Monday, 29 November 2010

train from Lisbon to Malaga

There is only one direct (night train) per day from Lisbon to Madrid.

Timetable in pdf format here:

From Madrid one can get a train to Malaga.

See: for more information.

Click on "welcome" for english version.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Lisbon to Porto by Bus

Clipped from


Re: Porto to Lisbon, surely it can be cheaper?

Nov 23, 2010, 5:23 PM

Two bus operators on the route: - Price € 18.00 per Adult one way - Price € 18.00 per adult each way

Returns may be should be slightly cheaper

Edited: 5:24 pm, today


Monday, 22 November 2010

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal to Ploesti, Romania

I have just arrived in Romania this morning to visit friends.

A synopsis of my route is as follows:

I left Lagos on Sunday morning by catching the 06:14 train from Meia Praia, (06:10  from Lagos) to Faro,

We arrived in Faro on time at 07:50.

I had a coffee and caught the 08:10 EVA bus to Seville Plaza das Armas Bus Station.

Arrived Seville 15 minutes early.

Bought a ticket for the 15:00 Socibus bus to Madrid Barajas Airport via Madrid Estacion del Sur.  This arrived at Madrid Barajas airport Terminal 1 at 21:50, 20 minutes late, owing to bad weather. There was a 15 minute stop at a service area just north of Bailen.

I then caught the 02:25 Wizzair flight from Madrid Barajas to Bucharest Baneasu, Flight arrived at Baneasu at 06:45, 15 minutes early.

It was a grey misty morning. Baneasu is not the world's most welcoming airport. Airside bus seats were filthy and the terminal arrivals area is very very small. Got through formalities and got my bags with no problem. There is a small hole in the wall currency change on the right as you press through to the street. I changed a few Euros just to have some RON on me. Then outside straight onto the street. Ambushed immediately by touts. Dealt with those with firm but polite No's!

Luckily, my friends met me and off we went to Ploesti, a 40km drive.

What I already like about Romania is the Buzz! I also like being able to have chicken and chips with a beer ta 08:00 in the morning after a long flight.

Some notes:

* Wizzair were fine. They are like a Ryanair of Eastern Europe. Clean Airbus 320's all less than 3 years old. The seat pitch is small which could be a problem for larger people.

* Madrid Barajas - That late at night, all the shops were closed BUT there is a all night eatery in Terminal 1. Expensive but good.

* Bucharest Baneasu Airport - If this is to be developed into a serious hub for Low Cost Operators bringing in tourists, it needs to be cleaned up! I know Romania seeks to boost its tourist industry and I also know that with the IMF in situ and the economy in dire straights, it is difficult to promote new infrastructure projects but this should be a biggy! A short term interim project with some new airside buses, a simple single storey 30 sq. metre industrial warehouse type prefab extension to the airside to handle incoming passengers (saw this done with the departures terminal at Harare Airport in Zimbabwe in the early 80's )and a taxi rank for licensed taxis at arrivals would improve enormously without being ridiculously expensive.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Just arrived in Seville. Got the 06:14 from Meia Praia to Faro. Then 08:20 bus from Faro to Seville. Arrived 20 minutes early. Will catch 15:00 Socibus from Estacion Plaza das Armas to Madrid barajas Airport. Beautiful sunny day here in Seville. Sunday only Restaurants open. Sitting in Cafe das Indes just of C Julio Cesar.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Bus From Faro Airport via Faro for Seville Sun 19th Dec 2010

Clipped from
Re: Bus From Faro Airport via Faro for Seville Sun 19th Dec 2010

You are arriving late in the day and will miss the last EVA/DAMAS Service from Faro to Seville. operate a nighttime service. (At the time of writing their site is down for maintenance)

Have a look here at the bottom of Cubsur's Portugal/Spain travel page:

There is a departure from Faro at 0145 arrive Seville Plaza das Armas at 0545.

There are two buses on Sunday evening from Faro Airport to Faro town at 18:57, and 20:07. Otherwise it will have to be a taxi.


Driving from France to the Algarve

Clipped from

Re: driving through france to Portugal
Sorry to ask, but did you read these answers to your post about 10 days ago????
It is motorway all the way. It is true that the traffic between Bordeaux and Burgos can be a bit heavy by if you go at it steadily you should have not problem.
You should try to avoid routing around Paris as the traffic there is usually heavy.
I would suggest that you route Calais, Rouen, Le Mans, Tours, Poitiers, Bordeaux.
If you are departing from Salisbury I would suggest that you overnight on day one in Rouen or at a pinch Le Mans. Day 2 head for Burgos/Valladolid/Salamanca and then Day 3, the Algarve.
Bearing in mind it is winter and early evenings, you probably will not have much time for sightseeing, so you should try and find hotels as close to Motorway exits as possible.
Another tip! Fuel! Do not buy on the French Autoroutes! It is much more expensive. Around most large French towns, if you come of the Motorway at a major exit you will usually find a large hypermarket complex run by Carrefour/Intermarche/LeClercs/Auchan. Most of these have discount fuel outlets where prices can be up to 5 cents per litre cheaper than on the Motorway. Given that you will be paying tolls (know in France as Péage), it helps to save money. These shopping centres also host outlets like McD's or Quick where you can eat junk food more reasonably than in cafes etc.
If you do layover in the Burgos area, one hotel, I recently stayed at, about 5 minutes off the E80 motorway on the N120 road is the Hotel Camino de Santiago.
We got a good internet deal there on the last trip in October. Be warned it is outside Burgos BUT easily accessible from the Motorway although the last 300 metres is a bit of a dog's breakfast as you have to slide into a slip road and then run along parallel to the N120.
There is a restaurant and cafe in the Hotel. It is very clean and the staff were very pleasant.
As you slide into the slip road to approach the Hotel, you will see on the right a taverna type place called the Hotel Restaurante Los Braseros. We walked there from the Hotel Camino de Santiago and had a great and very reasonable Tapas Supper at the Bar.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Portugal General Strike pt2 24/11/10

Clipped from
Re: Help Needed - Air Strikes Next Wednesday

Just read a report in Publico one of the Portuguese national dailys! It also reports that "major" hotels are likely to be badly hit during the General Strike.

My advice that if you are in, coming to or leaving Portugal do not plan to travel next Wednesday and hunker down for the day. The main action will be in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra but expect full shutdowns of services throughout the country.

As for Ryanair, as far as I can make out air traffic controllers are also on strike so I cannot see how Ryanair can operate, (unless the have gone into the ATC business now as well.)

