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Basic info and car hire in Faro Airport

  • IATA airport code: FAO

  • ICAO airport code: LPFR

  • Full name: Faro Airport, Aeroporto Internacional de Faro in Portuguese

  • Location: Faro, Portugal

  • Hub for: Ryanair

  • Website: Visit the Official Web Page of Faro Airport

  • Contact: + 351 289 800 800, faro.airport@ana.pt

  • Owner: ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A.

  • Elevation: 23 ft/ 7 m

  • Number of runways: One

  • Wi-fi at Faro Airport: There is free Wi-Fi available at Faro Airport.

  • Faro Airport app: An official application ANA app (download here) is available for a fast check-in and an easier access to all the information regarding departures, arrivals, boarding gates, services, restaurants and stores, discounts, etc. available at Faro Airport. So be sure to download it.

  • Road conditions: Algarve has modern and well-maintained motorways as well as local roads. When approaching to a more remote beach like in the Alentejo Region roads can get unpaved and you should know that normally all insurances for car hire exclude the protection in case the car was driven on a gravel road.

About Faro Airport

Faro Airport, also known as Algarve Airport is the gateway to the holiday destinations of the Algarve region in the south of Portugal. Faro Airport is located approx. 4 miles/ 6 km from the centre of Faro (It takes about 10 min with your hired car). Faro Airport has only one terminal building for all arrivals and departures, however the airport gets quite busy in summer months when waiting lines are part of the routine.

Summers in Portugal in general can get pretty crowded, so if you are not tied to the school holidays, the best time to pick Portugal as your holiday destination is definitely in spring, when the days are getting longer and the sun is warming up the sea and land. Autumn is a great season too – and if you’re lucky and the hot summer sun is radiating long enough to maintain the waters warm, you’ll be able to swim up to the beginnings of November! That’s how great it is to travel to Portugal in Autumn!

A car hire at Faro Airport can be an amazing opportunity to explore everything Portugal has on offer. If you’re looking for a more laid-back tourism, Algarve has amazing and luxurious hotel offers that will make a perfect combination with a car hire at Faro Airport, as it will give you the freedom to get a break from the resort beaches and experience your own adventure. In Algarve (the southern region of Portugal) you’ll find a great diversity of activities and attractions.

Not to mention how your possibilities of finding the perfect spot get bigger if you include the Alentejo Region to your itinerary. This divine piece of land is remarkably not touristy and surprisingly, not many people seem to visit this region. Despite how much you like the busy beaches and lively nightlife, you should take some time to pay a visit to this extraordinary coast side with amazing landmarks with either vast sandy beaches or steep cliffs offering scenic views in the sunsets. Car hire at Faro Airport makes the trip possible, as the region is easily accessible by road connections.

Faro is in itself a pretty town with much history and a lot of the monuments and main attractions can be seen and visited on foot, especially if you are staying in one of the centric hotels or other accommodation spots. However, if you are staying in Luz, Albufeira, etc, renting a car after your arrival at Faro Airport, will save you loads of trouble waiting for public transport or paying a taxi, that can be quite expensive, as the distances from one town to the other are not so small.

And besides, staying in Faro you’ll probably get tired of the same beach or eager to see more of the Portuguese South at the least. You could always expand your trip and make it a road trip in Portugal that is a popular and wise thing to do, as long as you have the time. A road trip will make you travel at your own pace and will take you to places you otherwise wouldn’t see with a travel agency or any other conventional trip.

And last but not least, we should write some words about the Portuguese cuisine. Eating in Portugal is a blessing for all Mediterranean cuisine lovers. Veggies will appreciate the fresh fruit and vegetables offer while the real winners of the game will be the so called “pescatarians”, or anyone fond of seafood. Not surprising if one would consider its geographical position, Portuguese meals are usually including some fish or shellfish on a daily basis and for those not fond of the seafood on their plate, there’s always a delicious steak or mini meatballs to try. Along with the food, you can ask for some tasty port wine, or  “Bom apetit!” as people would say in Portugal!


