About Faro and the Algarve region
If you are planning a trip to Portugal, Faro and the respective Algarve region are one of the best areas you could visit and explore. Farò is the capital and best-known city of Algarve and a great destination. This popular tourist region is famous for its scenic landscapes, warm Mediterranean climate, wonderful beaches, and rocky coastline.
One of the main tourist attractions of the region is the impressive Nature park of Ria Formosa, a protected area with an incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem. Visitors can see lagoons, salt pans, barrier islands, sand dunes, marshes, and tidal flats and observe over 200 different species of migratory birds, sea turtles, octopuses, sea horses, and numerous types of fish and shellfish.
Apart from that, there are a number of outdoor activities that you can try in Ria Formosa, such as hiking, cycling, birdwatching, kayaking and paddleboarding, and also visit the park’s beaches, islands, and historic fishing villages and towns.
Faro itself is a beautiful city by itself and there’s plenty to do and see there. The historic city centre with its ancient walls and cobbled streets is a great place for a walk. You can enjoy the traditional Portuguese architecture, the historic landmarks, the Faro Gothic Cathedral (also known as Sé de Faro), and the Arco da Villa - a beautiful archway just at the entrance of the Old Town.
Faro also has great museums, like the Archaeological and the Municipal ones. Other landmarks that you should not miss are the Faro Marina, the Bishop’s Palace, the Carmo Church, the Belmarço Palace and Casa das Figuras. Additionally, you should most certainly take advantage of the local cuisine in the restaurants and cafes, as well as the famous Algarve wines and spirits such as Medronho and Aguardente.
Name, location and history
Faro Airport (FAO: IATA code) is officially known as Gago Coutinho Airport (in Portuguese: Aeroporto de Faro or Aeroporto Gago Coutinho).
The airport is located about 4 km (approximately 2.5 miles) west from the city of Faro. Apart from Algarve, Farò Airport serves the Baixo Alentejo region and the Huelva province in southwest Spain.
Farò Airport was open in July 1965 and is the third busiest Portuguese airport after Lisbon and Porto when it comes to passenger traffic. 2019 was the most successful year for Faro: the airport handles more than 9 million passengers that year. 2020 and 2021 saw a huge drop in the numbers due to the global COVID-19 crisis but the 2022 statistics are slightly more optimistic.
The name Gago Coutinho was very recently chosen for Faro Airport, it was only announced in June 2022 that the airport will bear the name of the geographer, naval officer and aviator. Coutinho was the first person (along with the aviator Sacadura Cabral) to cross the South Atlantic by air: they flew from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro from March until June 1922.
Faro International Airport used to be the property of the Portuguese state until 2012 when all Portuguese airports were given in concession to the French company Vinci Airports as part of a major privatisation process. Vinci AIrports bought the previous airport manager ANA Aeroportos de Portugal and now also manages 9 other airports in Portugal:
- Lisbon airport
- Porto airport
- Faro airport
- Funchal airport
- Ponta Delgada airport
- Horta airport
- Porto Santo airport
- Santa Maria airport
- Flores airport
- Beja airport.
The concession was granted for a period of 50 years, with Vinci Airports taking over the management and operation of the airport for the first time in January 2013. Since then, the French company has made major investments in improving the airport's infrastructure, expanding its capacity, and upgrading its services and facilities to provide a better experience for passengers.
Farò Airport has a single terminal building and a single runway. There are 36 boarding gates, 60 check-in desks and 22 stands available.
The terminal was built in 3 levels, with the ground level serving the arrivals, the first level - the departures, and the second level intended for cafes, restaurants and shops.
Faro Airport is well connected to the city centre with two bus lines as public transportation. The two lines are No 14 and No 16 which will bring you to downtown Faro and the main bus station in about 20 to 30 minutes. The company that operates the buses is called “Proximo” and the ticket fare is 2.25 Euros.
Additionally, passengers can book a private transfer, rent a car or take a taxi.
If you would like to hire a shuttle that can take you to a specific address in Faro, you can find such service from tourist agencies or private tourism operators. They all set their own prices so you can decide whether the offer you receive suits your budget.
Taxis can always be found around the airport but if you would rather order one, you can do so by phone. A cab ride to the city centre takes about 10 minutes and the average price for a ride between the airport and Faro city is 10 Euros. However, if your route includes toll taxes, these will be added to the final amount, along with the fare for the distance covered. An additional fee will be also charged if you have items larger than 55x35x20 cm.
The airport is close to the A22 motorway, which connects different cities in the Algarve region and ensures a direct connection to Lisbon and Spain. If you would like to explore the area in the best way possible, to have freedom and convenience, and to be able to visit the most beautiful beaches, hiring a car at Faro airport would be a great idea.
Companies like Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Avis-Budget and Enterprise all have desks at the airport itself, but there are many other car hire firms that have offices just outside the terminal building.
Airlines and destinations
Farò Airport is a focus city for the low-cost companies easyJet and Ryanair. Here is a complete list of the airlines that operate from Faro Airport:
- Aer Lingus
- Air France
- Air Nostrum
- Air Transat
- British Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Corendon Airlines Europe
- EasyJet Airlines
- Edelweiss Air
- Enter Air
- Jet Time
- SAS Scandinavian
- SMARTWINGS A.S.
- Swiss International
- TAP Portugal
- TUI BELGIUM
- TUI Thomson UK
- Vueling Airlines
- Wizz Air
- TUIfly Germany.
Even though the Algarve region is a year-round resort, a big part of the flights operated to and from Faro Airport are seasonal (the summer months are the busiest), especially the ones with destinations in England, Germany, and the Nordic countries. Additionally, all of the offered destinations are
European except one - Air Transat operates a flight to Toronto, Canada.
|Notice Given||Arrival at Final Destination|
|14 Days or More||
|7-13 Days||A delay of more than 4 hours|
|Less than 7 Days||A delay of more than 2 hours|
Faro airport offers a wide range of services and facilities for its visitors. Apart from the basics like an information desk and tourist information, medical services, ATMs, and a police station, passengers can also find currency exchange offices, duty-free stores, various restaurants, cafes, and shops. There is also free Wi-Fi connection all over the airport.
We hope that our extensive Faro airport guide has been helpful and you will enjoy your trip to Portugal. If, however, you experienced a flight disruption such as a flight delay, cancellation, or if you were denied boarding due to overbooking at the Portuguese airport, we at SkyRefund will gladly help you claim your rightful financial compensation (ensured by European Regulation EC 261/2004).
Check your eligibility now and submit your claim with us, we will take care of the rest and make sure you receive what is rightfully yours. We work on a “No win, no fee” basis, so you will only have to pay a commission fee of 35% from the compensation amount when we successfully win your case. Our team of legal experts will do everything possible to claim your money back!