Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Lisbon to Tarifa/Algeciras


The only feasible way at present to do this route by Public Transport is by bus. From December 2007 Vueling.com will be operating a low cost flight Lisbon to Sevile three days a week.

You need to take the twice daily ALSA.ES bus from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Sevile and then a TRANSPORTES GENERALES COMES or ALSA.ES bus from Seville to Tarifa / Algeciras.

For timetables and more info see:

Cubsur's excellent site at:

The only feasible way at present to do this route by Public Transport is by bus. From December 2007 Vueling.com will be operating a low cost flight Lisbon to Sevile three days a week.

You need to take the twice daily ALSA.ES bus from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Sevile and then a TRANSPORTES GENERALES COMES or ALSA.ES bus from Seville to Tarifa / Algeciras.

For timetables and more info see:

Cubsur's excellent site at:


(Alsa.es timetable at bottom of the page)

and Alsa.es timetables at:




You might also find this post on my blog interesting:


Monday, 30 July 2007

Sintra and Cascais in one day

You can do both places in one day.

You can take train from Lisbon Entrecampos Stations to Sintra.
(40 minutes)

Then spend a few hours there.

Then get the Scotturb bus to Cascais via Cabo da Rocha.
See this post on my blog from more info in the Sintra to Cascais Bus Service.


Have a late afternoon meal there and wander back to Lisbon Cais de Sodre Station on the Linha da Cascais train. (45 minutes)

Note: Trains are cheap.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Algarve Late-Night Arrivals Supermarkets

The best bet is the Jumbo hypermarket in Faro.

See this link:


They are open till 24:00.

To get there from the airport do the following:

Get on the main road out of the airport and follow the signs for Faro.

After about 3kms you will see an off-ramp to your right for Faro.

Take it!

Watch for the traffic merging from the left as you enter the N125 dual carriageway.

Continue about 1,5km and you will see on your left the shopping center "Forum Algarve".

You will then immediately come to a roundabout.

Go 270º around the roundabout and take the entrance to the shopping centre.

Park above or underground.

You will find Jumbo there.

On leaving the shopping centre follow the signs for Lisbon which will eventually bring you to the Via de Infante Motorway and follow the signs for Albufeira, Portimão, Lagos.

Lisbon to Madrid

There are several airlines operating the route Lisbon - Madrid.

- Iberia - www.iberia.com

- TAP/Air Portugal - www.flytap.com

- Vueling - www.vueling.com

There are lots of daily flights between the two centres.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Lisbon Cacilhas Almada Cristo Rei (Christ the King)

The name of the suburb you want to get to is Almada.

There are ferries from Cais de Sodre to Cacilhas/Almada with services every 15 minutes or so.

Then you would need to catch the 101 Cacilhas to Cristo Rei bus from Cacilhas to the Statue.

There are bus services every 20 minutes.

Timetable here:


The name of the statue in Portuguese is Cristo Rei. (Christ the King)

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Travel from Lisbon to Seville

There is no train service directly between Seville and Lisbon.

As from 1st December 2007, Vueling will operate Seville - Lisbon on Monday's, Wednesday's and Saturdays.

TAP Air Portugal have announced that they will also operate the route from Autumn but have not confirmed dates yet.

At present the only direct way by public transport is by bus.

There are two companies currently operating the route.

Alsa and apparently Casal. (The latter does not have a website and I haven't been recently to Seville nor Gare Oriente to be able to confirm.)

You can find the Alsa timetables here on cubsur's excellent site:
Go to the bottom of the page.


Also see the following blog articles page:


Sunday, 22 July 2007

Vacations in the Med - Too hot?

An interesting article in the London Oberver today!


Over-heated Med stokes tourism fears

It will be interesting to see what this implies for Portugal and particularly the Algarve.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Travel from Carvoeiro to Seville (Cadiz)

Whoooa There!

Seville and Cadiz are totally two different cities 130kms apart.

To get to Carvoeiro from Cadiz you have to pass through Seville. The distance is approximately 370km each way.

With the usual traffic congestion in the area of Seville and stops you could be looking at 4 hours 30 minutes each way.

It also depends when you are travelling. If in June, July, August, early September, temperatures in the area of Seville can top 40ºC during the day. It would therefore be politic to have a car with air conditioning or start very early circa 5:00 a.m. to beat the heat.

As cruise ships only tend to layover for a day or two it might be better to meet in somewhere like Seville which is 2:30 min to 3 hr. from Carvoeiro.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Portugal, Spain, Morocco

Some observations:

1) Seville & Cordoba in August will be hot hot hot! (Possibly +40ºC between 11:00 and 17.00) You will be hard pushed to do much therefore in two days. If time is a constraint I would recommend scratching Cordoba and spend two days in Seville.

2) Day 12 Tarifa - Lagos is going to be a very long day, you will have to route via Seville as previously explained:

Timetable for coaches between Tarifa and Seville can be found here:


The bus at 08:00 arriving Seville at 11:00.

There is a DAMAS/EVA bus to Lagos at 13:30 arriving 16:40.

See Cubsur's excellent site here

Note that this routing by coach is really the only feasible way of travelling by public transport from Gib/Tarifa/Cadiz to the Algarve/Lagos.

There is no train connection between Seville and Portugal/Algarve and the only flights between Mainland Spain and Portugal is the Ryanair Faro to Madrid Flight 4 days a week.

There are no direct flights between Faro International Airport (Airport for the Algarve - situated 70kms from Lagos) and Faro. TAP/Air Portugal offer a service but it routes via Lisbon and is a pain owing to frequent delays and cancellations.

A much better way to visit Porto would be to catch the early train from Lagos which connects with the Alfa-Pendular Express from Faro and arrives Porto at 12:44.

If you go to my blog at:


scroll down on the right till you get to the panel entitled:

>>Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find a link entitled:

Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable.

Click and you will download a timetable for the Alfa Pendular Service including the service from Faro.

You can also find in the same panel a link to the Algarve line train timetable.

A final thought now I have come to think about it!

Spanish airline ClickAir operates Barcelona - Tangier although costs of flights in August are expensive. Early August - + Euro 300. Mid August onwards circa Euro 170.00 & taxes. However, if you are already flying to Seville.....

So you could fly Barcelona - Tangier direct spend your few days in souks seeing the carpet salesmen and then take the ferry to Tarifa.

Then take the bus to Seville.

Spend a couple of days in Seville and maybe Cordoba and then go Lagos.

A further option is the above flights are to expensive is to fly Barcelona to the airport at Jerez la Frontera near Cadiz and then get a bus teh last 130km from there to Tarifa. Spanish low costs SPANAIR, CLICKAIR, S.A. and VUELING AIRLINES appear to operate this route according to AENA the Spanish airports authority.

Then ferry over to Morocco and then do Seville on your way back.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Easyjet - New Routes - Lisbon and Madeira

Easyjet have announced today that they will launch the following services from end of October 2007.

London Stansted – Funchal (Madeira)
Bristol – Funchal (Madeira)
Bristol – Lisbon
London Gatwick – Lisbon

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Seville to Porto via the Algarve Coast and Lisbon

There is so much history on the route you have outlined that books have been written about it.

From prehistoric times when men erected dolmens and worshipped the setting sun near Sagres, through the eviction of the Moors, the Portuguese Voyages of discovery to the Napoleonic Wars when Wellington erected the Lines of Torre Vedras north of Sintra your route will take you through such a wealth of History that it is impossible to recommend one and not the other.

However, here is a list you could start with:

On entering Portugal at Ayamonte from Spain:

Castro Marim - Medieval Castle
Tavira - Founded by the Romans and now traditional Portuguese coastal town.
Faro - See the old town
Lagos - Where I live! See the following link for a synopsis I have just written on this area


Going North:

Alcacer da Sal - Battle and Fortress
Setubal - Setubal and Palmela Castle
Lisbon - at a minimum

- Castelo São Jorge
Find the Chapitu Restaurant near by and sit on its terrace having lunch and enjoy the view over the Tejo


(This is on my blog. If you don't get the full url just go to my blog - details below and search for chapitu.)

- Belem Monument
- Jeronimos Monastery
- Palacio - Queluz

Sintra - Pena Castle

Heading North -

Obidos - Old walled city
Batalha - Cathedral
Alcobaça - Monastery
Fatima - Catholic Sanctuary
Coimbra - one of the oldest Universities in Europe
Nazare - Old traditional Fishing Town
Porto - 2nd City of Portugal, Potr Wine, Douro Valley

Have a browse of my blog where you may find other posts of note:


If you are genuinely interested in Portuguese History get hold of the following book:

Portugal - A Companion History by Dr. José Hermano Saraiva. (In English) - ISBN 1 85754 211 8

This a short but very good overview of Portuguese History by a gentleman, although now in his late 80's continues to present weekly history programmes on Portuguese T.V. on some esoteric aspect of Portuguese History.

Enjoy youself

Must see/ do around Lagos ??

Well you only have a week and you haven't really stipulated your likes and dislikes but here goes:

- Lagos has been a port for over 2000 years. the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors et al have been here.

The town, together with Lisbon, Sines and Sagres, was also the point of departure for the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery in the 15th Century, which opened up the European Sea Routes round the Cape of Good Hope to India which subsequently led to the Portuguese, Dutch, & British Empires.

Just imagine a bunch of guys in a wooden vessel not much bigger than a small trawler wandering off around Africa with no compass...no GPS ...nothing.

Lagos still retains its Portuguese character:

So in Lagos, culture:

- Have a walk round the old City walls
- Check out the rebuild of the type ship (caravel) than was used by the Portugues explorers.
- The Slave Market (One of the first in Europe)
- The Santa Maria Church
- The Museum
- The Fortaleza (small fort) at the end of the Avenida. Forts of these kind were built by the Portuguese all over the place. Even seen one in Mombasa,.Kenya.

Further afield, culture:

- Tavira - 75 minutes away by car. Old traditional Portuguese fishing port in the Eastern Algarve.

- Sagres - See the Fort built by Prince Henry the Navigator to supervise the voyage of exploration. 5km away visit Cape St. Vincent the most South Westerly point of Europe. While visiting this area check out the spectacular cliff lined coast.

Other -

Monchique - Dirty Great Big Mountain that dominates the skyline behind Lagos and the surrounding area. It is hot, take run up to Monchique village with is traditional. Also run further up to Foia at the top for views of the area. 5 kms out of Monchique on the Portimão Road you will find Caldas da Monchique where there is a Mineral Spa and restaurant.

Water Parks et al:

- Slide and Splash at Lagoa


- Zoomarine at Guia


The West Coast:

West of Lagos explore the beaches at Salema, Praia da Ingrina and run up the West Coast from Vila de Bispo to Praia de Amado, Carrapateira, Bordeira and Aljezur.

From Vila de Bispo also take the little road behind the Market down to the beach at Castelejo. Car will be required.

Right if that doesn't tire you out for starters - a good meal at one of our excellent sea food restaurants here in Lagos will! :))

Lagosmar Lagos

1) The actual name of this hostelry is "Residencial Lagosmar".

2) Location - it is very central being situated right in the middle of the old town behind the market.

3) I have not been in there recently but from memory there is no bar in the Hotel.

However, you are ideally situated to tak advantage of several bars in the vicinity such as Eddie's, The Hideaway, Vin Divino and a several others.

4) Reviews - There are two recent reviews on Tripadvisor here:


Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Tavira, Salema, Evora to the North Itinerary

Wow, You want to do a lot!

I would suggest the following:

Day 1 - Faro Airport to Tavira - 1 hour - Motorway all the way.
Day 2 - Tavira to Salema - 1:45 hours - if you take your time. Motorway to Lagos and then EN 125 motoroad. In the evening nip over to Sagres (20 kms) to see the sunset at Cape St. Vincent. - The most south westerly point of Europe.
Day 3 - Salema - Vila de Bispo - Aljezur - Odeceixe - Odemira - Grandola/Alcacer/Evora or Beja/Evora - Good 3 metre roads all the way - Time 4 to 5 hours with stops and dawdling.

Evora to Lisbon via Vasco da Gama bridge will take about 2 - 2,5 hrs. I suggest you try to drop the car off at Gare de Oriente if the agency has an office there as this will avoid having to drive into Lisbon or the Airport. You can then get train via Entrecampos to Sintra or Metro into Lisbon.

Note the main Rossio train station for Sintra is currently closed for tunnel works. Trains leave from Entrecampos.

The rest of the trip sounds fine although you need to check public transport links to Spain from Aveiro. (You may get better connections from Porto.)

Meia Praia - Lagos - New Developments

The Portuguese Council of Ministers has rubbered stamped the development plan for the Meia Praia area of Lagos.

On Saturday, the Economy Minister announced that two private investors will be proceeding with developments in the area:

Palmares Resort - based around the Golf Course (I presume) with a cost of 300 million Euros and creating 450 jobs


a new Vila Galé Group Hotel

Vila Galé Lagos - (Hope is is as good as the one in Tavira.)
30 million Euros.

These are both projected to be 5 stars Hotels for opening over the next few years.

This probably means the traffic along here is going to get a lot worse.

Article (in Portuguese) can be seen here:


Monday, 16 July 2007

Sol Lagos Studios

Was at these apartments last week on a mission! :)))

The building works have finished, the portakabins gone, the car park next door has reverted to its original function - a car park!

Pool area is great and secluded. Studios and apartments were clean although a bit dated. Note no TV (Local nor Cable) The Manager is great.

It is ideally situated for downtown Lagos through the pedestrian tunnel and Praias Dona Ana and Batata are about 10 minutes away by foot.

Hopefully weather will be between 20 and 28ºC. Nights may be windy/cool.

Check out thses comments as well:


Sunday, 15 July 2007

Accommodation in Carrapateira

Depends when you are coming!

If it is over summer you may have some real difficulty as most places are already booked.

There is limited accomodation in the Carrapateira area as building is strictly controlled.

You may find it better to stay near Sagres or Lagos and drive as it is only 20/30 minutes.

Try these sites:

- http://www.solpraiaferias.com/
(Sagres/Carrapateira & Car Hire).
- http://www.algarve-web.com/rosamontes/default.asp
(Near Burgau - Nice location)
- http://www.docemaralgarve.com/aurora.htm
(Near Burgau)

Sintra to Cascais by Bus

There is a regular coastal bus service (Nº 403) between Sintra Station and Cascais Station operated by Scotturb. Unfortunately, the Scotturb website is currently undergoing a revamp (July 2007). In any event the site is not exactly user friendly.

For those who are interested here is the Summer 2007 timetable:

To view better do a right click over the image and then view in new

Note: "Partidas" means departures:

Albufeira, Lagos-where to stay for short visit

Have a look at these two places just outside Lagos near Luz and Burgau.


Situated in countryside only 1500 metres from the beach and ideal for exploring the Lagos/Sagres area. Actually in a rural location set back from roads

Not far from the above but not in the countryside.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Rent car in Spain and drop off in Portugal?

You will only be able to do this with one of the big companies like AVIS, Hertz and Europcar and I suspect that the one way fee will be substantial as the rental will be between countries. I had some kiwis last week who rented a car in Valencia and dropped it of in Huelva and then took the bus to Faro as they could not get a good deal on cross border one way rentals.

Many others have asked the same! :))))

The bus is your best answer. Then pick up a car in Faro.

Faro to Malaga

The Summer 2007 Alsa.es timetable shows a travel time of 5:30 minutes between Faro and Malaga via Seville on the night service leaving Faro at 02:00 a.m and arriving at 08:45 (Spanish Time). You would need to get a train in the evening to Faro which would take about 105 mins.

So you are looking at +- 8 hrs travel and a few hours sitting around.

There ain't any other quicker way I'm afraid as even by air via Madrid it would take this long.

See the following sites for more info:


Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Hypermarket or large supermarket on route to Tavira?

When you leave Faro airport (I assume you will have a hire car!) follow the signs in the direction of Faro.

After about 3kms you will come to an off ramp to your right marked Faro. Take it!

Follow the road into Faro (about 3 kms) till you come to a round about. Go 270º around the roundabout and follow the signs for parking.

You have arrived at the Forum Algarve shopping center.

In there, you will find an enormous Jumbo hypermarket.

To get back to Tavira, exit the Center and go back the the way you came, continue along the N125 following the signs for Lisboa until you come to the A22 motorway.

Take the off-ramp for Espana, Olhão and Vila Real and carry on for about 40kms. You will see the Tavira off-ramp.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Residential Cruise Liner - The World - Portimão

Just been over to Portimão this morning and the largest cruise vessel I have ever seen alongside was in port.

Turned out to be the "The World" registered in Nassau, with some pretty impressive stats:

Tonnage: 43188
Passengers: 699
Crew: 343
Length: 196m
Draught: 6,7m

It is the largest vessel I have ever seen enter the Arade.

There is more about the vessel here


If a 40 000 tonne plus can get into Portimão now, this bodes well for the future of cruise traffic for Algarve tourism.

Flights from Canada to Faro

The following airlines operate between Canada and Portugal



Toronto - Lisbon

Air Transat have operated charters on the route.



Monday, 9 July 2007

Barcelona to Lagos

Barcelona to Lagos!

Ryanair operated this route for two months and dropped it as they had not done their market research!

They still operate 4 days a week from Madrid to Faro. So I would recommend the following routing:

Barcelona - Madrid - Spanair/Vueling
Madrid - Faro - Ryanair

A better and probably more secure routing would be with vueling.com on their low cost flights from Barcelona to Lisbon. These are twice daily and current prices are in the order of Euro 70.00 to Euro 90.00

From Lisbon Airport, you get a taxi to Gare de Oriente, (Euro 5.00) and from there either a train or coach to Lagos.

See this article on my blog and apply its content in reverse:


Is Lagos the best place. . .

I hate to have to say this as I live in Lagos in the South, but now that I see that you want culture, history and off the beaten track, I am going to recommend that you should be heading north of Lisbon after Evora.

Much of the history of Portugal lies there in places like Setubal, Obidos, Batalha, Coimbra, Porto, Nazare, Lamego, Guimarães, Bragança etc.

The Counts of Lusitania originated in the North. The South, particularly the Algarve, were frontier areas. Indeed, the Kings of Portugal up to Manuel in 1907 were known as the "Rei do Portugal e o Algarve" - "The King of Portugal and the Algarve". The Algarve always has been a "colony".

However, if you are coming South, I recommend the following route :

- Lisbon
- Evora
- Alcacer do Sal (See the castle)
- Setubal (See Setubal and Palmela Castle)
- Cross the Sado Estuary on the ferry at Setubal to the Troia Peninsula and make your way South to Santiago da Cacem and Sines.
- From Sines wander down to Vila Nova Milfontes.
- From the latter head in the direction of Aljezur diverting a little to have coffee in the town of Odemira - Agricultural centre nestled in a lovely little valley.
- From there head to Odeceixe -
- Then Aljezur
- From Aljezur head to Lagos and base yourselves here.
- From Lagos explore

- Sagres & Cape St. Vincent (35 kms.)
- Tavira - (100kms)
- Monchique - (20 kms)

Seville to Guarda

This will not be an easy one!

The problem is that there are no, repeat no, direct train services between Seville and Portugal. Also most train services from Seville head in the direction of Madrid.

Also even routing via Madrid, will not help as the only International train passing through Guarda is the Lisbon - Paris train and this bypasses Madrid. Even bus services via Madrid will be longer than via Lisbon.

Given that you only have 4 days the fastest way for you to do it would be by hire car. You could run up from Seville to Badajoz cross the Portuguese border and head North via Portalegre & Castelo Branco. This will take about 6 hours. If taking this option you should you should plan to start at about 04:00 a.m. in the morning to beat the heat in inland Spain - this can be + 40ºC mid-morning in August . It is the fastest and cheapest option.

