As the capital of southern Portugal, Faro has transportation links to the main towns in the region and is therefore easy to go on a day trip to a number of destinations. You can head east to the well-preserved historic city of Tavira or to the islands of the fishing port of Olhão, or go west to the upscale resort of Vilamoura or the market town of Loulé. Inland there’s the ancient capital of Algarve (Silves), and you can also explore the different beaches of the lively city of Albufeira.
Day Trip from Faro to Tavira
40 minutes by train or 1 hour by bus
One of the most charming and historic towns in Algarve can be reached by train or bus from Faro. Leaving early in the morning and returning in the evening allows you to explore its picturesque old town and experience one of its beaches. Ideally you’d go by car or stay overnight, but when planned well, a day trip by public transportation is also possible. The bus departs five times a day on weekdays and four times on weekends (number 67 of the Vamus company, whose final destination is Vila Real de Santo António), and they stop in Tavira in one hour. The train is faster, taking less than 40 minutes, and there are about a dozen departures per day. Both the train and bus stations in Tavira are within walking distance of the tourist attractions.
See the Tavira tourism guide.
Day Trip from Faro to Olhão
10 minutes by train or 20 minutes by bus
Olhão is a fishing town right next to Faro. It’s known for having one of the region’s biggest fish markets, but there are no major monuments or tourist attractions. However, it’s very much worth a day trip, as there are ferries to a couple of islands with some wonderful beaches. Buses number 63 and 67 of the Vamus company link it to Faro in just 20 minutes, but the train is even faster, taking just 10 minutes and departing about a dozen times throughout the day.
See the Olhão tourism guide.
Day Trip from Faro to Vilamoura
45 minutes by bus
Vilamoura is one of Portugal’s most popular resorts, and while most people stay overnight, those staying in Faro might also want to stop by for its casino and beach. By car you’re there in 30 minutes, or you can take bus number 9 of the Vamus company. This bus has Albufeira as its final destination, but stops in Vilamoura in about 45 minutes.
See the Vilamoura tourism guide.
Day Trip from Faro to Loulé
40 minutes by bus
Unlike most other major towns in Algarve, Loulé is not on the coast. While it doesn’t have beaches, it’s still a popular tourist destination, for its famous market and its castle, which is one of the very few in southern Portugal that wasn’t completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. There are trains between Faro and Loulé, which take just over 15 minutes, but the station in Loulé is quite far from the center of town. You should take the bus instead -- number 59 of the Vamus company takes you there in about 40 minutes.
See the Loulé tourism guide.
Day Trip from Faro to Silves
1 hour and 10 minutes by train
Located inland, Silves doesn’t have any beaches, but many people leave the coast and pass by this ancient town for its castle. It’s one of Algarve’s main monuments, and the town is a peaceful (even rather sleepy) place, with cobblestone streets, a Gothic cathedral, and a small museum explaining the history of the region. It flourished during the Moorish occupation, when the castle was built, but just like all of Algarve, it was largely destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Everything can be seen in just half a day, and can be reached by train from Faro. There are about 10 daily departures, and you can check the times at the cp.pt website. The train takes about one hour and 10 minutes, but the station is quite far from the center. You need to walk for about a half hour up a busy road, or be lucky to find a taxi by the station for the 10-minute ride to town. Your best option is therefore to drive -- it takes about 45 minutes, heading northeast on highway A22.
See the Silves tourism guide.
Day Trip from Faro to Albufeira
35 minutes by train or 90 minutes by bus
Thanks to its number of beautiful beaches, Albufeira is one of Portugal’s top tourist destinations, with many people staying for several days. However, if you’re in Faro and want to experience another popular city in Algarve, you can go on a day trip. It has a long stretch of sand right in the center, as well as quieter beaches to the east and west. There are ten buses on weekdays and six on weekends – number 9 of the Vamus company, taking 90 minutes. If you just want to explore the Old Town and spend a couple of hours at the beach, take the bus, but if you want to go to the beaches nearby you need to go by car (it’s 40 minutes, heading west on highway A22). There are also trains, taking just over a half hour, but the train station in Albufeira is quite far from the center.
See the Albufeira tourism guide.