Despite the economic crisis and the travails it has brought, Lagos Council seems hell bent on continuing to destroy what little remains of its night-life attraction. While I can sympathise with the issue of noise in the old town, it is a regrettable side effect of about the only economic raison d'etre for the town, at present.
Fishing is practically dead, the cost of parking is chasing people away from down-town shops, and this latest move will contribute to the slow death for the solo traveler business.
Lagos, for many years, has been on the European backpacker route for US and Antipodean travelers. One of the attractions has been the late night activity. This has generate substantial income for Lagos in terms of backpacker hostels, etc. It has also spread the word about the desirability of Lagos as a holiday destination.
Lagos is already suffering from a number of almost terminal hits.
I have never seen Lagos so quiet as over the past few days. Even the Vila Galé Hotel only had 20 to 30 cars in the car park over Christmas.
Lagos in the Algarve is dying. The local youth are moving away and it is not just because of the economic crisis.
I suspect, that in the absence of having money to spend, and to try to distract the populace from the fact that vast amounts of money do not appear to have been spent wisely in Lagos in recent years, the Council, with elections coming up in late 2013, are trying to push through a measure that will be popular with residents of the old town, irrespective of the economic consequences.
Given the increased cost and difficulty of getting to Lagos, what with ongoing train strikes, motorway tolls, reduce frequencies of flights to Faro, the prognosis for this town is not good.
I have always made an effort to promote and encourage folk to visit Lagos, but these latest measures are making me actively desist from promoting it.
I no longer can recommend Lagos as an ideal cost-effective destination for holidays.
I now prefer to encourage travelers to visit Lisbon, where there is still a night life, a greater range of things to do and tourist offers, and some great beaches at Oeiras, Carcavelos and Estoril. From there, it is also much easier to visit other parts of Portugal, than it is from Lagos.
In the Algarve, albeit the eastern end, it appears that Olhão and Monte Gordo are making a real effort to promote themselves as "visitor friendly destinations"!!
At present, there are currently no direct flights scheduled from Faro to Milano in either the winter or summer 2013.
Ryanair have tried to animate routes to both Milano/Bergamo & Orio al Serio in previous seasons, as well as to Madrid and Barcelona.
Indeed, I even understand that for Summer 2013 there will be no route to Madrid.
Unfortunately, it appears that low usage resulted in these being dropped. Efforts have been made to promote the Algarve as a tourist destination into the Italian and Spanish market but with little success. So existing scheduled routes target the destinations in the Algarve's main target markets...viz. UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Scandanavia, Switzerland, Canada, Luxembourg and certain charter markets such as Poland, Finland and Russia.
Decreases in visitors is severely affecting Faro's attractiveness as a flight destination and I am afraid it is only going to get worse.
I recently had to travel from Lagos, Algarve to Pompeii in Italy via Napoli. The only options were either via Sevilla or Lisboa. In the end, because I like Seville and had to spend the night there, I took the twice daily bus from the Algarve to Seville and then flew Vueling.com from there.
I am increasingly recommending folk want to travel to and from the Algarve to consider using Lisbon as their gateway. There are frequent buses between Albufeira and other Algarve towns to Lisbon, taking three to four hours and from Lisbon there is a much greater choice to flights to a variety of European and destinations including Italy.
As regards France, ryanair.com fly several times a week to Paris Beauvais.
Have a specific look at vueling.com. They are the only real low-cost airline that I know that offers through booking. When I flew from Seville to Napoli in November 2012, I got a ticket for €55.00. The route, however, was by one aircraft from Seville to Barcelona, a two hour stop-over and then another Barcelona to Napoli.
Vueling.com fly from Lisbon as well.
On final option to consider, could be flying Ryanair from Faro to Porto. There are many more flights from Porto into destinations in France, Spain and Italy than there are from Faro.
Ask us that question a few days before 15th August.
In principle, there should be both rail and bus services.
However, with the ongoing work to rules and strikes that have been affecting the railways here over the past few months that have affected travel on public holidays and ongoing labour rumblings in all sectors, it is unlikely we can say what the situation is with any certainty until a couple of days before.
It has been announced this afternoon that the Portuguese Airport Authority, operator of Lisbon,Porto, Faro, Azores Airports and Beja International has been sold to Vinci, a French Consortium. (Not sure about Madeira)
Although the company operates a few small regional airport in France the purchase of ANA will bring the company into the ranks of the big international airport operators.
