Sunday, 31 January 2010

Vehicle hire from Faro Airport.

Try Luzcar. I've known and rented from them for years. Their prices may not be the cheapest but they are all inclusive.

I had a Sharan from them last easter.

Also try:

These are both reputable car hire firms who offer Faro Airport collection.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Parking advice - Seville

Bad Bad Move! Just looked on Google maps and the Hotel is right slap bang in the centre and the pedestrian zone. Not only will you have one hell of a time driving to the hotel through the very narrow streets, parking is likely to be like hens teeth and v. expensive. Also, on street parking with a Portuguese registered hire car is like hanging out a flag and saying "Come and get me!!!"

If I were you, I would park in the paid parking at Estacion Plaza das Armas or on Colon by the river and walk. Bear in mind that by mid-June midday temps may be approaching 35º to 40ºc. Distance about 500m according to Google maps.

I drive over to Seville regularly from Lagos and always do the above if I have to go into the centre.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Jose maria da fonseca winery

Have a look at their web site here:

Its a bit of a dogs breakfast!!!

Log in with your age
Select english
Select contacts on the drop down menu
Select How to find us

You will find a range of options including public transport.

If this is too difficult email them at

The reason I say too difficult is that this is one of those Web 2.0 all singing all dancing flash up market websites which appears to have been designed to be as un user friendly as possible.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

drive between lagos and sevilla

I presume that you require to arrive at Seville Airport at 09:00 am SPANISH TIME.(i.e. one hour ahead of Portugal time).

Allowing for the fact that Seville rush hour traffic can be heavy and that the airport in on the North Side of the City, I would allow between 3,5 to 4 hours travel time. You may get a clear run through, but I have been caught in Seville rush hour. It is not nice! Its better to have to kill half an hour at Seville Airport than

I would therefore suggest leaving Lagos between 04:00 and 04:30 a.m.(Portuguese Time)

Monday, 18 January 2010

Renting a room in shared accomodation

Aye, you have a problem there, lassie!

There are very few english or scots speaking expats here in Portugal who actually speak Portuguese. I do!

A large part of the problem is down to arrogance and the complete unwillingness of of english speaking expats when living in foreign parts to immerse themselves in the local culture.

You may have a better chance with a Portuguese family, However, they will probably want to speak english to you to improve their English!!!!!

Some tips:

1) Avoid the Algarve like the plague!!!!!!!! English is the second laguage here !!!!!

2) Also avoid Cascais and Estoril in the Lisbon for a similar reason.

3) I would recommend one of the cities like Porto, Coimbra, Braga or Guimarães.

These are student towns and you may find that as the university year winds down, reasonable prices accommodation will become available.

Have a look at this site:

Also register with this site and post your requirement there:

There will be a lot of non-portuguese speaking expats there but you may be lucky and find a housing sitting requirement.

There are websites/forums with classified listings in portuguese but if you are not confident in the language be careful.

There is one for rooms and shares at this link:

Travel from Faro to Cabo de Roca

The fastest mode of transport from Faro to Cabo da Rocha will be by car.

For a route map see:

Transit time will be: about 3 hours 5 mins
Distance: 311 km

Note that this route does involve long stretches of toll motorway.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Algarve - Public Transport

The only problem with the buses between Alvor and Lagos is that they only operate during the day.

This is a major problem in the Algarve. If you want to go and have dinner or a night out in another village or town, often taxi is the only way by public transport. Alternatively, if you have a hire car, one of the party has to stay sober and drive.

A good night-time hourly bus service along the Algarve linking main centres is something I've felt has been missing for a long time as is a direct scheduled hourly or twice hourly bus service between 06:00 and 24:00 from Faro Airport to places like Vilamoura, Cubsur-Land (Olho d'Agua/Albufeira), Armação da Pera, Praia da Rocha, Alvor and Lagos.

Thursday, 14 January 2010 - Manchester to Madeira from 3rd May 2010 are now selling flights on their site for their new weekly Monday return service from Manchester to Madeira.

Train / Bus to Idanha-a-Nova

This question came up last year as well. The organisers of the Boom festival, while saying they want to protect the environment, have not chosen a location exactly easily accessible by Public Transport!!!!!!!!!!

Idanha-a-Nova is 262kms. from Lisbon, about a 3 hour drive. It is located in a rural area close to the Spanish Border.

There will certainly not be a public bus service at that time of night.

I really would recommend getting the Bus. (i.e. fly in perhaps the day before and spend a day in Lisbon)

One could catch a train from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Castelo Branco, the city nearest to Idanha-a-Nova. However, the summer train timetable will not be out till late April. The current train timetable shows the latest departure at 19h26 arriving 22h09. She would then need to get a taxi (if avaliable) from Castelo Branco to Idanha-a-Nova. (Distance +-40 kms.)

There is also a bus service operated by Rede Expressos to Castelo Branco but the last departure is at 19:00 arriving 22:35. Again a taxi would be needed to get to Idanha-a-Nova.

Car hire Faro airport

The market indicators suggest that Summer 2010 will be as bad as 2009 for car hire in the Algarve. The companies are having problems getting lease financing for their fleets so it is a good thing to book early.

As regards saving money on car hire at present, its not worth the effort, at present, as in my opinion, many of the cheaper operators are recycling fleets from previous years, some with some damage etc and then trying to charge renters for damage caused by previous users.

It is better to deal direct with a local reputable rental then know from the start who you are dealing with, what the terms and conditions are and what the price is going to be.

Rental Companies offering delivery at Faro Airport that I have used, know or have good comments on include:

Luzcar -

Auto-Jardim -

ZitAuto - - You have to email them.

