Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Scandanavian Flights - Sterling Bankruptcy

The Algarve again is being hit by the current global recession.

This morning, Sterling A/S, the Icelandic owned Scandanavian based Low Cost operator has declared bankruptcy.

This affects twice weekly flights from Faro to Copenhagen, Stockholm and a weekly flight to Oslo.

This leaves Faro without any direct link to Stockholm to Copenhagen. Oslo still has a flight link to Faro via Norwegian Air Shuttle.

This a serious blow to the Algarve as a winter destination for Scandanavian Passengers. One can only hope that Easyjet, Ryanair, Air Berlin or TuiFly step in to fill this gaping hole.


Serra da Estrela or Guarda to Salamanca

From Guarda your only routing to Salamanca will be as follows:


1 train per day - Sud Express.

Depart: Guarda 20.42
Arrive: Salamanca 0.05


There are two buses per day operated by

Depart: Guarda 12.45
Arrive: Salamanca 16.45

Depart: Guarda 23.30
Arrive: Salamanca 03.30 (Next Day)

Note from whichever town you will be in, in the Serra da Estrela, you will have to get a local bus to Guarda.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Hotel between Lisbon and Guia

Although it is less that 100km from Lisbon, I frequently use the Ibis Setubal Hotel which is about 40km from Lisbon Aiport on the old Lisbon to Algarve road.


It is ideal for kids as there is a garden and a pool.

Access is via Setubal and you can rejoin the motorway at Marateca.


Further south there are not many hotels of quality as folk tend to make the Lisbon to Algarve run in one fell swoop.

In my opinion and experience this would be the best option.

You are then less than 2 hours by motorway from Guia in the morning.

Be aware that the motorway is a toll road.

Mobile Phone Providers in Portugal

There are three main mobile providers in Portugal - TMN, Vodafone and Optimus.

They all offer PAYG (Pay as you go!)

At present they do not require registration. you can just go in and pick one up.

If you are buying a sim you must make sure you have an unblocked mobile as even vodafone portugal sims will not work in vodafone mobiles from other countries.

Vodafone tariffs here: (in Portuguese)

for the others have a look at

Lagos - Cantinho Algarvio

Restaurante Cantinho Algarvio in Lagos is having a tapas evening on the night of 8th November 2008. € 15:00 per head.

Cantinho Algarvio
Rua Afonso de Almeida 17-21 - Lagos
8600-674 LAGOS

Bookings: 282 761289 or

Monday, 27 October 2008

Buses between Portimão / Faro and Evora

The following are the current bus schedules between Portimão / Faro to Evora operated by Rede Expressos -

PORTIMAO EVORA Only Sundays except Public Holidays when runs on Monday.
Depart Arrive
17:20 21:15
Price € 15.00

PORTIMAO EVORA Only Sundays except Public Holidays when runs on Monday.
Depart Arrive
14:30 18:15
Price € 15.00

Faro Evora - Daily
Depart Arrive
08:15 12:30
11:15 15:30
16:30 20:45

Evora Faro - Daily
Depart Arrive
09:00 13:05
14:30 18:25
17:15 21:05

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Transport Option from Faro Airport to Lagos

The price for a taxi from Faro Airport to Faro station is currently in the order of between
€ 11.00 and € 13.00 plus possibly bag charge.

The price of train a train ticket from Faro to Lagos is currently €6,15 per person.

As you do not indicate where you are staying in Lagos it is difficult to price taxis but lets add € 20.00.

Total Cost: 5 x €6.15 + € 13.00 + € 20.00 = € 63.75

Lets say € 65.00

Currently, quoted prices for Faro Airport to Lagos for a six seater taxi is € 90 to € 110 & possibly bag charge.

So the costs of travelling by train are less.

Two provisos, however:

1) There are often no taxis waiting at Lagos station when trains arrive.
2) At present, the last train leaves Faro for Lagos at 20:11

You may find a transfer service more appropriate:

For example:

are currently quoting € 77.50 for transfer of 5 people directly from Faro Airport to Lagos.