Three weeks ago, en route to Sevilla on the morning EVA bus from Lagos, about 5 minutes from VRSA, and with three pax of Asian looks on board, I heard the driver phone the police at the border to say the bus would be crossing the border in "15 minutos"!
When we arrived at the Guadiana bridge, sure enough, there were two Spanish Guarda Civils from the joint border control point waiting to walk through the bus and check ID's. The three paxs turned out to be from South Korea, so no problem.
On the return trip, a week later, we passed over the bridge with no id check stop.
I have noticed the drivers doing something similar before but have never been close enough behind them to hear the conversation exactly. It appears the the drivers of both the DAMAS and EVA buses on the Sevilla run have an "unofficial" agreement to notify the border police if they are carrying passengers whose id they think should be checked.
Therefore, always carry a passport or Euro ID if crossing the Portuguese border between Portugal and Spain at VRSA/Ayamonte.
Portuguese Govt. has decided not to sell TAP to the only accepted bidder, (ostensibly due to lake of bank guarantees)! Says it remains the Goverment's intention to privatise the airline in 2013! See: (in Portuguese) http://lnkd.in/8vHtMS
Once again I have to report that a taxi driver at Lisbon Airport last Saturday night tried the "forgot to switch on meter" scam.
My wife arrived on a flight from Italy at about 22:00 and although she is wise to such things, after a long days travel, she did not notice that the taxi driver who was taking her too the VIP Zurch Hotel at Entrecampos had not switched on the metre.
En route, she noticed the meter was not ticking and asked him how much he was going to charge her!
"Euro 25.00, says he!"
My wife speaks Portuguese very well, although with a Anglo-Brazilian-Rio-Carioca accent! The taxi driver thought he had picked up an innocent Brazilian Tourist!!!! Unfortunately, for him, my wife knew the approximate cost of the ride and had, fortunately, in her bag, a receipt for €7.50 for a similar trip from the Airport to the VIP Zurch a couple of weeks previously.
There then ensued a rather strong "fish market" conversation, in Portuguese, at the end of which the taxi driver received €11:00 as it was late on Saturday night.
When she told me later, I said she should have gone into the hotel and told the reception to call the police. She said the receptionist on duty said exactly the same.
So, if you are flying into Lisbon Airport and are going to use a taxi to get to your destination:
1) Go to the Lisbon Tourism desk (Straight in front of the exit from the baggage hall) and ask them how much a taxi should cost to your destination.
1) Make sure the meter is ticking before your leave the stand! If he doesn't switch it on, call one of the PSP officers who are usually hanging around the taxi stand and tell them.
2) If you only find out, en route, the meter is not working, as soon as you arrive at your destination call the receptionist and tell them. They may well call the police.
Lisbon Airport taxis drivers are hurting because of the recent opening of the metro to the Airport. However, forewarned is forearmed and the more we nip this in the bud now the better!
As I surmised previously, negotiations for the sale of TAP-Air Portugal are becoming increasingly difficult as the Portuguese Government's constraints of the sale are becoming so rigid as to make it almost impossible for potential investors. One almost thinks the Government does not really want sell the Airline.
The latest news is that the Portuguese Govt. is demanding 100% bank financing guarantees from the sole remaining preferred bidder.
It appears that repairs to two damaged bridges and other roadworks on the N120 between Lagos, Algarve, Portugal and Aljezur/Odemira will advance during the first half of 2013, reports local newspaper Sul.
Il n'y existe pas actuellement des trains en direct entre Evora et Lagos. Pour deplacer entre ces deux villes, par train, il faut changer des trains aux gares de Pinhal Novo e Tunes. Car il y a, aujourd'hui, des gréves fréquentes sur a ligne ferrovaire de l'Algarve, c'est pas conseiller utiliser ce moyen à voyager entre les deux villes!
Aussi il n'existe pas pendant l'hiver des services direct de autobus quotidien entre Evora et Lagos. Outre que transiter Lisbonne, la seule connexion quotidien entre Evora et Lagos est par Albufeira (Terminal Caliços).
Citi-Express also operate from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Fatima 2 to 4 times daily. Services on this company's lines 4,5 and 7 depart from the Bus Station at Gare Oriente. Tickets are available from bus ticket office 8.
To get to Gare Oriente, on exiting the T1 Arrival Hall at Lisbon Airport, turn left proceed down the ramp, and bear right at the bottom. On the left there are glass doors leading to the entrance to the Metro Station!
Buy a ticket and proceed two stops to Gare Oriente. The Bus station is on the ground floor.
It is not recommended taking trains to Fatima as the station at Caxarias is several kilometres from the sanctuary and local buses are not frequent (max. 7 per day).
As long as you arrive and travel with a polite and calm confident attitude, you will be generally quietly welcome wherever you travel in Portugal.
There is a very famous Portuguese song "Casa Portuguesa" that really does describe and the warmth of the Portuguese. Made famous Amalia Rodrigues, here is an unofficial translation of the lyrics, I recently made for a private party we held in Lagos for visiting friends and where a live fado singer sang a wonderful rendition of this song.
"One is always well in Portuguese home,
bread and wine on the table,
and, if someone gently knocks on the door,
they sit with all at the table.
It's good, this sincerity, it's good,
which one cannot deny,
the happiness of poverty
lies in this great richness
of giving and being content.
Four whitewashed walls,
a sweet smell of rosemary,
a bunch of golden grapes
two roses in a garden,
a tile of of St. Joseph
and the sun of springtime…
a promise of kisses…
two open arms waiting for me…
This is a Portuguese home, certainly!
This is, surely, a Portuguese home!
In the simple comfort of my home,
there is the plenty of affection.
the curtain of the window is the moonlight
but the sun that shines on it,
even a little, a very little is enough to cheer
such a simple existence
It's just love, bread and wine
and cabbage soup, so green
bubbling in the bowl.
One is always well in Portuguese home,
bread and wine on the table,
if someone gently knocks on the door,
they sit with all at the table.
It's good, this sincerity, it's good,
which one cannot deny,
the happiness of poverty
lies in this great richness
of giving and being content. "
... and here is a youtube link to a young Portuguese lady, Beatriz Costa, who a few years ago won a nationally televised talent show, singing "Casa Portuguese"
Hiring a car is not necessarily the best! There is no rail service.
Your best option is probably the bus service operated by alsa.es -
There are departures as follows:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Lisboa Sete Rios - depart 13:30
Sevilla (est.prado) - arrive 21:30
Lisboa Sete Rios - depart 21:30
Sevilla (est.prado) - arrive 06:15
Transit time: 9h 00min
From Sevilla Prado de San Sebastián Bus Station, get the T.G. Comes bus that runs to La Linea and walk across the frontier. Transit time: 4hrs.
Timetable here: http://www.tgcomes.es/horarios_33_english.htm
TAP - Air Portugal operate daily from Lisbon to Sevilla. However, one-way prices are in the region of € 300 to € 400. You would then need to get from Seville Airport to the Prado de San Sebastián, Sevilla, then the T G Comes bus to La Linea.
You need to get a bus or train from Jerez de la Frontera or Cadiz to Sevilla then bus to Albufeira.
T.G. Comes operate a bus service(Línea M-905:) from Rota to Estación autobuses Prado de San Sebastián, Sevilla.
You will need to then get a local Tussam Bus (C4) to Estación autobuses Plaza das Armas, Sevilla.
From Plaza das Armas you will need to get a bus with either one of the following two operators:
1) Damas/EVA - Twice daily service - http://goo.gl/ejQuP
Dept: Sevilla 07:30*
Arr: Albufeira 10:55
Dept: Sevilla 16:15*
Arr: Albufeira 19:40
Dept: Sevilla ( Plaza De Armas ) 15:00
Arr: Albufeira 17:45
Dept: Sevilla ( Plaza De Armas ) 23:59
Arr: Albufeira 02:45 +1día
Most Long Buses arrive at Albufeira Bus Station which is a bit out of town. You may need to get a cab to your final destination.
For more info see the Algarve - Spain page on Cubsur's excellent site here:
Your flight to Hong Kong is more than likely from Paris CDG airport
There are flights from to Paris CGD from Porto as well as from Paris Orly, Paris Beauvais and Paris Vatry.
If leaving Paris CDG or Orly, depending upon arrival time, you will hopefully be able to get a flight from Porto to the airport you need for your ongoing flight without changing airports.
In any event, I would strongly not recommend changing airports in Paris, unless absolutely necessary, as one needs to allow a minimum of 4 to 5 hours to do so depending on the time of day.
Airlines operating from Porto to Paris are as follows:
Paris CDG - easyjet.com
Paris Orly - TAP - www.flytap.com
Transavia - www.transavia.com
Aigle-Azur - vols.aigle-azur.com
Paris Beauvais - ryanair.com
Paris Vatry - ryanair.com
I would strongly recommend NOT taking a car into central Lisbon as there are constantly increasing traffic control measures, that make life complicated, including one that bans any vehicle more than 20 years old from entering the central zone.