Meia Praia - Lagos - 2010

We still have substantial road works on the road to Meia Praia as the section between the Big Yellow Berlin Wall building and the Dom Pedro hotel, is being totally rebuilt with new sewers etc going in. I suspect these will probbaly be complete for summer 2010 but I cannot give any guarantee.

As regards the new hotel, the structure is close to completion but interior kitting out is not yet moving ahead. As regards who will operate it, I amnot sure as it appears to have changed hands serveral times. As soon as there is definite information available, I will post on this forum.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Monte Dourado, Lagos

This Hotel is actually situated in Carvoeiro, 20km from Lagos.

It appears that it has a postal address (post box) iin Lagos and that is why it has been classified on Trip Advisor as being in Lagos.


The hotel website is here:

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Mobile Internet Portugal

Good Article here on Prepaid 3G Mobile Internet in Portugal here:

Further Rail Strikes - Portugal - January 2010

Based on the news reports in today's Correio da Manha, it appears that there will be rail strikes in mornings up to 10:00 this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Trips from Albufeira to Gibraltar

The though of day return trip to Gib from the Algarve does my head in!!!!

I've just been up to Lisbon yesterday and back this morning. Went by Renex from Lagos as was heading to the Gare Oriente area. (Bus times were better than train) 4 and a half hours each way was enough!!

However, while I was waiting to board the RENEX bus at Oriente this morning a bus from atlassib (see: ) rolled in from Bucharest complete with trailer.

An entire busload of bus-seat shaped and contorted zombies emerged.......The service operates twice weekly and appears to take 70 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Public Indoor Pool - Lagos, Algarve

There is a public pool here.

The big pool is 25x17m.

Website here:

I have swum in it. One can just turn up and pay.

Cost: 4,50 € per hour

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

CÃO QUE MORRE NÃO LADRA - Companhia do Chapitô in Lisbon

Companhia do Chapitô in Lisbon are premiering their next production at the Teatro de Chapitô, on Thursday, 7th Jamuary 2010.

Once again directed by John Mowat, and starring again Jorge Cruz, Marta Cerqueira, Tiago Viegas.

More information (in portuguese)here:

Portugal - CP/REFER - Rail Workers Strike - 21 January 2010

According to the following article (in Portuguese) there will be a Railways Workers Strike on 21st January 2010.

Albergaria Dias, Funchal, Madeira - Contact Details

Looks like their web site may have been hacked. A lot of local Microsoft Server hosted websites were hit over Christmas and the New Year.

Try this.

Albergaria Dias

Rua Bela de São Tiago, 44 B

9060-400 Funchal

tel: 291 206 680

Try this email:


Car Hire--automatic much more expensive?

We, in Europe, (and much of the rest of the world) mainly use manual shift vehicles. Consequently, you need to specifically request an automatic shift when booking a rental vehicle.

As there is limited demand for automatic shift this side of the pond, car rental companies only usually have available upmarket models. Hence the price premium.

Forget buying a car here! Its not possible, unless you are a resident.

Algarve Resident Site Hacked over Christmas

It has just come to my noteice that the Algarve Resident web site was hacked over Christmas.


I can't say i am surprised.

Any small or medium size business these days that hosts its website on a Microsoft Server based host is asking for trouble.

Unless such firms can afford (costly, in my opinion) in-house IT staff who are constantly on the bubble in managing both the server and the database, they would be much better hosting and developing their sites on linux-based hosts using LAMP or at a pitch Java based solutions.

Where to stay in the Algarve?

I would suggest Lagos.

Look at the Vila Galé Hotel Meia Praia, Lagos. -

Vivenda Miranda at Porto de Mós is also well situated. -

Finally, the Hotel Baleeira in Sagres may also be of interest. -

The Western Algarve is less developed, and Lagos retains more the feel of a traditional Portuguese town than many other places along the Algarve Coast. The West coast with its hidden beaches and rugged coastline is a great place to explore.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Malaga to Faro

Prices and bookings for bus tickets and train tickets in Portugal and Spain are usually only available a few weeks before the date of travel.

I am afraid it is unrealistic to expect to confirm prices now for buses or trains on 1st September 2010.

The following company may be able to assist you with regards to car hire in Spain and drop off in Fao.

Bus from Malaga tp Seville and then onto Faro is the only realistic public transport option for this route.

There are no trains that serve this route.

Lisbon to Sagres by Public Transport

First of all you do not want to head to Faro!!!1

Take the train from Lisbon to Tunes junction and then change to a train to Lagos.

Go to my blog here:

In the right hand panel half way down you will find a section entitled:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find links to the necessary train timetables there.

In Lagos walk over the Marina bridge to the Bus Station.

From Lagos there are regular buses operated by Eva Transportes from Lagos to Sagres:

Timetable here:

Lisbon to Portimão, Praia da Rocha and Alvor

Absolutely, no need to go to Faro.

Firstly, see the following articles on my blog about getting from Lisbon to Portimão.

Secondly, Alto club is actually closer to Alvor than Portimão. It is quite a distance from both the train station and the bus halt.

There are few downtown car hire agencies left in Portimão. Most have migrated to Praia da Rocha.

Renex Bus Company operate at least 8 buses a day from Lisbon to Portmão and Praia da Rocha.

Rede Expressos bus company operate at least 5 buses from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station to Portimão and Praia da Rocha.

Links to these Bus Companies can be found in the right hand panel of my blog.

I would suggest that you get a bus from Lisbon to Praia da Rocha. Pick up a car there.

Avis, Hertz and several other companies have rental offices along the strip there.

You could try these guys also:

Note: Although there are buses to Alvor, I would suggest that Praia da Rocha is a better place to pick up the car as the agencies are all within a fairly compact area.Also, bus is a better way to get down to Praia da Rocha from Lisbon than train as Portimão station is a ways from Praia da Rocha.