Monday, 28 January 2008

Lisbon to Vilamoura


".....three of us will be flying into Lisbon on February 2nd at 2:20pm. I was wondering the best way to get to the old village apartments in Vilamoura. Should we take a train or bus? Where can I find information on how to get to the train or bus station from the airport? ......"


" The simplest and most direct route will be the following:

On arrival at Lisbon Airport, take a taxi for the six minute ride to Gare de Oriente which is a combined Bus/train station.

On arrival there you will find on the furthest bay the departures point for RENEX buses. One of you may have to nip up to the first level from there to get tickets.

There is a bus departure at 16:00 which will get you to Vilamoura at 19:50.

I recommend this route over the train as with the train you would have to disembark at Loulé and get a Taxi to Vilamoura - and there are not always taxis at the station.

On arrival at Vilamoura you may need to ask for the local taxi rank or call one on

(00 351)289315650

Running South the bus will stop for a 15 minute coffee break as well as to change buses at the Vale Paraiso Bus Interchange.

Cost should be no more than €20 per person.

For a timetable go to my blog at:

Scroll down on the right to the panel entitled:

>> Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on the item:

"RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable"

You can there download the Renex timetable in pdf format.

Note: "C" means arrivals and "P" means departures.


Thursday, 24 January 2008

Lisbon to Seville

Firstly, forget car hire.

The cost of inter-country drop-offs in Europe is exorbitant.

Secondly, there is no direct train between the two cities - you would have to travel via Madrid which will take hours.

As regards flights there are no low-cost operators on the route. Vueling was supposed to start last December but have dropped the route due to business problems. Only TAP-Air Portugal flies the route and one way tickets are currently priced at circa € 300 per adult.

The most reasonable way to travel between the two cities a present is by long distance coach.

There is a daily departure from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro Jardim Zoologico) at 11:00 arriving in Seville Plaza das Armas at 19:00 (Spanish Time) Daily.

Prices at present at 40 Euros one way. The trip takes about six hours and routes through the Alentejo, Algarve and Costa da Luz to Seville.

The operator is ALSA. Website here -

You may be able to get a combination of low cost fares Lisbon - Madrid - Madrid - Seville. However, no one operator apart from Iberia operate both sectors and the latters current one way price is € 354.00

In summary, I recommend that you consider the bus which should be a more relaxing trip for all and you get to see the countryside.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

One way car hire Portugal-Spain

Question to me on

"We are travelling to Lisbon in March, hoping to rent a car to go up to oporto, then on into Spain to our daughter in Madrid and fly back to the UK from there. The problem is no-one except Avis will do an international one way rental at an extortionate price. We can get a car that will get us as far as Braganca in the north east of Portugal but how do we get from there into somewhere in Spain, eg Zamora or Salamanca, where we might be able to pick up a spanish car? grateful for any ideas."

My Reply:

In brief, with great difficulty!

There are no easy public transport links between towns in the interior of Portugal near the Spanish Border and Spain.

One Possible option however might be to head North from Porto to Viana da Castelo and then get the twice daily train from there to Vigo where you could pick up another hire car.

You can download a copy of the timetable from my blog:

Scroll down on the left to the section:

>>Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

and then click on:

Porto - Vigo Train Timetable (PDF) also operate a daily bus service between Guarda and Salamanca as follows:

Dept: Guarda 12:30
Arr: Salamnca: 16:30

This might also be an option.

Hope this helps

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Ryanair - Birmingham to Porto

Ryanair have just announced the launching of a twice weekly service (Friday and Monday)from Porto to Birmingham starting on 20th June 2008. Let's see if this route can survuve!

Thanks to Sergio Bastos at for the info.

See (In Portuguese):

Barcelona to Faro

Question posted to me on

"What options do we have from Barcelona to Faro? We will have 2 large suitcases, at this stage we are thinking about driving the Coast road. Is it an easy route? We are Australian and drive on the wrong side of the road!!"

My Answer:

"Firstly, I drive on the wrong side of the road all the time. I've driven right-hand drive cars on one side of the road and left hand drive cars on the other, vice versa and backwards in my time. Never had a problem! Here in Portugal, I'me driving a right hand drive car on the right - No Probs.

I don't accept the excuse "We are Australians" - a couple of "tinnies" and most Aussies can do everything....or so they believe!....Look at Corey Delaney and the masses of Aussies who head here to Lagos each July after running with the Bulls in Pamplona!

If you take the motorway from Barcelona to Faro you will have no problem...except avoid transitting Seville during the morning rush hour, lunchtime and evening rush hour as the ring road gets chockers.

If you are driving suitcases, I suggest that you wear helmets! Spanish truck drivers can be manic. You will need to make sure that each suitcase is equipped with two warning triangles in case of breakdown.

You have two options on the road route - inland via Granada which is beautiful with its Alhambra Palace or the coastal route via Almeira, Malaga, Torremolinos, etc to Cadiz, Jerez and then Seville.

There are no direct flights between Barcelona and Faro.

Your other options include:

- Long Distance bus from Barcelona to Seville and then Faro.
- Low-Coast Flights from Barcelona to Lisbon and then bus or train to Faro."

You may find more info of interest and links by browsing my blog at

Monday, 14 January 2008

Lisbon Algarve by Road

A Great place to stop is at the village of Mimosa on the old IP 1.

I recommend:

Restaurante S. Sebastião de Mimosa

Tel: 269 595 202

This highway stop is steeped in Portuguese folklore being situated at the Km 150 marker almost half way between Lisbon and the Algarve on the old IP1 main road from Lisbon South.

You can snack here or have a full lunch.

No longer jam packed as most of the traffic now takes the motorway.

Its cheap, cheerful and one eats well.

Lagos Wine Bar

Great Wine Bar -

Néctar Inoteca,
Rua Silva Lopes 19,

Tel: 282 762 758

Great Portuguese Wines with wine-bar type plates

Serpa - Alentejo

In December, 2007, We visited Serpa, a delightful walled restored city situated 30km east of Beja.

We had booked at the Casa de Muralha which has a great website. Unfortunately, we had a poor reception by the staff and the bedroom door lock was broken on the inside. We were informed that as it was Saturday afternoon nothing could be done about it. To be honest, the place also looked a bit tacky.

Consequently, we left pdq and ended up at Pensão Residencial Beatriz, Largo do Salvador, 10, which was clean, comfortable and central.

However, the next morning we also visited another Pension, Casa da Serpa, which was absolutely lovely inside. We shall probably stay there next time.

Finally, a good restaurant is the Molhó Bico on Rua Quente 1. (Closed Wednesdays.) Excellent local fare at good prices.

Also look for the couple of local produce shops. Great Fig Jam among other things.

Have a look at Casa de Artesanato, Rua dos Cavalos nº 33, is a great shop for local handicrafts and some antiques

Lisbon Alcobaca

Lisbon is closer to Alcobaca than Porto and there is no easy rail link between either Lisbon and Alcobaca nor Porto and Alcobaca.

You best be will be to get a flight to Lisbon and then a taxi to the Sete Rios bus station.

From their you can get a Rede Expressos bus to Alcobaca with a transit time of two hours.

Easyjet operate from Liverpool to Lisbon a few times every week.

Lisbon to Alcobaca Bus Timetable

Saturday, 12 January 2008

New Route - Faro - Wexford/Galway

Aer Arann has announced the launching of two new routes from Wexford and Galway to Faro from 1st May, 2008.


Aer Arann

Lisbon to Madeira

Air Luxor has gone bankrupt.

You best bet would be to route via:


LowCosts Easyjet and Thomsonfly operate London to Madeira

Aer Lingus operates from Dublin to Madeira




Only TAP and SATA operate this domestic route.

From memory and a brief check of the web there are currently no passenger ferries operating the Lisbon to Madeira route.


