Saturday, 30 June 2007

Lagos Bike Hire

There are places that hire bikes.

Me thinks that there is a place (sorry, can't remember the name just now!) in the Vasco da Gama centre just behind the Adega da Marina.

Only one problem though - Motel Ancora is about 2,5 kms from town and up a steep hill. Which ever route you take you are going to probably be walking for a good third of the ride. The same applies to getting to and from the nearest beaches - Porto da Mos and Dona Ana.

Remember it will also be hot.

If you don't have a car, there is there is the Nº 14 bus that passes five times a day.

The number 15 also passes nearby but at a distance of about 400m.

Note the are no bus services in the evening.

Nearby to Motel Ancora next to the Torraltinha Tennis Court in the basement you can find Sidecar Motobike Hire. Luis rents out scooters and that may be off use.

Algarve - Things to do

Firstly, I should point out that the Algarve is a region about 160 kms East to West and 45 kms North to South. It is therefore not a big region and with the A22 Motorway that runs from the Spanish Border to Lagos, nowhere in the region is less than 90 minutes drive away. (traffic permitting.)

You therefore have a chance to explore the whole region. Note, however, that you will be here at the height of summer - it will be very hot and it will be packed.

I should warn you that Luz will be stuffed full - mainly with my compatriots!

Luz really has become an English/Irish Colony. There are several restaurants there. The webite is not an official website and many restaurants don't see the need for web-marketing.

The beach will also be stuffed full.

For alternative beaches I recommend exploring the following:

From Luz take the exit for Espiche, turn left onto the EN125 and continue about 20kms until you get to the cross roads for Parque da Floresta and Salema. Turn left and left again and take the road down to Salema. It is a pretty little village with a nice beach - but again will be probably busy at that time of year.

Alternatively, carry on another 8kms. to the village of Raposeira. Turn left at the lights and follow the signs for Praia da Ingrina or Zavial. It is a loop road and you can chooses which beach you prefer. In my opinion, Zavial will be the better. Again it will be pretty busy.

However, if you continue past Raposeira and turn ledt at Vila de Bispo towards Aljezur you will come after about 20kms to Carrapateira where again there is a great beach.

This part of the Algarve is full of hidden beaches but I don't have time here to list all of them.

Be aware that Portugal is a gourmet's delight. Great food here - provided you go to the local restaurants!

In Lagos try the Dom Sebastião on Rua 25 Abril and Antonio's at Praia Porto de Mos overlooking the beach. Also, for cheap and cheerful, try Até Qu'enfim behind the Intermarche Supermarket

If you are going to explore or get to hot one day, take a trip up Monchique, the small mountain that dominates the landscape behind Lagos. Great views and Scenery. Stop at the local Spa at Caldas de Monchique for coffee, 5 kms below the village of Monchique.

Carvoeiro is pretty but then so is Salema. Silves will be hot and while maybe worth a visit there is only really the Moorish Castle to see. (Only the structure and walls not a furnished castle.)

I would suggest that Lagos itself would be off more interest as it retains much of its Portuguese Character including city walls, and old buildings. Visit the museum, the old Portuguese Fort, the churches etc.

Have a look at this Wikipedia article for more:

As regards the "Feira de N. Sra. Da Glória", don't expect anything special - These are not Mexican or Spanish Feast Days. There may be a street parade, a couple of bands and some good food but generally in Portugal these Feiras do pale in comparisom with those of the other Ibero-Cousins.

For the kids look at Dolphn Safaris from Lagos Marina.

Also have a look at Zoomarine about 30kms from Lagos.


Note that if you are feeling flush you can arrange for about US$250 per person to swim with the Dolphins.

There are also some great waterparks here:


for starters.

If things really get boring, take a trip one day to the Eastern Algarve (About 60 to 90 minutes drive.)


Estoi - Roman Ruins
Tavira - delightful coastal roman town - retaining its portuguese character.
Castro Marim - Castle

and then nip over the frontier (no border controls) and have Tapas in the town centre of Ayamonte, Spain.

For further info have a look at my blog where you may find interesting nuggets:

Just out of interest who are you hiring your car from????

Lagos Shops -

Big Supermarkets - 08:30 / 09:00 thru 20:30 / 22:00
6 days per week. Sunday half day.

Small shops

09:00 to 13:00
15:00 to 19:00

Saturday half day. Closed Sundays.

I think that pretty much addresses most of your questions.

Have a great trip.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Lisbon to Madrid


According to Michelin, Lisbon Madrid is about 628 km.

Allow 6 to 7.5 hours dependent on traffic conditions and stops.

Note that part of the distance is on toll roads.

En route three towns to visit are:

Evora - Portugal (20km of the motorway - Roman Ruins and UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Badajoz - Site of Napoleonic War Siege/Battle
Toledo - Spanish Hilltop town famed for silver working

among others.

Check out the listings on Wikipedia.

Hope this helps

Thursday, 28 June 2007

A few Albufeira Questions

Actually there is a station that serves Albufeira albeit 6kms from town in Ferreiras and has six express services daily to Lisbon.

Have a look at the following recent posting on my blog:

Also go to the main page:

On the right scroll down till you get to the panel:

>>>Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

>> below that you will find a link

↓ Portuguese Railways - Summer 2007 - Lisbon - Algarve Faro/Lagos Timetable

Click on it and you will be able to download the latest rail timetable in pdf format from CP - Portuguese Railways.

As regards renting a car if it is a villa and it is not smack bang centre you will be a bit frustrated.

A car will also allow you to explore the Algarve a bit - its not big! Read some of the articles on my blog. They may help. Additionally, if you don't find Albufeira to your liking you can with a car always easily visit other parts of the Algarve

If you do decide to hire a car - be careful. There are many cheap offers out there and then when you go to pick up the car .........say not more!

I usually recommend Luzcar who can provide you a car on arrival at Faro AIrport. Their prices appear a bit higher than others but there are all inclusive. I have know them for years.

You can find them here:

Note the recent warning that has gone out on certain forums about AirAuto. They have been withholding deposits and refunds to several clients recently and there appears to be a problem between them and clients.

The following links may also be useful:


Transport et distance entre Séville (Espagne) et Lagos (Portugal)?

(One more in French)

Il n'y a pas des avions ni trains entre Seville et l'Algarve.

La distance entre Seville et Lagos est +- 250km.

Il y a des services reguliers autobus entre Seville Plaza das Armas et les principales villes de l'Algarve.

Les meilleurs endroits pour le surf se rencontre sur la litoral ouest - 30 kms ouest du Lagos.

Regardez les sites suivantes (la majoritié malheureusement en Anglais), pour plus d'info,:

Pour les info surf:


Bon Voyage et Bon surfing!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Lagos to Lisbon by bus / train

Absolutely no problem!

There are regular coach services operated by:

Eva Transportes

Services several times daily departing Lagos Bus Station arriving Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Stations for Metro Jardim Zoologico


Services several times daily departing Lagos from their booking office next to the the Repsol Service Station on the Avenida in Lagos arriving Lisbon Orient Bus Station for Metro Gare Oriente

Timetable download in pdf format available from my blog - see below. (Click on RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable)


Summer Schedule 2007 - 6 services daily.

For timetable go to my blog at

Scroll down on the right till you come to the section:

>> Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on

↓ Portuguese Railways - Summer 2007 - Lisbon - Algarve Faro/Lagos Timetable

You will then get a pdf download of the relevant timetable direct from Portuguese Railways. I provide this link as the CP site can be a bit confusing.

Prices will vary between €16 and €30 each way depending on mode of transport and class (on trains.)

It is eminently possible to do a day round trip ...but very tiring. Better to ovrenight in Lisbon.

For more info see these sites:

Cubsur's site at


Have safe trip

Lignes des transports en commun à Lisbonne

(One more in French - Continue down for English articles)

Vous pouvez rencontrer les infos pour le metro ici:

et plan de reseau ici
Pour les lignes de bus:

et plan de reseau ici

Pour l'IBIS Jose Malhoa il n'y a pas un ligne de transport direct. C'est moins cher et plus facile prendre un taxi. Ils ne sont pas cher à Lisbonne, certainement pas plus que Euro 8.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Faro to Marbella

Unfortunately, Ryanair have recently reduced their daily service to Madrid from Faro to 4 days a week and so the option of flying low cost Faro - Madrid and then low - cost Madrid - Malaga with Spanair is not an option on 14th July 2007.

Your best bet will be therefore to get the 08:20 DAMAS/EVA bus from Faro to Seville arriving Seville Plaza das Armas at 13:00.

Form my research there appears to be a departure from Seville at 16:00 for Marbella. Transit time 3:30 mins - so arriving Marbella 19:30. The operator is AUTOBÚS DE LOS AMARILLOS. They do not appear to have a website.

My reference to this is here:

This appears to be the best option.

Où aller le soir à Lagos?

(Sorry, This one's in French - a response to a question on Scroll down for other articles in English.)


C'est vrai qu'il existe ici en Lagos une population permanente et transitaire d'une certaine taille de nos rosbifs ! ::)))

Cependant, la ville maintient toujours son caractère portugais fort et dans l'été les visiteurs portugais et espagnols dépassez les anglophones que en grande parte ont exilér vers Praia da Luz et les autres petites colonies anglophone partout l'Algarve.

Heureusement il y a pas tellement des bars et restaurants anglais en Lagos. Les portugais ont une grande tradition culinaire et même que nous avons ici maintenant des restaurants chines et indienne, il restent toujour une grande choix des bars et restaurants national.

Pour les bars je vous conseille visiter:

- Zanzibar . une petit bar dans la rue 25 abril. Cette rue est pleine des bares mais Zanzibar et la Taberna de Lagos a côté sont peut-être les plus cosmopolitaines.

- Dans la Marina du Lagoa vous pouvez rencontrer Amuras Bar que aussi a une amibiance osmopolitaine.

Pour les restaurants je vous conseille visiter:

- Antonios - Situé a la plage Porto Mos - Restauration traditionnel.
- Venetzia et Dom Sebastião - Aussi situent dans la rue 25 abril! Mais attention! Possibilité d'être plein des mes compatriots.
- Até Qu'enfim - Pour quelque chose different, plus simples et presque une restaurante d'ouvrier. Situé derrière Intermarche. On mange bien ici. Fermé les jeudis.

N'inquiétez pas! Lagos et plein des petits caf'és, bars et restaurants.

Bon sejour et Bon Voyage!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Algarve to Porto

I regret that at present there are no regular or charter coastal passenger ferry type services skirting the Portuguese Coast.

A car hire Is possible but if you are coming this summer be aware that the roads will be very busy and the climate hot. (35º to 40ºC). If you are not used to driving in temperatures like these you really need an air conditioned car.

Faro to Porto by the shortest route (motorway) according to Michelin is 550 kms. Without stops this equates to 5hrs. 30 mins. With stops you need to allow at least 6 hrs. 30 mins.

Note that both the main motorways are toll roads and in addition to fuel you would have to spend at least Euro 70 on tolls. (euro 35 each way.)

If you want a car I recommend this company - Luzcar:

I have know and rented from them for years.

My opinion is that if you want to visit Porto take the train.

The early morning service from the Algarve (Faro 06:55) gets you to Porto at 12:44. You will see a lot of Portugal on the way and it is very comfortable.

You can then have two nights in Porto and come back on day three.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Car Park - Lagos

If you in the R____ C___ Hostel or the Youth Hostel, there is a dirt car park close by (currently being rebuilt) where you will be able to park. (At present for free)

If you are coming from Malaga, follow the A22 until the off-ramp for Lagos and Sagres (Not Lagos Este.)

