A Complete Guide to Praia da Luz, The Algarve

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Praia da Luz Guide

Luz Directions
Luz Holiday Information
The Algarve, Portugal

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Praia da Luz Directions
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Praia da Luz Directions from Faro Airport
Airports, Trains, Buses, Taxis & Transfers

Directions from Faro to Praia da Luz. Algarve. Portugal Faro Airport is the most convenient airport for Praia da Luz and the Algarve generally. The distance from the airport to Praia da Luz is approximately 75kms (47 miles), and as it is about 95% motorway these days, the trip should be managed comfortably in an hour by car ( and that's keeping to the speed limit 120kph ). I've yet to see the motorway busy, regardless of the time of year, so the journey should be pretty straight forward.

See the directions section below, and also the Google map link for an idea of the distance or to print out the route in detail.

If you prefer a slower but more scenic route ( it follows the coastline slightly more closely ) you can use the 'old road', just follow the signs for the N125, it is only really recommended if you are driving during daylight hours ( as there are too many places e.g. roundabouts etc. where you could go wrong ).
 2011  It looks like tolls may be introduced for the A22 ( motorway ), nothing fixed yet though as there is understandable protest for the plan. As of the back end of 2011 the tolls have still to be introduced, having been postponed after the government change in the summer.
 2012  Charges ( tolls ) will be introduced on the motorways in the Algarve ( as are already in place in pretty much the rest of Portugal ).
You may be tempted to start using the N125 ( the 'old' A road ) but whist it is perfectly good for short 'hops' it is not really suitable for trips to the west Algarve. Also bear in mind there are substantial road works forecast this year for the N125 which can only make a journey even longer.

The airport lies 4km from the Algarve capital Faro, which is very much worth a visit if you aren't in too much of a hurry. Allow some time if you do and 'park up' as just driving round the rather convoluted one way system will leave you unimpressed.

For more detailed transport information, i.e., Flights, Car Hire etc. see the Transport Page.

Trains Algarve by train

The train station is 5kms from the airport. Take a taxi or a bus, both from just outside the Arrivals entrance at Faro airport to the train station. You can then take a train which will certainly give you some alternative views of the Algarve as it manages to miss all the 'well known' towns along the coast following a route that is more inland. Services tended to be infrequent and could be unreliable, but they are definitely getting better these days. The journey to Lagos takes about 2 hours and costs around 7 Euros. It is then only a ten minute taxi ride from Lagos station to Praia da Luz. Altogether the most cost effective way to get to Luz ( but probably not the most practical if you have a lot of luggage ). Train timetable.

Buses Algarve by bus

The bus station is 6kms from the airport. There is a local bus service operating between the airport and Faro centre about every 20-30 minutes. Timetable to Faro City Centre. The stop is also just outside arrivals entrance. During the high season ( summer months ) a special Aerobus service connects with the town centre.

Airport to City Centre
Depart Arrive Frequency
07:08 07:28 Daily
07:22 07:42 Daily
07:42 18:02 Tuesday to Saturday (not Sundays or holidays)
08:32 08:52 Daily
09:07 09:27 Daily
09:37 09:57 Daily
10:07 10:27 Tuesday to Saturday (not Sundays or holidays)
10:47 11:07 Daily
12:07 12:27 Daily
12:47 13:07 Tuesday to Saturday (not Sundays or holidays)
13:37 13:57 Daily
14:32 14:52 Daily
15:07 15:27 Daily
16:12 16:32 Tuesday to Saturday (not Sundays or holidays)
17:12 17:32 Daily
17:47 18:07 Daily
18:57 19:17 Daily
19:22 19:42 Daily
20:07 20:27 Daily
21:17 21:37 Tuesday to Saturday (not Sundays or holidays)


As most arrivals are heading west to Albufeira and further you'll need to get the bus from the airport to Faro bus station then catch the fast 'Tranrapido' bus service along the coast ( see below ). Purchase tickets in advance at Faro bus station. Services are limited at weekends on normal lines. To make sure you don't miss connections in Faro it's a good idea to take a taxi to the bus station. There are buses that run from Faro to Lagos, they take approx two hours ten minutes and cost about 5.00 to 7.00. Warning: The one I got did not have a w.c. on board, so bear that in mind and don't take a chance.