Eurocontrol, (which co-ordinates ATC's throughout Europe), reported via Twitter this morning that:

"LATEST: Industrial action in Portugal expected to affect air traffic from 23 Nov 23.00 to 24 Nov 23.00 CET, more at"


Portugal - General Strike - 24/11/10

Clipped from
Re: Help Needed - Air Strikes Next Wednesday

Regrettably, you are probably stuck.

It is not just an air strike, it is a full blown Euro-Zone French/Greek Style National Strike. 90% of the country will be down.

The trains will be out, most local buses will be out and it is highly likely long-distance buses will be out as well! There are no long distance buses from Braga to Spain. Vigo would be your only alternative, but you would need to get to Porto to get the bus to Vigo if it is operating!!!

The Spanish Company operates a daily weekday service from Porto Airport to Vigo at the following times:

OPORTO, AEROPUERTO 9:45 12:45 16:45 19:45

Transit time takes about 3 hours.

I am not hopeful though that this service will operate on Wednesday.

Basically, despite your comments, be prepared to have to stay until Thursday.

This strike has been written about on this Forum recently.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Nah Nah Bar - Lagos Algarve Portugal

Just had another delicious real beef burger at the Nah-Nah-Bah. Lagos, Algarve. Portugal.

I don't know how Selmo and Raff do it!

See this google search for more: or

A definition of DARPA

Wonderful bit of prose from Lewis Page of describing DARPA, the US Govt.'s defence research outfit and parent of George Bush's "Interweb!"

Transport from porto airport to santa combo dão

The last train connection between Porto Campanha and Santa Comba Dão on Friday, 19th November 2010 leaves at 18:47 and arrives at 21:17.

Note you will have to change twice and the total ticket price will be €30.45 (Full Fare). The Fare is high because one has to change twice and two sections are on Intercity Trains.

The full schedule is as follows:

Alfa Pendular/Intercity
Depart: Porto - Campanha: 18h47 Arrive: Aveiro 19h20

Depart Aveiro:  19h47 Arrive: Pampilhosa 20h22

Depart Pampilhosa 20h53 Arrive: Santa Comba Dão 21h17

Please note that this is the last connection of the day.

You will need to get the Metro Line E from Porto Airport in the direction of Éstadio de Dragão and descend at Campanha.

It should be just about doable. However, be aware that it will be Friday evening rush hour and you will need to buy a ticket.

For more information go to the Portuguese Railways website at and click on the Union flag on the top right hand corner for the english version.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

What would happen if Ryanair was contracted to resolve the Irish Economic Crisis???

Just had a frighteningly horrible thought! What happens if in the end with this crisis, the Irish Government is told by the IMF to subcontract out the management and recovery of the Irish Economy on the open market.

Imagine if Ryanair bid and won the contract!

I can't bear to think! :))))

transport from porto airport to Arganil

Answer to question on

Algarve to Crete, Greece

Clipped from
Re: Algave to Crete, Greece

Here is a list of airlines serving Crete:

I have checked Air Berlin for a through route from Faro but the flights do not tie up.

You might want to check possible connections with the following airlines that serve Faro and Heraklion:

Transavia via Rotterdam


TUI fly



Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Electronic Motorway Tolls - Portugal

Very useful article here on which motorways will and will not be affected by motorway tolls written by Vespuccio, Local expert for Portugal on Portugal Forums. (Original Thread here:

Electronic Tolls - Motorways - Portugal

Post on TripAdvisor Portugal Forum following article in today's Portuguese national daily "Publico"

Monday, 15 November 2010

Wizzair - International telephone numbers

I am flying shortly from Madrid to Bucharest. As I booked the flight online outside of a country to which Wizzair flies, I could not call any of the freephone numbers quoted. I searched the web and found this very useful list. I called the Hungarian number, pressed 2 and got through to an english speaking operator who very efficiently dealt with my enquiry. Using Skype it worked out cheaper than using a directline number had I been in a country where Wizzair flies.

Parking in Lisbon - Pt. 2

Additional comment to earlier post.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Algarve will loose 140 000 tourists till March 2011

I am in total agreement with this article, particularly the second last paragraph.

Estou completamente em acordo com os sentimentos evocadas neste artigo, particularmente o penûltimato parágrafo sobre o metódo do pagamentos do portagems no A22.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Theory of Woof!

Canine Social Contribution to Workplace dynamics and increased productivity!

Parking in Lisbon

A wee comment about the perils that await the uninitiated in driving from the Algarve to Lisbon, Portugal

Thinking of hiring a car from Lagos and getting the train from Faro

Reply to a question on

Tolls on the A22 Via de Infante Algarve Motorway

Article from yesterday's Algarve Resident. The Portuguese Govt. has unfortunately made a complete absolute mess of planning for introducing tolls.

The likely impact on tourism in the Algarve in 2011 will be substantial and the revenue desired by the Govt. will not be raised,

Tolls may be necessary. However, price them reasonably and employ some of the 300 workers recently laid-off by GroundForce at Faro Airport to collect them instead of using electronics.

Um artigo publicada na edicição do Algarve Resident de ontem! Infelizmente, o governo tem feito uma bagunça completa e absoluta no planeamento para a introdução de portagens. O provável impacto sobre o turismo no Algarve em 2011 será muito negativa e substancial e as receitas procurada pelo Governo não serão cumpridas.

Os portagens podem ser necessários por causa da Crise. No entanto, porque não aplicam-se preços razoáveis e, no memso tempo, dar emprego aos cerca de 300 trabalhadores recém-demitidos pela Groundforce no Aeroporto de Faro para recolhê os portagens ao invés de usar a sistema eletrônica.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Algarve Tourism Trends - Oct. 2010

Barlavento occupancy levels down. Start of a trend that will worsen when tools come in on the A22 Via de Infante???? (Source:

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Lagos, Algarve - Avenida Closed/Encerrado 12/13 Novembro

Clipped from

a Avenida dos Descobrimentos em Lagos

A Avenida dos Descobrimentos, em Lagos, vai ser encerrada momentaneamente ao trânsito, nos dias 12 e 13, devido ao Festival dos Descobrimentos e à Celebração dos 550 Anos Sobre a Morte do Infante D. Henrique.

Assim, na sexta-feira, dia 12, o trânsito será encerrado, entre os CTT e a Rotunda D. João II, das 14h00 às 16h00, em virtude da realização do Cortejo Histórico integrado no VI Festival dos Descobrimentos.

