Monday, 31 January 2011

2011 - Weekly Charter Flights - LHR - Beja International!

No one is going to believe this!

Thanks again to Sergio Bastos of (see ) for the heads up on this.

Sunvil Discovery, a British Tour operator, are going to begin weekly direct charter flights between London Heathrow and Beja, Alentejo on 22 May 2010.!


As far as I know this will be the first semi-regular passenger service in and out of Beja to any destination.

According to Sergio's article, return flights will be €230.00 return. The flights will be operated by Embraer 49-seat plane operated by BMI.

Algarve - Private Tour Companies?

Firstly, late August/early September is still a long way  ahead. The economic crisis is biting in teh Algarve with higher fuel prices etc.

Most of the private tour operators are small businesses so I cannot guarantee they will still be in business by the time you come.

I do not personally recommend operators but the following are companies that have been used or recommended in the Algarve forum.

Algarve Jeep Safari -
Followmetours -

OwnersinPortugal -

"Comment on OwnersinPortugal from contributor on Tripadvisor"

" .... I found this on the internet and booked two day trips with Alan Sutton last year when we were staying in Albufeira. We found him to be very friendly but professional and a mine of information. You tell him what you would like to see and he can add in suggestions of things which you would probably not know about. The beauty is that you set the pace of the day, spending longer in places that interest you and moving on faster if something doesn't take as long as expected.Alan points out things of interest throughout the journey in his up market Citreon picasso with tinted windows, air con and cooled water. He also takes you to some great local cafes/restaurants depending on what sort of place you would like to eat at.

He picked us up from and returned us to our villa in Albufeira. We had one tour going west, up into the mountains of Monchique and visiting Silves and the highest point, along the West coast to Cape St.Vincent and back via the South coast passing through Sagres and Lagos etc. The second tour we went East, stopping at Loule and visiting the market hall full of local produce, Faro old town , Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio at the Spanish border. These towns were all very different and the area is much less commercialised than the central Algarve.CAn thoroughly recommend these tours and We will be booking further tours with Alan when we return to the area. "

As regards where to stay, Albufeira is very central but very very touristy. If you seek somewhere more Portuguese have a look at either Tavira or Lagos.

Taxi transfers from Faro to Lagos

See this recent article on my blog for starters. Also applies to all destinations in the Algarve.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Traditional Portugal - Cascais??

Cascais is a good base for touring the Lisbon region but it is upmarket "OK, Yah!" Portugal.

If you want to see real Portugal, and depending on when you are travelling, Ryanair operate Dublin to Porto in the summer season.

Porto is much more traditional and you have the added option of being able to easily visit the historic cities of Guimarães and Braga on day trips by rail or bus as well.

Finally, Ryanair also operate direct flights from Porto to Faro Airport, only 20 minutes drive from the "walled resort!"!

Alternatively, if a second flight with Ireland's Favorite (?) airline, doesn't appeal, the six/seven hour trip by the morning Alfa Pendular Train from Porto to Faro, via Lisbon with a spectacular transit of the 25 de Abril Bridge over the Tejo (Lisbon) would allow you to see a lot of Portugal.

I just have a feeling that from what you want Porto and the North might be more appropriate.

How to get from Cadiz Spain to Porto or Lisbon in Portugal?

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

Your best bet will be by bus as follows:

1) TG Comes ( operate coaches between Cadiz and Sevilla El Prado Bus Station every couple of hours from 07:00 thru 21:00. Transit time is about 2 hours.

2) Then see this article on my blog which details how to get from Seville to Lisbon via Faro:

Do not forget about the 1hr difference between Spanish time and Portuguese Time.

3) From Lisbon there are regular buses and trains to Porto. From Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station, there are frequent hourly services to Porto operated by Rede Expressos hourly through the day until 21.00. Transit time is about 3,5 hours.


There are several trains per day also between Faro or Lisbon and Porto.

Timetable here:

Faro Bus Station is close to the Rail Station.

In Lisbon, you would need to get a surburban train or Metro to get to Gare Oriente Station to connect with the trains to Porto.

What's the cheapest way to get from Sevilla to Lisbon?

Almost Certainly by Long distance Bus!

There are no low-cost flights nor train between the two centres.