The only other option is bus/rail.

There is a bus that leaves Seville Plaza das Armas Bus Station every night at 23:59 arriving Lisbon Gare de Oriente at 06:15 the next morning.

There is an intercity train leaving Lisbon Gare de Oriente at 8h39 arriving Guarda at 12h40.

To return on the Monday you would have to catch the 06:39 Sud Express from Guarda (I suspect you will have to book in advance as it is a peak period).

This arrives Lisbon Gare de Oriente at 10:54

There is then a bus that leaves Lisbon Gare de Oriente at 11.30 arriving Seville Plaza das Armas at 19:45.

Obviously if the train is delayed you wuold miss the bus and the next one is only in the evening.

The bus services are operated by www.alsa.es and the train by www.cp.pt

You may find some other useful nuggets on my blog at:


Hope this helps

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Lisbon to Porto

You have three reasonable cost options:

1) Train

There are about 16 services per day from Lisbon Gare Oriente Station to Porto this summer.

Because the Potruguese Railways site is a bit complicated, I have made a
link on my blog where you can download the timetable:


Scroll down on the right until you come to:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on:

Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable

Transit Time will be about 2hrs30mins to 3 hrs.

2) RENEX Coach Services

Also departs Lisbon Gare Oriente

Again go to my blog where you can download the timetable:


Scroll down on the right until you come to:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on:

RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Porto timetable

Transit Time will be about 3hrs30minss.

3) Rede-Expressos

Coach Services from Sete Rios Coach Station. (Jardim Zoologico)


(Note: Site only works with IE5.5 above. )

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Internet access or wi fi in the Caldas area

Portugal Telecom (PT WIFI) has hotspots installed in Caldas da Rainha at the Post Office and McDonalds. Cost varies between Euro 5 for an hour and Euro 50 per week.

As far as I know there is no city wide wifi available at present. Check with you ISP in Ireland to see if they have a reciprocal arrangement with and ISP's in Portugal.

As far as I am aware, at present, the Portuguese ISP's offering mobile wifi (Vodafone, TMN, Kangaru and ZAPP) only offer such services on a 12 month contract sign-up on on a reciprocal roaming basis.

If you have a phone line where you are in Caldas you could subscribe to the SAPO ADSL Free option which essentially is pay on demand.

Details here:


Hope this helps.

Faro to Gibraltar

Essentially there are two ways:

1) Bus from Faro to La Línea de la Concepción via Seville

2) Drive.

Rail does not really work as there are no rail links from the Algarve to Andalucia.

For bus transport see the following post on my blog
(Note: La Linea is not much further than Jerez)


and this page on cubsur's excellent site:



Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Traveling from Hotel PESTANA DELFIM (Alvor) to Lisbon..

The Renex buses from Lagos to Lisbon Gare Oriente go through Alvor.

To make the 11.25 at Lisbon airport you would need to get the 00:45 service arriving Lisbon Oriente at 05:00 as the early morning service does not go through Alvor. Cost will be +- Euros 15:00

You could get the early morning train but you would need to get a taxi to Portimão-

For Renex & rail timetables go to my blog at:


Scroll down on the right till you come to the panel entitled:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on

RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable

to download the RENEX Timetable


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

to download the Railway Timetable.

From Gare Oriente take a taxi to Lisbon Airport - 5 minutes.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Lisbon to Evora and Fatima

Lisbon to Evora.

You have two options:

1) Rail - 3 x Trains from Lisbon Gare Station Oriente to Evora


(Summer Timetable - Transit time +-2 hours)



2) Buses from Sete Rios Coach Station to Evora. (Metro Jardim Zoologico)

Timetable here -


Warning site only works with the Evil Empire's IE5.5 plus browser!!!!

As regards Fatima I understand that rede-expressos operate buses also on this route. There are no trains nearby.

If you are going to do both places, hiring a car may be more sensible.

Lisbon to Evora is about 90 minutes. (Note: Toll Motorway)

Lisbon to Evora about 90 minutes (Note: Toll Motorway)

Hope this helps