No sábado, dia 13, esta medida, que terá efeitos no período da manhã (das 10h00 às 12h00) e no período da tarde (das 14h00 às 17h30), aplica-se ao troço entre o Edifício dos CTT/Portugal Telecom e a Fortaleza Ponta da Bandeira, abrangendo os dois sentidos de circulação automóvel.

Assim, das 10h00 às 12h00, o trânsito no sentido Sul/Norte será condicionado no cruzamento junto ao Quartel dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Lagos.

Haverá apenas exceções para acesso de viaturas ligeiras, para abastecimento de combustível, à bomba da BP, acesso ao Clube de Vela, e acesso ao Parque de Estacionamento do Chão Queimado.

A sinalização será reforçada com barreira física e policiamento junto à Bomba da BP, indicando o retorno.

Entre as 14h00 e as 17h30, o trânsito no sentido Sul/Norte será encerrado no cruzamento do Quartel dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Lagos.

Em ambos os períodos, no sentido inverso (Norte/Sul) o trânsito será condicionado junto ao Edifício da PT/Táxis e encerrado a seguir à saída do Parque de Estacionamento Coberto, com barreira física e policiamento, devendo aí efetuar-se o retorno.

Nestes períodos será garantido o acesso ao Parque de Estacionamento da Frente Ribeirinha, cuja utilização será gratuita das 14h30 às 19h00 de sábado.

O percurso de acesso ao Hospital (de manhã e à tarde) deverá processar-se pela Rua dos Bombeiros Voluntários/Rua 5 de Outubro/Rua Dr. Mendonça / Rua do Jardim, com saída pela Rua Dr. Júlio Dantas.

Serão também alterados os circuitos dos transportes públicos, designadamente das linhas 1 e 4 d’A Onda, bem como das carreiras com destino a Vila do Bispo/Sagres, devendo os passageiros informar-se mais pormenorizadamente sobre os trajetos e paragens junto do Terminal Rodoviário.

11 de Novembro de 2010 | 12:48

Hmmm!! **NEW** GENERAL MANAGER - €30,000-€35,000pa - ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

Very Interesting. Especially as the dolphins don't make anything!

Muito Interessante. Especialmente porque os golfinhos não ganham nada!

BBC News - UK tourists shunning the cost of the eurozone

Very interesting article about the future prospects in the UK tourism market for the Portuguese and Spanish Tourism Industries based on reaction at World Travel Market 2010. This does not bode well. See link below

Um artigo Muito interessante sobre as futuras perspectivas no mercado de turismo do Reino Unido para os sectores do Turismo em ambos Portugal e Espanha baseadas em reações na World Travel Market 2010. Isto não augura nada de bom. Veja o link abaixo

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

NahNahBah, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Great news! Earlier this year our very own NahNahBah, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal was awarded a spot in the "International Cow: 50 of the Most Amazing Burger Joints in the World". See: You can find the NahNahBar details here: Well done Selmo!

Smart Mobile Phones - The Future of Travel Web Marketing

I have been feeling for a while now that the future of marketing Travel Products on the web will move more and more to mobile devices. Traditional websites will continue to be important especially to the over-45 group but travel businesses rapidly need to take account of the ever evolving nature of the web.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Algarve, Portugal to Gibraltar

Clipped from
Portugal to Gibraltar
There are no flights, trains or buses that operate directly between Faro and Gibraltar.

You have to route via Seville, Spain and the only options are car and bus.

There are twice daily buses on weekdays year round from Faro to Seville. From Seville you can then get another bus to La Linea. where one can cross the border to Gib.

See the following sites for info:

Cubsur's excellent site for Faro to Seville Timetables at:


T.G. Comes Timetables

Note you will have to change bus terminals in Seville between Estacion Plaza das Armas and Prado. Use the local Local C4 Bus.


Nah-Nah-Bah, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal Top 50 Hamburger Joints

Would you believe it! I would! Our own Nah Nah Bar run by Selmo Ribeiro here in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal got listed in an article "International Cow: 50 of the Most Amazing Burger Joints in the World"! on

Full article here:

Lagos,Algarve - Gift Shops

Lagos,Algarve - Gift Shops

Lagos, Algarve - Restaurants - New Year 2010/2011

Two restaurants open on 31st December 2010 in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Driving from Calais to Algarve

Suggested Hotels on the route from Calais, France to the Algarve region of Portugal.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Faro Airport, Algarve to Boavista, Lagos, Algarve

Clipped from
If you are used to an automatic shift, don't forget to specify it you are not used to a manual shift.

As far as I am concerned there is not problem driving over here, just that the steering wheel and lane are on the opposite side. Just to make things more interesting, I usually drive a UK built RHD car over here! :))

Faro is a medium sized airport and as you are coming in December, traffic will be moderate.

If you take the A22 Via da Infante Motorway from near Faro to Lagos, come of at exit 1, follow the exit road for 8km, turn right onto the EN 125 (direction Sagres/VIla de Bispo) at the 2nd roundabout and BoaVista is about 1km further on on the right.

See also this old post on my blog which may help as well:
Re: Public Transport in and around Lagos

Zoomarine - Algarve - Closed for Winter

Sad news! Although I hope that the Dolphins and Seals will have a holiday as well! :))

Algarve Railway Line - Delays this week

Clipped from
 Algarve Railway Line - Delays this week 

Nov 08, 2010, 5:14 AM

Following a derailment on the old stretch of railway line near Alcacer do Sal, all trains from Lisbon to the Algarve are being routed via the 29km stretch of new line which bypasses Alcacer and will from the New Year cut the time of transit to the Algarve by 15mins.

As the new stretch has not yet received full safety approval, speeds are restricted to 60km per hour at present, resulting in delays of up to 30 minutes on trains from the Algarve to Lisbon and v.v

Article here (In Portuguese) -
Read more at - Posts on Portugal by Barlaventoexpert - Posts on Portugal by Barlaventoexpert

Buses - Lagos. Algarve, Portugal to Boa Vista Resort

Reply to a question on Tripadvisor Portugal Forums.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Why a Penguin? - Linux - The Logo

For all of you out there who wonder why the Linux Logo is a penguin! :)))

Yes, I am a dedicated Ubuntu Linux user!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010 - Seville Forum - Faro to Seville 1 way car rental

Clipped from

Re: Faro to Seville 1 way car rental?

Nov 03, 2010, 5:37 AM

Destination Expert
for Lagos

Thomas, you beat me to it!

Just one thing though - - does not do one way rentals Faro to Seville, one returns. is the only one that does one way.

