Picture it: you’re flying low over Portugal’s Algarve region, marvelling at the beauty of the baby blue coastline, golden sands, medieval architecture and gorgeous greenery below you. Although you’re spending your sunny holiday in Albufeira, a picturesque fishing village, you’re determined to scratch your travel itch and explore the area’s many cultural and natural highlights that you saw from the plane.
Fortunately, you’ve booked Shuttle Direct’s private taxi service to drive you from Faro Airport to Albufeira, a 40-minute route that will take you past some of the prettiest and most fascinating sights that deserve a visit during your stay in Portugal. Here are a few spots that you’ll definitely want to ask your driver about – and perhaps even visit during your holiday.
A mere 5 minutes into your ride from Faro Airport to Albufeira, you’ll already be able to kick off your flash tour of the area, beginning with Montenegro. No, I’m not talking about the Balkan country – I’m talking about Faro’s famous fishing district. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, this region has supplied Faro with its outstanding seafood supply.
Along with exploring the myriad seafood shops and restaurants, which are sure to exceed your fishiest expectations, Montenegro is home to a stunning spruce forest: the Pinhal de Gambelas. This woodland may seem tranquil to you, but don’t be fooled: every July, the forest hosts Faro’s popular motorcycle rally. With several thousand annual visitors, this convention is the largest in all of Europe – and is well worth a visit. From vintage to modern, motorcycle enthusiasts will be able to discover an impressive range of bikes and explore the grounds to their heart’s content.
Recommended Visit Time: Half-Day Trip (or longer if you are attending the motorcycle convention)
2. Santa Bárbara de Nexe
Slightly north of the route from Faro Airport to Albufeira and about 15 minutes into your ride, pick your driver’s brain about Santa Bárbara de Nexe, a quaint village with an authentic medieval ambiance. This spectacular town is famous for its 400-year-old igreja (church), which is beloved by locals and tourists alike. The church is easily recognisable by its iconic bell tower, which can be spotted from great distances – perhaps you’ll even be able to catch a glimpse of it from the car. But why not experience Santa Bárbara de Nexe and its rolling hills fully by taking an off-the-beaten-track day trip?
In addition to immersing yourself in the village’s glorious architecture and natural surroundings, which have inspired numerous painters throughout the centuries, Santa Bárbara de Nexe has a special surprise in store for heavy metal fans. The town used to be home to Eddie’s Bar, a venue that tirelessly promoted Iron Maiden’s music. Although the bar closed a few years ago, its memory is still very much alive. During a visit to the village, you may bump into Steve Harris, the bar’s owner and the band’s beloved bassist. Why not bring pen and paper and ask him for an autograph?
Recommended Visit Time: Half-Day Trip
About halfway through your trip from Faro Airport to Albufeira, you’ll pass Boliqueime, one of Algarve’s must-see gems. This rural village offers a scenic glimpse into Portugal’s charming countryside. Hidden in the region’s hills, this tiny town is paved with medieval cobblestones and boasts a striking square, where you can watch local life go by while sipping an excellent coffee or enjoying a light lunch. The area’s myriad almond groves and pine trees add to the sense of tranquillity that delights every visitor. So, put your troubles aside and get ready to spend a few care-free hours discovering this lovely village – it’s bound to become a highlight of your getaway.
Recommended Visit Time: Half-Day Trip
The last leg of your trip has another idyllic spot in store: Paderne, located a mere 7 kilometres from your destination. This village is often unfairly overshadowed by Albufeira, but will reward adventurous visitors with its exceptional natural and cultural attractions. Firstly, check out the Castelo de Paderne, a twelfth-century castle that is featured on Portugal’s national flag. The fortress is situated on a hill, which – if you’re an enthusiastic athlete – allows you to get your fill of holiday hiking in addition to viewing one of Portugal’s most noteworthy edifices. Alternatively, you can also drive or bike up the hill.
On your way to the castle, don’t miss out on Ponte medieval de Paderne, a little medieval bridge made of stone. Along with marvelling at this longstanding overpass, you’ll find that the surrounding area is perfect for picnicking. If you’re looking for an excursion that combines nature and culture, a visit to Paderne is right up your alley.
Recommended Visit Time: Full-Day Trip
From Faro Airport to Albufeira
If you were thinking of dozing during your Shuttle Direct ride from Faro Airport to Albufeira, think again: the delightful villages along the way are sure to trigger your Wanderlust. To find out more about these scenic spots, you can ask our local drivers about their own experiences in the area. They’re usually happy to share their wealth of insider knowledge with you, which will surely motivate you to get off the beach towel and fully appreciate everything that the Algarve region has to offer.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is a leading transport operator in Europe and North Africa. If you’re looking for the quickest and most relaxing way to travel from the airport to your holiday destination, you’re in the best hands with our experienced, local, and helpful drivers, who offer reliable door-to-door service. To start your sunny getaway off on a stress-free note, all you have to do is pre-book a ride on our user-friendly website. The journey from Faro Airport to Albufeira couldn’t be more comfortable, economical or informative.
NB. This route guide has been compiled as an aid to visiting the region. Your airport transfer service from Faro Airport does not include stops to these destinations.