Thursday, 29 January 2009

Buying tickets for bus services in the Algarve

I checked with the EVA Ticket in Lagos last night.

They advise that they sell tickets for the service from Faro to Seville and onwards. However, tickets must be purchased the day before travel. Also they can only be purchased on working weekdays and only between 10:00 and 12:00 and 14:00 and 17:00 as they have to phone through to an agency. This is what was confirmed to me on the phone by EVA Faro.

I have no plans to visit Faro at present but next time I am there will check this out again with EVA there.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

In Flight Catering Complaint!

I very rarely publish links to comedy - travel or otherwise!

However, the following link will take you a copy of a letter to Sir Richard Branson.

It is one of the most erudite and hysterical complaints about in-flight catering I have seen in a long time.


Car Hire - Algarve to Spain

I have always used Luzcar. They do not normally charge for taking cars over the border into South Spain.

If you read back on this blog you will find several posts about them.

I have taken their cars to Seville,(indeed the last time was a couple of weeks ago,) and that Southern Region of Andalucia, with no problem.

Their prices may appear a little higher than others but their prices are inclusive, including 2nd driver, except for optionals such as additional personal insurance cover.

Make sure that you tell them you are going over into Spain.

Their site is:

Monday, 26 January 2009

Restaurante O Prato Cheio, Lagos

Following my post on November 8th, 2009, I am pleased to advise that the family of Sr. Jõao have reopened the Restaurante O Prato Cheio in Lagos and the quality is as good as ever.

The Restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

Map here:

Late Night Transport - Porto to Coimbra

See this page on the website of Porto Airport:

There are no direct buses from Porto Airport to Coimbra.

There is a Rede Expressos bus from Porto to Coimbra at 00:45 arriving at 02:10.

Have a look at this article on my blog as to how to get from the Airport to the bus station.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Ryanair - New Flights To and From Faro

Ryanair have today announced the introduction of two new flights from Faro as follows:

Faro to Bournemouth - Begins 31st March 2009 - Operates it appears on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Faro to Bremen - 31st March 2009.- Operates it appears on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Booking is now open on Ryanair.

Pharmacies/Chemists in the Area of Avda. José Malhoa, Lisbon.

If you turn right outside the IBIS and walk down to the next turning, Avenida Basilio Teles, (Post Office - CTT is on the corner.) Turn Right and continue down to the next street:

Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro

Cross over and turn right along ths pavement. Half way along you will find (according to listings):

Farmácia Aguiar

Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, 98-A/B

1070-066 LISBOA

TEL: 217260934


There are several good cold medicines on sale in Portugal. However, I would go to the pharmacy and talk to them. I am sure that at least one of the pharmacists will speak english as this area is full of hotels and Intĺ companies.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Ladies Wishing To Play Tennis...!

Ladies Wishing To Play Tennis...!

The Vila Gale Lagos Hotel which is being built down the road from me in Meia Praia, Kagos and due to open in April 2009, will have 3 tennis courts. It will have sea views and will be 50m from the beach and if other Vila Galé Hotels are anything to go by well appointed.

Website here:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Madrid to Lisbon

There is only one train a day from Madrid to Lisbon. One way price is circa Euro 57,50

Please see this recent article on my blog here:

As regard buses, there are various options: operates buses services from both Estacion Sur and Avenida Americas in Madrid to Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station several times daily.

The following is a current extract from the alsa timetable. (Click on the image to enlarge.) also operate the route from Madrid Est Sur with departures as follows:

Dept: MADRID 12:00 Arr: Lisboa 19:30
Dept: MADRID 21:00 Arr: Lisboa 04:30
also operate a route from Madrid to Lisboa Gare Oriente as follows.

Dept: MADRID 22:45 Arr: Lisboa 06:00

Prices are available on the respective sites but you should expect to pay in the order of Euro 45-50 for a one way bus ticket.

Subsidence at Don Ana?

