Friday, 21 December 2007

Part 2

Arrived last night in Limoges, France. The trip from Estremoz took me via Portalegre, Marvão, Caceres in Spain, Salamanca, Vallodolid, Burgos to Bilbão. Took about 8 hours. The road between Caceres and Salamanca is being upgraded to dual carriageway and once open should knock and hour of the route.

From Bilbao tried to get into France by off-motorway routes but the Basque towns are a menace as are the first towns in France Bayonne and Biarittz. I managed however to get through that and made my way cross country via Dax and Bergerac to Limoges.

Staying at a Balladins cheap and cheerful. Euros 28 per night with free wifi.

More in the next few days.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

En route Algarve - Brittany

I have left Lagos today by car after a mad few weeks and am now heading for Christmas in France. I am heading first to Limoges and then to Brittany. Total distance will be more than 5000 km before I get back to Lagos in 2 weeks.

Why this mad dash? Simple! The absolute paucity of low cost flights from the Iberian Peninsula to regional airports in France. By the time I took a train to Lisbon, got Easyjet to Paris and then train to my two destinations, its going to be cheaper driving.

I am using a diesel vehicle and am going to avoid toll roads.

Leaving Lagos this afternoon, I took the A22 Via de Infante to Albufeira, the old IP1 to Alcacer do Sal, then the cross country road road to Montemar de Novo and then the N4 to Estrmoz. Left Lagos at circa 13:45. Arrived Estremoz 18:10, having stopped at Mimosa for lunch. Total distance about 350km. Drive Time. (No Motorway) - 4 hrs.

Have found a free Internet Cafe offered by the Council and open from 14:00 to 20:00 7 days a week. No wifi but machines seem fine. Staying at the Pensão Café Alentejano Estremoz for Euro 25 night for one person. Clean rooms with shower toilet on suite. No website but can be called on +351 268 337 300.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Hotels in Lisbon

I would recommend the following hotels if available:

Ibis Barata Salgueiro -
This is just of Avenida Liberdade and half way between the Baixa and Marques de Pombal.

You may find however from the time of year that hotels in the centre are difficult.

If so try the following which are in easy walking distance of the Praça de Espanha Metro Stop.

Ibis Malhoa

Novotel Malhoa
(Check out cheap offers on the web)

I would suggest that you might want to take a two day trip at the beginning of you visit to either Coimbra or porto.

Both are easily accessible by train from Gare de Oriente 5 minutes by cab from Lisbon Airport. Porto is 3 hours by train from Lisbon and its river area is delightful. Coimbra is the home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe and although small full of Character.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Car Hire - Pick up Faro Drop Off Lisbon

For pick up in Faro and drop off in Lisbon, I would recommend:

Auto Jardim





Most of the local Algarve Car Hire companies do not do Lisbon drop offs.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

lagos to madrid via bus

1) Flights - It looks like Ryanair have pulled the plug permanently on this route. See this article on my blog.

However, don't despair you do not need to go via Gatwick. and operate flights from Madrid to Lisbon. From Gare de Oriente, near the airport you can get a Renex Bus to Lagos for +- Euro 18.00 or a train t.o Lagos for not much more.

2) Buses from Madrid to Lagos. The cheapest route is probably to take a Socibus bus from Madrid to Seville and connect with the twice daily DAMAS/EVA service to Lagos. Note this operates only on weekdays in winter.

If you got the overnight Socibus service from Madrid at 22:00 arriving at 05:15 you could connect with the 07:30 DAMAS bus from Seville to Lagos arriving at 12:00.

Total cost should not be more than Euro 60.

It is possible to Madrid - Lisbon - Lagos via Lisbon Gare de Oriente but this route tends to be more expensive.

For more info, see http://cubsur's

Lisbon - Seville Route Cancellation

Following the comment by Anonymous posted on this blog on 24th November 2007, and following investigations by various blogs, including Sergio Bastos (Obrigado, Sergio) of, Vueling have finally confirmed that the Lisbon to Seville route that the airline intended to start operating from 1st November 2007 has been cancelled.

Apparently, those who have booked already have been offered their money back. It is interesting that another low-cost is showing signs of the "Ryanair syndrome". Announce or launch routes and then cancel them with a minimum or no publicity.

For more information see the following link: (in Portuguese)