During the trip to Lisbon, I had the opportunity to see the premiere of Drakula, a goonesque/pythonesque take on the Count by The Companhia de Chapito, at the Chapitu theatre in the Alfama.

Directed by John Mowat, the performers Jorge Cruz, José Carlos Garcia and Tiago Viegas (Drac himself) had the audience in stitches from 5 minutes into the show until the end. As the production uses much of John Mowat's brilliance in visual communication, anyone who knows the Count Drac story á la Bram Stoker, should enjoy the piece even though dialogue is in Portuguese.

Watch out for the brilliant "echo" round as well as Drac's pet bat. The train and storm scenes are also excellent.

Felicitações Jorge, José Carlos e Tiago!

Well done again, John!

The Companhia de Chapito have again outdone themselves.....

Your fans in Lagos!


Drakula - Sol

Drakula - Sapo

Portugal Diario

Lisbon News

I have just made a quick 36 hour trip to Lisbon.

Stayed at the Hotel Travel Park on Avenida Almirante Reis near Anjos Metro Station. We arranged a very good deal via AccomLine online which included breakfast. The Hotel has an underground car park as well as unlimited wifi for € 5.00 per 24 hour period.

I can again confirm that it is not advisable to take a car into central Lisbon. There are now an increasing number of 59km sections of main road with radar enforced 50km limits where you get a fine in the post, as well as long stretches or main avenues where you have to go ten blocks before one can do U-turns.

The good news is that finally the stretch of Metro between Baixa-Chiado, Terrero de Paço and St. Apolonia station is now open. Also, something I had not realised is that the upper walkway between the top deck of the Sta. Justa elevator and the Largo de Carmo is finally open after being closed for almost 20 years. This offers easy access to the Chiado area as well as great views of Lisbon.

We were there on one of those few crystal clear winter days when rain had washed the pollution from the air. Views were stunning. Even coming up from the Algarve, the view of Palmela Castle outside Setubal from the motorway was the clearest I have ever seen.

The other bit of news that was announced on the day of the trip was that the Portuguese Government has made a final decision that the new airport for Lisbon is going to be sited at Alcochete on the south bank of the Tejo with completion due for 2017.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Bus from Pocinho to Guarda

In response to a request, below is a pdf file with the Rede Expressos Bus Services between Pocinho and Guarda in Portugal:

This took a bit of searching.

Rede Expressos offer a service via Celorico Beira.

The timetable is to long to print here.

However, if you shoot over to my blog here:

You will find a png image of the relevant page from the timetable. Note I am not responsible for any changes to or inaccuracies with the timetable, and that certain services only operate on certain days.

The company Rodonorte offers a service via Viseu as follows:

Pocinho - Viseu

Depart: 08:30 Arrive: 10:45
Monday to Friday Only

Depart: 16:15 Arrive: 18:30

Viseu - Guarda

Depart: 10:30 Arrive: 11:20
Monday to Friday Only

Depart: 19:12 Arrive: 20:02
Monday to Friday Only

Depart: 19:15 Arrive: 20:05
Monday to Friday Only

Depart: 22:02 Arrive: 22:52
Sundays Only

Depart: 22:05 Arrive: 22:55

Note that many of these services only operate on school/weekdays.

Based on your requirement to be in Guarda at 20:42
to get the train the Rodonorte service via Viseu seems the best option on weekdays.

Depart: 16:15 Arrive: 18:30
Change Viseu
Depart: 19:12 Arrive: 20:02
Monday to Friday Only

Note however that Rede Expressos operate to Celorico da Beira where the San Sebastian train stops at 20:15. This may offer a better connection.

Part 3

Unfortunately owing to a lack of internet access, festive duties, a crazy return to Portugal and a subsequent dose of the "dreaded lurgi" Part 3 of the France trip has been delayed, suffice to say that it included an over 2000 kms drive in fog with only 200m visibility, a visit to a Breton Angora Goat Farm and visiting the two Cathedrals and the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca.