This page is unofficial. The information has been
obtained from printed timetables and other local sources(like
taking the bus)and is given in good faith.
Bus operations in the Algarve are possibly quite different from what you may be used to back home!
In particular, the buses running between various towns do not have route or line numbers.
Click here for a list
of all the timetables on the site; please first read the various
notes on this page.
An alphabetical list of all the places included in the timetables is here.
A diagram showing the train and bus routes in the Algarve is here
The EVA bus company operates most inter-urban bus services in the Algarve. Their buses are predominantly white with green and yellow trimmings.
In the west, particularly around Portimão, some buses are
operated by Frota Azul (Algarve). Their buses are mostly
white with blue and green trimmings. All the buses in regular use
are modern air-conditioned vehicles.
To slightly confuse the issue, the companies do often use each others buses and you may see a sign ‘Em serviço de EVA’ as well as the destination. Local buses (Urbanas or City buses) in the main cities or towns are run by a number of different companies.
Apart from local city/town services, buses do not carry route/line numbers as they do in most other parts of the world. No I don’t know why not. You therefore need to check the destination display on the front of the bus, which is often just a paper sign pinned in the driver’s window.
Almost every bus driver in Portugal has the radio on during the journey. Too bad if you don’t like their choice of music, but most of the time it’s OK!
There are four different types or operations of bus on rural and
interurban services. In the major towns and cities, the local city
or urban mini-buses may operate along the same roads as EVA or
Frota Azul, but fares are different and tickets are not generally
(picture below) runs as an express service the length of the coast
between Faro and Lagos. It stops only at the places shown in the
timetable plus the Algarve Shopping mall near Guia. Transrápido buses carry a sign in
the driver’s window and they are identifiable by the paintwork! Download and print the latest
timetable. Transrápido buses are fitted with wifi for those
who must be on line 24/7.
TOILETS - or lack of! Transrápido buses do NOT have toilets on board and neither is there sufficient time at any stop to use one. So if you are travelling the whole way, make sure you go before getting on! This may be an issue at Armação de Pera and Guia where there is no bus terminal building and therefore no toilets nearby!
DELAYS - Transrápido buses are frequently delayed by traffic.
Anticipate delays of 15 - 20 minutes on all the Transrápido buses
and also on the buses between Albufeira and Lagos, even at
weekends! These delays are a combination of unrealistic timetables
and heavy city traffic.
- LAGOS (Linha Littoral) route runs as a limited-stop
service between Lagos and Albufeira. If two buses arrive at the
same time to the same destination, you may need to ask the driver
which one he is! Some buses continue to and from Albufeira
to/from Faro via Vilamoura or Loulé although this is not
advertised. I have included details in the relevant timetable
pages. These buses are also often delayed by traffic.
INTERURBANAS (Interurban) are the ‘normal’ buses between all the
main towns and to the surrounding areas. Between Faro and
Albufeira several buses on weekdays (ie Mondays to Fridays) are
labelled ‘DIRECTA’ and miss out some stops, notably between
Albufeira Bus Terminal and Modelo, in the outskirts of Vilamoura
and the outskirts of Faro. The differences in stopping places
between the NORMAL and DIRECTA routes are detailed here. There are also some 'Directa'
runs between Faro and Olhão. Yes I know it would be easier if
there were route numbers! NB - there are NO BUS SERVICES AT THE
AIRPORT except for a local bus into Faro city centre - details here.
Several towns have local city (Urbanas) mini-buses operated or
sponsored by the city or town council. I have included details for
Faro, Albufeira ,
Lagos and Portimão in
pages and links on the alphabetical index
page to the local council website for the timetables for the
Loulé and Quarteira services. I have included brief details of the
operations in Olhão and Tavira
in the relevant pages. There is also a local bus running between
the airport and Faro city centre - details here.
All towns and many villages have express buses (coaches) to and
from Lisbon and further afield. Larger places eg Faro, Albufeira
have 12 to 15 departures a day. Smaller places might have only 2
I have listed some timetables for Rede-Expressos here but be aware that these are difficult for me to check.
These long-distance services are operated by two companies, REDE
EXPRESSOS* and RENEX. You should reserve a seat in advance for all
long-distance buses, especially at weekends and around holidays.
Tickets can be bought from the various offices and agents around
the Algarve. There is a list of EVA and Frota Azul ticket offices,
with opening hours in English, on their website here. * Rede-Expressos is a consortium of
several bus companies operating under this network banner. Your
vehicle may therefore have a different company name on it.
Rede-Expressos took over RENEX in summer 2017 but vehicles are
still seen in the red RENEX colours.
Rede - Expressos and RENEX services now stop at the same places.
In larger towns this will usually be the main bus station but
elsewhere it may be just an ordinary bus stop by the side of the
road. The Rede
Expressos website does have a system of maps showing stop
locations and local ticket sales offices and agents.
Ticket offices are NOT open 24 hours. If your bus / coach leaves
late at night or during the early hours of the morning, you will
need to buy a ticket in advance or on-line. You cannot buy tickets
from the driver for long distance trips.
These services do not carry local passengers in the Algarve. You can get times and buy tickets at www.rede-expressos.pt
It will cost about €20 to get to Lisbon from anywhere in the
Algarve. A round-trip (return) fare is slightly less than the cost
of two singles. The journey is around 3 - 4 hours from Albufeira
and obviously more the further afield you are. If travelling to
and from Lisbon. CHECK which bus station in Lisbon your bus will
use. EVA/Rede Expressos buses use the Sete Rios terminal. Renex
vehicles use the terminal at Gare Oriente. And just to confuse
matters further, a few journeys call at both!
Both of these are several km from the city centre, but have metro
(underground railway) stations adjacent for the final part of your
journey. Sete Rios has fairly infrequent but direct bus connection
by Aerobus Line 2 to and from the airport - details here. Aerobus vehicles have a
dedicated space for large bags etc.
The Lisbon metro goes to the airport direct from Oriente train
and bus station in about 5 minutes, trains run every few minutes
6am - 1am. From Jardim Zoológico station (at Sete Rios) it takes
about 25 minutes to the airport with one change of train required,
at São Sebastião station. The metro is cheaper than the Aerobus.
Stopping places are clearly indicated with signs of various types. PARAGEM is the Portuguese word for bus-stop; helpfully many signs also display ‘Bus Stop’ in English. In rural areas, the bus stop sign may be only on one side of the road. The bus will stop on the opposite side if you are waiting. All bus stops are REQUEST stops. If you are waiting at a stop, give the bus driver a clear signal as the bus approaches. If you are on the bus and wish to get off, ring the bell in good time before your stop. In some towns stops used by local buses have their own design. Those pictured to the left are of the EVA and Frota Azul buses that connect the different towns and villages.
Most of the larger towns have a bus station or terminal, ranging
from the large busy bus stations in Faro, Lagoa and Albufeira,
down to simple waiting shelters, for example in Silves. These are
usually at the edge of town, as the roads in the town centres are
either too narrow or too busy to accommodate buses.
The bus terminal in Albufeira is about a mile/1.6km from the old town centre and major hotel areas. If arriving from the west, north or on Transrápido from Faro, you will need another bus, a taxi or maybe 15 minutes walk to reach the old town centre and beaches. Local buses from the east (eg Faro, Quarteira, Vilamoura, Olhos D'Agua) pass through town and it’s best to get off near Modelo supermarket before you end up in the middle of nowhere. Click here for more information about the bus terminal and ways to get into town.
The bus terminal in Faro is in the centre
of town and 150 yards/metres from the railway station. The bus
terminal in Tavira is three
minutes walk from the town centre.
The bus terminal in Loulé is
about four minutes walk from the main shopping area, indoor market
and town centre. Most buses also make a stop in the town centre
near the indoor market. The stop at Silves
has no office, there is an enquiry office/agency nearby at the
municipal market building. Portimão has an
outdoor bus station for local and regional services - click here for more information. A
separate bus station in Portimão is used by long distance and
international bus / coach services. This is about 1.5km or
nearly a mile from the city centre. Information here .At Lagos, the bus terminal is a few minutes
walk from the historic town centre and about five minutes walk
from the railway station and marina, which are on the other side
of the river.
IMPORTANT! When boarding at a BUS STATION/BUS
TERMINAL you must usually buy your tickets at the ticket office
Allow a few minutes for buying tickets at the ticket office,
especially at Faro! Ticket prices are available at the EVA BUS website or the Frota Azul website, depending of
course which company operates the route in question. There is a
list of EVA and Frota Azul ticket offices, with opening hours in
English, on their website here.
If boarding elsewhere or when the ticket office is closed, have small change ready and pay the driver as usual. For our North American readers drivers will make change, but they will not thank you if you hand over a €50 note! Even the longest journey here will cost only €6.05.
Sample bus fares for adults : Faro to Lagos - €6.20;
Albufeira to Portimão and Praia da Rocha - €4.80, Albufeira
to Alvor - €4.90, Albufeira to Lagos - €5.75; Albufeira - Faro
€4.90; Albufeira to Armação de Pera and Vilamoura €4.30;
Portimão - Silves, €3.40; Portimão - Lagos €4.30; Albufeira to
Silves, Quarteira or Loulé €4.50; Monte Gordo to Tavira €4.30,
Monte Gordo to Vila Real €2.35, Monte Gordo to Faro €5.75
Trains are often cheaper than buses where they offer service between the same towns, except Faro - Lagos but those trains are 30 minutes quicker and more frequent!
Pre-paid rechargeable ticket cards - EVA and Frota Azul buses
If you are staying a while and intend to make the same journey
during your stay five or more times, it may worth investing in a
pre-pay card. This rechargeable card stores a set number of
journeys in either direction between two points. It saves money
(in many cases as much as 50%) and queuing time, but you do have
to pay a €3.00 fee for the card. You can buy the cards from any
bus station or, in Albufeira, also at the bus office in Avenida da
Liberdade. Separate cards are also available for the local city
buses not operated by EVA, for example the GIRO service in
Albufeira. You can get your money back for the card if you hand it
in at a bus office before leaving. You can of course keep it for
On EVA and Frota Azul, you can use a pre pay card for any journey
that costs the same or less. It is not restricted to journeys
between two places. Check the fare payable on the official website
before travelling - EVA --- FROTA
On boarding, place the card on the ticket machine pad, count
three and your ticket is automatically printed.
CHILDREN - those aged
between 4 and 12 pay half fare on EVA and Frota Azul buses, but
those aged 13 or over have to pay full fare unless they have a
'school pass', so in effect that's for residents only. Children
using local buses around the main towns (eg GIRO in Albufeira)
normally pay full fare - child discounts are again only available
to residents. Children aged under 4 years travel free.
SENIORS - discounts are
often available only to residents. Buses are not free here
for seniors as in many European countries. You need to be 65 or
over to get senior discount here. You will need to ask at a local
bus station or ticket agent what senior discounts are available,
fill in a form, provide proof of age and a passport size photo. A
typical senior pass costs €5 and €11 a month for unlimited travel
for example on Albufeira's local GIRO buses. For the buses between
towns and villages operated by EVA and Frota Azul, all passes and
tickets (except the tourist passes) are for travel only between
two specific places.
Tickets and passes are not interchangeable between different operator's buses, except the Algarve tourist pass, which can be used on EVA and Frota Azul buses. All the urban buses require a different ticket or pass.
Timetables are, in many places, not displayed at bus stops
especially in rural areas. Even at Bus Terminals, you may find
only a list of departures to principal destinations. That’s one of
the reasons for my making these pages! Printed timetables are
usually available at the Enquiry Desk or Ticket Office.