At present, there are two operators which offer this service:


Website url:

One daily service with an extra on 4 days a week.

SEVILLE(Plaza das Armas) 15:00 LISBON Sete Rios 21:15 - Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun
SEVILLE(Plaza das Armas) 23:59 LISBON Sete Rios 07:30 - Daily

Price - Single - One Way - € 35.00

2) Damas/EVA


It is possible to take the morning Seville bus to Faro and connect with a forward service to Lisbon as follows:

SEVILLE(Plaza das Armas) 07:30 FARO 10:10 - Daily

Price - Single - One Way - € 16.00

FARO € 11:00 LISBON Sete Rios 14:15 - Daily

Price - Single - One Way - € 19.00

Total Price Seville - Lisbon € 37.00

Apart from this getting a lift with some one is the only other way

CP - Portugal - Possible International Train Service Reduction Alert

An article in today's Publico newspaper reports that Portuguese Railways are considering reductions in the two international trains services it operates to Hendaye/Paris and Madrid, namely the Sud Expresso e Lusitânia Express.

Travellers with plans to use these services should maintain a check on this as there is a possibility that the services may be reduced to only a few times as week.

See: (In Portuguese)

Article on Lisbon in NYT

Excellent article on things to do in Lisbon in the NYT.

Link here:

Thanks to @osoares on Twitter for drawing it to my attention

Earliest Bus from Lisbon City to Airport

Unfortunately, during winter the first service of the Carris Nº 91 Cais de Sodre to Airport bus from the centre of Lisbon is at 07:00.


I'm afraid it will have to be a taxi.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Flight from UK to Azores

As regards flights to the Azores, SATA the airline of the Azores operates direct flights from Ponta Delgada to London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Dublin.

See their site here:

I know that the Regional government has been working on getting low-costs to serve the island but to date has had no great success with the exception of Air Berlin from Nuremburg. (If Air Berlin can truly be called a low-cost.)

Pizzolino Pizza, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

For those of you who are in and about Lagos, and are fans of pizza,

I've just had a message in to say that Pizzolino Pizza has now reopened after a Christmas. (Apparently with a new ceiling! )

The address is:
Urb Lapinha
Rua Salgueiro Maia Lt 8 r/c
Loja J

Tm: 282 769 647
(Just down from the Black Ball roundabout and Finibanco)

If you got there don't forget to congratulate them on the new ceiling as you walk in! :)))))))

More Public Wifi Access - Silves

Interesting article here!

Silves Camara have increased the number of wifi hotspots in Silves, Armação da Pera and Messines

Seville Airport Buses

Buses from Seville El Prado via Estacion Sta. Justa are operated by TUSSAM, the local transport authority.

Link to the timetable here:

Unfortunately the first service on a Sunday is at 06:15 arriving at the Airport at 06:45.

If you are flying with an airline that does online check-ins, you may be able to get away with it. Otherwise its a taxi, i'm afraid.

Faro to Albufeira Transfers

The official ANA Aeroportos Airport guide for Winter 2011, quotes between €49.00 and €68.00 for a SIX seater taxi between Faro Airport and Albufeira
dependent on time of day/night/weekend. There may be extra for charges.

You may find a pre-booked private transfer a better bet.

Here are some links to be going on with:

Faro to Lisbon by Train - Arrival Station??

The trains from The Algarve and Evora stop at Entrecampos station and Gare Oriente station. Some Intercity trains stop at Sete Rios Station as well.

Rossio Station only serves the Sintra Line.

You should probably use Entrecampos station. From there to get to the Rossio/Baixa area you can take the Metro in direction RATO, change at Marques de Pombal station to the Blue line direction Stª. Apolonia and detrain at Restauradores Station.Shouldn't take more than 15 to 20 minutes.

As regards Évora, the railway line is currently being rebuilt and when it reopens in May, there will be major changes to the service.

You should check the status of this line in September.

The Rossio/Baixa area is the old centre of Lisbon and a good central area to stay in for first time visitors to Lisbon.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Private drivers - Lisbon Port

I recently came across this site/service through twitter:

I have never used them but it might be along the lines what you are looking for.

If you use them it would be great if you could report back.

Airport Transfer - Porto

They are thin and far between owing to the good public transfer up there.

Have a look at these guys:

Have used their sister outfit here in the Algarve.

You can also try the company mentioned in this article on my blog, Quality Tours:

I visited their offices last year while up north and was impressed by what I saw.

However, I have not actually used their services.

Their transfer page is here:

Portimão - Festa de Laranja

More Algarve News today.

Journal de Barlavento today reports that Portimão municpal market will be hosting a "Festa da Laranja" or "Orange festival" during the week of 7 to 12 February 2001

Local oranges will be on sale and catering students from the local catering and hotelier school will apparently be doing their stuff!

See: (In Portuguese)

Hope it doesn't turn out to be a bit of a lemon!

Laranja Cozida, anyone?

(Exits stage left smartly to avoid be flambeéd!...)

“ Carnivorous Plants in Portugal ”

Just when one thought it was safe to wander freely the rural areas of Portugal, information comes via the twitter feed of @ecosistemas that there are carnivorous plants in Portugal.

See: (in Portuguese)

How threating to these local "Audreys" ( are is not clear, but probably best "to be aware...very aware"!!! :)))))))))

Ryanair Pax Stats Q4 - Porto Airport

Today's national daily Publico reports that in the last quarter of 2010, Ryanair, for the first time, outstripped TAP, as the largest carrier of passengers to and from Porto Airport.

See: (in Portuguese).

This is good news, but it should engender a "Warning, Will Robinson!" moment, given that it is old news that no airport should become so dependent on one carrier.

Let's hope Transavia, Easyjet etc. consider expanding their operations from Porto because if Ryanair suddenly has a "Valencia" moment and decides to cut flights or move/close its base in Porto, the economc and job implications would be substantial.

Calçada da Patriarcal, Lisbon

Lisboa Gare Oriente is a large Multi-modal Transport Hub located on the even larger Parque da Nações area which is a town in itself. Trust me, I've walked much of it.

Assuming your apartment is located at Calçada da Patriarcal,1250 Lisboa, (Google Maps), it is a long way from Gare Oriente, being situated of Avenida da Liberdade and running up towards the Rato Area.

If that indeed is where your apartment is, you would be much closer to Stª. Apolonia Station where the Lisbon to Porto trains depart from. A taxi will probably be the best way to get to the station, unless you are very close to the Avda. Liberdade end. There, you could just walk to the Avenida Metro Station and the metro to Stª Apolonia.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ryanair - Faro to Prestwick(Glasgow)

Ryanair have announced that they are increasing the frequencies on this route to daily as from 26 March, 2011.

See: (In Portuguese)

Public Transport - Lisbon Airport to Figueira da Foz

It is a long distance from Figueira da Foz from Lisbon Airport.

According to Google Maps the fastest route with tolls takes 1hr50mins and is about 200kms long.

The options by public transport are:

1) by taxi to Gare Oriente Station, then train to Pombal or Alfarelos and then local train to Figueira da Foz. Quickest transit is 2hrs22mins.

I have posted the timetable here:

2) Bus as you have mentioned.

3) Private transfers as you have mentioned.

I have checked the site of these guys:

Their price for 6 people is € 312.00 one way which given for them, has to cover a 400km return trip, high fuel costs and motorway tolls here in Portugal I do not think unreasonable.

The other option is for you to hire a people carrier or minivan depending on how long you are here for. It might work out cheaper in the end.

Finally, the cheapest way would probably be by train or bus as with discounts for pensioners you may be able to get return fares for all for under € 300. However, then there will be taxi costs on that.

A final thought I have just has is that it may be cheaper to get to Figueira da Foz via Porto.

Ryanair have just announced they are starting a Manchester to Porto Service from 13th April 2011.

A transfer for 6 people from Porto Airport to Figueira da Foz with the firm I referred to above will cost € 240.00 according to their website. I am sure other firms would quote similar prices as the distance is shorter - +-156km taking 1hr40mins.

Where should I take the family to in Africa?

All the above suggestions are good. However, from Sydney, the only direct flights to Africa are SAA and Quantas to Johannesburg.

South Africa is great and wonderful but the security situation in and near most big cities, including Cape Town, is still of concern. Out in the rural areas its not so bad.

From Johannesburg, you can fly direct to Botswana and Namibia both or which have great wildlife travel products. In Botswana, one has the Okovango and Chobe Parks. Namibia has Etosha. The only problem is that the distances are great (like the Outback!)

One country not yet mentioned and which can be reached via Jo'burg is Zambia. However, I understand these days visas are required for entry for UK,US and Aus citizens.

Tanzania is an interesting idea and one I supprt, The country has made remarkable strides in recent years. Although again distances are great, the country includes great destinations such Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, Zanzibar, the beach coast north of Dar and if you are really being adventurous Lake Tanganyika.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Hotel Burgau

Dropped by Hotel Praia de Burgau this p.m.

Sign on door says "closed for refurbishment"

Also say for further info please email:

Phone number is given as:


Looks very closed to me.

Ryanair new Faro - Manchester route

Ryanair have announced that they will begin operating a route six times per week from Faro to Manchester as from 13th April 2011.

See: (in Portuguese)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Algarve Rail Line Price increase Summer 2011

The following article (in portuguese) in the Portuguese Paper Publico today reports that there will be an increase of ticket prices on the Algarve Line from Lagos to Vila Real Stª. Antonio as from summer 2011.

It also reports that airconditioned rolling stock will be introduced in the next few months.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hotel near Faro airport!

The nearest reasonable hotel to Faro Airport is the Faro Ibis. It's about 3kms from the airport.


You will still need a taxi to get there and back. Maybe the car hire company can deliver the car to you at the IBIS the next morning?

It does have a bar.

Have stayed there and it is a typical IBIS. Reasonably good quality for a reasonable price as one would expect from an Accor Group Hotel.

Otherwise you'll have to head into town to the more costly Hotel Eva or the Hotel Faro. There are Pensões but none as far as I can remember with bars.

Salema to local beaches

I haven't walked that stretch in many years but when I did, it was a hike as one has to climb up cliffs and hills and wander down rocky footpaths. Not for the faint of heart. I would estimate at least 1 to 1,5 hrs if you are fit.

Albufeira to Cascais

It will be a very long day.

You can either drive, train or bus it!

Driving would be quickest (3hrs30mins) but with the price of tolls and fuel, I don't really recommend it.

From Albufeira Centre or Bus Station one can take a Renex bus to Lisbon Oriente Bus Station and then Metro to Cais de Sodre Station and then train to Cascais.

From Albufeira Centre or Bus Station one can take a Rede Expressos/EVA bus to Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station and then Metro to Cais de Sodre Station and then train to Cascais.

From Albufeira Train Station (located 8kms from Albufeira - buses from Albufeira) one can take a Train to Lisbon Entrecampos Station and then Metro to Cais de Sodre Station and then train to Cascais.

The fastest public transport combination would probably require 4hrs30mins minimum each way.

For more info see Cubsur's excellent site:

Train Lisbon to Pragal

You want the Fertagus trains!

Southbound weekday timetables here:

Fertagus site (in Portuguese here:

There are few CP long distance trains that stop there.

As regards the Lisboa Card, which one do you mean?

Travelling to Olissippo Castelo hotel

I would definitely NOT recommend walking up to the Olissippo Castelo hotel on arrival! The climb is very steep and unless you know exactly where you are going through the old alleys and stairs you can waste a lot of time. You will find it a real problem with a suitcase.

I know this, as it it is near the Chapito theatre and restaurant, which I frequent sometimes when in Lisbon.

So, I recommend that you do one of two things, bearing in mind taxis are not expensive in Lisbon:

1) Take a taxi direct from the airport to the hotel. probably less than € 15.00 depending on time of day/night & no. bags.

2) Take the Aerobus 91 to Rossio as Cubsur says, cross over the square to Mcdonalds, turn right and you will see the Teatro Dona Maria II. In front of you and to the right of the Teatro Dona Maria II you will see a taxi rank. Grab a cab.

Probably less than € 6.00 time of day/night & no. bags.

Bear in mind that it will seem a long journey up to the hotel, and you may think that the driver is up to one! However, with the one way street and control access system in the Alfama, Se and Castelo area, taxis have to go all round the house to get there.

However, take my word for it you do NOT want to walk up there with suitcases!!!