This avoids the hassle of 2 cabs and will take you to the door.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Santarem Hotels

Santarem is not far from Lisbon and other tourist centres such as Fatima which is why there are a few hotels there.

Have a look at the following:

Hotel Alfageme*** - Santarém

Hotel do Prado*** - Santarém


Friday, 24 October 2008

New Low Cost Hotel Chain in Portugal - Star InnHotels

Sergio Bastos of this morning cites a report in the Portuguese Press of the opening of a new "low cost hotel" in Porto operated by the group Star Inn.

The companies website is here:

The First hotel opened on the 22nd October 2008 according to the company website.

The company envisages another ten hotels throughout Portugal over the next 5 years. also reports that the Easy Group will be opening a hotel in Porto in the first three months of 2009.

Bus/Train travel from Praia da Rocha to Porto

As indicated by algarveholidayer the train from Portimão Station is a good option.

1) Train

From Praia da Rocha you would need to get a local Vai-Vem shuttle bus via Largo de Dique (Lines 5 & 6) from Praia da Rocha to Portimão Station.

If early in the morning you may need to take a cab the 15 minute drive to the station.

See Cubsur's excellent page on this here:

From Portimão you would need to get a local train to Tunes Junction - about 35 minutes.

At Tunes you would connect with either one of the twice daily Alfa-Pendular Services that run through to Porto via Lisbon or get one of the Inter-City Services to Lisbon Gare Oriente Station where you would connect with a Lisbon to Porto Train.

As Algarveholidayer indicated timetable info is available on the site.

You can find a direct link to the pdf version of the current CP timetable for this route on my blog:

Scroll down on the right and you will find at panel entitled:

»» Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

In this panel look for:

>>>Portuguese Railways - 2008 - Lisbon - Algarve Faro/Lagos Timetable

>>>Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable

Click on each to download the timetables in pdf form.

You are looking at a minimum of 6,25 hours for the services using the fast Alpha Pendular from Tunes.

2) Bus

If you also look in the panel on my blog entitled

»» Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will also find two links entitled:

# RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable (pdf)

# RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Porto timetable (pdf)

Renex ( operate seven daily bus services from Praia da Rocha to Lisbon Gare de Oriente Coach Station.

Renex also operate connecting buses to from Lisbon Gare de Oriente Coach Station to Porto.

The minimum transit time on this route is about 7.5 hours.

Health Spa in Lagos

Try the Solinca Health & Fitness Club underneath the Aqualuz Hotel:

Morada:Aparthotel Aqualuz, R. Sacadura Cabral, nº8 . 86000 Lagos
Tel: 282 780 150
Fax: 282 770 628


(Needs Flash)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Lisbon to Porto - Estadio de Dragão (FC Porto FC)

Firstly you need to understand the route.

There is no Metro at Lisbon Airport yet.

You would need to get a cab from Lisbon Airport to Gare Oriente Station.

This would take between 10 and 15 minutes dependent on time of day.

From there you would have to get a train to Porto Campanha Station.

Transit time about 2hrs 40 mins to 2hrs 50mins.

From Porto Campanha you would then need to get the Metro to Estadio de Dragão - The Porto Stadium.which is the terminus and four stations down on the ABC and E lines

To be safe and allow for problems you therefore need to allow 4 to 4.5 hours for the trip.

For information on the Porto Metro see:

For information on the train times Lisbon to Porto go to my blog at

Scroll down in he right hand panel till you find the section:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find a link entitled:

"Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable"

Click on it and you will be able to download the current timetable in pdf format from Portuguese Railways for the Lisbon - Coimbra - Porto service.

Hope this helps.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Lagos - Algarve - Seville Bus Service

Thanks to Cubsur for this.

The timetable for this twice daily service has now changed to the winter service and are operating 2 daily every day of the week!

This is a change from what had previously been advised.

Timetable here:

From Site of EVA Transportes

Lagos Sevilha 06:30 13:00 Diariamente
Lagos Sevilha 13:45 20:15 Diariamente

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

lisbon to cadiz

Without a doubt the most enjoyable way will be by hire car.

There is no convenient train services (you would have to go via Madrid and Seville), nor flights, (you would have to go via Madrid.)

As regards buses, operate Lisbon Oriente (10 minutes from the Airport by cab) to Seville Daily via the Algarve.

LISBOA OR. SEVILLA 09:30 17:45 Euro 76,00 Daily Return
LISBOA OR. SEVILLA 20:45 05:45 Euro 76,00 Daily Return

TG Comes ( operate coaches between Sevilla to Cadiz every couple of hours.

On weekdays there are services leaving at 19:00 and 07:00 which would tie in with the arrival from Lisbon.
Return Price would be about Euro 23:00. Transit is under 2 hours.

Your round cost by bus would therefore be about Euro 100.00. For two people this would work out at Euro 200.00

The problem with this route is that it involves around 12 hours travel each way in a bus.

By Car, you have the chance to be more flexible and see more of both Spain and Portugal.

A Scenic route which I have driven much off as as follows: (Courtesy - Google Maps/Tele Atlas)

Driving directions to Cádiz, Spain from Lisbon Airport
521 km – about 6 hours 31 mins

See: Google Map at:,+Lisbon,+Portugal&daddr=IP2+to:37.874853,-6.514893+to:Cadiz,+Spain&hl=en&geocode=%3BFRSgRAIdgNWH_w%3B%3B&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=2&sz=7&via=1,2&sll=37.605528,-7.602539&sspn=4.046645,9.437256&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=7

This routes you via the Alentejo region of Portugal, The town of Beja, the town of Serpa, (Great place for layover - see Casa da Serpa in the right hand panel), Seville in Spain, and Cadiz.

As regards Car Hire, I would suggest that you look at Auto Jardim - website here:

They have offices at Lisbon Airport. Make sure that you tell them you are travelling to and from Spain.

Also remember we in Europe mainly use manual shift vehicles. Make sure if you need an automatic to specific this.

In November this year, rental prices for a week without optional insurance etc start from Euro 100 for a small hatchback.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Southern Portugal Itinerary

Sintra is only 30kms from Lisbon and is in fact now virtually a suburb of Lisbon.

I would suggest something along the following lines:

Full Day 1 -- Lisbon - See the Baixa, Alfama and possibly take the tram to Belem to see the Jeronimos Monastery and the tower of Belem.
Full Day 2 -- Lisbon - Take the Train from Rossio Station to Sintra (+- 60 minutes by train)- Full day in Sintra and/or take a bus to Cascais (Scotturb 403 every 75 minutes or so) or Estoril . Return from Cascais by train to Cais de Sodre station (+- 45 minutes). Wander up to the Bairro Alto for dinner.
Full Day 3 -- Lisbon - Tidy up what you didn't achieve on the first two days.
Full Day 4/5/6 -- Pick Up car at Lisbon Airport - Head North to Obidos, Batalha, Alcobaça and Nazare as public transport links to these from Lisbon are slow and convoluted. You might even have time to stay in Coimbra. There are IBIS Hotels in Leiria and Coimbra which might be good economic bases to stay at.
Full Day 7 - Head back via Santarem and the inland bank of the Tagus to Evora.
Full Day 8 - Day in Evora
Full Day 9 - Leave Evora and travel via Monsaraz (Fortified Hill top town) and Alqueva Dam to Serpa. (I recommend Casa da Serpa - see )
Full Day 9 - Travel via Beja and Mertola to Tavira.
Full Day 10 - Tavira and possibly old Town Faro or pop over the Guadiana to Ayamonte in Spain for Tapas.
Full Day 11 - Tavira
Full Day 12 - Lagos - Explore Lagos
Full Day 13 - Lagos - explore West Coast to Sagres.
Full Day 14 - Leave Lagos and make your way by car up the West Coast to Setubal. Stay at the IBIS just outside Setubal. Explore are and then head for Lisbon Airport (40 minutes).

I understand your concerns about driving on the wrong side. However, once you are clear of Lisbon, things are very easy as we have an excellent motorway system. To undertake the itinerary you want to do, hiring a car is the only realistic option if you don't want to spends hours grinding around on local buses or trains. This is particularly true when trying to visit Obidos, Nazare etc.