Follow the road into Lagos until you come to the roundabout on the EN 125. Left for Lagos - Right for Sagres.

Turn left, proceed past the Total Service Sation on the left, continue straight on at the next roundabout and after 300m pass Intermarche on the right. Continue straight through the traffic lights for 700m until you come to the next roundabout which has a dirty great big Black Ball Structure swinging on it. On your left, you wiill see Finibanco.

Turn left down the hill here, and continure till you hit the T-Junction. (200m). Turn keft there and find parking or continue 100m to the next roundabout turn right and left and then you are in the dirt car park.

To get to the above hostels - walk out the car park, turn left, through the city wall and through the square. Right hand fork for the R____ C___ - left one for The Youth Hostel.

If you really are in the centre you will have to use the pay parking or Car Park on the Avenida or use the car park mentioned aboev and walk in.

AirAuto Car Hire - Faro

There have been three recent complaints about this company on Tripadvisor Forums.

Link can be found here:


Here is a reply I wrote with some advice on how to deal with this:


If you do a search of this forum you will find at least 2 other posts about this company in the recent month from Brazil_7 and pnefan.

It is interesting that when you go to their website and click on the "about us" buttons there is no registered office which I find interesting.

However a whois search of Portuguese domains comes up with the domain registered to :

Airauto-Aluguer de Automoveis Lda
R. dos Bombeiros,Edificio Horizonte
Loja Sul
8125-208 Quarteira

A further search shows the following phone numbers:

Tel.: 289 300 200
Fax: 289 300 202

I would suggest that you might like to get together and write a letter of complaint to (I am sure English will do although translated into Portuguese would be better.):

ARAC - Associação dos Industriais de Aluguer de Automóveis sem Condutor (Portuguese Association of Car Hire Operators)
Avª 5 de Outubro, nº 70 - 9º
1050-059 Lisboa

Telef: 21-7615230
Fax: 21-7615231


On the contacts page, there is a contact as follows:

Apoio ao Turismo (Support to tourism): Margarete Ferreira

This is the association of Portuguese Car Hire Companies and from an old list I saw AirAuto may be a member.

I would also copy the letter to the Algarve Regional Tourism Authority:

Av. 5 de Outubro, 18
8000 - 076 FARO
Tel.: 289 800 400/ 289 800 477
Fax: 289 800 489


The Portuguese Assocation for the Rights of Consumers:

Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor - DECO
R. de Artilharia Um, n.º 79 - 4º
1269 - 160 Lisboa
Tel.: 21 371 02 00
Fax: 21 371 02 99

and the Portuguese Govt. Economic Affairs Watchdog

Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica
Av. Conde de Valbom, 98
1050-070 Lisboa

Tel 21 798 3600
Fax 21 798 3654


Regional Office for the Algarve:

Direcção Regional do Algarve
Edifício da Direcção Regional do Algarve do Ministério da Economia
Estrada da Penha
8000-117 Faro
Tel 289 880 140
Fax 289 880 143

Make sure your letters are detailed and explain where the conflict was.

Point out that the terms & conditions that were applied to you that did not appear on the website or on the contract.

I would also copy your letters to AirAuto so that they can see that action is being taken. Also mention that this has been reported on various travel forums on the Internet.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Lagos to Seville Bus - Some Seville Hotel Links

The buses from Lagos to Seville terminate at the Plaza das Armas Bus Station on the the southern edge of the Central Business District.

Unfortunately, several hostels and hotels in the area have been demolished recently. When I now go to Seville I stay at the IBIS on the road to the airport (Avda. Kansas City) as parking is a pain in the centre.

You can find a list of hotels hear:

Also look here:


6 days around the Algarve

Firstly, be aware that August is ultimate high season here in the Algarve.

Most of the beaches will be full and if last year was anything to go by much of the reasonably priced accomodation witl be heavily occupied.

There are essentially two areas you should try:

1) Around Tavira in the Eastern where there are some good beaches .

2) Around and to the West of Lagos in the Western Algarve.

In Lagos we have Meia Praia, a beach with 4 kms of golden sand. Lagos itself is great having culture, history and a great nightlife.

West of Lagos, you can consider the following places and beaches:

Salema, (Lovely fishing village)
Praia da Ingrina (Turn left at Raposeira)
Sagres - several lovely small beaches
Praia Amado - Beach (via Vila de Bispo)
Carrapateira (On the Vila de Bispo Road)

Be aware that the Algarve is not big and with the dorsal A22 motorway running the length of the region you really can be anywhere in the Algarve in under 2 hours.

As regards accomodation you may find ti difficult to arrange a place for less than 7 nights as in high season most self-catering is renting out on this basis. B&B's etc will also be full.

Have a look at my blog

and the links on the top right panel headed:


I know all these operators and am sure that on of them will able to assist you.

For these, fell free to quote my blog if you think it will help.

Also have a look at:

This has also been taken over recently by a company I know.

They all offer accomodation between Meia Praia, Lagos and Sagres and may be able to help.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Luggage on Trains in Portugal

There is no maximum baggage allowance on Portuguese trains but don't overdo it!

In August the trains will be full...full!

There are overhead shelves for light stuff and most carriages have some space at each end for baggage. Also you can usually stuff some something under the seats.

Lisbon - Coimbra - Porto

If you are travelling on the Alfa-Pendular or Intercidades in August you should book at least 24hrs. in advance.

For more info:

and my blog

where you will find an entry where I provided details of buses to Obidos from Lisbon a few weeks ago.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Travel from Faro to Porto

There are three ways to travel between Faro and Porto:


There are no direct flights between Faro and Porto.

TAP, the national airline is the only operator on the route. There are several flights per day from Faro Airport to Lisbon where there are connecting flights to Porto.

This is usually the most expensive option and not much quicker than train unless you get the very early morning service.


