Sunday, 27 February 2011

Lisbon Airport to Portimão

Lets summarise this:

There are three ways to get from Lisbon Airport to Portimão by Public Transport:

1) Train -

Departures (Winter 2011 timetable) at

Transit Time from Lisbon between 3,5 and 4,5 hours.

Train Change at Tunes Junction.

Take the Nº.96 Aeroshuttle bus from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon Gare Oriente Station. Leaves every 30 minutes and takes about 10 minutes. Costs €3.00

Train Prices up to € 27.50 on way depending on train.

2) Bus - EVA/Rede Expressos - - Depart: Lisboa

Sete Rios Bus Station

To get from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon Sete Rios Long distance Coach Station again take the Nº.96 Aeroshuttle bus (this time in the other direction) which leaves from outside the Arrivals hall:

(Aeroshuttle - Copy of note from Lisbon Airport website.) Aeroshuttle (CARRIS Nº96) - Available everyday, every 30 minutes between 7am and 11pm, the aeroshuttle connects Gare Oriente - Airport - Entrecampos - Sete Rios Bus/Coach Station - Praça de Espanha.

Extract of Rede Expressos/EVA Bus Timetable - Current time of departures from Lisboa Sete Rios Bus Station to Portimão.(includes eva and rede expressos) here:


Prices between € 18:00 and € 19:00 one way per adult.

3) Bus - Renex - Depart: Lisboa Gare Oriente Bus Station

Take the Nº.96 Aeroshuttle bus from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon Gare Oriente Station. Leaves every 30 minutes and takes about 10 minutes. Costs €3.00

Timetables here in pdf format:

Prices usually less than Rede Expressos but transit time about 4,5 hours.

Note: The above information also applies to travelling from Lisbon Airport to Lagos. Arrival times in Lagos approx. 30 minutes later.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Spain - Lower Motorway Speeds.

This just in!

A report in today's Portuguese newspaper, Journal de Negocios, reports that the top motorway speed in Spain of 120km/hour is to be reduced to 110km/hour in an effort to promote reduced fuel consumption in the current economic crisis of increasingly climbing fuel prices.

See (In Portuguese):

Lagos, Algarve, Hotels

Sorry, been busy the past couple of days.

The Lagos hotels that will probably fit your needs are:

Lagos Town

Marina Club (As already mentioned)
Albergaria Marina Rio (Quality)

Porto de Mos

Vivenda Miranda - 2km from town but views spectacular and Porto de Mos beach nearby.

Meia Praia

Hotel Vila Galé - 50 m from beach. Regular bus to town in daytime and about 15 minutes walk from town via the shortcut behind the station.
Yellow Hotel Lagos - 3km from town but 50m from beach. Regular bus to town in daytime.

I also would not recommend the Tivoli Lagos! Its getting long in the tooth and the environs leave a lot to be desired,

Portugal - Alma - Mariza - Amalia

Thanks for the thanks. Portugal is a great place for independent travellers!

Next time, can I recommend, in addition to Ginja Obidos "oppidum", you try Beirão, Brandymel and if you can find it, Algarve/Alentejo produced Portuguese Air Force jet fuel, a/k/a Medronho!!!

As you have learned to appreciate fado, here are some links to renditions of some of my favorite Portuguese traditional songs for you:

Mariza - Barca Negra -
I saw Mariza sing this in the auditorium here in Lagos last August!

Amalia Rodrigues - "Casa Portuguesa" -
An extract from an old rendition by Amalia from the '60/70's on France 3.
This is how it should be sung!

Amalia Rodrigues - "Lisboa Antiga" -
Amalia singing to a b/w video of Lisbon made by the EPCI, a multimedia school in Lisbon. Brings back many memories from Lisbon years ago when I first new it as the capital city of an empire.

Amalia Rodrigues - "Coimbra" -

This song is about the famous university town, Coimbra.
For me all of these describe the term "alma", which is really unexplainable to non-Portuguese but which is absolutely central to the character of the Portuguese, be they from the Trás-os-Montes or the Algarve.