Check out some of my comments about this on my blog:

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Lisbon - Rocha Conde Obidos Cruise Terminal

Alcantara Doca as I said is the main dock for Cruise Liners in Lisbon, although there are some facilities at Sta. Apolonia.

However,there are several different quays at Alcantara, one of which is "O Terminal de Cruzeiros da Rocha Conde de Óbidos".

Link here to the relevant page of the the Port Authority here: (in Portuguese)

Google maps link here:,-9.162244&spn=0.003893,0.009216&z=17

The quay is 3 km from Praça de Comercio and about 5 km from Zuzabed.

Zuzabed is about 9km from the Airport and look at between Euro 10 and 20 depending on time of day and week and whether you have bags.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Birmingham to Porto - Winter 2008

I really do not think it is necessary to fly to Faro.

Ryanair fly Birmingham to Porto and are showing flights twice a week in December on Mondays and Fridays.

Flight No.FR 1072 16:15 Depart Brums 18:45 Arrive Porto.

From Porto Airport you can get a metro to Porto Campanha taking about 30 minutes and then a train from Porto to Coimbra.

You could then catch the 20:47 train from Porto Campanha arriving Coimbra-B at 21:44.

Alternatively, Easyjet fly several times a week from Luton to Lisbon. Prices for December as very low but departure time is very earlier at circa 06:35 or 08:35.

Again, fly to Lisbon, grab a cab for € 10 to Gare Oriente Station. There are hourly trains to Coimbra taking between 1 hour 45 min and 2 hours.

To see the timetable for the route go to my blog at

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find a link entitled:

"Porto - Lisbon - Porto Train Timetable"

Click on it and you will be able to download the current timetable from Portuguese Railways for the Lisbon - Coimbra - Porto service.

Below you will find the timetable for the Faro Line as well.

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Timetable of trains Porto - Vigo

Have a look at these previous articles on my blog.

Note the service offered

Also, if you go to my blog at:

Scroll down on the right until you reach the panel entitled

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find a link entitled:

"Porto - Vigo Train Timetable (PDF)"

Click on it and you will be able to download the current timetable from Portuguese Railways.

You may find it better to use one of the cocah services operated by which operate via Porto Sa Carneiro Airport to Corunha.

Current Services and one way tariff as follows:(Click to enlarge)

Monday, 6 October 2008

Travel from UK to Porto by train

I am unaware of any service that provides through ticketing from the UK to Portugal by rail.

You should check with Eurostar for the Segment to Paris.

Alternatively may be able to help although they do not have through ticketing to Portugal on their website.

It appears from (Portuguese Railways) that tickets for the Sud-express can only be bought 60 days before hand at authorised stations. There are none available online.

Lagos to Porto

Basically, there are two connections a day from Lagos.

You can get more information here at the Portuguese railways website -

There is a regional train departure from Lagos at 06:11 arriving Tunes Junction at 7h06.

There is an alpha pendular semi-tgv type train leaving Tunes at 7h26 arriving Porto - Campanha at 12h44.

There is a regional train departure from Lagos at 14:11 arriving Tunes Junction at 15h06.

There is an alpha pendular semi-tgv type train leaving Tunes at 7h23 arriving Porto - Campanha at 20h44.

The Price 2nd class will be € 48.85 per person each way.

You should check prior to departure at Lagos Station as winter timetables are not yet out.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Loule to Lisbon by Train

Timetables are available from Portuguese railways at

However, if you go to my blog at

and scroll down the right hand side you will find a panel entitled:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

if you then scroll down this panel you will then find an entry entitled:

Portuguese Railways - 2008 - Lisbon - Algarve Faro/Lagos Timetable

Click on it and you will be able to download the latest timetable in pdf format.

I don't know if you know Loulé but if not be aware that Loulé station is 5 kms or so from Loulé and surface public transport to the station is patchy at best.

As regards prices, these should range between € 17.50 and € 19.50 per person one way.