Getting around in Portugal

by Andrea Segura - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

As you are planning your bicycle trip and beyond, you will certainly wonder how to best get around. We’re here to help and have put together some general information and tips for you. You will find tour-specific travel information in the online itinerary specific to your tour. Note that any fares and timing mentioned are estimates.

We also recommend Rome2Rio, which is an excellent route and travel planning resource.

International airports are located in Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. Both Lisbon and Porto are interesting cities to spend time in before or after your tour, as is Faro although it is smaller in size. For price and logistical convenience, we recommend flying into Lisbon, or if you are interested in visiting northern Portugal, flying into Porto and then making your way south to the tour is an option. If you are interested in spending time on the south coast after the tour ends, leaving from Faro is an option.

The general airport website www.ana.pt has sections detailing how to access any Portugal airport by taxi, train or metro.

Air Travel within Europe and Portugal

European carriers such as Alitalia, British Airways, Sabena, TAP and Lufthansa service some cities in Portugal. It is also possible to fly into smaller airports from other European cities as well as a domestic flight from Lisbon, Porto and Faro.

Try the following national airlines:

There are also many low cost airlines that fly in and out of Portugal, see the list below. Remember these airlines have restrictions on luggage and may also have other “quirky” policies, but are at times great options for one way flights to and from smaller cities in Portugal.

Lisbon

Lisbon Airport, Portela International Airport (LIS)

Located 7km from the Lisbon city center. Most international flights arrive at Portela International Airport in Lisbon. If you have a connection on a domestic flight, you may have to go through customs in Lisbon, pick up your luggage and re-check your luggage. The Lisbon airport is well connected to downtown Lisbon by taxi, metro, and bus. Your choice of transportation will most likely be determined by the amount of luggage you have. See www.golisbon.com.

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To and From the Lisbon Airport

  • By Taxi: Taxis are available outside the arrival and departure areas. Expect a trip length of approximately 15 minutes and a cost of 10-15 euros (status 2017) to the city center. Charges may vary depending on the time of the day and the destination, and amount of luggage. Expect prices to be higher at night.
  • By Bus: Aerobus, the Lisbon Airport Bus connects the airport and the city center passing by many popular hotels. Hours of operation from the airport are 7:00 am to 11:00 pm with frequent departures. See also www.golisbon.com.
  • By Metro: Lisbon has a modern underground metro system. Hours of operation are 6:30 am to 1:00 am and it connects the city center (Saldanha) to the airport with a trip length of 21 minutes. www.metrolisboa.pt.

Porto

Porto Airport, El Aeropuerto Francisco Sá Carneiro de Oporto (OPO)

Located 10 km from the Porto city center. While few trans-Atlantic flights fly into Porto, if you are connecting from another European country and you want to spend some days in this famous area, it is an arrival option.

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To and From the Porto Airport

  • By Taxi: Taxis are available outside the arrival area. Expect a trip length of approximately 20-30 minutes and a cost of 20-30 euros (status 2017) to the city center. Charges may vary depending on the time of the day and the destination, and amount of luggage. Expect prices to be higher at night.
  • By Metro: Porto has a modern underground metro system. The purple line connects the city center to the airport and the fare is determined by your destination. Hours of operation are 6:00 am to 1:00 am with frequent departures. There is a ticket office at the airport. www.metrodoporto.pt.

Faro

Algarve or Faro Airport (FAO)

Located 4 km west of Faro.

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To and From the Faro Airport

  • By Taxi: Taxis are available outside the airport. The cost will vary depending upon the time of day and traffic, should be around 12 euros (status 2017). Expect to pay more for oversized luggage.
  • By Bus: The Proximo bus stop is outside the Airport terminal to the left of the arrivals area as you exit, under the concrete roof-like structure. Take Bus 16 in the direction of Avenida or Jardim. Journey time is 15-17 minutes.

Train Transportation Information

You do not have to purchase train tickets in advance, especially if they are for post-tour travel plans (your Tour Leaders can help you with those). However, if you do decide to make your arrangements ahead of time, we suggest using the following companies:

Other Types of Transportation

  • Taxis: Taxis can easily be found outside airports and train stations. It is good practice to ask for an approximate fare before the ride and pay meter start. Keep in mind that the cost may vary depending on traffic in the city, also if it is day or night and during the week or weekend. Note that taxis from airports add extra for luggage.
  • Rental Car: If you decide to rent a car, we suggest arranging this from the U.S. – it’s cheaper. Be sure to find out the exact address of the location to pick up your rental car (preferably at your arrival airport).
  • Bus: ALSA Buses; EVA Buses. Bus travel in Portugal is more comprehensive and at times easier than train travel. You can buy tickets at bus stations, which are usually connected to metro or train stations, at airports, or online at the company website.
  • Metro: Both Lisbon and Porto have modern metro systems.

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