Faro

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Europe > Portugal > Faro ( FAO )


Should you hire a car in Faro, Algarve?  Our Faro car hire advice is based on a typical family holiday spending around a week on the Algarve and flying into Faro airport. This is based on a study of the driving conditions in and around Faro, including extensive research on local roads and public transport options,. We also look at places to visit and local walking connections in and around resorts.

Do I need a car in Faro? Introduction


Generally, Faro with the sort of destination where most visitors would expect to hire a car, although it’s perfectly easy to find a holiday deal which includes resort accommodation and localised transfers.


Why rent a car in Faro?


Why should you hire a car in Faro?

  • Freedom and flexibility – the main reason to hire a car in Faro is simply because is going to offer a lot more flexibility than trying to get around using public transport, especially as local bus and rail services on the Algarve are really not all that great.
  • Coastal road trip – there are many great places to visit along the Algarve coast, and the more adventurous types might even want to start a much longer Portuguese road trip from here and then head further north.
  • Ridiculously cheap car rental – when compared to any other destination in Europe, Faro is amongst the cheapest there is for a one-week off-season hire period. The only other sort destinations which might be cheaper still would be Spanish cities like Malaga or Alicante. With Faro car hire being so cheap, it doesn’t really make that much difference if you hire a car and don’t use it much, as long as you don’t end up paying for a full tank on a full to empty fuel deal.
  • Head inland – the Algarve isn’t just about the coastline, there’s a lot to see inland, including around Cadiz in neighbouring Spain.
  • Golf in the Algarve – the Algarve is one of the world’s top golfing destinations, so it is natural to get a hire car to go between different golf courses, and because rental is so cheap, this will probably work out better value than taking taxis, even if the courses are very close to your resort.

Timing

  • Booking ahead – it will almost certainly be better value to book a hire car well in advance, and also because rates are so cheap for entry-level cars, it will also usually makes sense to book a hire car for the whole trip. This is not always the case in Mediterranean holiday destinations, and it certainly not the case when renting in major cities.

Why not? Visiting Faro without a car


  • Faro on foot – if you just plan to stay locally, there’s really no need to get a car, there are plenty of buses around and between the resorts, with easy access to the most popular beaches.
  • Faro town – there’s plenty to see in the town of Faro itself, and it’s all easily walkable. If your resort is further out, just take a local bus in, there’s no need for a car here.
  • Local trains – there is at least a local train service operating between Faro and the small town of Lagos.
  • Faro estuary – there are a lot of water sports and other activities to do around the estuary near Faro, and none of this really justifies getting a car.
  • Walk the Algarve – the Algarve also offers many great walking opportunities, especially along the coastal cliffs, and if you can’t find a walking route directly from your accommodation, then it’s easy enough to combine various other walking routes with local bus services. There is no need to hire a car just for this.

Travelling beyond Faro without a car

  • Onwards by train – because of the sheer range of inward low-cost flights to Faro, some visitors might want to fly here first before then continuing northwards to other locations in Portugal by train. Faro isn’t really a particularly strong city break destination, whereas the Portuguese capital Lisbon or the up-and-coming city of Porto tend to have a great deal more to offer. Both can be reached by train from Faro – allow around 4 to 5 hours to reach Lisbon and then another 2 1/2 to 3 hours to continue onto Porto. One option we would certainly recommend for people who want to tour around Portugal would be to fly out to Faro and then return from Porto. This might be something to do with a one-way car rental (although check for extra costs if doing this), but it can just as easily be done by train.

Faro car hire advice summary

So should you hire a car in Faro?  It’s very clear that Faro is the sort of destination where a hire car is going to be useful for the majority of visitors. Public transport in the Algarve is adequate, but it’s really no more than that, so I general recommendation is that a hire car here is going to be extremely useful.



Would you hire a car in Faro?

Have you driven in Faro? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Faro? Do you think you need a car in Faro? Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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