HOW TO TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS
Portugal is blessed with many fantastic towns and cities and thanks to their relatively close vicinity and transport options traveling between them is easy. I have been living in Portugal for 3.5 years and am based close to the seaside town of Lagos in Algarve. I love living in this (beautiful and sunny) part of Portugal but I often crave the buzz that Lisbon offers. I try to visit Lisbon at least every month or two whether it be for work or pleasure. This means I have (through complete trial and error) worked out the best/quickest/cheapest ways to get between Lagos and Lisbon.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS
If you are lucky enough to have at least 5 days in Portugal you should absolutely dedicate some time to both Lisbon and Lagos (or another destination in Algarve). Of course there are plenty of other destinations you should consider too – Porto is a must!
The beauty of Lisbon is that it is located within easy reach of most of Portugals most popular destinations and Algarve is no exception. Both Lagos and Faro are less than a three hour drive from Lisbon making the Algarve region an ideal addition to your trip. Driving is one of the quickest options to get you from A to B in Portugal but if you’re not planning on hiring a car while you here – don’t worry. There are several other excellent transport options to get you from Lisbon to Algarve. My go-to car hire place is Zest and I have used them to drive all over Portugal.
The reason I picked these two locations specifically is that this route is the one that seems to drum up the most questions. ’How do I get from Lisbon and Lagos?’ is one of the most frequently asked travel questions on Portugal. The guide can also be used to navigate between Lisbon and other destinations in Algarve and indeed the rest of Portugal.
HOW TO TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS
There are many ways you can reach Algarve from Lisbon and vice versa and these include car, train, bus, flight and tour. I’ll use this guide to explain the different ways you can travel between the two and provide useful and relevant information for each. You can use this guide to help you plan your trip and get the most out of your time Portugal.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON AND ALGARVE?
This is a tricky questions to answer as it depends on many factors but the good news is there are options for all scenarios.
I personally take the train more than any other option as it is quick, easy and I don’t need to worry about parking. If timings with the train don’t work I’ll use the reliable and frequent buses between Lagos and Lisbon. If you have time and you want to explore more of Portugal (especially Algarve) hiring a car might be the best option for you.
I have included all the options for you to consider so you can work out the best way to travel between Lisbon and Lagos.
LISBON TO LAGOS BY TRAIN
I want to start by introducing you to the train first. I know some people get nervous about taking trains in a different country and worry that they will be difficult or confusing to book but I am pleased to say this is not the case in Portugal. The CP (Comboios Portugal) is an excellent transport system that is able to take you not only to the main cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Faro and Lagos but also to some of Portugal’s smaller towns and villages too. The website is very easy to use and understand; there is even an app if you want it. Wherever you are planning to go in Portugal it is always worth checking the CP website to see if it is a stop on the rail network, most of the time you will be pleasantly surprised.
HOW TO BOOK THE TRAIN BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS
1.Visit the CP website – www.cp.pt
2.Enter your intended travel dates plus location and destination
Both Lisbon Oriente and Sete Rios are suitable train stations to use in Lisbon. They are both served by the metro. You can reach the city centre and airport from the metro. Sete Rios station has a bus station too. The train station in Lagos is based next to the marina and is a 15minute walk (or a quick Uber) from the old town.
3. Click the search button for the results.
You can usually always book your train tickets in advance using the website unless the travel dates are more than 2 months in the future. It is worth bearing I mind that if you book your train tickets between Lisbon and Lagos more than 5 days in advance you can often choose a promotional fare saving a considerable amount.
4. Print or save your tickets.
Once you have booked the your tickets you will be sent a pdf to print. You can also download the app and keep the tickets on your mobile.
If you don’t want to/ can’t book online you can buy your tickets in the station. Bear in mind popular routes such as Lisbon to Lagos can get booked up during busy periods especially summer so always try to buy in advance if you can.
HOW MUCH DOES THE TRAIN COST BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS?
Train fares in Portugal are very reasonable and there is often promotional prices on journeys such as Lisbon to Lagos. I usually don’t pay more than €15-€20 each way but I have paid as low as €9 on some journeys! If you are booking last minute you can expect prices to be around €30 each way.
It is worth bearing in mind that although the trains are usually on time there are sometimes delays. It is always best to give yourself plenty of time if you have a specific time to be somewhere (or a flight to catch).
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO LAGOS FROM LISBON BY TRAIN
Train journeys are between 3-4 hours between these two destinations depending on the type of train. You will change trains at Tunes at about 2.5/3 hours into the journey and board new train for Lagos. At Tunes you can also change trains to Faro.
LISBON TO LAGOS BY BUS
If you want the ease of a single journey (no swapping trains) or need more flexibility in travel timings you may want to consider bus. Buses are often cheaper too – especially when you buy a return ticket. I recently traveled between Lagos and Lisbon and the journey was smooth (and the bus clean and spacious!). There are several operators that run between the two destinations so I always use Omio to book my buses.
Omio is fantastic because it show you all the departure times, journey lengths and prices available for the date/s you are searching for so you can make an informed decision.
LISBON TO LAGOS BY CAR
If you are looking to explore the wonderful region of Alentejo or stop off at spots such as Porto Covo or Vila nova de Milfontes you’re going to want to hire a car. There are lots of options when it comes to choosing car hire in Portugal. I went through many disappointing companies until I found Zest and after the first rental with them I didn’t use anyone else. The website is super easy to use, the customer service is excellent and they offer fully comp insurance… highly recommend!
LISBON TO LAGOS BY PRIVATE TOUR OR TRANSFER
You might think that we have already ticked off all the transport options between Lisbon and Lagos but hold your horses.
Have you thought about a private tour? There are some fantastic options available for private transfers and tours in both Lisbon and Lagos. Taking a guided tour will not only take the task of planning and booking off your hands but it will also maximise your time in Portugal. It is worth noting I haven’t personally taken a tour but I wanted to include as much information as possible in this guide.
WHERE TO VISIT BETWEEN LISBON AND LAGOS
Nestled in-between Lisbon and Lagos is the incredible Alentejo. A region to truly discover real Portugal. If you have time it is an amazing region to road trip around.
Porto Covo, although a popular tourist destination during the summer months, is still very much a fishing village with traditional architecture and a local feel. Located almost halfway between Lisbon and Faro it is around a two hour drive from either airport.
VILA NOVA DE MILFONTES
Situated in Portugal’s Alentejo region just 2 hours south of Lisbon, north of Faro and west from the Spanish border Vila Nova de Milfontes attracts hoards of local and foreign holiday-makers alike. In the summer months and busy holiday periods the medium-sized seaside town can reach bursting point but outside of these few crazy months you’ll find a balanced mix of refreshing nature and holiday vibes.
What was once a traditional fishing village in Algarve is now a bustling tourist town. Yet despite its popularity Ferragudo has managed to hold on to its character, charm and authenticity as a Portuguese fishing village.
WHERE TO STAY IN LISBON
Lisbon is a maze of amazing accommodation options including boutique hotels, apartments and backpackers. I always use booking to book my stay in Lisbon. You can read my Lisbon Guide to find out my personal recommendations on where to stay or get started finding a cosy place now.
WHERE TO STAY IN LAGOS
I lived in Lagos for 4 years and a piece of my heart still resides there. The town has so much to offer including a gorgeous old town, stunning beaches (in my biased opinion – the best in the Algarve!). I recommend basing yourself in the historical centre, the avenida or Meia Praia depending on what you are looking for. Read my Complete Guide to Lagos and start planning your trip now.
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