The Hotel has a great view over Lisbon. For a view of the river, if it's a nice day, walk down to the Restaurant Chapito at Costa do Castelo, nº 1 / 7, 1149-079 Lisboa - Portugal

Best at lunchtime with a wonderful view from its terrace over the Tejo to the South.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Portuguese Wines - Article in the Wall Street Journal

Thanks to O. Soares for the heads-up on this somewhat patronising article published in the WSJ.

The following quote from the article made me furious....

"One reason may be Portugal's food. There aren't any globally famous Portuguese chefs as there are in, say, Spain (i.e., Ferran Adrià) and the country's chief culinary attraction, salted cod (bacalao), isn't exactly a dish to please a crowd. As the growing number of Italian, Spanish and even Greek restaurants in this country have shown, the popularity of a country's cuisine often precedes the popularity of its wines. "

OK, there are some Pizzerias and Trattorias here in Portugal, but "growing number of ...Spanish and Greek restaurants??"... Pray where? I know a couple in Lisbon but a growing number throughout the country?

The writer can't even spell "Bacalhau" correctly, certainly does not know that there are "365 ways" to prepare it and certainly has not visited Portugal or enjoyed its cuisine. Why do so many Spanish visit Portugal just for lunch? ..... to eat!

One only has to visit the following site (albeit in Portuguese!) for an extensive list of Portuguese dishes!

When Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado sang the song "Uma Casa Portuguesa", about the traditional warmth  of the Portuguese home she sang these words

"É só amor, pão e vinho
e um caldo verde, verdinho
a fumegar na tijela."

Translated approximately:

"It's only love, bread and wine
and a caldo verde (soup), steaming in the bowl.."

Portuguese cooking and cuisine is as central to Portuguese culture as wine! 

I could go on but suffice to say journalists, especially those writing for august journals such as the WSJ should research their subject matter properly first! 

Eh Pah! Não me lembro a última vez fiquei assim chateado!!!

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal - Building Work News

Just a couple of notes on things going on here:

1) The New Parking Garage

A couple of days ago a team turned up with a pneumatic drill and compressor and started to attack one of the very sharp "up ramps."
Driving past this morning it appears that they might be knocking one of the two tight and steep ramps into one! It will be an improvement but still can't see it will improve the steep ramp.

Wonderful for a recently opened car park.

2) Model - A22 - Quatro Estradas Road.

Just in time for the implementation of tolls, it appears that under their contract from Central Govenment, the consortium, that has won the bid to manage and re-vamp the N125 throughout the Algarve, has decided that a good place to start would be to start building the long-outstanding link from Modelo Lagos to the isolated roundabout on the A22 off-ramp and then onto the Quatro Estradas/Luz intersection.

I noticed a couple of dozers and JCB's looking lost near the Modelo Roundabout, just before new year. Like all good builders, five or six days after New Year, surveyors pegs and Bob the Builder type earthworks began appearing.

There was a gaggle of engineering types loitering by the Modelo Roundabout discussing the quality of the mud or something, so I stopped and had a word.

They confirmed that the link is under construction and that indeed with 12 to 18 months the road will be through. It certainly will reduce the summer queues at the Centro da Saude roundabout.

Food options near Rossio train station

Just in front of Restauradores station (off Rossio) where you get the trains to Sintra you will find the Cafe Beira Mar. It is technically on the corner of Praça D. João da Camara and Rua Primeiro de Dezembro.

If it's full, don't be intimidated. They do meals, snacks and will probably pack up sandwiches, local savory snacks and pastries for you.

I've snacked there many many times.

I've snacked on of Portuguese Trains before but remember that the Lisbon to Sintra Service is a urban service and not one is going to love you if you start laying out a full meal while the train is packed.

It's only a +-45 minute run however.

Faro-Seville Bus: Restroom on board?

I have used the DAMAS/EVA service often and there is no toilet on-board.

At present the service does tend to stop en route once at a service area in Spain for about 15 minutes but I believe this to be at the driver's discretion.