One way car hire between Spain and Portugal

There is one company with a base at Faro Airport in the Algarve, that does reasonable one - way car hire into Spain. I had a look at their site and they do have a depot at Valencia Airport.

Please see: more at

Trip to Portugal and the Algarve

I find your comment about trains between Lisbon and the Algarve - "there no none when I was last there" strange as the railway line between the two was built in the 1880's and has carried at least 4 passenger trains a day between the two over the past 15 years.

I have published an extract of the current train timetable between Lisbon and Faro here:


I have published an extract of the current Algarve Line weekday train timetable here:

If you want to explore the region between Lisbon and the Algarve the only real way to do it is by car. The train trip is great and you will see some great countryside but you will not see the whole expanse of the region.

As regards staying in the Algarve and travelling to Spain, it is likely the electronically collected tolls will be introduced on the Algarve Arterial Motorway before May 2010. It is not clear yet how these are to be collected from visitors as there will be no toll booths. However, it will add to the cost of travelling into Spain.

The car hire company in the Algarve I would normally recommend is Luzcar. You can find their offers here:

The problem is that they are based in Lagos in the Western end of the Algarve, (end of the Algarve Rail line). Remember to specify an automatic if you are not comfortable with manual shift. You will pay a premium however. Most European hire cars are manual shift.

However, Lagos is one of the nicest towns in the Algarve with great beaches and with the opportunity to also explore the region towards Sagres and Cape St. Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Europe.  

If you intend taking a hire car in Lisbon or the Algarve and delivering it back to Lisbon, I recommend Auto Jardim - see:

Remember in all cases to stipulate that you want to take the car to Spain. There should be no problem, but it may be necessary to pay a small extra charge.

As regards hotels, have a look at the Vila Galé, Meia Praia, Lagos, the Yellow Hotel, Lagos, the Vila Galé Tavira near Tavira and the Martinhal Resort Hotel in Sagres.

Nov. 2010 - Train Timetable - Algarve Line Portugal

Current weekday train timetable between Vila Real Sta. Antonio and Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal.

Nov. 2010 - Train Timetable - Lisbon/Faro

Extract of the current train timetable between Lisbon and Faro, Algarve in Portugal

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Driving Santander, Spain to the Algarve

Santander, Spain to the Algarve

Did the run from Lagos through Spain (100km from Santander) to Brittany, then Limoges region and then back to Lagos in the Algarve, a couple of weeks ago. 5000km in 10 days. Aaargh!

Have done this run several times in recent years, on me tod and with the other half who is an excellent co-driver.

If both of you drive Santander to the Algarve should be doable in +-11hrs. (Stops included)

We ran back from Le Moggies and overnighted in Northen Spain just outside Burgos. The next day we ran the full way back to Lagos in about 10hrs 30 mins - Both of us driving.

I have done the run from Lagos to Burgos myself non-stop and ended up talking Spanish to myself and overdosing on Tapas and Beer. You both need to drive to avoid insanity.

Recommended route to avoid tolls wherever possible, benefit from lower cost fuel in Spain and see wonderful country is Santander, Palencia, Valladolid, Salamanca, Caceres, Merida, Seville, Huelva, Ayamonte, the Algarve. It is Motorway all the way.

As regards security of the car, I always unload even if the car is in secure parking - its just not worth it in any country these days.

If you really want to stop somewhere with parking, there is the IBIS in Salamanca. (But its right in town and a pig to find.)

Near Seville, heading south towards Huelva and just behind IKEA, there is the Leflet Castilleja la Cuesta. Underground secure parking but the ramp is very very steep and there are only a couple of restaurants nearby. However, its reasonably cheap and v. clean.

Santander, Spain to the Algarve

Did the run from Lagos through Spain (100km from Santander) to Brittany, then Limoges region and then back to Lagos in the Algarve, a couple of weeks ago. 5000km in 10 days. Aaargh!

Have done this run several times in recent years, on me tod and with the other half who is an excellent co-driver.

If both of you drive Santander to the Algarve should be doable in +-11hrs. (Stops included)

We ran back from Le Moggies and overnighted in Northen Spain just outside Burgos. The next day we ran the full way back to Lagos in about 10hrs 30 mins - Both of us driving.

I have done the run from Lagos to Burgos myself non-stop and ended up talking Spanish to myself and overdosing on Tapas and Beer. You both need to drive to avoid insanity.

Recommended route to avoid tolls wherever possible, benefit from lower cost fuel in Spain and see wonderful country is Santander, Palencia, Valladolid, Salamanca, Caceres, Merida, Seville, Huelva, Ayamonte, the Algarve. It is Motorway all the way.

As regards security of the car, I always unload even if the car is in secure parking - its just not worth it in any country these days.

If you really want to stop somewhere with parking, there is the IBIS in Salamanca. (But its right in town and a pig to find.)

Near Seville, heading south towards Huelva and just behind IKEA, there is the Leflet Castilleja la Cuesta. Underground secure parking but the ramp is very very steep and there are only a couple of restaurants nearby. However, its reasonably cheap and v. clean.

Portugal Motorways - Electronic tolls be very aware

Quote from post by Meathlady on Porto Forums of TripAdvisor.....

Full post here: ""

"Electronic tolls be very aware - Nov 01, 2010, 4:14 PM

The Portuguese government in their wisdom have introduced electronic tolls on some of their motorways, we were caught out on our way to Porto. I do not mind paying tolls I do object when their is no way for visitors leaving the country to pay and have heard I am going to be levied a fine of 10 times the toll.

We collected hire care in Lisbon no mention from the car hire company of the new tolls, on heading to Porto noticed signed for electronic tolls, stopped in Porto to pay we were advised to go to the Post Office. Queued for 40 mins to be told we cannot pay for 2 days at the system does not operate in real-time.

Explained we were leaving the country and got a shrug of the shoulders, no option to pay over the internet. Were given the same information by the care hire company in Porto but they did tell me I would be fined.

So tourists beware travel on electronically tolls motorways at your peril. I will NOT be going back to Portugal anytime soon".

My reply:

"Oh Dear!

I am so sorry that you have had this experience.

It was only a matter of time!

The Portuguese Govt. has not thought through the impact of the introduction of the new electronically collected tolls on tourism. In their rush to raise revenue because of Portugal's dire economic situation, they have decided to implement electronic tolls on several motorways. They intend doing this on the A22 Algarve Spinal Motorway "the Via de Infante" as from April 15th 2010.

This past summer, the Algarve Economy was saved by a massive influx of Spanish Tourists. The alternative road, the famous EN125 is not up to handling the traffic volumes.

