Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Madrid to Porto

There are no direct trains between Madrid and Porto.

There is only one overnight train from Madrid to Coimbra, Portugal where you could change for Porto.

There are direct buses but these take about 8 to 9 hours. There are departures from Madrid Estacion Sur Coach Station by as follows:

MADR-E.SUR PORTO 09:30 17:30
MADR-E.SUR PORTO 23:00 06:30 next day

You best bet might be by the air with a low cost airline like

They have flights as follows:

Depart:Madrid 05:50 Arrive:Porto 06:10
Depart:Madrid 20:50 Arrive:Porto 21:10

Lisbon - Faro

The easiest and probably cheapest way for 2 people with bags to get to Entrecampos train station from Lisbon airport is by taxi!

Bus may be cheaper but will require changes and it may be a hassle with bags.

There are two trains departing Entrecampos on Sunday evenings that meet your needs:

Dept: Lisbon Entrecampos: 17:30 Arr: Faro 21:10
Dept: Lisbon Entrecampos: 18:51 Arr: Faro 21:55

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lagos - Roadworks Update - Marina

If you are in an apartment overlooking the Marina itself, there will be no direct effect from the work.

However, I would advise being prepared, even at night, to walk into the town town rather than drive as there is a massive shortage of parking.

Be aware that it you want to go to the upper town, Luz, Porto de Mos and or all points west of Lagos by car, it is currently better to go via the Seagulls' swimming bath on the roundabout at the entrance to town, the Modelo supermarket and the "Chairs" roundabout rather than going through town on the Avenida.

US/EU phone calls

To call the US from Europe Union Countries dial 00 1 and then the US area code and number.

To call Europe from the States dial the international access code for your operator, then the country code - Portugal - 351 / Spain 34, and then the number in question.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Lagos or Vilamoura?

Vila Gale is just round the corner from us. Will post a report shortly.

To be honest with the roads dug up both in the town of Lagos and now the main Meia Praia road, (just in front of the Vila Gale) (500m dirt diversion), I really have to say to people to give Lagos centre and Meia Praia a miss this summer. It is likely that the folks using the new pool at the Vila Gale will have to put up with sand and dirt being blown over from the ongoing road works outside.

The Camara (local council) have made a complete dog's breakfast of the planning and time scheduling of major local works, including the redevelopment of the riverfront and Meia Praia Rd. The Mayor's quoted response to local business during a recent meeting was that .."these works are in the public interest"....

If you heading for Torraltinha and the Porto de Mos area of Lagos there should be no problem.

However, the riverfront development and the redevelopment of the old dirt car-park together with a rampant ongoing blocking of parking spaces, means that I really have to suggest that trying to take a car into Lagos centre, even at night, this year is a no-no.

The projects in Lagos are due for completion by year-end.

However, based on my limited knowledge of engineering projects, I would suggest that we will be lucky if the town is approaching normal by this time next year.

If you are visiting Lagos by public transport it will be OK, with the exception of the eyesore of the works along the river front.

I love Lagos and would normally recommend it anytime over Vilamoura. However, in all honestly, we are in for a right rum summer season her in Lagos.

Can I suggest you also have a look at the options of Tavira, Monte Gordo and the Eastern Algarve.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Driving time between Tomar and Coimbra

According to Via Michelin, the driving time between Tomar and Coimbra is in the order of 1hr30 to 1hr50 depending on the route. As regards touring the Nazare, Fatima, Tomar area in two days, this is difficult to assess as I do not know your tastes.

Bearing in mind that there are also famous centres such as Batalha, and Alcobaça in the area, you may be a bit pushed.

Lisbon - Algarve

Firstly, I would strongly not recommend a day trip to the Algarve.

A return trip to Paderne where the A2 Toll Motorway joins the Algarve Spinal Motorway, (A22/Via de Infante) would take 4 to 4,5 hours dependent on stops and you have to pay the tolls.

From Paderne, you then have to decide where you are going in the Algarve. At present, there are substantial ongoing roadworks in Lagos and I do not recommend visiting us by car until at least the end of 2009. Albufeira and Vilamoura are tourist traps and Faro is the admin capital. Tavira and Silves are worth visiting as is the beautiful west coast between Praia da Luz and Sagres and Sagres and Aljezur.

In summary, a return trip to say Tavira would take +- 6 hours not including stops.

This does not leave a lot of time to relax.

I would suggest that you might be better off making a day trip to say Porto or Coimbra.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Granada -> Porto

Train is not an option as you would have to travel from Granada to Madrid and then overnight to Coimbra in Portugal and then by train to Porto.

Long Distance Bus Operator offer a service as follows:

Depart GRANADA: 20:30
Arrive PORTO 11:00 next day.

Change Bus in Seville and Lisbon.

Price: Euro 77,00

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Algarve to Lisbon Retail Therapy

The following might work depending on the time you require for retail therapy in Lisbon:

Take the 09:52 Intercity train from Tunes via Setubal to Lisbon. This arrives Sete Rios at 12:59.

Descend, from memory I think, three levels to the Metro Station, known as Jardim Zoologico. Get a train in the direction of Amadora Este. Three stations down the line (i.e. a few minutes), and disembark at Estação Colégio Militar. Follow the signs for the Centro Comercial Colombo. You will then be in one of the largest Shopping Centres in the Iberian Peninsula.

There is a return inter-city departure from Sete Rios at 19:34 arriving Tunes at 22:45.

If all runs to to time it should give you at least 5 hours retail therapy.

Language Schools/Tutors - Lagos, Algarve, Portugal


Centro de Línguas de Lagos

Rua Dr. Joaquim Telo,Nº 32 - 1º ESQ.
8600-583 Lagos

Telefone: +351 282 761 070
Fax: +351 282 761 070

I understand from other parties that they are quite good.

Lagos - Restaurants, Trains and Buses

I also recommend the following restaurants:

Restaurante O Cantinho Algarvio
Rua Afonso de Almeida
(The little road running up from the Camara buildng in town towards Rua 25 Abril.)

Restaurante O Pouso de Infante
Rua Afonso de Almeida

As regards trains be aware that the Algarve rail line was built over 120 years ago to primarily serve the Agricultural community. In fact the only resorts where it serves seaside towns/beaches are:

Portimão (Town/Estuary)(No beach)
Faro (Town/Estuary)(No beach)
Olhão (Town/Estuary)(No beach)
Tavira (Not Cabanas which is several kms from Tavira)
Subsequent stations (some with beach access) to Vila Real do Sta. Antonio. (Town/Estuary)(No beach)

Algarve rail line timetable here:

For Algarve bus info see Cubsur's site: