The international airports are of Lisbon, Porto,
Funchal and Faro. Throughout the country there are a
number of small airports with limited facilities. It
is possible to travel from the international airports
to many of these smaller ones but it is important to
first check, as these services are variable.
At most airports a bus can be boarded outside the
Terminal that will take you to the centre of the city.
Taxis are also usually recommended.
There is the national network of Coaches and
competing private operators who run quick non-stop
services on the more popular routes and often to
destinations not covered by trains. National Coaches
tend to be slower but its prices are cheaper. Many
private operators offer more facilities on longer runs
such as toilet, video, air-conditioning and snacks.
Prior to a long trip it is best to check what the coach
facilities are before boarding. You will find that
in major tourist areas or cities there are excellent
local excursions by coach. In almost all cases tickets
are purchased in advance.
The needs of the disabled are visibly evident with
reserved parking spaces in public areas, special
toilets at airports, stations, and centres of entertainment.
Rent a Car
In all major towns there are a number of companies
providing rent a car service. Proof of identity
and a valid current Driving Licence is required. The
minimum age to hire a car is 21 years old but some
companies' place the age higher. Make sure that all
needed documents relating to the hired vehicle and the
driver are always available in the vehicle as Traffic
Police often check these legalities on roads.
The Portuguese railway system is State owned and
has the name of Caminhos de Ferro Portuguese (CP). The
system provides a very reasonably priced transport
within the country. Major lines are fast, efficient and comfortable.
There are daily international connections as shown below.
Lisbon - Porto - Paris (Twice daily)
Lisbon - Madrid
Porto - Vigo (Spain)
Lisbon - Badajoz (Spain)
There are express trains (Alfa) between Lisbon, Porto
and Algarve. A regional train system operates
throughout the country joining up the main towns.
This system (IC) is less comfortable than (Alfa) and
is slower. There are two classes, 1st and 2nd with
the exception for local trains where there is only
one class. Special tourist tickets may be purchased
valid for 7, 14 or 21 days. There is also the Cartγo de
Familia, that gives special terms for families on
journeys over 150 kms. Outside most provincial
stations there is a normally a coach waiting to take you
to the centre as the stations can be distant from the town.
(Alfa) and (IC) tickets can be purchased up to 20 days
in advance. Other train tickets are bought on the day of travel.
In most towns of Portugal there is limited means of
transport. Taxis are mainly used and they are painted in
a cream colour, or black and green. In urban areas they
charge according to the taximeter. Outside these
areas the charge is per kilometre and this includes
the cost of the drivers return trip. Luggage over 30
kilos is charged at a fixed rate. All taxis drivers have
in their possession their printed rates in two languages.