It is my estimation that we will see a drop of up to 50% of car based travel here in the Algarve in 2011 once the word gets out about this crassly throught out system which does not even have an option to pay tolls at a service area on Portuguese motorways.

Portugal has high unemployment but in an effort to "avoid" creating more jobs, the Government has decided to go for an electronic system rather than build toll booths where people can pay and employment would be created.

I had not intended to write about this for a few more weeks as there is always hope the Portuguese Govt. will realise the damage they are causing to desperately needed tourism but your post has spurred me to action.

Personally, as a local expert for Lagos, Algarve, I have to say that I do not
recommend people visiting the Algarve next year by car, unless you are prepared to take a lot of time using old roads. If you are flying into Faro, Airport and want to hire a car, think about taking a shuttle to your destination and then hiring a car locally. Alternatively, fly to Lisbon, take a train or bus down to the Algarve, enjoying the views en route, and then hire locally.

We still do not know the price level of the tolls here , but early indication are that on the A22 Via de Infante they will be high. I suspect that instead of raising funds as they intend, this electronic toll system will be a loss leader and cause great damage to Portugal's image as a friendly tourist destination, as well has having exactly the opposite effect in maintaining economic growth.

I am not against charging reasonable tolls to fund road maintenance but tolls should be realistic and user friendly which these new ones in Portugal are not."

Friday, 29 October 2010

Light Van hire in the Algarve

Unfortunately, I do not know of many "budget" van hire firms of the type you are referring.

Europcar and Hertz offer this type of service with quality vehicles.

Autorent in Praia da Rocha also have vans for her here:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bus or train from Seville to Evora

There is no direct easy route by public transport from Seville to Evora.
If you are flying into and departing from a Spanish Airport, there should be no problem taking a Spanish Hire car into Portugal. (Provided you inform them upon hiring the vehicle.)

The following guys have a programme where you can even pick up a car in Spain and drop it off at Faro Airport in the Algarve for a reasonable cost.

As regards buses, your best option would probably be to get the daily DAMAS/EVA bus from Seville to Faro as follows:

Dept Seville: 07:30
Arr: Faro 10:10

then the Rede Expressos departure as follows:

Dept Faro: 11:15
Arr Evora: 15:45

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

Getting to Braga from Porto Airport

You would need to get the metro from Porto Airport to Porto Campanha Railway Station and then a train to Braga.

Extract from Timetable here:

The Metro Line E trip would take about 35 minutes.

The 2010/2011 Porto Metro timetable can be found here:

An Airport Transfer might also be another option.

These guys are quoting € 114.00 for Porto to Braga for 4 people.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Investing in the Western Algarve

MCG...don't get me started, just don't get me started!!!!!! :))

I am an libertarian free market economist by persuasion and all I am can say is that the property market in Western Algarve is, and has been since I've been here, the furthest thing I've ever seen from a "free market".

Prices have been, and even now with the current economic crisis, are incredibly inelastic, given the general poor quality of construction and the vast stock of unsold properties. I estimate that housing values and property prices would probably have to drop 40/45% over 2008 values before the Algarve market would really start to move again.

At present, they are down about 15-20%.

However, that is not the Algarve. People would rather sit on properties for 20 years rather than sell for less than what they personally think their properties are valued at.

Finally, remember, the competition is not just from the rest of the Algarve. It also from the Spanish Costas where there are tens of thousands more properties up for sale.

Webcam, Funchal, Madeira

Webcam showing live views from Funchal, Madeira

Click below

Lisbon to Badajoz by bus

It takes about 3hrs 15mins to travel between Lisbon, Portugal and Badajoz, Spain with bus service

Be aware that the time in Spain is 1 hour ahead of Portugal.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Your views about the Algarve, Portugal.

A Student at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, Karolina, is undertaking a BA in Travel and Tourism and researching the above topic for her final dissertation.

If there is anyone who has visited the Algarve as a tourist who would be prepared to complete a small survey to assist Karolina in her research your help would be appreciated. Please read on...

    " Your views about the Algarve, Portugal - would you recommend it to a friend?

Hello, my name is Karolina. I'm originally from Poland but living and studying in the UK. I'm about to finish my degree and therefore and I'm looking for tourist who would like to share their thoughts, experiences and views about holidays spent in the Algarve, Portugal. Any help and support is appreciated. If you think that you could spare a few minutes and fill in my questionnaire, you are more than welcome to do so. I'm happy to share the results of this research as soon as it's completed, you can request that by providing your e-mail on the last page of the questionnaire, although it's not necessary

    Questionnaire link: http://www.surveymon​​

or if above does not work:


    Thank you in advance! "

Monday, 18 October 2010

Nice Luzcar Story

I was in the Luzcar office in Lagos this morning paying for a vehicle I had hired for an emergency trip.

An English gentleman came in while I was there and identified himself at the desk. Turned out friends of his had dropped of their Luzcar hire car after hours at Faro Airport a couple of nights ago. One of them had dropped their wallet in the car.

They had only noticed later and phoned Luzcar.

Luckily the vehicle had not gone out again. Luzcar checked the vehicle in question, recovered the wallet, and sent it to the Lagos office intact where it was waiting the clients' friend in a sealed envelope.

Once again, great service from a quality local company.

And no, I am not employed by Luzcar, before anyone asks!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Xmas in Faro

Faro is the administrative capital of the Algarve, region of Portugal Apart from Ilha de Faro, 8km from the town, it is not a tourist destination itself.

Be aware that the weather in the Algarve at Christmas can be relatively cool (+-10ºC to 15ºC), windy and wet.

In winter, you may find that the Algarvean towns of Lagos or Albufeira more suitable destinations. Alternatively, Xmas may be a good time to visit the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. It is only +-3hrs by train from Faro and there will certainly be more to do there.

Internet Shop Vila do Bispo/ Raposeira

Arrgh! Just seen your post.

Sorry, I have been away in France on a mercy mission and only got back last night.

I know Hortas de Tabual well.

I have clients at Ingrina. The PT phone line runs from Vila de Bispo, then Raposeira and then Hortas. You should, as you note, be able to get SAPO ADSL over the landline in Hortas although the data transmission speed over the landline may not be that great.

As regards using a Vodafone dongle do not be to hopeful. With the folds in the hills around Hortas 3G reception is patchy at best. I suspect that even with a 12m usb cable the signal may not be that good. Furthermore, with the damp in winter and heat in summer, signal performance will be affected. This summer, I tried a vodafone dongle installation with a 12m cable, at the client's insistence,near the Ingrina Township over the hill from Hortas. The performance was not that great and was patchy.