However, if one must, and if one is staying in the Restauradores, Rossio, Praça Figueira area, there are two underground public car parks.
One is situated under Praça Figueira itself and the other at the bottom of Avda Liberdade, by Restauradores. I know from experience that some better hotels are able to offer preferential parking rates in the latter.
Not sure but I do know that the Jumbo Hypermarket in Aqua Shopping, Portimão has an entire display section with Chinese and Japanese foods and condiments!
On entering the shop, head to the back left of the premises by the butchery. It's in that area.
Have just received information that Ryanair will be operating the following new routes as from the end of March 2012.
Faro to Leipzig - Germany - 2 x week
Faro to Cologne/Koln - Germany - 4 x week
Porto – Nuremberg - 2 x week
Source: http://goo.gl/5mMgo (in Portuguese)
I would therefore recommend one of the two following options:
1) Hire a car in Madrid, Drive it to Jerez, then to Salema, then Lisbon. Put it in the Long Term Car Park at Lisbon Airport while you are in Madeira, then drive back to Madrid. Bear in mind that this routing will incur substantial tolls on the Portuguese Motorways. (Incl. electronic ones on the Algarve spinal Via de Infante A22.) Also bear in mind when renting a car to specify automatic if you are not conversant with manual shift.
2) If you want to do the trip by public transport, then take the AVE from Madrid via Seville to Jerez. Return to Seville by bus or train. Overnight in Seville. Take daily morning DAMAS/EVA buses from Seville to Faro/Lagos, in the Algarve. Either hire a car in Faro/Lagos or take the regular EVA bus to Salema.
2 days later, take the bus back to Lagos and then train/bus to Lisbon or drive from Salema to Lisbon.
Bear in mind a one-way hire will incur a drop-off fee. For this type of rental, I suggest Auto-Jardim or Europcar as both have offices in Lagos and Faro. In Faro bear in mind to specify pick-up at the TOWN office. Otherwise you will have to trail out to the airport to pick up a car.
Il y a, chaque deux/trois heures, un service "shuttle"/ autobus entre l'aeroport de Porto et Guimaraẽs
Sinon, il existe une "Tramway" entre l'aeroport et le gare Porto Campanha. Le dureé du voyage est plus au moins 45 minutes.
Les trains partent chaque heure pour Guimarães avec une dureé de transit de 1hr 15mins.
Il doit être averti que, actuellement, il existe toujours les possibilités des gréves sur les chemins des fers et le tramway.
The Algarve is not exactly clement in January!
I live here. The far western Algarve does have spectacular coastal scenery, (you would need a car) and we do do rental apartments here. I would suggest if your mind was really set on it, head for Lagos rather than Tavira.
Alternatively, I would plan on a trip that took in Lisbon and environs, Coimbra, Porto, (possibly including day trips to Braga, Guimarães or up the Douro River on a wine tasting tour. ).
Given the cost and hassle of fuel, tolls and the likely weather in January, I would suggest to plan to travel by long distance coach. The train service between the above centres is good BUT given the current and anticipated penchance of the local rail workers unions to announce stoppages at short notice, plan on using coach travel.
Further, if you do end up hiring a car, be aware that most rental vehicles this side of the pond are manual shift. If you require a automatic shift remember to specify this when reserving and be prepared to pay a premium.
As regards apartments, also bear in mind that there are excellent reasnably priced Pensão/small Hotels throughout the land. In Coimbra, I would recommend Residencial Victoria andin Lisbon, the Portuense and Florescente near Rossio, If you do visit the Algarve and come to Lagos, have a look at the Vila Galé Hotel, the Marina Club ApartHotel and the Hotel Marina Rio, all of which will probably have excellent offers on in January via bookings.com
Norwegian, the Scandanavian low cost operator is opening a base at London Gatwick Airport in April 2013.
They will be operating a weekly flight to Faro on Saturdays.
See: (in portuguese)
Although there is a general tomorrow in Portugal, there are also ongoing periodic rail strikes and "works to rule" continuing on the railways.
Although I live here, speak Portuguese, and was full aware of the problem , we got nobbled this morning when taking a train from Lisbon to Lagos.
We picked up a ticket to get the 10:29 Intercidades from Lisbon to Tunes, whence we would have changed train to Lagos.
We were not advised at the ticket office in Lisbon, that the connecting train from Tunes to Lagos was cancelled due to strikes!
Furthermore, the ticket collector on-board the train smiled sweetly at us when we presented our tickets, said "mude em Tunes" (change in Tunes - as usual) and then carried on with no mentioned of the strikes or "work to rule".
On disembarking at Tunes, (at 13:20) along with many locals, there was a garbled message which no one could hear because of the departing train. Following discussions with some interested locals over the lines, and using the help line, I established that the 13h25 to Lagos was cancelled owing to "strike action" and that the next train was at 16:57.
In the end, we clubbed together with some locals and took a taxi at a considerable extra expense back to Lagos.
The real issue is that information on late cancellations is not being passed on to the ticket offices, etc.
As regards travelling to the Algarve, I therefore have to strongly recommend that anyone seeking to head from Lisbon to the Western Algarve, (i.e. Silves, Portimão and Lagos), DO NOT, for the present, use rail travel.
There is no indication yet as to whether the current work to rule is going to continue after the national rail strike on 1st November, and as alternative public transport from Tunes to the above centres is non-existent, you may end up paying € 12:50 each for a cab with four people to get to Lagos.
I STRONGLY recommend that anyone seeking to travel from Lisbon to the Western Algarve USE one of the three bus services, Renex, Rede Expessos or EVA (Search this forum for information this!:)
I also strongly recommend travellers to continue to use this option until the rail labour disputes end!
If these labour disputes do not end soon, I can see Portuguese Railways local rail services going out of business and, in reality, pehaps that would be the best giving the problems being faced by tourist visiting the Algarve!
Alsa.es operate a daily service from Malaga and Algeciras as follows:
Malaga 21:00 Albufeira 02:45
Algeciras 18:45 Albufeira 02:45
Best bet is to get a local bus from Estepona to Algeciras.
Note: May require bus changed in Sevilla
We had a long-planned party for friends and family in Lagos on a Saturday in mid-September 2012.
We required a location with a pleasant view, Portuguese cuisine and capacity up to 80 persons. Planning started in March 2012. We trawled the main restaurants and hotels in Lagos. Either they did not have enough capacity, were ridiculously expensive and/or turned us away saying mid-September was still "tourist" season.
The Portal do Infante was among one of the first restaurants visited and the manager, Sr. Paulo was about the only manager to whom we spoke who understood what we wanted, was able to offer a good price per person and was interested in what we as customers required. The Restaurant is situated in the area around the corner from the main Marina complex. It is a more tranquil location and offers a direct view over the moorings.
The party passed off perfectly. It was a beautiful sunny Lagos Saturday evening. Drinks were served to all guests on arrival and then we sat down to a lovely dinner. We had arranged a pianist and a traditional Fado group, comprising two guitarists and an excellent female Fado vocalist. (Even guests from Lisbon and Coimbra complimented her talent.)
All this time, the staff of the Portal were extremely attentive and continued to be so until we finished at 1 a.m.
The food was of the highest quality and included for the first course arroz de peixe com Gambas/Fish Rice with shrimps or Bacalhau no forno à Infante/Baked bacalhau (cod) á Infante. The second course offered Borrego assado no forno/ Roast Lamb or
Medalhões de Vitela Madeira/ Veal Medallions in Madeira.
The wine selection was also excellent.
We cannot more highly recommend this restaurant which also has a cafe section which offers snacks and light refreshments at good prices.
This is an excellent location just for a dinner for two or for an anniversary/wedding party.
Transfert de l'aeroport a Fatima
Il n'a pas un lien direct à partir de l'aéroport jusqu'au Fatima.
Il faurait prendre un bus urban "Aerobus" de l'aeroport jusqu'a la gare de bus "Sete Rios" ou on pourrait prendre l'autobus pour Fatima.
The well known Portuguese Historian and Television presenter José Hermano Saraiva died yesterday in Sétubal at the age of 92.
I know not everyone agreed with some of his takes on Portuguese History, but his career spanned 60 years. He was a teacher, lawyer, politician, Government Minister (albeit in the Salazar/Cãetano era), Diplomat and after the revolution, reinvented himself as a master historian in print and on TV.
For me, his phrase..."Caros telespectadores..." will live with me till I die!
He inspired my great interest in the histories of the innumerable "terras" throughout Portugal and, often their influence on places and events long distant from the shores of this small land.
He kept working until last year! What a man!