Faro Airport

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Drive your rental car around Faro Airport

The Algarve region is becoming more and more popular among holidaymakers and in summer Faro airport and the whole region becomes very crowded. If travelling in high season we recommend you to book your car hire months in advance to avoid disappointments of limited car hire availability and to get a better car hire deal at Faro Airport.

A short drive away from Faro lies the beautiful Natural Park of river Formosa, which is giving you an exceptional insight into the Algarvian flora and fauna - in the park you’ll be able to observe turtles, chameleons and other creatures. The area is especially popular for bird watching, as you can spot flamingos, spoonbills and many other birds, typical of the sea area.

This wetland, where the sweet river waters mix with the salty maritime waters is full of dirt trails and Mediterranean herbs. There’s also a very informative tidal mill, that uses the tide energy to mill the grains. It makes for a great and relaxing day out in nature...just take care of the sunburns! A car hire at Faro Airport will take you to many interesting places!

If you’re a devoted golf player, that’s probably one of the reasons you’ll be visiting Algarve. Algarve has many golf courses just waiting for you to hit the ball, and many are found to the northwest of Faro in Tavira. You can combine the golfing with an excursion to the Natural Park of Ria Formosa.

If you’d like to travel a bit further away from Faro, Albufeira is the nearest attraction you must visit. Popular among the beach lovers, that adorn the coast with lobster red bodies, this town has its charm. It’s definitely the prettiest early in the day, when all the tourists are still asleep and when the fishermen boats are already in the port, but you can admire its cliffs in any time of the day, really. Beware of the possibility of rocks falling on the beach, so don’t go too near the cliffs with your towel.

Along the southern coast runs the A22 road making different spots and beaches along the coastline accessible without difficulty. Parallel to the A22 road runs a local road connecting the small villages, however, the road is poorly maintained and marked, so we recommend using the motorway.

Leaving the road conditions aside, the Alentejo Region is where you should go, if not for a longer stay, for a day trip at the least. Located at the southwestern part of the country, this region has a roughness to it, with the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean and the windy climate making it ideal for outdoor activities like wave surfing, windsurfing and kiting.

If a road-trip around Portugal is what screams your name, and you are not limited with just a few days off work, then this is what you should do. Hiring a car will save you days of driving from your home, and that time you’ll be able to spend on the road in Portugal, discovering the pristine beaches, tasting the local food and wandering around the city markets. There are a couple of toll roads, but not a lot, so it won't affect your budget too much.

If you are arriving to Faro for a 2 day stay, we recommend you to find an accommodation in Lagos, where the beaches are a true gem and from there visit Sagres, a place well worth your visit.

If you are planning for a longer stay, say, a 7 day stay in Algarve, then, your options of what to visit expand. Again, we recommend you to find an accommodation in Lagos, as the town will satisfy your needs of crystal clear waters, dreamy sandy beaches and loads of facilities in the centre - restaurants, pubs and so forth. Lagos also makes for a great base point if you are interested in discovering the rest of Algarve - from Lagos you can visit Faro, Sagres, Albufeira, Loulé, and the western coast of the Alentejo Region, that makes just a perfect escape for all the adventurous travellers.

If you have more time for your Faro experience, at least a fortnight stay or more, then, it’s hard to resist the temptation of mentioning a road-trip around Portugal. Arriving by plane and hiring a car at Faro Airport makes a good start to explore the Southernmost part of Portugal. Once here, you should set forth towards the west of Algarve to absorb all the wind and the idyllic scenery of the Atlantic Ocean, combining the steep cliffs with divine sandy beaches in the Alentejo Region, surprisingly underrated by the tourists. Afterwards, the road by itself will lead you to Lisbon, where a few days should be spent to feel the laid back rhythm of this multicultural city, adorned with colorful tiles and charming squares. From Lisbon you have many one day excursion, from the mondene Cascais and proud Belém, to the ancient castles in Sintra, never disappointing its visitors.


Driving in Faro

Driving in Faro has legally the same restrictions that in any part of Portugal.

Age limits: 21 is the minimum age of the majority of car rental agencies. The minimum age can differ, and another general rule you can count on, is a Young Driver Fee for drivers that are under 25 years of age. Also, to be able to hire a car, the driver must hold a license for at least 2 years.

