Car hire in Albufeira
Hiring a car in Albufeira
Situated in the popular Algarve region, over the last couple of years Albufeira has become an increasingly popular destination with tourists. With its beautiful marina, charming cobbled streets and blue skies pretty much guaranteed in the summer months, it’s easy to see why crowds flock to this Portugal resort.
With such a wide variety of attractions available to visitors, Albufeira is a destination suited for families, couples and people of all ages who just want to relax and enjoy themselves. Many traditional towns and villages are located in and around Albufeira and are definitely worth exploring should you want to learn more about Portuguese heritage. While some can be accessed by foot, hot summer temperatures and long dusty roads mean that hiring a car is often recommended.
What you need to know
If you’ve decided to book a private villa or hotel on the outskirts of Albufeira, taxis to and from the centre will be costly and not always easy to find. Renting a car will allow you to get around the region easily as well as providing you with the freedom to explore whenever it suits you.
To avoid any unnecessary stress and to save valuable holiday time, we recommend you arrange car hire before you fly, so that your car keys are ready to collect as soon as you touch down. By using the Holiday Autos booking tool, you can compare the prices of thousands of car rental companies to ensure that you have the best car hire deal in Albufeira. We also offer free cancellation, no credit card fees and a contact centre which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should you need our assistance.
Where to pick up your car
Albufeira offers tourists so many options when it comes to picking up their hire car. You will find many of the main car hire companies at Faro Airport (FAO), in the arrivals hall. Each company will have their own desk, all of which are hard to miss given the airport's many signs and directions.
Each desk will provide you with the car keys for your chosen vehicle, which will be located just outside the airport, next to the car park and transfers section. Alternatively, if you’d like to hire a car for just a few days, you will find many car hire companies in the centre of Albufeira and by the marina.
Before you start your holiday adventure, it’s a good idea to check your hire car over for any bumps or scratches so that you’re not liable to pay for damages when you return the vehicle.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Faro airport is located just 46 km from Albufeira, so you should be able to arrive at your hotel, villa or apartment within the hour. Once you’ve checked in, it’s time to hop back into your car and explore the resort.
History, beaches, shopping, water parks, sand sculptures, whatever your interests, Albufeira has got it all covered. When driving around Albufeira, it’s a good idea to avoid roads like the A22, which is the main motorway running through the region, as it has tolls situated along the road. Although alternative routes may take longer, they are more scenic and could have you stumble across some of Albufeira’s hidden secrets.
Before the 1960s, Albufeira was a small fishing town with whitewashed houses and a quaint little harbour. Traces of this authentic village can still be discovered in the Old Town, which features many cobbled streets winding up and around the hillsides with traditional single storey houses lining the roadside.
You can easily reach the Old Town by using the N125, and there are plenty of parking facilities should you want to explore Albufeira’s stunning beaches.
If you’re looking to party and fancy a night out with friends and family, then a trip to Areias de São João will provide you with many bars and clubs which are open all day and all night. Areias de São João is only a short drive from the Old Town and is much livelier, perhaps not ideal for those prefer a quieter and more relaxed setting.
Slightly further afield you will find the Slide and Splash Water Park, located only 29km from Albufeira, and an easy journey along the coast (the A22 is a quicker route but has tolls). A variety of slides and entertainment make the park one of the best in the region.
There are also many other towns and village in the Algarve which are worth a visit with the freedom your hire car provides. Vila Real de Santo António is located in the east and is the closest you will get to Spain without crossing the border. Lagos, Tavira and Olhão are also popular destinations well worth a visit.
Top attractions to visit in Albufeira
A trip to Albufeira would not be complete without visiting the resort's top attractions, and with the freedom of having your own car, nowhere is out of bounds.
With its beautifully dramatic scenery, a trip to the southwesternmost community in Europe and the town of Sagres is recommended. Its many bars and restaurants will allow you to experience the Portuguese cuisine, and a stroll around the port will provide a scenic view of the Atlantic. Ancient Greek chroniclers described this point as “the end of inhabited earth” with Sagres’ lighthouse standing proud at the tip of the coast.
Cerro da Vila
For history lovers, the ancient Roman sight of Cerro da Vila features the remains of a second or third century villa complex including baths and mosaics. It is believed that the site was inhabited until the 11th century and also has Visigoth and Moorish medieval finds.
International Sand Sculpture Festival
Known by the Portuguese as Festival Internacional de Escultura em Areia (FIESA), the sculpture festival takes place every year. Here, as many as 60 artists will come together to use 35,000 tonnes of sand to create 50 works of art. A visit during the day will allow you to see the sculptures in great detail but the exhibition is also open at night with atmospheric lighting.