It may be known for its beautiful beaches and resorts, but the Algarve is steeped in fascinating history and monumental sites, as well. This region of Portugal has been occupied by all kinds of people, from the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Romans and Moors, and its known history spans over 3000 years. It’s no wonder that this popular tourist destination attracts more than just beachgoers.
Explore the Cultural Highlights
If you’re looking for a holiday that’s full of culture and history, skip the usual suspects of Italy and France and look to Algarve’s Portimão! Here are a few must-visit highlights that I’d recommend adding to your travel checklist.
The Parish Church and Jesuit College
For those with a particular penchant for architecture, the Jesuit College is a must-see. The beautiful white building is from the seventeenth century and is known as the largest church in the Algarve, decorated in exquisite gilt carving.
Fortaleza de Santa Catalina
The river Arade has been an important harbour for many centuries, which is why settlements in this region date so far back. Not only can you find remnants of the Roman empire, but other peoples, such as the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, were also based here. The fort that remains is an impressive example of maritime defences. Built by Neapolitan Alexandre Massai during the Renaissance, the fort now offers a great vantage point over Praia da Rocha beach.
Museu de Portimão
This museum does a fine job of taking visitors through the rich and long history of Portimão. Not only does the area boast megalithic structures that are older than Stonehenge, but the museum also offers interesting insights into the sardine industry that flourished during the 1930s.
Lago 1 de Dezembro
This public square is a cultural delight and a great place to take a break and admire the town’s beauty. The small garden offers cool respite from the Mediterranean sun as you sit back on the distinctive tiled benches. On the northern side of the square you’ll find a little palace that dates back to the eighteenth century, which today is used as a theatre.
Where to Stay:
Algarve Casino Hotel – This five-star hotel is the perfect luxury experience with rooms that offer stylish furnishings, balconies and an excellent central location.
Bela Vista Hotel – Get the full royal treatment at this hotel set in a stunning stately building. The unique rooms are decorated with a marine theme and offer beautiful ocean views.
The Roof Praia da Rocha – This is a lovely modern apartment with air conditioning and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s the perfect home-away-from-home and makes a great base from which to explore the area.
How to Get There:
Flights from the UK to Faro are pretty reasonable throughout the year, starting at £29 and going up to just £61. The flight itself is short and you can travel with a variety of airlines, including Qatar, Ryanair, and Easyjet.
To ensure that you get to your hotel smoothly, I’d recommend pre-booking an airport transfer from Faro airport to Portimão. This will ensure that your holiday sets off to the very best start. An airport transfer just makes getting from A to B so much easier and is usually a bit quicker too.
UK to FAO Flight Time: 2 hours 56 minutes
FAO to Portimão Distance: 75 kilometres
Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 49 minutes
Types of Transfer
There are all kinds of airport transfers to choose from on Shuttle Direct’s website, all of which can be tailored to suit your needs. If you’re looking for the most reliable airport transfer, Faro to Portimão, or anywhere else, they are one of my favourite service providers. Here is an overview of some of the transport options they have on offer.
A simple, convenient and private option is the airport taxi. Faro to Portimão is a little under an hour’s journey, so having a taxi already booked makes getting to and from your accommodation completely hassle-free.
If you’re happy to share with other people, a shuttle bus transfer from Faro Airport to Portimão is a great way to save a bit of money on your holiday. It’s also a fun way to travel, as you have the opportunity to meet new people who are also excited to be on holiday.
For ultimate comfort and privacy, you have the option of a private transfer. Faro Airport to Portimão is not too long a journey, but having this extra level of luxury will make it fly by.
Finally, a minibus Faro airport transfer is a great middle option for travellers who don’t mind sharing. There will be fewer passengers than a shuttle so there is some extra comfort.
Choosing the Right Transfer
Consider your budget and how you prefer to travel when booking your airport transfer. If you would like the full luxury experience, then a private transfer (Faro airport to Portimão direct) will be the one for you. However, if you have any niggling questions, Shuttle Direct will be able to help you decide.
Cost: While all the transfer options are very well priced, only you will know how much you are willing to spend on an airport transfer, so keep this in mind when booking your shuttle service.
Convenience: Factors such as how much luggage you have and whether you’re happy to share with other passengers are all things to consider when figuring out which option is the most convenient for you.
About Shuttle Direct
For decades, Shuttle Direct has offered quality service with experienced and friendly local drivers. We will ensure that you get from A to B safely and smoothly so that all you have to do is sit back and relax. Whether you’re looking for a luxury private transfer, or a budget-friendly shared shuttle bus, we’ve got a comfortable option and a cost to suit you.