I have also seen travelers asking the drive to wait for a minute or two at Tavira Bus Station while they head to the loo.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Meia Praia, Lagos PT/MEO TV/net/Téléfone agora ativa

Para quem ter uma propriedade na zona da Meia Praia,Lagos tenho sido hoje com dois técnicos da PT que me informaram que o serviço MEO TV / Internet / Telefone já está disponível para as propriedades situadas dentro de 1500 metros das duas centrais equipadas. Isto deve incluir a maior parte nova da zona Albadeira também.

Meia Praia Area - PT/MEO TV/Internet now active

For anyone with a property in the Meia Praia area, I have just been with two technicians from PT who have informed me that the integrated TV/Internet/Phone service is now available to properties situated within 1500 metres of the two equipped exchanges. This should include most of new Albadeira as well.

Help with trip please

Another case of "If its Tuesday, this must Belgium!"

1) You are on holiday so relax! Don't try to fight the jet lag.

2) If you are flying TAP or assocate airline in the Star Alliance combine, I would fly into Lisbon and straight away get the connector flight to either Porto or Faro airports. It should not cost much more I would of thought and will save a lot of agro.

3) If Porto, check into your hotel and have a kip. Then relax that night on the old river front having a drink and a dinner.

4) A couple of days later take the train down to Lisbon and spend 4 days there.

5) Then come down to the Algarve, (I would recommend Lagos or Tavira). You only need a couple of days here and will only really be able to visit one centre based on your limited schedule.

6) Fly back from Faro Airport to Lisbon on the TAP connector and back to the other side of the pond.

Parque de Floresta/Quinta da Encosta Velha

Quinta da Encosta Velha neighbours/back onto PDF.

To all intents and purposes these are one and the same.

Both are next to the village of Budens. Quinta da Encosta Velha is within walking
distance of Budens, from memory PDF because of the hills is dubious. There is an Ecomarche supermarket in Budens.

A car is definitely necessary to visit beaches and explore the area.

Fast trains from faro to lisbon.

The Fast AlfaPendular runs twice a day every day!

7h05 Faro
9h56 Lisboa - Entrecampos

Time: 2h51

15h05 Faro
17h56 Lisboa - Entrecampos

Be aware that the AlfaPendular is operated by Italian built Pendolino units with computer controlled stabilisation. Some people, like me, can feel quite sea-sick on the first stretch up through the mountains.

Yellow Lagos Beach Hotel - Meia Praia, Lagos

It opened, then closed, then opened, then.....

Its been closed all winter. There are external signs of activity and my local Ukranian petrol attendant and Meia Praia undercover operative tells me that they are threatening to open it again in April.

Externally not much to look at...More like a cross between a modern hospital and Bayern Munich Stadium with its changing colours at night.

Had a look inside the reception last summer when it was open and seemed quite well appointed. Great Views and 75m from the beach.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Best way to get to Porto?

There is only one train company/service operating from Lisbon to Porto.


If you are staying in the Baixa Area of Lisbon, catch the train from Stª. Apolonia Station.

If staying elsewhere in Lisbon, catch it from Gare Oriente.

In Porto, leave the train at Porto Campanha.

As regards, Rede Expressos, the Rede Expresso depot in Porto is:

4000 PORTO
Tel.: 222006954

See this article on my blog for map to bus station.

Flying through Paris to Faro

Easyjet currently operate Paris Orly to Faro direct on Tuesday and Saturdays!

I think from memory that Air France and TAP are part of the same airline consortium. If I am right, they will take responsibility for you if you are delayed. There is at present always a third TAP Lisbon Faro flight at +-22:00. If you are delayed you would almost certainly be "bumped" automatically to that flight.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Melhor Acesso aos Transportes Público - Aeroporto de Faro

Agradeco Sérgio Bastos do para este noticia.

Um artigo na edição jornal Algarvio Região-Sul hoje que vai haver uma reunião hoje entre o Turismo do Algarve, Aeroporto de Faro e a Eva Transportes, (o operador dos serviços ródivarios principal no Algarve), com o alvo de melhorar o acesso de transportes públicos para o Aeroporto de Faro.

O artigo em português encontra-se aqui:

Tem, obviamente, finalmente chegou ao conhecimento das autoridades do turismo regionais que a implementação iminente de portagens na A22 etc está empurrando os visitantes para o Algarve buscar, cada vez mais, opções de transporte público para chegar aos seus destinos locais.