As regards work, as you are a biochemist, you may find it worthwhile making contact with the University of the Algarve in Faro which has a marine research centre.

If I remember correctly, there used to be an English couple who lived in the big white round house above the restaurant at Praia de Zavial just down from Hortas who were marine research scientists and affiliated with the University of the Algarve. I have had a quick look through the Phone Directory but for the life of me cannot remember their names.

There have been a few marine research projects going on off-shore the Algarve and I would think there may always be a need for bio-chemists.

Also get in touch with Zoomarine in Guia as they have a R&D section as well I think.

Lisbon Apartment Needed

Downtown Lisbon is set on 7 hills and, owing to traffic calming measures over recent years, is not conducive to driving.

I strongly recommend that if you need to hire a car only do so when you are leaving Lisbon and pick it up at the Airport or Gare Oriente. Parking is difficult to come by in the old centre and if you have to put a car in a parking garage, you may still have to walk a good distance to reach your accommodation.

Lisbon has an excellent public transport service with metro, trams and buses.

Taxis are not that expensive either.

For apartments have a look at this recent thread:

For Coimbra, I would recommend the IBIS Coimbra.

Stayed there earlier this year. A few blocks for the Centre and the River is just over the road.

Part B:

Cascais and Sintra are easily accessible from central Lisbon via Cais de Sodre and Restauradores Train Stations. Travel time less than an hour each way. You do not really need a car. There are always taxis at the stations.

Evora and Elvas will need a car as there are few public transport links between the two.

Why not leave the latter till you leave Lisbon. Drive from Lisbon to Evora and Elvas? Go to Elvas first, then Evora. Stay at the IBIS In Evora and then drive to Coimbra, (Provided you are prepared to pay the tolls, ) via the A6, A13, A1 motorway thus bypassing Lisbon.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Vilamoura to Lisbon Sete Rios Rede Expressos - Winter 2010/2011


Monday, 4 October 2010

Faro benefits from Low-Cost Airlines.

The Portuguese Daily newspaper "Jornal da Noticías" has just published an article based on research in the Algarve that shows that the expansion of low-cost flights to Faro, (including the creation of the Ryanair base) has resulted in improvements in business for local entrepreneurs.

Full article (in Portuguese) here:

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Algarve - Bus Hire

Don't raise your hope of getting replies from EVA!

I was trying to organise buses for Dance Algarve 2010 last Easter and despite emails(in Portuguese) and one visit to the office, I had to go again to Faro and basically stand in front of the desk and refuse to move to extract a quote. EVA appear to feel that they are doing clients a favour in providing quotes!!

They also handle bookings for Frota Azul in Portimão as the two companies are linked by cross shareholding.

I suspect the problem with the high quotes is the 2am/3am Saturday night return trip to Albufeira. It probably means double or triple overtime.

One company I did get a 48hr fax reply from was Transol in Portimão:

Rua Projectada à Caldeira do Moinho, Edf. Abicada Loja 5
8500 - 726 Portimão
Tel: 282 450 460
Fax: 282 475 511

Most of these companies do quote for a variety of vehicles. You really need to tell them when asking for a quote how many pax there will be on each.
Transol has vehicles to carry 8, 16, 40, 49, 53, 55 and 59 pax.

It also might be worth contacting Lepebus in Cartaya, just over the border in Spain.

They have a fleet that has buses that can carry 19/25/30/35 pax and fuel in Spain is cheaper. We used them for transporting dancers in 2009 from Seville to Lagos and back. They operate to Faro Airport but I am not sure about doing jobs within Portugal but is is worth a try.

Website here:

Christine Chabeau or Mari Carmen Moreno
Ctra. Nacional 431, Km. 114
Apdo 8
21440 LEPE (Huelva)
T. (+34) 959 39 29 29
F. (+34) 959 39 27 27
M. (+34) 629 18 50 07

Dolphin Viewing from Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I have written several times on this forum that I also think that the companies doing these trips do not pay the dolphins enough commission!

Dolphins are not stupid as we know!


Consequently, why turn up for work when the pay is not good!

I have often wondered and felt not a little concerned about the advertising for these trips from Lagos Marina and do feel these push the bounds of credibility.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

bus Sevilla to Faro

The bus from Seville stops in Faro Centre. It does not go to the Airport.

You have to take a local bus or taxi to the Airport.

Timetable here:

Monday, 27 September 2010

Living in Portugal - US Citizen

This is a very difficult one to answer.

The first thing to note is that as a US citizen you would probably only get a permit to live in Portugal if -

1) You are a retiree with substantial private income
2) You make a substantial business investment which might entitle you to a residency and work permit
3) You are married to someone with Portuguese nationality. Even then there may be complication.
4) You work for a company who transfers you to work at their operations in Portugal and can organise a work permit.

Generally the Portuguese are friendly to foreigners although when one lives here, like in most places, one should learn the language and try to integrate socially. Do not expect to be welcomed overnight.

Buying a house is no problem once you have a work/residency permit but be aware that in my opinion property prices are still in excess of actual value and quality of construction is not always that good. Prices are probably higher than certain parts of the US.

You would probably need private Health Insurance for your first 18 months or so and during that time you would have also to pay into the local national public heath insurance system.

I would suggest that if you have further queries that you contact the Portuguese Embassy in Washington D.C. in the first instance.

2012 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Estados Unidos da América

Hours: das 9h00 às 16h30

Telefone: 001 202 350 54 00
Fax: 001 202 462 37 26

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


You still have not stated clearly which areas of Portugal you wish to visit from Spain!

In all, I would say that Madrid is the best jumping off point to visit Portugal as there are low cost flights from Madrid to Lisbon and Porto. There are also good regular bus services between Madrid and Lisbon.

There are no direct connections between Gibratar and Portugal. It is possible, however, to get a buses from Algeciras to Seville and then connect to a twice-daily bus to Faro and Lagos in the Algarve Region of Portugal or to the daily bus from Seville to Lisbon.

Portimão - Developers Video - New Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre

I cannot see that the opening of this Centre at this time os going to result in the closing an boarding up of, at least, two other shopping centres in Portimão!!!!

The video intro says it all! The 45 minute drive radius catchment area only offers a population of 75,000 for 10 months of the year! Crazy!!!!

Anyway click here to view:

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Visit to Portugal

jabraltur? Sorry but I don't know that place!

Portugal is a fair sized country! Which place in Portugal do you wish to travel to from Madrid in January?

How long does one need to tour portugal? Depending on which areas in Portugal you want to go to and what you want to see I would say from 1 week to 1 month.

Portugal to Morocco - By bus from Lisbon or Faro to Seville, Spain and then by bus to Algeciras, Spain. Then ferry to Morocco. have announced that they will be operating three low-cost flights a week from Porto to Marrakesh as from November 2010.

Royal Air Maroc and TAP-Air Portugal also operate flights from Lisbon to Casablanca,

Monday, 20 September 2010

tolls on the A22

As things currently stand, perfectly true.

The implications for car-borne tourism from Spain etc are boggling.

However, the Portuguese Govt. has to tighten its belt and so hitting tourism by chasing visitors away by charging tolls is the obvious things to do. (This is instead of provoking public sector strikes/demos à la Greece by forcing public servants to be more productive!)

However, there will apparently be certain exemptions for locally registered cars etc.

The system is not yet clear but will apparently involve electronic payment.

I have not posted about this yet as the details are still hazy AND there is still 6 months of political haggling to go!

Friday, 17 September 2010

travel - Lagos and Fatima.

There are no direct public transport links between Lagos and Fatima.

By train it is not that easy as you have to transit Lisbon and disembark at Caxarias, 10km (6 miles) outside Fátima. There are only a few buses a day between Caxarias and the Sanctuary.

The best bet is by long distance coach.

I have published the current (Sept 2010) timetable for bus services between Lagos and Fatima via Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station offered by Rede Expressos here:

The word "Diariamente" means daily. The first two services of the day do not operate daily. I would suggest that to do the return trip in a day would be uncomfortable. You probably want to plan on staying over in Fatima at least one night.

The full site for the bus company is here:

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Travel from Fatima to Madeira by land

I find your question rather interesting.

Given that Madeira is an island in the Atlantic Ocean lying 1,000 km west from the Portuguese Mainland, it is impossible to get there by land. (Unless you walk on water!)

There is only one ferry per week on Sundays taking 24 hours from the Portuguese Mainland to Madeira. This departs from the Port of Portimão in the Southern Algarve region of Portugal.

The company is:

My own recommendation is that you consider an flight from Lisbon Airport to Madeira.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Lisbon to Seville by bus

For winter 2011, there is:

a) One daily direct service between Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro - Jardim Zoologico) and Seville Estacion Plaza das Armas.

Dept Lisbon: 20:45

Arr Seville: 05:15 (next day)

b) There is a second direct service operating on Thursday, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

Dept Lisbon: 09:00

Arr Seville: 17:45

Both these service are operated by

Timetable here:

Prices: € 35.00 one way - € 61.00 return.

It is also possible daily to get an EVA/Rede Expressos bus from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro - Jardim Zoologico) to Faro and then connect with one of the twice daily EVA/DAMAS buses from Faro to Seville.

Dept: (Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro - Jardim Zoologico) 01:00

Arr: Faro Bus Station 04:50

Dept: Faro Bus Station: 09:20

Arr: Seville Estacion Plaza das Armas: 14:00

Dept: (Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro - Jardim Zoologico) 10:30

Arr: Faro Bus Station 13:45

Dept: Faro Bus Station: 16:25

Arr: Seville Estacion Plaza das Armas: 21:15

Lagos, Algarve - Can I attend a football match?

The local club is Esperança de Lagos.

Website (in Portuguese) here:

The stadium is situated on the entrance to Lagos from Portimão, not far from Macdonalds. Unfortunately, the website does not easily a show of next fixtures.

Portimense would probably be a better bet as they are in the Premier Division this season.

Their website is here:

However, I think they are playing all their matches for the first part of this season at the Estadio do Algarve near Faro as their own stadium is being upgraded.

You would need a car to get there.

League Fixtures are here:

Praia da Pinhão - Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Praia de Pinhão may have attracted nudists at one time but these days the Maritme Police are doing more patrolling of the Lagos beaches and decorum seems to have been the watchword this summer.

One never knows, however, the odd nudist may still make it there. Personally, I don't see the problem as long as they act naturally and don't make an exhibition of themselves.

As to the location of the fire station, follow the Avenida out of town past the Fort, (fortaleza), (to your right,) continue up the hill and you will come to the Fire Station on your right. The access for Praia de Pinhão is to your right.

Praia do Camilo--Lagos

The road to Ponte da Piedade goes straight past the access road for Praia Dona Ana.

The distance between Praia Dona Ana and Ponte da Piedade is about 1km.

Half way to Ponte da Piedade on the right there is a turn off leading down to a small wooden structure cafe. (You can see it from the Road.)

The stairs to Camilo leave from behind the cafe.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Travel to Residencial Florescente

Actually, the taxi cannot drop you off directly in front of the hotel as it is on a pedestrian precinct.

How do I know? Barlaventoexpert has stayed at the Residencial Florescente!

However, the taxi should be able to drop you off on the corner of Rua dos Condes and Rua de São José and you can then walk the 30m or so to the Florescente.

Now you have explained where you are staying, I can advise that in Rua das Portas de Sãnto Antão (turn right out of the Florescente!) there are several Asian run electrical/electronics shops selling counterfeit brands who will be more than pleased, methinks, to sell you an iron!

A final point, Rua das Portas de Sãnto Antão, which mergers into Rua de São José, is an "ambush alley" of restaurants with touts outside. There is at least one recent report on these forums of punters being ripped off in these restaurants. Be very careful and wary. Check the prices of everything including wine and do not be intimidated.

Car rental and driving out of Lisbon

I think your idea of picking up the car at Lisbon Airport is a good one. You have good access to the A2 motorway to the Algarve via the Vasco da Gama bridge close to the Airport.

As regards taxis, they are metered. However, there is an excellent bus service from Lisbon Airport to the Avda. Liberdade/Restauradores/Rossio area operated by Carris.


A taxi for 4 people & bags may be difficult. Hopefully there will be a slightly large people carrier on the rank. With bags, and dependent on time of day/night/weekend budget between € 10 and € 20 per run.

I am totally confused by this obsession with GPS. My main profession is as an IT Tech and web designer of some 15 years experience. I like Technology.

Yet I cannot fathom this fascination with GPS, when MK 1 eyeball, a good (Google/Michelin) map and an adventurous spirit will usually quite adequately get one where one wants to go.