Visited Dona Ana this morning.

The main steps from the car park below the old Golfinho Hotel have collapsed totally. You can only access the restaurants from there.

The only access to the Beach is to walk behind the cafe, up the hill to the right of the Montana Building, along the cliffs and then down by the alternative path from there.

Not for the faint hearted.

As regards Praia Camilo, the old direct route has been blocked. There is now a wooden walkway and a long wooden staircase behind the cafe there, that leads down to the beach.

Again not for the faint hearted.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Advice on Lagos, Algarve in March

It may be warm enough for the beach but don't count on the pool or sea being warm enough for swimming.

For markets have a look at these posts on my blog:


As regards culture and history have a look at this article on wikipedia.,_Portugal

If you are interested in history, a visit to the Fort at Sagres where Prince Henry the Navigator, (Infante Dom Henrique), had his navigation school is a must.

Western or Eastern Algarve?

I suspect that the Lagos area might be of interest to you.

Apart from Tavira, it is one of the only coastal towns in the Algarve to retain its traditional Portuguese Character.

There are two good local beaches - Porto de Mos and Meia Praia, both of which are ideal for kids.

Assuming you have a hire car, the coast west of Lagos is rugged and beautiful with some small villages and great small hidden beaches.

Checkout also Salema.

Car Hire - Algarve - 2009

Try Luzcar.

They can provide you with a vehicle on arrival at Faro Airport.

I have used them for years.

Although their prices may appear slightly higher than others, the prices are inclusive apart from extra personal coverage. This also includes 2nd Driver and ability to take the car to Spain at no extra cost.

AutoJardim are also reputable.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Faro Airport to Huelva used to operate a schedule service between Faro Airport and Huelva.

I have spoken to them and they say at present they are only operating such a service by reservation and for groups.

A hire car is not really an option unless you are returning it to Faro Airport. If this is an option, I recommend Luzcar, (

I have dealt with them for years. Their prices are inclusive and they allow you to take cars into Spain as far as Seville.

As regards buses, you would need to take a local bus or taxi to Faro bus station and then one of the three daily services from Faro to Huelva.

Cubsur has all the timetables from the Algarve to Spain on his website:

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Travelling from Seville to Faro

I am based in the Algarve in Portugal and am not fully conversant with hire car availability in Seville.

If your are planning to do a one way trip between Spain and Portugal you should use one of the majors such as AVIS/HERTZ/EUROPCAR. Be aware that their one way inter-country drop charges are generally exorbitant.

If this is a case you may wish to us public transport to travel from Seville to Faro and hire a car there.

If you are doing a return, Seville - Faro - Seville, from previous visits to Seville, however, I am aware of two car hire companies with offices just outside Santa Justa Train Station in Seville:

These are:

Atesa - - They have an office just near the station on Avenida Kansas City.

Auriga Crown - - Avda. de Kansas City, 32.
Again near the train station.

Coach from Lisbon to Serta / cernache do bonjardim

Sorry for the delay in reply!

I was on a rush trip to Lisbon and Seville.

You do not say where you are flying from Lisbon to.

Easyjet have flights from Lisbon on Saturdays to

London Gatwick
London Luton
Paris CDG.

I will therefore only be able to give you generalised advice.

Firstly, very few direct long-distance coaches go directly to Lisbon Airport.

You will probably need to get to Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station and then to the Airport.

There are Rede Expressos buses from Cernache Bonjardiim to Lisbon Sete Rios as follows:


Depart Arrival Price Frequency
09:15 12:00 11.00 Daily Except Sundays and Mondays if public holiday
15:45 18:30 11.00 Sundays and Mondays if public holiday
19:45 22:30 11.00 Daily

For buses from Lisbon Sete Rios to the Airport see the following post on my blog:

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Porto, Portugal to Vigo, Spain

Porto to Vigo is 152km according to Google Maps.

View Larger Map

Bikes on the Faro to Porto train

According to this page on the CP/Portuguese railways site,

Bicycles can be transported on Alfa-Pendular and Inter-City trains provided they can be dismantled and stored in the baggage racks or under the passengers seat.

To be honest, I have never seen any one taking a bike on one of these trains.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Free Public WiFi Albufeira

According to the only free wifi access in Albufeira is at the Camara.


Trip to Lisbon Report.

Had to go up to Lisbon yesterday from Lagos, so a short report.

Left Lagos at 13:30 by hire car provided by Luzcar.

Took the Motorway on-ramp at the Total Service Station on the road to Praia do Luz / Sagres.

Joined the A22 and ran 10kms to Bensafrim and joined the EN 120.

Followed this road through Aljezur, Rogil, Maria Vinagre, Odeceixe, into the Alentejo and then onto to Odemira.

From Odemira, continued on the N120 to Cercal. (Very windy road.) From Cercal, took the N262 to Alvalade where I turned left onto the IC 1 (old Lisbon to Algarve arterial road. ). After 5 minutes stopped in Mimosa at the last Restaurant on the left going North.

Restaurante S. Sebastião de Mimosa,Mimosa

Tel: 269 595 202

Transit time to Mimosa by this route was 1hr. 40 mins.

It was a beautiful clear day, although very cold. A bit of Sunday traffic. The Alentejo was beautiful with blue skies, green pastures and lots of happy sheep, pigs and locals.

From Mimosa, headed North up the IC 1, past Grandola until I came to the N10 just past Marateca.

Turned right and after 1km entered the A2 Motorway to Lisbon. Everything was find until I arrived 2km from the 25 de Abril Bridge over the Tagus. However, the A2 between Palmela and Coima is being widened to three lanes. Work will continued through 2010. Until then, the Vasco da Gama bridge may be a better option for accessing Lisbon from the South.

There were the usual Sunday trippers coming back from the South Bank and substantial queues which meant that it took the 20 minutes to grind past the Almada and Costa Caparica off-ramps before getting to the tolls at the Bridge.

After that it was an easy run over the bridge, coming off right at the Marques de Pombal off-ramp and through the new tunnels to Marques de Pombal. (Note strict radar/photo 50 km/hr speed controls in place in the tunnels). Turned right down Avda. de Liberdade and dived into the Restauradores Public Parking at the bottom on the Avenida. Transit time by this route with stops and the delay at the bridge about 4 hours.

Overnighted at the following:

Residêncial Florescente
Rua Portas de Santo Antão, nº99
1150 - 266 Lisboa
Tel: +351 213426609
Fax: +351 213427733

This hotel had been recommended by German friends here in Lagos. It is a 2 1/2* hostelry doing B&B.With 6th Floors is a newly refurbished old Lisbon 5 storey building. The rooms have been repainted and refubished. They are warm and comfortable, with clean bathrooms but not deluxe. The price was good to this time of year.

The hotel is opposite the Teatro Coliseu, 2 blocks from Rossio and Rossio Station.

Two notes of caution: The wifi was not working and the staff are nice but 2 generations behind in their IT skills.

The Hotel website is a disaster and when we called to book, still had to send a fax to confirm.

When we arrived the receptionist, who was very pleasant still took 10 minutes to check us in, owing to problems "with the computer". Being an IT nerd myself methinks that a lack of training was more the reason. Even speaking Portuguese it was hard work.

We were on our way to see a performance at the Teatro Chapito near the Castelo São Jorge. From the Hotel is was easy to walk down and across Praça Figueira and then down to Rua dos Correios 223/225 where one finds the Restaurante Cesteiro. We have eaten here before, Not to touristy as it serves Bank staff during the week and very good Portuguese Food. The Bacalhau was wonderful, as was the Caldo Verde Soup. However, I had to chase them to heat the soup up for me, as it was done "Lisbon style" whereas I like my soup hot.