Since late Apri 2007l, CP - Portuguese Railways has been operating a summer schedule with two direct Alpha Pendular high speed trains per day between Faro and Porto via Lisbon.

You can download the timetables from my blog as the url is very long:

Go to:

Scroll down on the right until you come to:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on:

Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable

This will allow you to download a timetable in pdf format which shows not only Lisbon Porto services but the two through services from Faro to Porto.

Transit time will be +- 6 hours.


For Bus:

Have a look at for services. Timetables are downloadable on the left under Horarios.

There are 6 services a day with a transit time of 4 hours to Lisbon Gare Oriente.

The same company then runs about 10 services a day from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Porto. transit time 3,5 hours.

Buses leave Faro from in front of the bus station and tickets can be bought at the RENEX office opposite the bus station..

The bus will probably be the cheapest, but the train will not be much more.

For more info also see:

Short Trip from Lisbon to Spain

The first problem is that Lisbon, like most cities on the Iberian Peninsula are a long way from each other.

Trains and Bus from Lisbon to Madrid takes at least 11 hours each way. Bus to Lisbon - Seville is slightly less. (No train)

If you only have one free day I would suggest that you would be better of visiting Porto, the second city of Portugal.

The train between the two takes 2hrs 45 mins and you can easily do a nice day trip without much stress.

If you were intent on Spain I would recommend Seville as it is smaller and more do-able in one day. Bear in Mind thoug it is very very hot in June, July, August. (+-40ºC daytime)

There is a night bus service from Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus Station as follows

Dept:: Lisbon Gare Oriente: 21:00
Arrive: Seville 5:45 (local time)

The return service is as follows:

Dept:: Seville 23;59
Arrive: Lisbon Gare Oriente: 06:00

Service operator is

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Arriving by Cruise Vessel in Lisbon

Cruise Vessels usually go alongside one of two wharfs in Lisbon dependent upon draught and tonnage. As already noted there is a wharf near Stª. Apolonia where vessels do sometimes go alongside.

However, the main cruise terminal for Lisbon is at the Doca da Alcantara situated next to the 25 Abril Bridge. When I was in Lisbon last week there were at least two +30000t cruise liners alongside.

From Alcantara terminal you have a walk to about 200m to the Lisbon - Cascais railway line where you will find trains (Alcantara-Mar Station) to Lisbon (Cais de Sodre - where you can connect with the Metro), Estoril and Cascais. There is also a tram service going into Lisbon Praca Figueiras - Rossio in one direction and to Belem - Alges in the Other.

If you only have a few hours, take the tram to Praca Figueiras - Rossio which will take you really to the centre of Lisbon.

From there you can see the Castelo, wander up the Chiado etc.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Porto to San Sebastian, Spain

Apart from driving and slogging it by bus, the best way will be by train.

The overnight Sud Expresso - Lisbon to Paris leaves Coimbra at 18:26. It arrives in San Sebastian the next morning at 6:34.

If one gets the 16:52 from Porto Arriving Coimbra at 17:56 this will connect nicely.

You can find more info and nuggets at:

Monday, 18 June 2007

Faro Airport to Praia da Luz

Travelling by public transport from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz is a bit of a number:

You have four options:

1) Taxi direct from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz

The Summer 2007 officially quoted price (Faro Airport Guide )
is between Euro 79.00 and Euro 120.00. (At this price you are almost better hiring a car)

2) Shuttle Service direct from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz

See the following:

Costs circa Euro +-60

3) Bus - Train - Bus

See Cubsur's


Essentially you have to take a bus from Faro Airport into Faro Bus Station, then walk to Faro Station. Get a train from Faro to Lagos.
The walk to Lagos Bus station and then get a bus to Praia da Luz.


Bus - Train - Bus

See Cubsur's


Essentially you have to take a bus from Faro Airport into Faro Bus Station, then walk to Faro Station. Get a train from Faro to Lagos.
Then walk to Lagos Bus station and then get a bus to Praia da Luz.

4) Bus - Bus - Bus

Again see Cubsur's


Essentially you have to take a bus from Faro Airport into Faro Bus Station, then get a bus from Faro to Lagos, (soemtimes via Albufeira). Then another bus to Praia da Luz. Note last daily bus (weekdays) Depts. Lagos 19:15

In summary, unless you flight arrives before 14:00 you will probably find it difficult to get to PDL by bus/train.

Hope this helps!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Faro Madrid Ryanair

Having cancelled their service between Barcelona and Faro after only 2 months, Ryanair now appears, without announcement to have reduced the frequency on their service between Madrid and Faro to 4 flight a week.

Operating Days appear to be:


One hopes that there will be sufficient traffic to maintain these services although I suspect some politicking here on behalf of Ryanair.

I think the time is coming for operators like Spanair, Vueling etc to enter the Faro to Spain, Italy and France market.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Public Transport from Vilamoura - Faro/Olhao/Albufeira

See cubsur's for starters.

Note the following:

1) Rail

There is no station at Vilamoura. The nearest is Loulé Station at Quatra Estradas, confusingly 5km from Loulé.

From Vilamoura you would have to get a bus to Quarteira Bus Station and then one to Quatra Estradas and then the train.

2) Bus

Get a bus to Faro via Quarteira and then a bus or train from Faro to Olhão.

There is very little between trains and buses cost wise.

It will only cost a maximum 5 to 6 euros each way.

If you can get a lift to Quatro Estradas and then the train it may only be about Euro 5 return.

See this link for the downloadable summer 2007 pdf timetable for the Algarve Line from the site. Note Loule=Loule Quatro Estradas:

If this doensn't show up here properly go to my blog

On the right a little way down you wil find a panel entitled:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on the last item

Portuguese Railways - Summer 2007 - Algarve Regional Line Timetable

You should be able to download the timetable from there!

Hope this helps

Lagos - Camp sites

Lagos is woefully equipped with decent campsites near town.

The old campsite Camping Trinidade in the centre behind the old football stadium is small and not well equipped for campavans.

Camping Trindade *
Apartado 680
8900-512 Lagos
Tel. ++351 282-763893
Fax. ++351 282-762885
-Open 1/1 - 31/12 - Beach at 200m.
restaurant, bar, snackbar, pool (at 500m), playground, minimarket.

Camping Orbitur-Valverde *** - (near Luz at 1,5 km.)
Praia da Luz - Valverde
8800-283 Lagos
Tel. ++351 282-789211/2
Fax. ++351 282-789213
-Open 1/1 - 31/12 - Beach at 3 km.
restaurant, bar, pool, playground, animation, tennis, minimarket.
Mobile home service station
Tents, Caravans and Bungalows for rent.

This one is situated about 5km from Lagos and 2km from Praia da Luz.

It looks fine from the road with plenty of space.

Camping Turiscampo Espiche **
(near Luz at 2 km.)
Estrada Nacional 125 Espiche
8600 Luz
Tel. ++351 282-789265
Fax. ++351 282-788578
-Open 1/1 - 31/12 - Beach at 2,5 km.
restaurant, bar, snackbar, minimarket.

This is on the N125 about 7 km from Lagos and 3km from Luz. It is in walking distance of Espiche Village. It looks fine from the road with plenty of space.

Note there are restrictions now on taking campavans into the old town of Lagos and the Council is now very tight on overnight parking in beachfront car parks. If possible it is better to bring supplementary transport as well such as bikes.

Lisbon to Seville Bus Services Summer 2007

The site you want is

The current timetable on the site shows departures as follows:


Dept:: Lisbon Gare Oriente: 11:30
Arrive: Seville 19:45

Dept:: Lisbon Gare Oriente: 20:45
Arrive: Seville 5:45

Monday to Fridays - 29th June 2007 till 30th September 2007
This appears to be a second service running parallel to the one above

Dept:: Lisbon Gare Oriente: 20:45
Arrive: Seville 5:45

Three Days In Lisbon

Three days is not a lot of time.

You could spend 3 days in Lisbon itself. Try to do Lagos and Porto as well and you will be wiped!

I would suggest skipping the others as you will not have a lot of time!

Lisbon has it all - Culture, History, Beaches, Good food ....

When you arrive in Lisbon, stay somewhere central like Residencial Alegria (which has the advantage of being next to a police station.)

[L=Residencial Alegria][/L]

Then check out the Baixa/Chiado areas, Praça de Comercio, the Alfama and the Castle - Castelo São Jorge.

On your first full day, take the train from Entrecampos station to Sintra and checked out the Palacio da Pena, the forests etc.

On the second day, take the train from Cais de Sodre to Belem or the tram from Praça Figueiras to Belem and check out the Monesterio de Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery) and the tower of Belem. After a couple of hours catch the train from Belem Station to Carcavelos or Estoril where you will find beaches. Carry-on later to the terminus at Cascais and finish you day there. Return to Lisbon on the train - 40 minutes.

Note this train line runs right along the Tejo estuary and is a great way to see a lot of the Metro Lisbon area.

Day Three - shopping and flight out

Have a great time!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Dom Manuel hotel - overbooking warning!

This is a copy of a post on the Lagos forum at TripAdvisor from SpongeRob in the Netherlands about overbooking problems with the above mentioned hotel in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal - June 2007

"Hi all,
Not nice at all... OK it can happen, but it is still strange and a bit sad for us.

We booked 3 rooms for June 15 - 22 (my parents, my brother&girlfriend, me&girlfriend) on January 3 (2007) through a big Dutch tour operator, Holland International (part of TUI) and got an instant confirmation.

Today, 3 days prior to our flight, we got a phonecall from TUI that the owner of Dom Manuel overbooked the rooms! Of course we complaint, but TUI could nothing do, because it's is a fault of the owner. But we booked allmost half a year ago. We choose this hotel for the great reviews in this forum, and it's in the walking distance of Lagos. My parents are not that young anymore.

Tui made confirmed tonight that it's Dom Manuels fault, and booked us to another hotel outside Lagos, because all options in Lagos were booked. Now were staying in Luz Bay hotel, seems also OK, but it's 5km to Lagos.

Despite, of course, we're looking forward to our trip to the Algarve!"

My thanks to SpongeRob for permission to reprint his Tripadvisor Post.

Seville Airport To Tavira

Distance 186km.

Allow 2 hours driving depending on time of day/week.

The airport is the other side of Seville from the Autovia for Huelva, Ayamonte, Algarve, Tavira.

There is a ring road that skirts Seville to the South that takes of right from the Airport - Seville road by the IBIS Hotel.However, it has a restricted speed limit. You need to therefore allow between 25 and 45 minutes to clear Seville and get onto the road South. From there allow 75 - 90 minutes to Tavira.

If you can pick and drop off the car at Seville Airport, this is by far the best option.

The only other option is long distance coach.

However, it is a hassle getting from Seville Airport to Plaza das Armas bus station. It is either a taxi or a bus to Stª Justa station and then another bus to Plaza das Armas.

See this post on my blog for info:

Also Have a look at this site which may assist:

Monday, 11 June 2007

Lagos. Algarve . Supermarkets - Week-end Opening

Pingos closes at 20:30 on Saturday Evening but is open Sunday till 13:00.

Intermarche closes at 21:00 on Saturday evening but is open Sunday till 13:00.

Modelo is open till 22:00 Saturday evening and is open Sunday till 13:00.

Plus (New german own discounter) is open I think till 21:00 Saturday and is open all day Sunday. They have a butcher and Bakery.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Lisbon to the Algarve by train

The Algarve is a region an area 160km long East to West by 40km North South. It is Portugal's Med.

There are various towns in the Algarve, Faro the capital, Portimão Vilamoura, Albufeira.

Lagos, is an old historic sea-port dating back to Phoenicians times. It still retains its old City walls. It was one of the main points of departure for the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery that opened up the route around Africa for Europe 500 years ago.

Although we have tourists here, Lagos stills retains its Portuguese ambiance.

Express trains from Lisbon to the Algarve run to Faro.

For Lagos, however, you change to a local train at Tunes Station 20minutes before Faro.

Tavira is an old Roman settlement that also retains much of its Portuguese charm. To get there you continue to Faro and take a local connecting train.

Either of these destinations would allow you, provided you travelled by day, to see a lot of the Alentejo region, South of Lisbon and the Algarve. The departure from Lisbon itself is spectacular as it crosses the Tejo estuary under the 25 Abril Bridge offering panoramic views of the estuary and Lisbon.

I suggest you travel down one afternoon, (seat on left hand side of the train to avoid the sun), have a day there, and go back the next day, (seat on right hand side of the train.)

There are also long distance coach services between Lisbon and these centres:

Travel time by train or bus between 3,5 hours to 4,5 hours

For more info, including links to timetables, have a look at:

1) Copies of earlier postings on my blog:

2) Cubsur's:


3) This very useful page.

Hope this helps

Travelling from Granada to Faro, Algarve


Sorry for the delay in reply.

Faro Bus Station is right downtown. Most of the small hostels and pensions are within 5 blocks of there. Taxis may be available at the rail station 200m but probably will not want to carry you such a short distance.

The problem is that downtown Faro at 01:45 a.m. is not the best time to be downtown Faro as the bars are closing and it is a bit unsavory unless you have someone to meet you.

I would suggest that you try to come in on the 07:30 or 16:30 from Seville Plaza das Armas.

Be aware that Faro is the District Capital and a business center. It is not exactly a tourist center and you could probably do the old centre in a couple of hours.

I would suggest that you consider laying over in Tavira or going straight to Lagos.

If you do decide to lay over in Faro and come on the 01:45 train, I would recommend the following pension which while perhaps a bit over budget is clean and near the station and bus station.

As regards driving, bear in mind that if you want to pick up in Spain and drop-off in Portugal it will cost a lot.

Additionally, if you are travelling between 1st June and 30th September you should remember that the interior of Andalucia and Portugal is very very hot. You shoulld plan to travel early morning and finish by 12:00.

If you are from "over the pond", bear in mind that most car rental vehicles here in Spain and Portugal are manual shift. Automatics attract a premium.

Transiting Seville can be a bit of a head-ache during morning rush hour, lunchtime and afternoon rush-hour.

Also from 15th July till 30th August, all roads are going to be chaotic owing to the lemming-like mass European migration from the North of Europe to the shores of the Med and Atlantic.

Road signage in Portugal and Spain is usually pretty good particularly on main routes.

A final possible option would be to take a budget evening Spanair flight from Granada to Madrid and then the next day the daily Ryanair flight from Madrid to Faro.

From Faro you can get a transfer, taxi or hire car to Lagos.

For more info see previous postings I have made on my blog at

Also check out:

hope this helps.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Valencia to Lagos Algarve Portugal

If you book now the fastest and cheapest way may be by low cost flight

Valencia - Madrid

try Spanair

and then

Madrid - Faro - daily.

It looks like the flight Madrid - Faro on that day is full but the day after is still available.

Prices look very good.

If you caught the early morning spanair flight from Valencia you should connect with the Faro flight.

From there you can either, taxi, shuttle or bus/train to Lagos.

It will still take most of the day though.

Alternatively you are looking at:

Valencia - Seville

Vueling Airlines

and then bus to Lagos

or bus all the way.

valencia - seville
seville - lagos.

You may find more useful info and links on the following sites:

and on my blog where I keep also sorts of posts on transport to and from the Algarve.

Travelling from Albufeira to Lisbon


Sorry for the delay in reply. For some reason just saw you message.

If you are prepared for a long day you can do the following:

Dept Albufeira Station: 07:18
Arr Lisbon Entrecampos 09:56


Dept: Lisbon Entrecampos 19:20
Arr: Albufeira 22:56

Note: Albufeira Station is 7 km from Albufeira in the village of Figueiras.

Note: It is unlikely you would find taxis there late at night so you would need to have one booked before to pick you up.

Note: At Entrecampos you have links to the Lisbon Metro and Taxis can easily be hailed outside the station to take you to the Baixa (downtown.)(+- Euro 6 depending on traffic)

Knowing Lisbon as I do, I would recommend that one needs at least one full day there, to do the minimum.
(Baixa, Castelo São Jorge, Alfama)

In reality you need a week to do it justice.

Best way from Faro Airport is either to pick up a hire car on arrival or to get a shuttle:

See the following sites which may help:

Taxi are another option but can be quite pricey - between Euro 50 and 60 depending on number of pax and time of day.

Algarve/Faro to Huelva/Sevilla (Summer 2007)

Algarve/Faro to Huelva/Sevilla

There are no train services between these two locations.

One can take the train from Faro to Vila Real Stª. Antonio, take a ferry over the Guadiana and then catch a connecting bus from Ayamonte Bus station to Huelva.

There are also the following direct bus services from Faro to Huelva.

DAMAS/EVA (week-days only)(1st June - 30th September 2007 - daily.)

Seville to Faro (Faro depart Bus Station.)

07:30 Monday to Friday (1st June - 30th September 2007 - daily.)
16:30 Monday to Friday (1st June - 30th September 2007 - daily.)

Faro - Seville

08:20 Faro Monday to Friday (1st June - 30th September 2007 - daily.)
15:35 Faro Monday to Friday (1st June - 30th September 2007 - daily.)

The above services originate/terminate in Lagos. The stop en route in Portimão, Lagoa, Albufeira, Faro, Olhão, Tavira, Vila Real Stª. Antonio, Ayamonte, Huelva.