Monday, 21 February 2011

Sintra's Moorish Castle Book

Try contacting the Castle marketing person Susana Quaresma yourself by email:


I am sure they will be pleased to try and help you. I am sure if you write in English it will be no problem.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Walking near Lagos

The nearest supermarket is the one by the Triangulo Restaurant. The Intermarché supermarket is about 2km away depending where you are staying In Porto de Mós.

To get into Lagos, you will not route via the coast. The roads in the area and into town are all tarred, with pavements and good lighting. Be aware that the walk back up from Lagos can be a bit of a haul.

There is a cliff-top path running from Porto de Mós beach to the cliffs overlooking Praia da Luz. Be careful if using it, as parts of the cliff are eroding.

There is a steep path down the cliff to Praia da Luz. One will need to be fit.

Transport Lagos to Albufeira

Take the bus!

For Timetables:


or visit Cubsur's site at

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Transit Lisbon Airport

As a holder of an Australian passport you should be eligible to enter the EU Schengen area member states for up to 90 days.
See this article on wikipedia and especially the map at the bottom of the article.

Consequently, it would appear that, subject to anything that would preclude you personally entering a Schengen Member State, there would be no problem in you exiting Lisbon Airport for your layover as Portugal is one of the Schengen Member States.

Tolls on the A22 - Via de Infante - Algarve - Further Commentary

By mid April 2010, it is likely that electronic tolls will be introduced on the A22, Via de Infante, which is the main arterial motorway linking Spain with the western Algarve.

In recent years, the number of Spanish tourists from Seville, Huelva and western Andalucia who have used this motorway for day or week-end trips and spent a lot of money in local restaurants has been very beneficial to the struggling local economy.

I am not against tolls, as I understand that Portugal needs to financing its debt, but I cannot understand the madness of not having some "pay as you go" human manned motorway payment system for tourists and visitors driving into and in Portugal.

In the Algarve, the only realistic alternative route to the A22, the EN125 will be choked solid year round from April onwards.

I am, therefore, now recommending to tourists and visitor that they should not drive to and from the Algarve full stop, if they are in a hire car or foreign car and plan using motorways.

The Algarve has been one of the main "economic engines" of the Portugal for many years now. The implementation of an electronic toll system that tourists and foreigners, (especially, day visitors from Spain) will find hard to understand and use, is economic insanity, at a time, when the region is already suffering badly from the economic crisis,

If you are thinking of visiting the Algarve from April onwards, be prepared for long drives on old slow alternative routes, or fly into Lisbon, spend a couple of days there, and then come on down to the Algarve by bus or train and hire a car locally when you arrive.
Avoid Faro Airport in high season as the exits onto the EN125 are likely to be choked as people try to avoid using the A22 motorway with its electronic tolls..

Friday, 18 February 2011

Lagos hotels with 80 y.o. mom


Marina Rio

Marina Club

Both of these are down by the river side and on the flat. She should be able to get to the Marina Complex and Town Centre slowly without to much hassle.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

tolls on the A22 - Further Comments

Further post of mine from forums.

It is madness and likely to result in a decrease of 50%+ in the number of Spanish Tourists that drive over for the week-end in my estimation.

It is now over 3 months since tolls were mooted and despite articles in both the Portuguese and English press and blogosphere nothing has changed. I was speaking to the director of a well-established local car hire firm recently and he confirmed that no movement has happened yet on the toll issues from the perspective of the car hire firms. They are waiting on the Portuguese Govt.

My advice to folk wanting to visit the Western Algarve, from April 2011 onwards, is to now fly to Lisbon if they can, have a couple of days in Lisbon and take a train or bus down to Lagos and hire a car here. Alternatively, fly to Seville, have a couple of days there, take one of the two daily buses to Lagos and hire a car here. These options, which are direct, at least, mean that one doesn't have to get at least two types of public transport to get from Faro Airport, to say Lagos, if one really doesn't want to go to the expense of hiring a car and figuring out how to pay electronic tolls.

Email address for Vale de Carros

Are these any use?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Zoomarine Sam the Dolphin

Reported this pm in Publico that Sam the Dolphin, "oldest male dolphin in the world" (captivity?) passed away at Zoomarine-Guia last Sunday.