After dinner it was a 12 minute-walk uphill to the Chapitu on a cold but clear night. Wine on the terrace overlooking the Tagus bridge and then to see "O Tempestade", a visual take of Shakespeare's the Tempest, produced by John Mowat and performed by the "Companhia de Chapitu", with Jorge Cruz, Marta Cequeira, Tiago Viegas. As usual, a brilliant performance by these excellent young Portuguese Actors.

Returned the same way to Lagos today. A couple of notes. Being Monday a lot more heavy traffic on the road, It is obvious that many truckers are being told to avoid using Motorways to save on tolls. The Old Lisbon - Algarve IC 1 was very busy with heavy vehicles as a result and slow down our return transit on this route to 4 hours. However, the countryside is beautiful.

It is also noticeable as a result that the road pavement between Marateca and south of Grandola has been badly deformed. So a bumpy ride on this route. In future, unless this route is improved, I will probably join the A2 motorway at Grandola South and pay the tolls to get to and form Lisbon.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Avis Office - Lagos, Portugal

I have just noted that the Avis Car Hire office behind the Repsol Service Station on the main Avenida in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal has closed and that all enquiries are being referred to the Praia da Rocha Office in Portimão.

Trip to Portugal and Spain

Firstly, there are currently no direct flights from any Scottish Airports to Lisbon.

There are direct flights, however, from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow - Prestwick, and sometimes Aberdeen to Faro Airport in the Algarve.

You should be aware that rail links between Portugal and Spain are difficult as are low-costs flights between the Algarve and Spain.

There are good rail links between the Algarve and Lisbon.

You should plan therefore on using long distance coaches.

Have a look at this recent article on my blog.

In summary, I think that a routing as follows might be appropriate:

Scotland to Faro Airport.
Faro Airport to Lagos - Private Transfer or Bus/Bus or Bus/Train

Lagos to Seville - 2 x Daily Bus
(See: and (

Seville to Madrid - High Speed AVE train. (See:

Madrid to Lisbon - Long Distance bus (See. or Low - Cost Airline ( or

As regards other places in the Algarve, consider Tavira.

Hope this helps.

Trip from Lisbon to Algarve Region?

1) Reference travelling to the Algarve, checkout this post I've just made to my blog about public transport between Lisbon and the Algarve.

2) If you are taking a bus to the Algarve make sure you get a Bus to Albufeira Bus Station and not repeat not Vale Paraiso. There may not always be taxis at the bus station, but it is not impossible to walk to the old centre from there, but not recommended.

3) In regard to a "beautiful area" be aware that Albufeira is more "tourist/party heaven" rather than a destination for a relaxed break.

I am biased but I live in Lagos in the Western Algarve which I think would fit your needs. We have beautiful coastlines, a great small historic town with a traditional centre. It is a bit of an independent travellers destination so there is a bit of bar/party life as well.

Lisbon to Algarve

Firstly, the Algarve is a region and not a single place. Consequently, I cannot answer this question specifically without knowing your exact destination.

However, there are three main means of public transport linking Algarve towns with Lisbon. Rail and two long distance bus services.

If you visit my blog:

»» Scroll down on the right hand side until you come to the panel entitled "Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links"

»» Click on:

- Porto - Lisbon - Faro Train Timetable for the return train timetable.
- Algarve Regional Line Train Timetable for connections along the Algarve.
- RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable
- Rede-Expressos - National Bus Timetable - Updated. (National Coach Operator) - Portuguese only.

There are no direct train services between Malaga and the Algarve. operate a direct service between Malaga and Faro daily as follows:

Dept. MALAGA 21:00
Arr. Faro 01:45

I strongly recommend booking a hostel or pension near Faro bus Station if you arrive on this bus as downtown Faro is no a good place to be at that time.

There are other daily buses that run between Seville and the Algarve operated by DAMAS/EVA.

Checkout Cubsur's site here for more info:

Caldas da Rainha to Obidos

The following is the current timetable for the bus service operated by Rodotejo ( between Caldas da Rainha and Obidos. Please click on image to enlarge.


Excepto Sabados, Domingos E Feriados. = Does not run at weekends
Diariamente = Daily

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Hotel Marina Club - Lagos

I cannot believe it!

With this economic crisis, one of the hotels that pretends to be a quality hotel in Lagos, the Marina Club, has disactivated all means of online-reservations and emailing them on their website.

I am in the process of trying to help organise an event in Lagos for Easter 2009 and I can't contact them.

I called them and got nothing but excuses.

They are not getting my recommendation for 2009.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Places to stay in Lisbon - Beach & City

There are no good beaches close to the historic city centre in Lisbon, The nearest good beaches are at Carcavelos, and Estoril on the Cascais Line along the Tagus and at Costa Caparica on the South Bank of the Tagus. (Car recommended.)

The Great Western Riveira in Carcavelos might be off interest. See:

It is about 5 minutes walk from the beach and 7 minutes walk from the Railway Station with trains on average every 15 minutes into Lisbon Cais de Sodre Station (25 minutes distant) and also to Estoril/Cascais.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Tempestade - The Tempest - Shakespeare

"A Companhia do Chapitô" are staging the premier of their interpretation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", at the Teatro Chapitô, in Lisbon at 22:00 on Thursday, 8th January 2009.

Performed by Jorge Cruz, Marta Cequeira, and Tiago Viegas, three excellent Portuguese actors, the work is directed by John Mowat, a British theatre director and mime artist, who for many years has been involved in productions in Portugal.

The work promises to offer an alternative and comedic look at the Bard's piece.

Given Mowat's emphasis on the use of mime and visual transmission of theatres pieces, it is likely to be of interest to both Portuguese and English speakers alike. If it performs to level of previous performances, including Medea and "O Grande Criador", it promises to offer an excellent evening's entertainment.

The play will be staged Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 1st March 2009. Tickets ara available from the Box Office at the Teatro Chapitô, Costa de Castelo, 1/7, Lisbon. For information or reservation call +351 21 885 55 50.

Web Page:

Hotel Aqua Meia Praia


(With apologies to Messr.'s Cleese & Co )

The Aqua Meia Praia has passed on! This hotel is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late hotel! .... Bereft of life, it rests in peace! .... Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! ..... It's shuffled off this mortal coil! It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! It.... is an ex-HOTEL!

In its place, currently lie dirty great big holes in the ground, accompanied by rather large pieces of earthmoving equipment and Meia Praia type mole hills of enormous proportions. ...Our moles obviously are huge, although I've never seen them!

The Portuguese group Iberotel ( ) is currently constructing a massive 220 bed 5-star complex there.

With the recent rains and the works going on down the road at the new Vila Galé Hotel, Meia Praia is currently a great place for hippos!

exits singing..."mud, mud, glorious mud...."

Faro to Nazare Toll Costs.

According to, the current cost of motorway tolls from Faro, Algarve, Portugal to Nazaré, Algarve, Portugal is 22.75 EUR.

This fee is based on a class 1 group vehicle, (hatchback) and on the recommended route.

Algarve Autodrome 2009

The following is a link to the provisional 2009 race calendar for the new Algarve Autodrome.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Bus from Porto to Castelo Branco

Rede Expressos Buses to Castelo Branco from Porto depart from:

4000 PORTO
Tel.: 222052459

To get there from Porto to Airport, one take the train to São Bento Station and walk from there.

See the following google map:,+4000+PORTO,+Portugal&sll=37.15781,-8.734502&sspn=0.25392,0.589828&ie=UTF8&ll=41.143889,-8.607552&spn=0.007498,0.018432&t=h&z=16

If this link does not work, go to this link on blog where I have posted a copy of this message.

There are no buses from Lisbon airport direct to Castelo Branco

View Larger Map