Faro to Seville (Faro depart Bus Station.)



Faro to Seville (Seville Plaza das Armas)


The above service originates in Lisbon and in the Algarve calls at Ferreiras/Vale Paraiso (6 kms from Albufeira), Loulé, Faro, Tavira, Vila Real Stª. Antonio, Ayamonte, Huelva.

For more information see:

Monday, 4 June 2007

Late night Trains from Lisbon to Albufeira

If you are arriving at Faro at 22:00, you will be going through Albufeira station en route at 21:34 according to the summer timetable.

Why not get off there and arrange for someone or a taxi to pick you up from there.

Faro to Albufeira is 30'km and you will be charged +- €50 after 21:00 to go from Faro to Albufeira.

As regards booking taxis in advance this can be difficult if you don't speak the language.

There is usually at least one taxi at Faro station most of the time. Albufeira Station is at Figueiras, 7km from Albufeira. There may be a taxi there - there may not.

If you are staying at a hotel or an agency arranged apartment, I strongly recommend you ask them to arrange for a taxi to meet you at either station.

Lisbon - Restaurants with views

I strongly recommend:

The Restaurant Chapitu

near the Castelo São Jorge off the Alfama:

at Costa do Castelo, nº 1 / 7, 1149-079 Lisboa - Portugal

Best at lunchtime with a wonderful view from its terrace over the Tejo to the South.

Lisbon - Vale de Lobo - Public Transport

I lived in Almancil for 6 months and know the area well.

There is essentially no regular public transport between Almancial/Vilamoura/Loule/Quarteira and Vale de Lobo apart from Taxis.

Be aware that if you holiday there without your own transport you will be stuck "on-site".

Also be aware that taxis to and from even Almancil will be expensive as VDL is actually at least 8 kms from Almancil.

Strongly recommend that you hire a car.

If you are coming in from Lisbon, I recommend you consider picking up a car at Lisbon Airport and driving or else train/fly to Faro and pick up a car there. There are no car hire depots near train stations in the Algarve except in Faro. (Europcar/AVIS)

As Fletch55 said see Cubsur's site.

The following may also be useful:

Traditional Portuguese Restaurants Meia Praia & Lagos


There are a couple of restaurants near Meia Praia you can try:

1) In the yellow "Berlin Wall" condominium (Condominio do Mar), past the marina roundabout, on the left, as you head to Meia Praia, there is a typical portuguese restaurant which I think is called "Matildas". Turn left into the condominium and then right.

It is a typical Portuguese eatery and a lot of labourers eat there daily. It is clean and the food is good.

2) Also past the marina roundabout take the first left and carry on about 200m up to the urb. Stª. Antonio. On the left is another typical restaurant where the locals eat. Again food is good but english will be limited.

Both do lunch time menus with "pratos da dia".

Often a "meia -dose"/half helping will suffice.

3) If you have a car, try Até Qu'enfim, behind Intermarche. Again local and typical. Closed Thursdays.

Portugal - Is it safe?

I wrote this reply to post on TripAdvisor from a Portuguese colleague who was fed up withe European Press and Media in the follow-up to the Praia da Luz kidnapping case.


Tens razão!

I have now lived in the Algarve for 10 years.

It is no longer Portugal, (continuam ser "Os reis de Portugal e do Algarve!" ), it is, for good or bad, the first true Euro Region in the EU, (something I suppose Portugal could be proud of in some respects) with people of all different nationalities living in reasonable harmony!

Nonetheless, it is still part of Portugal and Portugues is the official language. However, here in the Algarve now, even in Pingo Doce or Modelo, I have to force the empregados on the tills to speak Portuguese with me, as they look at me and say "Estrangeiro, tento falar inglês!" (Foreigner, therefore I must try and speak English!)

Its tiring!

I remember 5 or 6 years ago the Governador de Distrito de Faro launched an appeal to all businesses operating in the Algarve to respect the Portuguese language and have all publicity in Portuguese. There was an improvement for a while but now in many cases it has reverted to English only.

It is amazing how many tourist and real estate related websites dealing with the Algarve are only in English. I cannot get over how many foreign-run businesses here ignore the Portuguese and Emigrante market (France, Luxemburg, Germany). Yet it is these markets together with the growing Spanish market that have kept the Algarve Tourism industry running and growing over the past few years. I personally, in my daily work, will not deal with companies that only market in English and not Portuguese!

On the funny side, I always point out to my friends that many foreigners, even those who have been here for years, only speak a maximum of 2 Portuguese words. Bom Dia e Obrigado. They have no interest what happens north of Monchique and the Serra. They do not know the name of the President, his place or origin (Cavacstão :) - No, just joking - Boliqueme), the name of the Prime Minister nor the most important religon in, not Catholicism ..... Futebol!!! ::))))

They also have no idea of the tremendous influence Portugal had in developing the modern world. I have been blessed in my life to have lived in Moçambique & São Tomé and to have visited briefly Angola, Cabo Verde & Macau. I have seen evidence of Portuguese influence along the coast of South Africa where Bartolumeu Dias & Co left their markers and Mombasa in Kenya where the Fortaleza (a practical clone of the one here in Lagos) still stands as a testament to Portuguese bravery, madness and initiative! :))

It is interesting that in the Lusophone countries the quality of spoken Portuguese is generally much better than the english spoken in equivalent former colonies.

In all Portugal has much to be proud off. It is going through some difficult economic times at present but I am exicited by the lead it is taking in development of alternative energy, for example. Who would have thought, even ten years ago, that EDP would be a world leader in wind farms by now.

It will get better and people will again respect Portugal. Its only a matter of time.

Two final thoughts about your comment about the English man in Luz on the TV complaining about the GNR. I saw that clip and asked myself:

"Well, if he could communicate with the GNR why did he not get hold of a friend who speaks Portuguese to call the GNR. "

Then I realised.... he probably doesn't have any friends who speak Portuguese!