See: (in Portuguese)

Re: Alfagar 2 apartments- good for couples?

Please always state which town a resort is near!


Cascais to Lisbon Airport - Early Morning

I'm sorry to be such a bore, but I really do think the flight is too early in the morning to get the first train from Cascais, and get to Lisbon Airport by bus two hours before for check-in.

The 05:30 gets into Cais de Sodre at 06:10.

The Aerobus only starts from there at 06:55

There is Nº. 44 departure at 06:23 which might get you into the airport at 07:00.

The schedule shows a transit time of about 36 minutes. It is borderline.

However, to really be sure, I would recommend a taxi from Cais de Sodre to the Airport. (Especially, it you have bags.)

Note that once the Linha Vermelha Metro link from Gare Oriente to the Airport opens, hopefully towards the end of 2011, this advice may change.

Re: Official tour guides - fight piracy

You know, I agree with most of the sentiments above!

However, most people going on holiday do not want to be bothered about legally finding out about whether or not some one is a legally licensed guide etc. They just want a good reliable (and usually cheap) service quickly.

Insisting that tourists "check legally" to see if a guide is properly licensed or not, is just the right way to chase people away from a tourist destination!

To me, if one is a high quality licensed guide, what one must do is high quality pro-active marketing, be competitive and not depend upon on licensing systems and bureaucracy to protect you from the competition.

My beef is with people who are legally licensed guides, airport transfer operators, etc. who use the system of needing to get a degree, license, bureaucratic authorisation, etc. to stop others (especially the young) easily getting into their business and making a living!!!

Today, especially with the internet and its forums, social media, (facebook, twitter,etc) and other channels, marketing oneself powerfully as a guide is a lot easier. However, it requires ongoing daily work monitoring all the media, chasing down leads and converting the enquiries into sales.

Being a good service provider such as guide, airport transfer service or whatever, requires constant work at marketing both on the web and foot slogging around local hotels, conference organisers, cruise line companies, etc. on a regular basis chasing business and not just waiting for phone calls or email enquiries to come in.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Portimao to Morocco

The only realistic option to get to Morocco from Portimão is via Seville and Algeciras by bus/ferry.

See this page on my blog for more background info:

As regards the Morocco side of the trip, I suggest you post in the Morocco forums.

One other new alternative, albeit rather convoluted, might be to fly from Faro Airport to Porto Airport and then from Porto Airport to Marrakesh. Both services operated by The flights do seem to tie in going, On the way back you might need to spend a night in Porto.

You could also train or bus from Portimão to Porto.

See Cubsur's excellent site at:

Parking at Marina Rio Hotel - Lagos

It's now all pay parking around the Marina Rio, including the new tarred car park on the North Side.

To avoid paying for parking, park on the other side of the river by the Marina and walk over the bridges or in the gravel car park behind the old warehouses near the new Camâra building and walk.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sofitel to Lisbon University for Conference

It appears to be being held at the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa according to the Ed Media website here:

However, the two relevant pages on the University website do not show that conference at all:

Nearest metro: Cidade Universitaria - Metro Linha Amarelo (Yellow) - Direction Odivelas

Assuming that you are staying at the

Av. da Liberdade 127
1269 Lisbon, Portugal

you would need to get the Metro Linha Azul (Blue Line) (direction Amadora Este) at Avenida Station. One stop along change at Marques de Pombal to Metro Linha Amarelo (Yellow) - Direction Odivelas. Get out at Cidade Universitaria station.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Breakfast in Lisbon

The Pasteleria Baiana, 67 Avda. da Liberdade, on the corner of Travessa da Gloria and Avenida da Liberdade, do bacon and eggs/quasi english breakfast.
Eaten there many times.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Seville to Lisbon

There is no high speed train link between Seville and Lisbon, or indeed between any centre in Spain and Portugal!

The only airline that operates the route, at present, is TAP Air Portugal and prices are quite steep. does not operate this route.

The only real way to travel between the two centres by public transport is by long-distance bus.

For more info, see this recent article on my blog:

Trip to Lausanne, Switzerland

Last weekend travelled via Lisbon by to Lausanne, Switzerland to attend the semi-finals and finals of the annual Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition.