Pre-paid Rechargeable ticket cards
If you reckon on staying in Luz a while and are likely to make the same journey, e.g. Luz to Lagos, several times, think about buying a pre-pay card. This rechargeable card is good for a set number of journeys in either direction. It will save you money ( roughly 20% ) and also queuing time, but there is an initial 3.00 fee ( non-refundable ) for the card. You can buy the cards from any bus station ( Lagos ). 
A couple of points to bear in mind - Tickets are not interchangeable between different operator's buses. All the city buses require a different ticket to the inter-urban routes.

Transrapido Daily Service - Faro to / from Lagos
Faro Terminus > Lagos Terminus Lagos Terminus > Faro Terminus
Depart Arrive Depart Arrive
08.00  10.10  06.50 09.00 
09.05  11.15  08.30 10.35 
12.30  14.40  10.30 12.40
14.30  16.40  12.35 14.45 
16.25  18.40  15.00 17.10
17.25  19.40  17.15 19.30 

     - Not Saturdays, Sundays or HOLIDAYS

Lagos Bus StationLagos Bus Station

Phone :(+351) 282 762 944
Address :Terminal Rodoviário de Lagos, Largo Rossio de S.João
Box-office :Monday - Saturday : 06.15 - 20.30

National Holidays 2012

February 16
Shrove Tuesday 4 Friday
April 6
Good Friday † 1
April 8
Easter † 1 Wednesday
April 25
Freedom day Portugal 1
May 01
Labour Day 1 Sunday
May 06
Mother´s Day 5
June 07
Corpus Christi † 1 Sunday
June 10
Portugal Day 1
August 15
Assumption Day † 1 Friday
October 05
Republic Day Portugal 1
November 01
All Saints´ Day † 1 Sunday
November 28
First Advent † 5
December 01
Independence Day Portugal 1 Sunday
December 05
Second Advent † 5
December 08
Immaculate Conception † 1 Sunday
December 12
Third Advent † 5
Dec 19
Fourth Advent † 5 Saturday
December 25
Christmas † 1
December 31
New Year´s Eve † 5    
† Christian holiday - no holiday
1 official holiday (public day of rest) 2 official holiday (like Sunday)
3 half-holiday (normally starting from noon) 4 legally not recognized holiday (business, schools, administrations usually closed)
5 event day  

There is a local bus from Lagos to Praia da Luz , takes about 20 minutes, which stops near the centre of the town ( just up the hill from the square ) and also just as you come into Luz on the 'old' road ( Rua Dirieta ). Costs about 1.70.

ONDA Normal Daily Service ( Not Sundays or Holidays* )
Click here for the complete timetable (printable) for Route 4

* Bus Stop Infante ( by the car park on the seafront - nearest to shopping centre ) halway down the Av. Descobrimentos / Marina. Current fare ( 2011 ) €1.70. Stops at the Intermarche (Superstore) in Lagos. The bus takes the old road into Luz.

Taxis Algarve by taxi

From Faro Airport will cost about €70 to €85 ( includes luggage surcharges ). The upper end of the prices is normally charged at weekends and public holidays. These are rates for 2009/10. To be on the safe side you should check the price with the driver before travelling, don't be afraid to query anything that is not close to the rates shown above. Minibuses are only a little more than ordinary taxis but will obviously depend on your numbers as to whether it is cost effective to use one. Taxis use a fixed tariff system, so establish the price before setting off. The minimum flat rate is 5 Euros, if you have booked by telephone add 1 Euro, and any luggage in the boot normally adds 3 Euros. Rates increase by 20% from 22.00 to 06.00, on weekends and public holidays. Tipping, around 10% of the total fare, is at your choice.

Pre-Book Taxis

I've found that pre-booking transport to your accommodation whilst in the U.K. ( or anywhere else for that matter ) is a painless operation and can be extremely useful. If you are visiting a town or resort for the first time you are more than likely to spend the first few days just walking about to see the sights and get your bearings. In which case why have a rental car sitting outside doing nothing? If you need a car later during your holiday it is easy to rent one for a day or two when required. See rental here for Luz Car Rental. There is nothing better ( especially after a very early or late night flight ) than having someone to meet you in arrivals at the airport, taking care of your luggage and driving you to the door of your destination, definitely a stress free start to your holiday. Depending on your numbers and your destination you can get a private transfer or a shared transfer, costs vary accordingly. Either way the costs should be no more than getting a taxi from the rank outside the airport. From Faro Airport will cost about 75 to €85. If you have not paid in advance ( e.g. on-line ) you should check the price with the driver before travelling, don't be afraid to query anything that does not match the rate you were originally quoted. See transfers here for some places you can check the prices and book your transport in advance.

By Car Portugal Speed Limits

There are several car rental offices inside the airport for those of you who have pre-booked. Just outside the Airport entrance there are also several of the major rental company main offices. See here for Car Rental offices.
 ▪  It might seem like a daft comment but don't forget its driving on the right hand side of the road in Portugal!  ▪  Watch your speed as there are on the spot fines.  ▪  Alcohol tolerance is zero.  ▪  No children under 13yrs in the front of the vehicle.  ▪  Seat belts must be worn at all times.  ▪  Give way to traffic on roundabouts or to the right at junctions to roads of equal importance.  ▪  You must have a luminous jacket and warning triangle, so check your hire car when you pick it up.  ▪  Keep your license with you at all times when driving. A final ( trivial? ) point, you may be tempted to keep re-tuning the radio on the trip down the motorway as 'local' stations tend to come and go suddenly and frequently. This can be very off putting not to mention dangerous, so stick in a CD or cassette instead or just turn it off.
A note for golfing parties, you may want to consider 'local' transfers to golf courses as and when required rather than hiring a mini-bus for the whole holiday ( which may spend more time being parked up than being used ). There are plenty of places in the major towns that provide this service at reasonable rates.

Note: Take it easy on the minor roads as they are often not as well maintained as in the U.K. They are also quite narrow, and seem even more so when you have just come off the motorway ( but this doesn't seem to worry the 'locals' who tend to drive pretty rapidly along these roads. This includes the local buses, which can be a bit scary ).

Note: There is a petrol station right on the doorstep of the Airport. You will probably not need it for the journey out but its worth remembering for topping up the tank when you return your Rental. Otherwise petrol stations can be far and few between unless you are based in a major town or use the service stations on the motorway.
 06/2011  I previously warned in January (2009) with the rubbish exchange rates, the price of petrol was skyrocketing in Portugal and it was now close to that of the U.K. The 'good' news ( only for U.K. residents ) the exchange is finally getting back to 'old days' so whilst its nothing too dramatic you'll now be getting more petrol for your pound. Fortunately the Algarve is not that 'big' in terms of driving distances, but petrol expenditure should still be factored in to your holiday costs.

Directions from Faro Airport to Praia da  Luz. Algarve.Directions from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz. Algarve.

Directions by Car from Faro Airport

  • On leaving the Airport follow the signs for Espana & Lisbon.
  • Take the turn off signed Portimao & Lisbon - Important! Watch for this one.
  • You should now be on the feeder road to the A22 motorway (Portugal's national football stadium should be on your right)
  • Follow signs for Portimao & Lagos (IC4 / A22).
  • Pass the Portimao turnoff (15 - 20 minutes).
  • Pass the Alvor turnoff (25 - 30 minutes).
  • Follow the signs for Lagos.
  • Take the turnoff marked Lagos, Vila da Bispo on to the dual carriageway (N120).
  • About half a mile there is a roundabout (watch out for the speed bumps) which has (currently) only one exit.
  • At the end of the dual carriageway, turn right at the roundabout, signed to Sagres & Vila da Bispo.
  • You will pass Boavista Golf course on your left.
  • Do not* take the first (left) turn off signed for Luz.
  • Pass the tourist campsite on your right.
  • Pass the turning to the right, signed for Espiche.
  • Within 100 yards, take the left turning (filtered at the next traffic lights) signed Luz.
  • Crossing over the next roundabout will take you down the hill to the town square.

* The reason for not taking the first turning is really a matter of personal preference ( or if your accommodation is on that side of the town e.g. Luz Bay club ). The road is quite a narrow 'B' road and brings you into the one way system in Luz which will take you on a bit of a detour round the top of the town and will bring you out on to the same road coming into Luz as the one you'll use if you take the second turning.

A note for the new visitor, you'll be seeing road signs for Lagoa this is a different town and should not be confused with Lagos!

Link to Google Directions Map

If you use the Google map note the option top left to avoid highways ( above the directions column ). This will then give you a route that avoids the motorway ( using the 'old' road N125 ). This route is more interesting and fairly picturesque. It follows the coast slightly more, but has stacks of roundabouts and is quite significantly longer. Not recommended if travelling in the evening / dusk as there are far more opportunities to take a wrong turn.