Secondly, while the RTP,SIC & TVI reporters who were based in the UK during the intial phase of the terrible incident conducted reports in Portuguese and interviewed passrs-by in fluent english, I saw no reporters from any of the english language channels that invaded Luz and Lagos (and made life hell for us here) speak a word of Portuguese - all the time criticising the local law enforcement authorites whose first language they could not understand. Talk about press bias!

Força Portugal!

and now

Agora, teve continuar as minhas ferias no Algarve! :))))

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Lagos 101 - Students Howto

The normal destination for American College students visiting the Algarve is Lagos.

Many of your compatriots doing semester exchange programmes at colleges in Seville make Lagos their main getaway pilgrimage destination.

We have great beaches, some historic culture, plenty of nightlife, and accomodation to suit all pockets.

Look up the following on the web for more info:

Hotel wise:

Hotel Dom Pedro

Although a little bit out of town it overlooks our wonderful Meia Praia beach and is one of the only true beach hotels.

There are other great hotels near town and in easy distance of the beach such as:

The Aqualuz

Marina Club

For travel details on getting to Lagos see:

and Cubsur's

Holiday Hell

(This is a reply I posted to Tripadvisor in response to a winge about the lack tacky holiday culture on Madeira posted on TripAdvisor.)

Well said all who have replied!

It fascinates me the range of people world-wide that visit and use Tripadvisor.

The Economist Magazine last week had an article about domineering brides to be in the USA - the article was entitled "Bridezillas"

I think a lot of people are "TripZillas" when it comes to travel.

One thing is for sure there are are a considerable number who really have no interest in their destination - they want it to be "right for them" or else it's all wrong.

Worse still,, these people can't even be bothered to properly research their destinations by doing a web or forum search to view past comments. The number of times I see a question repeated, that has been answered only a few days before, is astounding.

It may be because their comprehension and literacy is so poor that the only words they understand in relation to their vacations are mono, or at best, duosyllabic - viz. sun, sea, s__, party, etc etc etc.

This planet is a wonderful place and travel is great but use travel and vacations to relax and grow wherever you end up!

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Hotel/bed and breakfast close to Lisbon airport

It is unlikely that you will find anything cheap in the b&b range near Lisbon Airport - Just a few airport type hotels.

I would recommend the Hotel IBIS Malhoa which is well situated for the Sete Rios and Praça de Espanha Metro Stations (6 -7 minutes walk) and is easily accesible by taxi from the Airport. There rates are currently Euros 55 per night for a double room. They are clean.

We often stay there when we drive up from the Algarve.

Note there is no metro link yet to Lisbon Airport. I do not recommend the buses unless you are in the know (like me! :) ) There is an airport bus to down town but I'm not sure that is where you will find the right mix of accomodation. Taxis are relatively cheap in Lisbon.

Driving in the Algarve

Firstly the good news is that according to recent statistics the quality of driving and in Portugal has steadily improved over recent years. I can vouch for this to the extent that driving in Spain these days is more "exciting" than in Portugal.

The road network is constantly being improved.

In the Algarve there is spinal motorway - the A22 Via de Infante - that runs 140km the length of the Algarve from the Spanish border at Ayamonte in the East to near Bensafrim north of Lagos in the West and 30km from Sagres the most South Westerly Point in Europe.

This motorway, which has free access, means that nowhere in the Algarve is more that 120 minutes from anywhere else. With access to the North via the A2 toll motorway at Paderne, regions to the North and even Lisbon are accessible within 3 hours drive.

From Vilamoura, I would recommend the possible following itineraries:


Vilamoura - Lagos by A22 Motorway (Exit at the Lagos Este Off-ramp)
See Lagos
Then Lagos - Sagres by the EN 125 road
Visit the villages and beaches at Salema and Ingrina
See Sagres & Cape St. Vincent
Return Vilamoura


On return from Sagres take the left turn at Vila de Bispo for Carrapateira and Aljezur.
Visit Aljezur
Return Aljezur - Bensafrim.
Pick up the Motorway at Bensafrim
Return Vilamoura.

You probably would need two trips to do the above as Lagos itself needs a day.


Vilamoura - Tavira - Castro Marim
A22 motorway

- Alcoutim.

Another nice itinerary but the second part will be very hot in August.


Vilamoura - Silves - Monchique Mountain.
A22 motorway to Lagoa
Turn left for Silves.
Visit Silves Castle
Follow signs for Monchique.

Car hire companies:

See the many posts on this forum.

I usually recommend Luzcar.

Although their prices appear a bit higher than others they are all inclusive.

You can find their details here:

Hope this helps. Others will hopefull add their comments.

Country Hotel Near Lagos, Algarve

I am pleased to announce that my friends of the Algarve-Yes have just signed a contract to manage and run Rosamontes, a small quality hotel situated in the countryside just outside Lagos between Luz and Burgau.

While only 1500 metres from beaches, bars, shops, etc, Rosamontes is almost unique in the Algarve insofar as it is surrounded by rolling countryside.

If you seek a quiet rural location for your Algarve vacation, yet close to the beach, towns and facilities, Rosa Montes is for you.

Our sixteen bedrooms all have balconies, with those situated on the front of the building overlooking the pool.

No less than 4 major golf course (Parque da Floresta, Boavista, Palmeiras and Penina) lie within 20 minutes drive of the Hotel.

The wonderful craggy west coast of the Algarve and its surfing beaches all lie within 30 minutes easy drive.

Rosa Montes is a quality country hotel that offers guests 16 quality rooms as well as 2 apartments with capacity to accommodate up to 40 people.

This is an ideal destination for large families and special interest groups. Special discounts are available for such groups upon request and dependent on availability.

For more information and their website:

Click Here

or email Maria da Jesus at