Some interesting observations:

1) My lifetime belief in 100% swiss efficiency was shattered upon arrival at Geneva International Airport, when the train I was supposed to catch was cancelled "for technical reasons".  It is true that there was another one 15 minutes later, but that it not the point.

2) Then during the semi-finals of Prix de Lausanne itsself, held in the Palais de Beaulieu Congress Centre, the sound system and monitors constantly gave problems. In the end, the semi-finals had to be suspended for 30 minutes while the techs sorted everything out. Apparently, the problems had also occurred in early sessions during the preceding week.

3) The staff at the box office were also not exactly "on top of things"!

4) The Ibis Lausanne Centre Hotel where we stayed was fine except for the fact that the "magnetic card" readers in the two elevators were old and out of sync. We kept having to go to reception to request new keycards as we could not get to our room as the elevator would not move without them.

5) On my return trip, the chaos at the Easyjet check-in at Geneva Airport was worse than many airports. We already had printed our boarding cards on-line, but had a case to put in the hold.

There was no dedicated baggage drop counter and no signs clearly stating that passengers had to first go to machines nearby and print baggage labels, then go to one of then check-in desks and present their boarding card, then the baggage was put on the conveyor. Worse still, the ground staff who were supposed to be off assistance were surely and extremely unhelpful.

Not a good advert for and Geneva Airport.

Certainly, my belief in "Swiss efficiency" has been shattered!!!


Travel related questions - Quora or TripAdvisor?

It depends! I am a volunteer Destination Expert with In the forum where i operate, namely Portugal, there is a lot of activity and many contributors with excellent knowledge who are frequently able to provide comprehensive replies to answers.

However, there are other forums, (e.g. Romania, Seville etc) where there are fewer contributors and destination experts and where the quality of the knowledge available is much less comprehensive or useful.

One should check out the forum for the country in question to see whether one feels that a forum for a specific destination is comprehensive enough. Then decide whether to post there or on

Be aware that is not a travel info website so may not be sufficiently specialised for responses to travel questions

Travelling Faro to Cascais

In either case you will have to go to Lisbon first.

From Faro 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 Faro 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 Faro Train Station 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:

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

BA - London City - Faro - June 2011

I missed this announcement made in mid-December 2010.

Apparently from June 2011, BA will be operating 3 weekly flights from London City Airport to Faro, Algarve, Portugal.


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

tolls on the A22 - Further Comments

There have already been problems with Tourists driving hire cars up in the Porto area on motorways where the system has already been implemented.

The problem is that someone in the Portuguese Govt. shot their mouth of first without thinking about the implications, particularly in the Algarve where the N125 is the only alternative.

What I don't understand, when unemployment is increasing, is that the Portuguese Govt. could have said to the concessionaires who operate the motorway, build tolls booths, create some jobs, and add a little to the toll over the period of the concession.

They've (Portuguese Govt.) now got themselves into a situation where politically they cannot backtrack because of the chaos it will cause up North if the the Via de Infante A22 is exempt or has boothed tolls.

Methinks change will only happen in the summer when the N125 is gridlocked from VRSA to Lagos and the accident rate has shot up 100%. Then they will have their excuse to recant with justification.

Bus Seville to Madrid Barajas Airport

The bus calls in at Estacion Sur Bus Station in Madrid for about 15 minutes but continued onto Barajas Terminal 1.

If you have a look on the website you will see the timetable.

Extract here:

01:00- SEVILLA 07:30 - BARAJAS
08:00- SEVILLA 15:10 - BARAJAS
10:30- SEVILLA 17:00 - BARAJAS
14:30- SEVILLA 21:40 - BARAJAS

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lisbon Airport Hotels

There are actually very few hotels close to Lisbon airport and even fewer with good car access.

The nearest I have stayed at is the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lisbon:

There is also the Residencial Terminus which is closer to the Airport. I have walked past it but never been in it.

35 minutes from the Airport on the South of the river and lying on the old Lisbon - Algarve road is the IBIS Setubal.

I stayed there several times several years ago. It is set in a garden with pool.