The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, commonly referred to as the Portimão Circuit, was opened in the autumn of 2008 at a cost of €195 million. The circuit was built in just seven months and would later include a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.
The first major event the circuit held was a round of the World Superbikes Championship in November 2008, which it has continued to host annually. Other series to have previously been held at the circuit included rounds of the A1GP championship, the Le Mans Series, FIA GT, WTCC and GP2.
It was hoped that Formula One racing would be held at Portimão Circuit, with testing held there in late 2008 and early 2009. However the circuit experienced severe financial difficulties and was eventually taking over by the State-owned Portugal Capital Ventures in 2013.
Formula One was finally held at the circuit in October 2020, as part of a revised calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was the first Portuguese Grand Prix since 1996, which was held at Circuito do Estoril from 1984 to 1996.
Location & Travel to Portimão Circuit
The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is located approximately 20 minutes from the port city of Portimão, in the popular region of the Algarve in southern Portugal.
Air: The closest international airport is Faro Airport, which offers low cost flights across Europe. The airport is approximately 80 kilometres from the Portimão Circuit with a journey time of about 55 minutes along the A22 motorway.
Lisbon Airport offers a wider range of international flights but is a 2 hour 30 minute drive to the north of the circuit.
Driving: The circuit is approximately 4.5 kilometres north of the A22 motorway. If heading from Lagos or Portimão head on the A22 motorway, exiting at Mexilhoeira Grande and following the signs to the circuit.
Train: The closest rail station to the circuit is at Portimão, which is the second to last stop on the Faro to Lagos service which runs several times per day. The station is about a 20 minute drive from the circuit.
If travelling from Lisbon, you will need to change at Tunes. It will however be quicker if heading straight to the circuit to catch a taxi from Tunes station which is about 30 minutes away. Timetables and booking are available on the state run CP railway website.
A weekend ticket for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix range from €225 for a ticket in the South Stand to €665 to the Upper Level Grandstand. Tickets are available to purchase on the official circuit website.
Where to Stay in the Algarve
The Algarve Race Resort is the five star hotel which overlooks the racetrack. Alternatively use TripAdvisor to find some great places to stay in Portimão or the wider Algarve region by clicking on the relevant links.