By ELOÏSE WALTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors to Faro airport will soon be able to benefit from an alternative mode of transport by hiring bicycles and pedalling into the heart of Faro city centre while their luggage is transported by car.
Start your holidays from the airport is the slogan for the new service, which has been created as a result of a partnership between ANA Aeroportos, private company Megasport and the regional tourism board (ERTA), among others.
As soon as people land at Faro airport, the only one in Portugal to be located in a nature reserve, the Ria Formosa, visitors can hire a bike and travel along a 20 minute circuit into Faro, while their luggage is transferred to their accommodation.
Visitors can also choose an itinerary of activities during their stay including cockle picking, kite surfing and travelling by train along the region.
Fernando Canteiro, director of the programme said: “Clients can choose activities ‘á la carte’ such as horse riding, museum and gallery visits, boat trips and much more to create their own itineraries.”
He added: “It is a way of creating new tourism products for the region with little investment, looking at what already exists in a different way.”
The cost of these activities varies according to the type of accommodation, from five star to three star, and according to the activities chosen by clients.
The project is due to start in September and will run throughout the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, the Faro-based shopping centre Forum Algarve has also developed a partnership with Faro airport to provide shoppers with up-to-date flight information in the centre.
The partnership means that real-time flight information boards are available at the customer information desk and in the food court at Forum Algarve for people to check on their flights.
According to Forum Algarve: “This service will allow Forum Algarve to make the most of its proximity to Faro’s international airport for tourists who have flight delays or long waiting times to walk around and do some shopping.”
The shopping centre is also preparing to make lockers available to visitors who want to leave their luggage in a secure place while waiting for a flight at the airport.