Are you planning a trip from Lisbon to the Algarve in Portugal, but feeling unsure about how to get there? Don’t worry because I recently made the journey, and can offer some helpful tips for making your travels easier. There are so many areas to see in the Algarve. On my own adventure, I focused on Faro, Lagos, and Portimão. I took a train ride from Lisbon all the way down to Faro, Portugal – so let me share what I learned on my journey with you.
How to Get from Lisbon to Lagos, Portugal
There are various transport options you can take to go from Lisbon to Lagos. The bus may be the cheapest option and the journey times are pretty similar to the trains. If you are interested in taking a bus to Lagos there is a direct bus. You can catch the bus from the Oriente Bus station or the Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station. There are various bus companies to choose from, from Flixbus to Rede Expressions. Find the bus company that works best for you. Although the ticket prices will vary across the bus companies, bus travel may be the cheapest way to get to the Algarve region of Portugal. If you purchase your bus tickets in advance and online, you can receive additional savings.
During my European travels, I became infatuated with the experience of taking trains from one place to another. So when I had the chance to journey to the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal, I had to jump at the chance – and what better way than by train! After some quick research on Google, l discovered everything I needed in order to get my train tickets from Lisbon to Lagos, Portugal.
How to Take the Train from Lisbon to Lagos
Taking the train to Lagos from Lisbon is a fantastic way to enjoy some nice views and save money at the same time. By looking on Comboios de Portugal for train information, tickets, locations and times, it’s easy to plan and book your trip – and deals can be found when booking in advance.
Honestly, I didn’t really know what I was doing so I looked for train stations I was familiar with for my departure. This included Oriente station and Sete Rios station, where you can catch the train to Lagos at either one of these stations (and much more). The trains leave the station daily. I chose to take the train from the Oriente train station.
I was not familiar with the public transport of Lagos and many people told me I should consider renting a car to be able to freely move across the various cities. So I planned on going from Lisbon to Lagos by taking the train to Faro and renting a car from the Faro Airport. Faro is only an hour’s drive away from Lagos.
Why do I rent cars from the local airport? When I travel internationally, I’ve found that the rental car selections at airports tend to offer more conveniences for foreigners such as automatic transmission, navigation technology, salespeople that speak multiple languages etc. You may have to pay a hire fee when renting cars from the airport, but you have to decide if the conveniences mentioned above matter enough to you. Since this was my first time doing this journey I opted for the airport rental car.
When I made the trip to the Algarve, I found that catching a train was really easy. The Lisboa Oriente train station provides regular rail services and I purchased a round trip first class ticket on the Comboios de Portugal website for €57. You can get added savings if you purchase your ticket in advance. I purchased my ticket a couple days before I went so my ticket was more expensive. Because I rented a car at the Faro Airport I took the train there, but if you want to skip that step you can get off at the Lagos train station.
When I arrived at the Faro train station, I toured Faro’s historic centre, had lunch and then took an Uber to The Faro airport, where I rented a car for my final leg of travel.
If you book rental cars in advance it can help you reserve an automatic transmission car, if that’s your thing. But since my life has been real last minute lately, I didn’t reserve it and I had to summons my old manual transmission driving skills from 20 years ago!
I drove about an hour from Faro to Lagos to check into my hotel.
Where to Stayed in Lagos
When I book accommodation, Booking.com is my go-to whenever I travel. I found the perfect place for me in Lagos – Villa Doris Suites.
It was centrally located and close enough to amazing restaurants and stunning beaches that were all within walking distance. The apartment itself was modern and felt incredibly spacious; it had a kitchen area where I could make all of my meals and store food – a real money saver! Plus, the staff at the villa was very welcoming and friendly. They gave me great recommendations for things to do in the area. All in all, Villa Doris Suites gave me the perfect balance between staying at an apartment and having hotel amenities, allowing me to enjoy my time in Lagos without spending too much.
There are various great places to stay in Lagos based on your desired location and budget.
Things to Do in Lagos, Portugal
When visiting Lagos Portugal, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained and engaged. Go on a cave tour in nearby Portirmo and get ready to be wowed by the incredible picturesque views all around you. Get up early and catch the golden sunrise, or stay until nightfall and witness the awe-inspiring sunsets that create a pink and orange glow across the sky.
When I decided to visit the Algarve region of Portugal I wanted to spend my days exploring the cave tour, visiting beautiful beaches, observing the stunning sunrise, enjoying the wide array of seafood restaurants and relaxing, while avoiding the crowds of the summer months. So that is pretty much what I did.
After 3 hours of traveling on the train and an hour’s drive from Faro to Lagos, I just wanted to drop off my things, head to the closest grocery store, pick up a couple of items and grab something to eat. I didn’t want to go to venture too far from the hotel so I explored the rooftop hotel restaurant nearby, Carvi Beach Hotel.
Explore stunning beaches. I chose the sea view of the hotel and I was grateful to see the sunrise from the bedroom window.
The infamous Praia do Camilo and Praia do Ana were within walking distance so I spent my mornings at the beach. The beauty, sounds and textures at the beach are simply breathtaking. But to be honest I don’t think I would have enjoyed it the same during the crowded peak season. My personal preference is quiet beaches with hardly a soul out. It’s an incredible way to view this part of the Atlantic Coast.
After enjoying the beaches I ventured off to Marina de Lagos and The Lagos Zoo. I drove to the Lagos zoo, which was approximately 25 minutes from my hotel. I did see a sign for public transport when driving to the zoo if that is of interest.
Cave Tours in Portimão
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the spectacular Algarve coast of Portugal, Portimão is an excellent option. Located just a 30-minute drive from Lagos, Portimão boasts some of the most breathtaking views in the Algarve. When I made the journey, I opted for the 2 hour morning tour with Atlantic Tours. My ticket was €35. Atlantic Tours has daily departures from the marina.
After the tour, I was recommended to visit a nearby restaurant for lunch. The AllGarbe Restaurant was divine. They specialize in wild-caught local fish. I had the stone fish and it was seasoned perfectly and so fresh. They have many delicious dishes available that use locally sourced ingredients and have been carefully prepared by expert chefs.
After lunch, I drove around and visited some of the nearby cities the tour guides mentioned during the tour.
I concluded my evening with dinner at the restaurant that’s located inside Lagos Avenida Hotel. This was a recommendation from one of my Instagram friends, and it did not disappoint!
It was my last day in Lagos and in light of driving an hour to Faro and taking a 3-hour train back to Lisbon, I decided to lay around and relax. I did get up early to catch a beautiful sunrise.
When visiting Lagos, Portugal, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained and engaged. Go on a cave tour in nearby Portimão and get ready to be wowed by the incredible picturesque views all around you. Get up early and catch the golden sunrise, or stay until nightfall and witness the awe-inspiring sunsets that create a pink and orange glow across the sky.
I hope my experience can help you plan a wonderful visit.