHO
Main platform (low) is accessible. No step free access to the 'other' platform sometimes used for westbound trains.
LIVRAMENTO
Flat access to the single high platform
LUZ DE TAVIRA
Flat access to the single platform which is now a modern high platform.
TAVIRA
Flat access to station building and both platforms via ramps and a crossing over the tracks. Both are modern high platforms.
PORTA NOVA
Flat access to the single low platform
CONCEIÇÃO Flat access to the single low platform by two steep ramps adjacent to the old station building. The path most people can use is badly surfaced.

Picture of the station here and here. One of the ramps can be seen at the far end.
CACELA
High platforms are now in place with a ramp and crossing between.
CASTRO MARIM
Flat access to the single platform beside the old station building. The platform is still of the low variety.
MONTE GORDO
Flat access to the single low platform.
VILA REAL DE SANTO ANTÓNIO
Flat access to station building and platform 1, the one normally used for all trains. There is no step free access to the other platform. Staff present to give assistance.

Doors of an Alfa Pendular train (Porto - Lisbon - Faro route) showing why those less able have problems! Click to see in full size.
These trains have a wheelchair lift in car(riage) 4. If you wish to take an unfolded chair on board, obtain a reservation with a seat in that car. Check with the railway that the lift is suitable


For a list of all the timetables on the site, click here
For an alphabetical list of places in the Algarve, click here
For some important general notes about buses in the Algarve, click here

Back to the main page here

www.algarvebus.info