International Driving Permit: We recommend to check this data with the car rental agency, but a general rule is that the license must be written in a Latin alphabet. So, if the language of your license uses another alphabet, in Faro as well as in the majority of European cities, you'll need a international driving permit.

Additional papers: When renting a car, you'll need a valid passport, driver's license, and a credit card in the driver's name. The mentioned documents cannot be omitted and do not forget to have a deposit amount on your credit card available, as the representative at the car rental counter will block it in order to give you the keys of your car. Also, we recommend you to purchase our excess and damage cover that will cost you 2 to 3 times less money then the insurance of the car hire agency, offered on the spot. Expect a persuasive speech at the counter, trying to sell you the insurance of the car rental agency. Be polite but decisive declining the insurance by showing them your Vehicle Rent coverage. A car hire at Faro Airport will be easier if you are covered with an incurance!

Additional requirements: All the additional equipment you need in the car must be guaranteed by the car rental agency. Check the car trunk before signing your pick-up documentation and see if all the equipment is inside: Warning triangles, reflective vests and a spare wheel as well as spare light bulbs. An additional bonus is a hands-free equipment with hearing aids that must be used if you are driving and speaking on the phone.

Children in the car: A seat belt is required for all car occupants. Children under the age of twelve or shorter than 4ft 11in (1.50 meters) must ride in the back seat of the car. Suitable booster seats or chairs are required for smaller kids.

Driving side of the road: Right

Lights: Dipped headlights are to be turned on while driving in a tunnel or during conditions of poor visibility.

General speed limits: 75mph (120kph) on motorways, 60mph (100kph) on highways, 55mph (90kph) outside cities and 30mph (50kph) in residential areas.

Parking suggestions: Parking is usually well marked. There are some free parking spaces, but the majority will be paid parking. With a car hire in Faro, parking your car will be a frequent task, so we recommend you to use the parkopedia.com website. If you find yourself having trouble parking your car, don’t hesitate to ask the passersby - portuguese are always welcoming, friendly and helpful and will try to give you the best answer.


Public transport from Faro Airport

From Faro Airport you have no connections to other cities in Algarve, so for any further connection you’ll have to take a bus or taxi to Faro. The nearest railway station is in Faro centre, and the train can take you to the east of Algarve, passing the following main train stations: From Faro to Tavira to V. Real St. Antonio.

From Faro you can travel to the west of Algarve by train, passing the following main train stations: Faro - Tunes - Portimao - Lagos. There’s also a train connection to Lisbon from Faro. Check the following map of train connections in Portugal, if you’re planning to make your trip by train.

From the airport, in terms of public transport, you have the option of either taking a taxi or a bus. On the airport, there are 2 bus stations, both easily identified from the terminal and the bus tickets are purchased from the driver. Be sure to have change, as the driver can run out of it.

The bus number 16, also known as the pink lane, is a connection between the Faro Terminal station in the centre and Faro Beach (Praia de Faro). From the Airport there are 13 bus stops to the centre and in normal traffic conditions, the bus drive from the airport to the Faro city centre will take about 20 minutes. One of the stops from the Airport to Faro is the Faro train station (Estação de comboios) where you can step down and take a train to your next destination. Check the bus network from Faro Airport to Faro to better organise your trip.

If you’re planning to move around Portugal by bus, EVA bus is the bus company that takes care for the transfers between Algarve and Lisbon. It also has a new line connecting Faro and Seville in Spain, if you’d like to cross the borders.

If you’d like to travel to Albufeira you have the option to take a bus from Faro or take the train from the train station in Faro. We recommend you to take the bus in low season and the train in high season of July and August, as buses are easily sold out in the top months and the train is a little bit more relaxed and always has a couple of spare seats.

If you’d like to visit Alvor, you’ll first have to get to Portimao either by train or by bus. In Portimao, you’ll take the bus to Alvor as the train does not pass by Alvor.  

Public transport in Algarve is a bit hard on the passengers. If your main objective is to save money or a budget vacation, then relying on public transport is your best option (besides sticking to the hotel and the nearest beach). However, we warmly recommend you to book a car right away at Faro Airport as that is probably the best way to move around and explore the Faro surroundings and the Algarve region. Also, there is always the option of heading on a road trip around Portugal...A car hire at Faro Airport brings a million of opportunities…

Services in Faro Airport

Regardless of its size, Faro Airport is a very convenient airport and offers all the comfort of a modern airport. There are services for tourist travelers, families and for those on a business trip. Nevertheless, Faro Airport recently undertook some renovation works on the terminal building and it seems like the works are influencing the check-in and boarding process.

We heard some of the customers complaining about the slow processes, long waiting lines and busy, overcrowded waiting rooms. To avoid additional bad vibes, bring snacks and water for your kids, along with some toys and a coloring book with pencils to prevent the tantrums.


There is a Porterage service available to simplify your trip, designed to transport your luggage from the aircraft to your hired car.

Family facilities:

Faro Airport offers six baby changing facilities before and after security check. There is also a play area for small children at the Faro Airport departure hall.  The airport also provides free strollers available for children up to 3 years and 15 kg.


Financial services are available before and after security and allow you to exchange some money, make a transfer or receive your VAT refund. For passengers of reduced mobility Faro Airport provides a special assistance service MyWay with a required 48 hours advance request.


Hotels at Faro Airport

If you’re planning to leave early your hotel, because of an early morning flight, booking a hotel near Faro Airport is a witty choice, as it will spare you the nervous long drive to the airport. Some hotels also offer you an early hour breakfast, which you should ask for at the reception the day before leaving. Please, check in advance if that option is possible at your hotel.

Also, if you have an early flight, warn your car hire at Faro Airport agency about it, and avoid the surprise of a closed door. If your flight schedule does not fit into the open hours of the car rental agency, expect to pay for an extra fee covering the expenses of an agent’s early arrival. Below is a list of some of the hotels, located near Faro airport.

Coloured Studio Apartment

This studio apartments offer a shuttle off the airport and have an extremely convenient location, for anyone with a hired car. The Old Town Faro is a 10 minutes drive away and Loulé is 16 km away from the Studio, while Olhao is located 25 kms away. Parking your hired car is arranged on the spot.

Hotel 3K Faro Airport

A 3 star hotel ideally located in the heart of the Algarve region. A perfect stay for anyone with a hired car in Faro and planning to see the major attractions of the Portuguese South. An outdoor swimming pool is available for the hotel guests and a comfortable broad dining room, where a delicious breakfast is served. A great place to stay if you have an early morning flight!

A parking lot is in the hotel front.

Hotel Eva

An amazing 4 star hotel with a rooftop pool, health spa and a patio offering great views over the marina. The hotel is on the flightpath to the Faro Airport, so the aircrafts are flying right on top of your head. However, soundproofing is good enough and you will not be disturbed overnight.

Frangaria Hospedaria

A modern hotel with spacious rooms and a parking lot on the spot. With a tasty breakfast included in the price and a truly convenient location near Faro Airport, for all travelers with an early flight. An early breakfast can be arranged and the biggest bonus is a great and low cost restaurant next door.


Where to eat, drink and party at Faro Airport

Faro Airport has a wide offer of eateries and cafes for the passengers to seat, relax and have a snack or a drink. Here we can mention, that the Portuguese cuisine has a predominantly Mediterranean influence, where fish is king! So, Portugal is a paradise for all seafood lovers where tasty veggies are always served along with the fish.

If you’re looking just for a cup of coffee, in Portugal the coffee occupying the first place is definitely the espresso and don’t forget to ask for a sweet bum - pastel de nata - a pastry with custard, sprinkled with sugar. A delight not to be missed! Also, if you opt in for a car hire at Faro Airport, limitless options await you and chances are you'll be experiancing the tastiest meal of your life! Read more about restaurants in Faro in our Faro guide.



Located right after the passport control, this cafe offers Costa coffee with some snacks to satisfy your temptation. Not an excellent place to seat down but nevertheless, a good option to just seat down for a coffee before boarding.