BTW as you are from the "other side of the pond", remember when booking your car that most rental vehicles in Europe are "manual shift"! If you want/need an automatic shift, remember to specific this when booking and be aware that you will pay a premium for such a vehicle.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Bus from port coming from morocco to lisbon

You will need to get a bus to Seville from which ever port you arrive at:


From Seville to Lisbon there are two options:


This company currently operates 2 daily services between Sevilla and Lisbon as follows:

SEVILLA(Prado) LISBON 23:30 07:30next day

2) EVA Transportes/DAMAS Change and buy ticket in Faro

Sevilla Plaza das Armas Faro 08:00 10:40
Faro Lisboa 11:00 14:15

Sevilla Plaza das Armas Faro 16:15 18:55
Faro Lisboa 19:00 22:15

The Algarve - August 2010 Tourism Trends

Interesting article here in Jornal de Barlavento about the main trends in the Algarve tourism sector in Algarve 2010.

What is interesting to note is that despite the problems with the Spanish Economy, arrivals from Spain saw a substantial increase over the equivalent period in 2009. This confirms a trend that has been evolving for several years now. If you are in the travel business in the Algarve DO NOT ignore the Spanish market at your peril.

The Dutch Market is also showing major growth with arrivals from Ireland were down by one third and from the Uk by 2,7%.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Visiting Oeiras

Funny this! Hardly ever anything posted about this!

I'm going to be up in Oeiras tonight for the premiere of «ONNI - Objecto Náutico Não Identificado» directed by John Mowat who also works with Companhia Teatro Chapitu in Lisbon.


This is a comedy/play about the reaction of the native Brazilians to the first Portuguese appearing on the horizon.

The title is a play on the Portuguese acronym OVNI which means UFO. In the play ONNI the title stands for Objecto Náutico Não Identificado or Unidentified Nautical Object.

Don't forget that in Oeiras you are only a few stops by train from the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem with its tower and monument to the Portuguese voyages of Discovery.

You will also need at least 2 days to explore Lisbon.

The Algarve

I remember Albufeira +40 years ago when it was still principally a small fishing village with only one or two buildings with more than two floors. Driving down from Lisbon took five to six hours on twisty cork and almond tree-lined roads. Faro Airport had just opened.

However, at that time, Portugal still had an empire generating its economic wealth and Lisbon was the bustling capital of an empire. I remember the first morning in the Mundial Hotel, in Lisbon, waking up to sound of trams rattling through the streets and fishmongers and other traders still pushing their barrows though the area around Mem Martins and Praça da Figueira plying their wares. A fascinating introduction to a new culture for a young teenager, whose experience of life till then had been restricted to Southern Africa.

However, life is a dynamic and all things move on. 1974 saw the Revolution in Portugal and overnight the country lost it Empire and much of its economic wealth, It also had to accommodate over a million retornados from its colonies, One obvious source of such wealth was to promote the development of tourism in the Algarve to pick up on the overflow form the beginnings of mass tourism to the Spanish Costas and Greek islands.

Subsequently, following Portugal's entry to the EU in 1986, there was a increase in mass movement by retiree's and others from other EU states to retire/live in the Algarve.

Hence the transmogrification of the region into a destination for wine filled, sun splashed hedonism for Northern Europeans!

Regrettably, the Algarve's cultural heritage was not really protected or enhanced during this period, Lagos, where I live, has a phenomenal history with recently research by the University of Seville recovering artifacts of Phonecian origin. The Romans were here and in Tavira, The Moors were in Silves. At this time, the Algarve region was part of the Moorish kingdom or Al-Andaluz and was known in Arabic as the Al-Gharb.

Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins shelled Lagos while they were still privateers, and Lagos as well as Sagres were critical key ports in the Portuguese Voyages of discovery which opened the sea route to the Asia around the Cape of Good Hope in the 14C/15C. Without this great Portuguese success, neither the Dutch nor the British would have had their empires in the form they subsequently took. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve until much of the old town was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake.

I was privileged a few years ago to be passing a dig by the city walls near the Bombeiros and to see two skeletons been excavated from what was probably the graveyard of the church that stood in Largo Sta. Maria until the eartquake.

There are also apocryphal stories that illiterate fisherman without compasses from Olhão in the Algarve crossed the Atlantic to Brazil in 1830 to take news to the Portuguese Royal family resident in Brazil at the time.

The Algarve has a tremendous cultural is just that there is not one museum, historical theme park, son et lumière, or other facility that promotes it in a way comprehensible to visitors. It is a tremendous shame!

This lack of cultural awareness and promotion of cultural tourism to the Algarve is problematical and contributes of the lack of year round stable economic activity here.

It is interesting that there is increasing evidence that European tourists, in particular, are increasingly much more interested in taking city breaks to Lisbon and Porto than visiting the Algarve.

See, for example, this recent article:

Consequently, I must concur that if one is in Lisbon and one wants to take a side trip elsewhere in Portugal to see more than sea and sand, head north to Coimbra, Obidos, Alcobaça, Batalha, Porto, Torres Vedras etc.

A final note, with regards to the comments above about the behavior of foreign tourists here, I have been helping a friend out managing a 16 bed villa here this summer. The owner lives in the UK. What possessed her, I do not know, (greed probably!) but she rented the property this week to 14 English soccer fans.

I can tell you, that being called out to extract beer cans, various body coverings, hair etc, etc from a jacuzzi filter after a wild 18hr booze fueled party is not my idea of culture either!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


And at the risk of being ostracized by my Portuguese and Spanish friends, I think this 1990's UK Comedy clip sums up the current heatwave:


Bus from Lisbon Airport to Albufeira

There is no bus station at Lisbon Airport. A metro link is being constructed but will only open within the next couple of years.

Take an Aeroshuttle bus from Lisbon Airport to Gare Oriente Train/Bus Station - see note below) to Gare Oriente Train Station about 10 minutes from the Airport.

Aeroshuttle (CARRIS Nº96) - Available everyday, every 30 minutes between 7am and 11pm, the aeroshuttle connects Gare Oriente - Airport - Entrecampos - Sete Rios - Praça de Espanha.

Tickets (3,50€) can be purchased onboard and also in the Tourism Office at arrivals (public area).

From Gare Oriente Train/Bus Station get a Renex bus to Albufeira.


Timetables: Download timetables via my blog as indicated above. (RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable)

Note: Ask for a ticket for Albufeira. There will be a bus change at Vale Paraiso, the stop before Albufeira.

There are departures, currrently, at 11:00 arriving Albufeira at 14:10 and a departures at 13:00 arriving 16:10

Timetable in pdf format here: