Car hire in Faro
Hiring a car in Faro
Often known as the gateway to the Algarve due to its busy international airport, Faro is much more than just a jumping off point. This charming city lies a few kms down the A22 motorway from the airport. You’ll find a picturesque old town, complete with pedestrian lanes and cafes with outdoor seating. These are perfect for watching the world go by in a pleasant corner of Portugal.
Faro offers plenty of other attractions to keep visitors entertained. The soaring cathedral may be the most imposing place of worship in the city, but the 18th-century Carmo church holds quite a secret. The Chapel of Bones that lies within its grounds is decorated entirely with the skeletons of 1,000 monks.
What you need to know
At Faro Airport (FAO). Make sure you consult the Holiday Autos booking tool in order to find the best deal for you. With 27 companies all vying for your business, you can find out exactly what each one can offer by using the tool. Customer ratings at Faro have ranked firms from excellent to good, meaning you will get great service, as well as our 24/7 support and free cancellation should you need it.
Where to pick up your car
Collecting your hire car at Faro Airport is easy, with many of the car hire desks being located in the terminal. These include drive4less, Goldcar rental and Sixt rent a car. Where desks are outside of the terminal, as is the case for the likes of centauro rent a car and AirAuto car rental, a shuttle bus is provided. Alternatively, meet and greet services to escort you to car hire desks further afield are laid on by the likes of Drive on Holidays, Rent-a-car Discovery cars and Mastercars Portugal.
“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
Picking up your car from the airport means there’s no need for a transfer to your hotel, as with your own set of wheels you’ll be totally independent. After checking in, it’s time to see something of the city and Faro has plenty to show off. Park up next to the old town and explore its narrow streets. If you want to get straight into the holiday spirit, then throw all your beach gear into the back of the car and head to Praia de Faro for sun, sea and sand. Alternatively, grab your wallet and wander Rua Dr Francisco Gomes and Rua de Santo António, Faro’s main shopping streets.
Having a hire car gives you plenty of independence and driving for an hour or so along pretty routes to explore more of the surrounding area is an absolute must. The small village of Monchique, nestled among the mountains, is just 85 kms away and perfect for those who love the great outdoors. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Lagos, the liveliest town in the Algarve. It’s 90 kms away from Faro, but worth the journey with great nightlife, incredible seafood restaurants and boat trips to get you out on the water.
It is no wonder that the sleepy fishing village of Cascais has become the playground for Lisboetas looking to escape the capital. It has three very attractive bays, winding lanes leading to lush gardens, stunning boutiques and al fresco restaurants. If you’d like to experience a slice of this way of life, hope in the car and drive for just under three hours up the A2, but be aware there are tolls on this route. Keen surfers can extend their trip nine kilometres north-west to Praia do Guincho.
Slightly closer, but just as pleasant to visit is Sagres, about an hour and 20 minutes from Faro and still in the Algarve. Here, you will find the most southerly tip of mainland Europe, as well as a great selection of beaches and coves to explore. With such a coastline, it is not surprising that seafood is on the menu at the local restaurants, with traditional Portuguese cooking styles the order of the day. Be sure to visit the Sagres Fortress before leaving, as this incredible defensive building occupies a windswept position atop three natural cliffs.
Top attractions to visit in Faro
Enjoy unlocking all that Faro has to offer by driving to different sights in your hire car. This means you’re not restricted to places within walking distance and can spend the morning in the old town and afternoon enjoying the city’s new town attractions.
Arco da Vila
Faro’s magnificent old town has an entranceway that is just as spectacular. It was constructed under the orders of Bishop Francisco Gomes in the aftermath of the 1755 earthquake, when much of the city was reconstructed. Its neoclassical style makes it instantly recognisable and once you’ve stepped through it, the street leads to the fantastic square containing Faro’s cathedral, town hall and bishop’s palace.
Algarve Regional Museum
Taking a look into the life of ordinary folk who have lived in the Algarve for generations is absolutely fascinating. This museum offers so many seemingly everyday objects that really build up a strong picture. From a small fishing boat and wooden hand cart to fabrics and ceramics, it’s all on show. Don’t expect a lot of written descriptions, as the exhibits speak for themselves.
Ilha da Barreta
Drive down to the water’s edge and hop onto a ferry to Ilha da Barreta in order to escape the city. Here you’ll find a wonderful sweep of white sandy beach, walks along miles of wooden walkways and views out across the Ria Formosa National Park. Get to the end of the beach and you’ll find a monument to the southern tip of Europe, constructed out of driftwood. It also features signs signifying the distances to some of the world’s biggest cities.