English is spoken at most locations but it is polite to ask first!
The EVA and Frota
Azul bus company websites do have a timetable search
facility, but not all routes and destinations are included.
Click here for a
list of all the timetables on the site; please first read the
various notes on this page.
An alphabetical list of all the places included in the timetables is here.
24 hour clock - all timetables are in the 24hr clock format.
1300hrs = 1pm, 1400hrs = 2pm etc.
In general, bus services linking the various towns and villages in the Algarve start around 0700hrs on weekdays and finish by 2030hrs, which means that, in most places, last buses are on their way around 1930hrs. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays first buses are generally fairly early, but there are a lot fewer buses than on weekdays. Last buses are often earlier than weekdays. Many villages out in the countryside have no buses at all at weekends or on public holidays, but the main inter-urban routes do have weekend and holiday service, albeit at reduced levels.
There are often long gaps in service on Saturday afternoons and
on Sundays. Buses do not usually run at regular intervals ie at so
many minutes past each hour. Buses away from the main coastal
tourist areas are mostly few and far between, as they cater for
local needs of schools and shopping. You are strongly advised to
double-check the times of last buses back if you are off hiking in
Point-to-point timings and fares for EVA services from the main towns can be checked and official individual timetables downloaded on their official website at http://www.eva-bus.com/ and Frota Azul has a similar website.
The local city buses (GIRO) in
Albufeira mostly operate until 2200hrs during the summer (1st June
to 30th September) and until 2000hrs for the rest of the year.
Buses between Portimão and Alvor also Portimão and Praia da Rocha
run until about 2000hrs all year. There is a late
night service between Portimão and Praia da Rocha during the
summer. The Lagos area has local buses
until midnight on some routes during the summer, otherwise service
ends around 2000hrs. Weekend and holiday service on the urban
routes in Lagos and Portimão has been drastically reduced in
recent years, so do check carefully as many routes do not operate
In other cities and towns, local buses usually operate between
about 0700hrs and 1900hrs on weekdays and between 0700hrs and
1400hrs on Saturdays. They either run very limited schedules or
not all on Saturday afternoons, Sundays or holidays.
Details and links to timetables are included within the various
sections of my website.
Most bus journeys do not run every day. In the various timetable pages, there are column headings, colour highlights and notes to indicate the days a particular bus runs. In one or two cases, there are separate sections for weekday and weekend services where the times are very different, but on most pages there is one table for the whole service.
These codes and information en Français, auf deutsch, em Portugues please click here
Daily – runs every day including holidays (NB - buses and trains DO RUN
on Christmas Day, New Year's Day etc)
MFO – Mondays to Fridays (weekdays) only; does not run on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays
SSH – runs on Saturdays,Sundays and Holidays only
SHO – runs on Sundays and Holidays only
SHX – does not run on Sundays or Holidays
SAT – runs on Saturdays only except holidays
SCH – runs on SCHOOLDAYS only ie will not be running in July and August, nor during Christmas and Easter breaks or on Public holidays.
NSC - runs weekdays but during School Holidays only
XXX – used where bus runs only on certain days that do not fit into these headings – look for a special note.
PORTUGUESE HOLIDAYS 2019 -
I have tried to be consistent with these headings in all the pages. Apologies if I fail anywhere.
A word of 'warning' - between 0800hrs and 0900hrs also between
1630hrs and 1700hrs on schooldays, buses to/from the main towns
are VERY crowded with schoolchildren and older students on their
way to and from school/college. In some areas schools operate
early and late 'shifts' (because of overcrowding) and you may get
an extra 'rush hour' around 1300hrs, for example in Lagos.
I personally have experienced this at Loulé on the 1340hrs and
1640hrs buses to Albufeira and also the 1655hrs from Silves to
Albufeira. You may have to stand for a while - no they are as
unruly as in any other country!
The good news is that schools are closed during the main holiday
season of July to early September, for two weeks at Easter and for
two weeks over Christmas and New Year.