Vamos esperar EVA também concorda desviar, pelo menos, o seu serviço Transrápido via o Aeroporto de Faro, assim, oferecendo aos viajantes algum acesso de autocarro direto para destinos como Albufeira, Portimão e Lagos

Improved Public Transport Access - Faro Airport

Thanks to Sergio Bastos of for the heads-up on this.

An article in the Algarve newspaper Região-Sul today reports that there will be a meeting today between Turismo do Algarve, Faro Airport and Eva Transportes, (the main bus operator in the Algarve), about improving public transport access to Faro Airport.

Article in portuguese here:

It has obviously finally come to the attention of the regional tourism authorities that the impending implementation of tolls on the A22 motorway etc is pushing visitors to the Algarve to seek cheaper public transport options to get to their local destinations.

Lets hope EVA also agree to route, at least, its Transrapido service via Faro Airport thus offering travellers some direct bus access to destinations such as Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Travel from Seville to Madrid Barajas airport

I took the Socibus through bus option from Seville Plaza das Armas to Madrid Barajas via Madrid Estacion del Sur in late November.

It takes just over 6 hours.The bus may stop for a 10 minutes or so at Estacion del Sur awaiting arrival of the Socibus Service from Cordoba. There is a 20 minute stop en route near Bailen for food and watering.

The currently shows a 01:00 departure from Seville arriving at Madrid Barajas at 07:30.

I would not recommend the Madrid Metro from Estacion del Sur or Atocha if you are in a hurry as it requires 2 changes en route and when you have bags it is a pain.

On my return trip, it took me 50 minutes at 06:00 in morning to get by Metro from Barajas to Estacion del Sur as the Socibus service had not yet started from Barajas.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Nicest beach for a visit in the Algarve region?

I would also suggest Lagos, 15km further down the line from Portimão.
Depending on budget, consider the Hotel Vila Galé Meia Praia in Lagos which has great views of the bay and lies 100m from Meia Praia Beach, a 5km long sandy beach.

It is 15 minutes walk from the station and 20 minutes by foot from town. There are regular bus services to town during the day.

Another alternative is the Albergaria Marina Rio, situated on the Avenida facing the Marina. The Meia Praia bus service also runs in front of this hotel.
Bear in mind that this year Easter coincides with the public holiday Dia da Liberdade on 25th April.

It is therefore likely that, despite the economic crisis, there may be some pressure on local hotels throughout Portugal.

I would suggest that you consider booking sooner that later.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Algarve Tourism Market - More Competition from Estoril/Cascais.

I was very interested to receive via twitter notification about the following article in the Irish Times about the tourism attractions of the Estoril/Cascais region of the Lisbon Metro Area.

Given the easy access to the area by public transport and the greater range of destinations served by Lisbon Airport, as well as the increasing use of the latter by low costs such as, the potential renaissance of this are as tourist destination is long overdue, but also a great threat to the Algarve travel market.

The reality is that the area has nice beaches, easy and low cost public transport links AND lots of things to do to, including culture. Lisbon is only 30 minutes away by train and  Sintra only 30 minutes by bus.  

As an all round destination package, the region must become an attractive competitor for potential visitors to the Algarve seeking a holiday where they don't have to hire cars, figure out how to use electronic and pay motor tolls, and search around for a greater variety of things to do when they are not on the beach.

See the article here:

I have know the area since I was a kid years ago and I do believe it will become and increasing threat to the Algarve Tourism sector and begin to win a significant level of travel business away from the Algarve as an increasing number of low-costs start to serve Lisbon.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Re: Iberent's latest scam

I can only sympathise with your problem.

If it is any consolation, I suspect and hope that several of these intermediate car hire operations who are treating clients badly will go out of business over the next year.

Between the economic crisis, the introduction of new motorway tolls, particularly in on the A22 Via de Infante in the Algarve, and the ever rising price of fuel, it is already noticeable that many more folk are looking to use public transport when visiting Portugal.

If you are going to hire a car, rent it from one of the companies recommended on tripadvisor forums or from one of the big 5.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back in Circuit.

Well lets see what 2011 brings!

Have been offline for a month travelling and recovering from illness.

I will be posting an article on my thoughts for the Western Algarve for 2011 shortly.