Thursday, 27 September 2007

Hiring a car in faro(portugal) and dropping it off at Malaga airport

Unfortunately there is no cheap way to do this.

The only companies with which you will be able to do this are the big global car hire firms such as Avis, Hertz, Europcar. The one way drop of fee will be substantial as this will be classed as inter-country drop-off.

I would suggest that you best bet would be to take public transport From Faro to somewhere like Ayamonte just over th border in Spain and then pick up a hire car there.

Auriga Crown Car Hire have offices in Islantilla near Ayamonte and Malaga.

Contact Details are:

Address: Calle Islantilla Local B-4
Post code: 21410
City: Huelva
Province: Huelva
Country: Spain
Telephone number: 959 646 075
Mobil: 619 038 947
Fax: 959 646 049
E-mail address:
Manager: Juan Carlos Moreno

You might be able to contact them and they may be able to meet you in Ayamonte.

To get to Ayamonte from Faro, you can take the train to Vila Real Stª. Antonio and then the ferry to Ayamonte or Bus from Faro to Ayamonte.

See these posts on my blog for more info:


cubsur's excellent site at:

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Algarve Beaches

The Algarve appears to be a large area but is in reality only 160 km long by 40 km wide. Most places are accessible with 90 minutes via the coastal A22 spinal motorway.

Answering your questions as to "Which small towns in the Algarve have the nicest beaches nearby?" depends really on your definition of a small town.

I would suggest that there are two main areas that would be suitable:

1) In the East, around the town of Tavira where there are coastal beaches, beaches on estuaries and on islands a few hundred metres off-shore.

2) In the West, in the area running from Lagos to Sagres and then up the West Coast towards Aljezur/Vale de Telha and Odeceixe.

In this area, you can find:

Meia Praia - a five km long sandy beach skirting Lagos Bay opposite the town of Lagos.
Salema - a one km long beach fronting the picturesque fishing village of Salema, 20 km west of Lagos.
Praia da Zavial - sandy, cliffed line beach 4km from the village of Raposeira on the N 125 and 25 km from Lagos.
Praia da Ingrina - 1 km from Zavial. Small Cove with small beach but delightful.
Sagres - Several beaches tucked into to the cliffs. Warning Access may require climibing up and down 10o steps or more.
Praia Castellano - 25km from Lagos - Accessible via the feeder road that leads out behind the market in the town of Vila de Bispo. Great long cliff-lined beach. Parking can be a hassle in summer or week-ends.
Carrapateira/Bordeira - 35kms from Lagos via Vila de Bispo. Surfer/Sandy Beaches. Carapateira is a small traditional village.
Odeceixe - 45 km from Lagos on the Alentejo Border.

Note there are lots of other small and hidden beaches in this region.

There are also one or two hidden coves between Ferragudo, Carveiro and Armação de Pera but these are becoming fewer in number with development in the area.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Albufeira in December

The average weather conditions for Faro:
Weatheronline reports:

The average daily maximum temperature for Albufeira is between 15°C and 18°C. At night it cools down to temperatures between 8°C and 13°C. On average there are 3 days with precipitation. The daily sunshine duration is about 5 hours. On average there is a gentle breeze of 3 Bft (Beaufort Force). This analysis is based on data from the past 10 years.

Have a look at this site:

It can be a bit parky but if you get a warm day it can be nice.

Many places do close in early December but open again for Xmas.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Lisbon to Elvas

There are regular buses throughout the day from Lisboa Sete Rios Coach Station to Elvas operated by Rede Expressos.

Unfortunately, the Rede Expressos site is horribly designed, only works in Internet Explorer and is in Portuguese. I do not normally handle requests for this company's timetables, because despite requests to them, they have not made it possible for users of computers without Internet Explorer installed to use their site.

However, I have made an exception in this case and borrowed a Windows machine.

There are departures from Lisboa Sete Rios Coach Station to Elvas at:


Transit time is about 3 hours and cost circa Euro 13.00

To get to Sete Rios from Lisbon airport take a cab. It should cost between Euros 7 and Euros 10 depending on traffic, number of bags and time of day. There is no metro at the airport and no direct bus service from the Airport to Sete Rios.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Lisbon Airport to Leiria

Unfortunately, there is no easy way by public transport from Lisbon Airport to Leiria.

The best option is to take a taxi from Lisbon Airport (There is no Metro Service) to Sete Rios Bus Station and from there catch a Rede-Expressos Coach to Leiria. (Transit time about 2 hours.)


For more info. Note that this site only works on Windows equipped machines with IE5.5 or higher.

For this reason I do not provide timetable info from this site because despite requests for it to be enabled for other browsers there has been no reply from the company on this over seevral months.

This is the best public transport option as travelling by train requires a taxi ride and then a 4 hour trip with 3 changes.

There are certain transfer companies that offer a service including

Friday, 7 September 2007

Lisbon to Vigo

The long distance coach company Internorte -

- operates a daily departure from Lisbon Gare Oriente to Vigo.

VIGO 17.30H

Note there are two departures on Fridays and Sundays.

By Rail there is only one connecting train departure daily from Lisbon Gare Oriente via Porto Campanha station to Vigo in Spain:

Depart Lisbon Oriente: 14:09
Arrive Porto Campanha: 16:44
Deaprt Porto Campanha: 17:55
Arrive Vigo : 22:37

Please note that these times are based on the summer 2007 timetable. New timetables may enter force at the end of September.

For more sources see:

Monday, 3 September 2007

Alvor to Silves

Get the No. 14 Shuttle to Portimão first.

Timetable here on cubsur's excellent site:

Frota Azul operate bus services between Portimão and Silves which takes 45 minutes.:

Their web site is here but only in Portuguese.

Summary of timetable as follows;

Portimao 07:30 Weekdays Only
Silves 08:15

Portimao 08:30 Daily
Silves 09:05

Portimao 10:45 Weekdays Only
Silves 11:20

Portimao 12:00 Daily
Silves 12:35

Portimao 14:15 Weekdays Only
Silves 14:50

Portimao 15:50 Daily
Silves 16:25

Portimao 16:30 Weekdays Only
Silves 17:05

Portimao 17:45 Daily
Silves 18:20

Portimao 19:10 Daily
Silves 19:45

Weekday Services do not run on Public Holidays.

There are an equivalent number of return services.

Return Tickets Cost € 4:90.

From Albuferia to Tanger

It is not at all possible to go to Tanger and back from Albufeira in one day.

You will need at least one day to get to Tanger,(including ferry crossing), one day there, and one day to get back.

The only way to get from Albufeira to Cadiz is to take the bus to Seville and then another one to Cadiz.

There are currently four buses a day between Lagos and Seville Plaza das Armas although this may reduce to two at the end of September.

Timetable as follows:


See these page for more details:


Transports Generals Gomes and Linsur operate buses from Seville to Algeciras with a transit time of 3:30 minutes.

Timetable for teh first here:

The second Linesur does not have on-line timetables but appears to have several services daily.

If you get one of the early departures from Albufeira to Seville at 0530, 0730, 1230 you should be easily able to connect with a bus to Algeciras.which will get there at 18:30 and allow to get a ferry during the night to Tanger.


2 Days Algarve, 4 Days Seville, Granada/ Gibraltar?

Firstly, you are planning to do far to much in one week. Note Granada is well east of Seville and your return trip to Tangier will be stressful as indicated by Cubsur.

You don't indicate what time you are arriving in Lisbon so the following suggestions are conditional.

1) Take a taxi from Lisbon Airport to Gare Oriente Bus Station.

2) I suggest you go to Granada first and then work you way back.
You will need at least two days there to do the Alhambra, The Cathedral and generally enjoy the place.

Until 30th September 2007 there is a overnight coach departure from Lisbon Gare de Oriente Coach Station to Granada.

Lis GO Departs: 20:45
Granada Arrives: 09:00 (next day.)

Operated by


3) Then take a bus from Granada to Seville.
Again you willl need a couple of days to the Cathedral, Alcazar and the other main sites.

4) From Seville take a bus to Tavira.

see cubsur's excellent web site for more info:
6) From Tavira to Lagos use the train or Bus.

7) From Lagos to Lisbon take the train or EVA bus.

Have a look at my blog where I keep a lot of past posts on these areas as well as links to timetables.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Lisbon Airport to Lisbon Centre

Get a taxi as there is no metro.

The Airbus is fine from the Airport to the following points:

Cais de Sodre.

Used it last week. € 3.00 per ticket

But then you still need to know how to get to your hotel and if it's up one of Lisbon´s hills you don't want to know about it with bags.

Montegordo Lisbon

The main train stations for Algarve in Lisbon are Entrecampos (about 4km from Praça de Rossio) and Gare de Oriente (about 10 km away.)

From Monte Gordo you wold have to get a local train to Faro and then an Intercity to Lisbon.

As the Winter timetables are not yet out I cannot provide times. Check back at the end of September

The main bus stations for Algarve in Lisbon are Sete Rios (about 4km from Praça de Rossio) and Gare de Oriente (about 10 km away.)

EVA Transportes runs daily coach services to Lisbon Sete Rios at:


From the coach station take a taxi to the Metropole.

For more info:


Also have a look at this article on my blog:

Algarve Sunday Opening?


Bld211 is right!

You are going to be hard pushed though to get to one of the large supermarkets if you are arriving 11ish as by the time you've cleared immigration, got the car etc, it could be precious close to 13:00.

If you clear the airport by 12:15 head for Jumbo in Faro. Instructions on my blog here:

If you do not make it head for Lagos along the motorway. Take the exit for Lagos Este. Follow the exit road for 4km until you come to a roundabout. Turn right and follow the road into Lagos until you come to second roundabout (With Fountain in Shape of a caravel).

Turn left into the center passing the Galp Service Station on your right. Continue straight over the following roundabout - you are then on the main Avenida. About 1 km further on you will find on your right a supermarket called Marrachino. They are open all day Sunday and will at least provide you with your immediate needs.

To getback to PDL continue along the Avenida, up paste the Fire Station and the road will eventually lead after 7 kms to traffic lights where you can turn left to Praia Da Luz

Santiago da Compostela to the Algarve


Travelling by rail from Santiago de Compostela to the Algarve by rail will be convoluted and will probably entail at least 3 changes and you may not be able to buy tickets online.

I would suggest that a trip by coach may be quicker and easier:

The Portuguese Coach company Internorte advertise a twice daily service from Santiago de Compostela to Lisbon with departures from Santiago de Compostela ESTACION DE AUTOBUSES at:

Dept: 22:00 Arrive Lisbon Gare Oriente 05:45
Dept: 10:00 Arrive Lisbon Gare Oriente 18:00

Their web-site is here: - Click on Horarios to download their huge timetable in pdf format and scroll to Page 50.

From the same bus station in Lisbon you can then connect with RENEX bus services to the Algarve departing at 07:30 and 19:00 respectively. Trips take about four to five hours depending on destination.

You can download the RENEX timetable from my blog:

Scroll down on the right until you come to:

Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on:

RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable

If you are determined to go by train you will have to get a RENFE ( service in Spain from Santiago da Compostela to Madrid, then connect to a train to Lisbon and then yet another train to The Algarve. (See Portuguese Railways at:

The only connection would be as follows:

Train: 00152 TALGO

Santiago da Compostela 13:37 21:32 MADRID

Train: 00332 TRENHOTEL

Madrid 22:45 Lisbon Oriente 07:45

Train: AlfaPendular

Lisbon Oriente: 08:40 Tunes(Algarve) 11:24 (Junction for all destinations on the Algarve Line.)