Faro Airport, IATA code FAO, is also known as Algarve Airport as it is the main gateway to the tourist resorts of southern Portugal. Situated 4 km west of the city of Faro, the airport handles over seven million passengers per year and is Portugal's second busiest in the summer months after Lisbon, although Porto has more winter traffic. The vast majority of passengers are holidaymakers, with most arriving from the UK followed by Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Since 2015, the airport has been undergoing major refurbishment and development to handle the growth in the number of passengers and to improve the facilities and services. This work was completed in November 2017.
Around thirty to forty airlines serve the airport, depending on the season, and there is now parking for up to thirty-seven aircraft, six with airbridge access.
Terminal Buildings & Facilities
The single two-storey terminal building is divided between arrivals and departures, with both being used for internal and international flights.
In the public areas of the arrival and departure halls, there are restaurants and cafés, shops for souvenirs, books and newspapers and currency exchange offices. Other facilities include free Wi-Fi, bank ATMs, information points and first aid. For people with reduced mobility, assistance is available throughout the airport.
In the passenger-only areas of the departures lounge, there are many shops including sports and fashion, electronics, jewellery, gifts and souvenirs, news and books, pharmacy and duty-free. A full list of shops is available here.
There is also a wide variety of food and drink available from restaurants, cafeterias, takeaway and fast food outlets and bars. A list of the food and drink outlets is available here.
Transport & Parking
The public transport options from Faro Airport are somewhat limited. The nearest train station is 6 km away in Faro, although there are plans to construct a link to the airport in the future. Buses, Taxis and car rental are all available.
- Bus - There are two bus services, line 14 and line 16, which travel between Faro city and Praia de Faro (Faro Beach). Via line 16, you can connect to the train station and other bus routes at Faro bus station. Full details are available here.
- Taxi - Taxis operate twenty-four hours a day and the taxi rank is situated outside the arrivals hall exit. Full details are available here.
- Car Hire - Some car rental companies have offices in the arrivals hall, but most are a short walk from the terminal. Follow the signs from the arrivals hall for these suppliers. More details are available here.
The airport has six car parks, P1 to P6. The public car parks are P1 to P3 and they have different pricing depending on the distance from the terminal, although the furthest is only around eight minutes' walk. P4 is for rental cars and P5 and P6 are for coaches and private transfer vehicles. More information on parking is available here.
As tourism in Portugal grew, and more people discovered the delights of the Algarve, the only flight options were to the nearest airport in Seville in south-west Spain or to Lisbon, which then involved a long drive south.
Faro airport was opened in July 1965 and has since seen constant growth. A new passenger terminal was built in 1989 and then expanded in 2001. A development plan was undertaken from 2009 to 2013 improving the runway and airside infrastructure along with the renovation of the terminal.
A major refurbishment and redevelopment programme has recently been completed incorporating new access roads, improved parking areas and extensions to the passenger service customs areas.