Just outside the terminal building, on the left side if looking towards the sea, a nice restaurant with fresh seafood is located. If you have a bit of time to spare, you might well enjoy this restaurant, not yet very known by the tourists.



A restaurant located a walking distance from Faro Airport, towards the Eastern roundabout. Once you finish with you car hire at Faro Airport, head for a tasty meal! Nice and clean, it makes a perfect meal before or after a long flight, or just because you cannot wait for the hotel dinner to be served!


What to see at Faro Airport

Well, it’s hard to say what’s there to see at Faro Airport, beside the obvious flying object, that will make your children go “wow!”. Faro Airport is of course, a passing point from your hometown to your vacation and once you arrive to Faro Airport, there’s plenty to see and explore in the southern region of Portugal, called Algarve. If you’re wondering what are the essential points of interest, follow the link to our Faro travel guide, otherwise continue reading the text below, were we mention some more spots…A car hire at Faro Airport will fulfil all your expectations!

Car hire at Faro Airport is quite popular in Algarve as it makes distant sights and hidden gems more accessible. If you picked your car hire at the Faro Airport, you are a short 10 min drive away from the city of Faro. Faro lies in the heart of the Algarve region, however the Alentejo region located on the southwestern coast is easily accessible by car.

In Faro you should visit the famous Cathedral, especially known for the macabre chapel made of a thousand monks bones from the 18th century. This gruesome place is definitely a place that will leave you breathless in Faro.

In Faro you can skip a day at the beach or, if you have the chance to experience a rainy day in Algarve, head to the Municipal Museum of Faro, where you can marvel the antiques and artsy mosaics from the ancient Roman times. Jardim de Alamed Joao de Deus makes for a nice family trip where you can entertain yourself with a game of mini golf and observe the wild birds in the trees.


Old Town Faro

Everyone spending their vacation in Algarve should take the time to visit the Old Town of Faro. It is a nice place to see the sunset, full of cobbled streets and mosaic pavements. The town has a cathedral with a bell tower offering splendid views and a museum inside an old building, where some ancient Roman ruins and artifacts can be admired. Both spots are charged an entrance fee. You can come here just to see the world passing by while you’re having a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants in the Old Town of Faro.


Ilha Deserta

From Faro Marina you have a short boat trip to this secluded and deserted Island. If you like beautiful beaches and clear waters with not many people, then this can be your perfect 1-day trip! Don’t forget to bring some shadow (ask for an umbrella at your hotel reception) and plenty of water and food. There is a good restaurant and a snack bar, but the prices are quite high, so if you’re on a budget, you’re better off bringing your own snacks and drinks.


Forum Algarve

If you feel like you’ll be missing some shopping on your vacation - don’t despair, Forum Algarve will take care of all your needs! Located just 5 minutes from the Faro Airport is a perfect stop before your returning flight. The concept of this shopping center is an open-air space with a cinema, over 120 shops and a large offer of restaurants, to fill your empty stomach. With a lot of seating areas and a pretty fountain in the centre as well as a playground for the kids. Parking is free and arranged underground so you can relax that nothing will happen to your hired car.


Cape St. Mary

Representing the southernmost part of continental Portugal, the Cape St. Mary is a must visit spot once you’re in Faro. There are wooden walking trails along the beach and the beach itself has white washed sand filled with pretty shells! Kids will love it, just don’t forget to bring some shade for the hot sunny hours.

History of Faro Airport

Faro Airport first opened in July 1965. Since its inauguration, Faro Airport has undergone two major build-ups, a new terminal building in 1989 and its extension in 2001. There are more works of renovation and runway improvements in progress since October 2015 as a result of continuing growth and increasing popularity of the Algarve region amongst sun-seekers. Recently in August 2017 a new Terminal was opened.

Petrol stations near Faro Airport

On your way from/to the airport, there are several petrol stations in the airport’s vicinity. The nearest one is positioned at the entrance to the airport (Cepsa). Do not forget to check your car hire fuel policy as it dictates the status of your hired car tank at pick-up and drop-off. Also, to avoid additional charges or any misunderstanding, take a photo of the tank display to have a proof of the car’s fuel state at the pick up.