There is nothing more enjoyable than planning a trip to the Algarve. Whether you have visited the region before or not, planning a trip to this beautiful area of Portugal is exciting. Once you have chosen where to stay – for a lot of people, that’s in gorgeous towns such as Carvoeiro – and when you want to go, it’s time to think about whether or not you will need a car. There are a lot of things to think about when you are deciding whether to hire a car in the Algarve, such as whether you will actually need to have a personal vehicle. Hiring a car is not cheap, and you are likely to find that taxis and local transport options suffice.
Below, we have taken a look at visiting the Algarve without a car. It’ll help you decide whether you need a car or not, and how to get from A to B without one.
Can You Visit the Algarve Without a Car?
There is a common misconception about Portugal, that visiting the Algarve without a car is impossible. However, this isn’t actually the case. Though having a car does make exploring the Algarve considerably easier, as a lot of the holiday hotspots are spread out, there are certainly a number of alternative ways to get around on holiday. If you are a non-driver or you simply don’t want to drive in a foregin country – let’s be honest, driving on the other side of the road can be daunting – you can still enjoy spending time in the gorgeous Algarve region of Portugal.
If you are visiting the Algarve without a car, you have a range of other transportation options to choose from. The Algarve is by no means a rural area that’s cut off from everywhere else, despite being coastal and surrounded by beautiful greenery. Wherever you are in the Algarve, you shouldn’t struggle to find taxis to take you from A to B. In many of the larger towns, such as Carvoeiro, have buses available for you to use; some of these transport people from one town to another, whereas others travel much further afield. If you are in the Algarve and want to visit another area of Portugal, it’s always a good idea to consider the various bus routes.
Visiting the Algarve usually requires you to fly into Faro Airport, which has an abundance of taxi firms for you to choose from. These can be booked in advance or organised on arrival, and all of them will happily take you to your holiday destination. For example, if you are staying in Carvoeiro, simply hop in a taxi and let someone else handle the driving. If you are worried about having to wait for a taxi or you are arriving late at night, consider booking one ahead of time.
Why Visiting the Algarve is Easier With a Car
There is certainly nothing stopping you from visiting the Algarve without a car, and not driving shouldn’t put you off booking an enjoyable holiday in Carvoeiro or the surrounding areas. However, it’s hard to deny that having a car in the Algarve does make things slightly easier. Instead of having to navigate public transport and taxis, you can simply jump in the car and drive to wherever you need to be. Plus, having a car makes getting to and from the airport slightly easier. You won’t need to wait for a taxi to be ready, nor will you need to factor in the cost of doing so. All you need to do is place your bags in the back of the car and head on your way.
Having a car also makes it easier to explore some of the Algarve highlights that might be further away. Though there are buses and taxis available in many of the Algarve towns and villages, they are not as reliable as a car, nor do they travel to all destinations. If you want the freedom to really explore any area of the Algarve, having a car does make everything a little bit more straightforward.
Of course, if you are planning to stay in one area during your holiday, this is going to be less of a concern for you. For example, if you are staying in Carvoeiro and only plan to venture around Carvoeiro, then you will rely on having a car a lot less. If you are staying in Carvoeiro and only plan to visit nearby locations and popular tourist spots, you shouldn’t struggle relying on taxis and buses.
Should You Hire a Car in the Algarve?
As you can see from the information given above, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to hiring a car in the Algarve. If you want the freedom to go wherever you please, whenever you want, then having a car can be hugely beneficial. However, if you plan to stay in one place or only visit places that are close by, a taxi will usually suffice.
Whether you hire a car or not for your time in the Algarve is personal preference, and it’s entirely up to you. The need for a car will depend on what you plan to do, where you plan to go and where you are staying. As some places in the Algarve are more rural than others, you might find that you need a car more there. When you are planning a trip to the Algarve, think about where you are staying and whether you will need a car. If you don’t want to use car when you’re in Portugal, you might want to consider basing yourself in an area that has a lot to offer locally.