Friday, 30 May 2008

Ryanair - New route - Faro - Glasgow Prestwick

Ryanair have today announced a new twice weekly route from Glasgow Prestwick to Faro operating Wednesdays and Sundays beginning 29th October 2008.

My guess is that having burnt their fingers with the Faro - Madrid Route last year which we desperate still need and before that Faro - Girona, Ryanair, are sticking to developing routes out of Faro where others have already paid for the route development. In this case, Globespan with their services from Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports.

I hope that this route is more successful and that Ryanair, as is often the case, do not cancel the service a couple of months later without announcement.

This could be a useful addition to services between the Algarve and Scotland, but be very careful booking to far in advance.

Travel from Madrid to Castelo Branco

At present the traditional train route between Madrid and Lisbon is not operating.

There is a once daily service however, operating overnight:

Dept: Madrid (Chamartin) 22h45
Arriving: Entroncamento 06h37

There is a train departing:

Dept: Entroncamento 07h46
Arriving: Castelo Branco 10h01

There are no direct through bus services Madrid to Castelo Branco.

One would have to take a bus Madrid - Lisbon Sete Rios and then another bus Lisbon Sete Rios - Castelo Branco.

Lagos supermarket

Have a look at this page on my blog:

If you come of the A22 at exit one (Lagos), continue until you hit the second roundabout and bear left in the direction of the centre. After 200m, you will arrive at another roundabout continue straight on. You will see on your right the newly refurbished Intermarche Supermarket. Turn right at the next Traffic lights and right again and you will see the Supermarket Car Park.

As regards things on have a look at this link:

Algarve-wide but its not a big region.

Lisbon to Merida

The Spanish Bus company, shows a regular daily coach service leaving Lisbon Sete Rios Coach Station (Metro - Jardim Zoologico) several times a day. The service transits Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus/Rail Station 15 minutes later. Journey time is about 4hrs.45 mins.

The following is the timetable. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Lagos - Plus becomes Pingo Doce

The discount store formerly known as Plus,
on Avenida da Republic in Lagos, has now become part of the Pingo Doce Chain.

Opening hours are 09:00 to 21:00 including Sundays.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Getting to France from Portugal

As regards air, only operate direct daily services between Lisbon and Bordeaux but the one way prices are high. You might get a better deal buying a return and not using the return sector. have just launched a flight from Lisbon to Lyon. They also operate Lyon to Bordeaux. You might find this useful.

As regards Brittany, it is very difficult. My partner and I had to visit friends near Carhaix, over Christmas and after hours of working on flight combinations from Faro and Lisbon, I ended up hiring a car and driving.

Another option would probably be from Lisbon via a UK airport (either London Gatwick / London Stansted or Bristol) on or a combination of Easyjet / Ryanair.

A final option could be by Easyjet.comm - Lisbon to Paris Charles De Gaulle and then TGV train from Charles de Gaulle to your destination. See for more information.

Be aware that you may have to spend a night en route.

Faro Airport to Salema

The following is a timetable using buses operated by EVA Transportes which will get you from Faro Airport to Salema on a Monday in September.

Faro Airport 10:47
Faro Bus Station 11:05 Bus 14 or Bus 16
FARO Bus Station 12:30
LAGOS Bus Station 14:40 Daily
LAGOS Bus Station 15:10
SALEMA 15:42 Daily

Regretably, there is no combination of bus or train that would allow you to travel from Salema to Faro Airport on Monday to arrive by 08:15.

It would have to be a taxi at about € 90.00 or you would have to travel down to Faro the night before and spend the night there.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Lisbon - Tavira - Sagres - Lisbon

Firstly, it is all eminently possible within the time frame outlined.

Assuming you are arriving Lisbon Airport, picking up your car from there and leaving for the South straight away, I would suggest that you proceed straight to Tavira via the Vasco da Gama Bridge, A2 toll motorway and the A22 Via de Infante motorway. gives the following details:

Costs 44.79 EUR
Toll 17.85 EUR
Petrol 26.94 EUR

Transit Time 02h52 (Allow 3hrs 15mins with stops.)
Distance 299km

As regards the return, I suggest that you use a combination of the A22 and EN 125 Algarve coastal arterial roads to visit the places you wish to see. I recommend visiting Silves and Lagos definitely.

I suggest you might want to base youself in Sagres while exploring the Western Algarve. I can recommend the Albergaria Mareantes as a medium cost quality B&B. To make a reservation, contact Maria de Jesus via the details shown on this page.

For the return to Lisbon, I recommend that you follow the N268 from Sagres through Vila de Bispo to the Alfambra junction, then the N120 through Aljezur, Rogil, Odeceixe, Vila Nova Milfontes. Depending how often you stop this should not take more than 4 hours.

North at Vila Nova de Milfontes, turn left at Brunheiras and visit Porto Covo, awind swept beach on this Alentejo coast.

Then head North to Sines. I would not recommend staying in Sines as it is a port town. Head North from Sines up the N261 - 5, the N 261, and the N 253-1 to Troia.

There are hotels there or you can cross the Sado Estuary on the car ferry and visit Setubal, (recommended). There is an Ibis Hotel just out of Setubal in the N10 heading south which I can recommend. There is also a Novotel there as well.

From Setubal you are only 40 minutes by motorway from Lisbon Airport via the Vasco Da Gama Bridge.

I often drive Algarve - Lisbon - Lagos by both routes and a non-stop transit time takes me no longer than 4 hours.

If you want to reduce costs, take the I would suggest that you proceed straight to Tavira via the Vasco da Gama Bridge, A2 and leave the toll road at off ramp 6 - Marateca. Get onto the N10/IC1 south and continue till you come to the A22 Guia intersection. Follow the on ramp for Faro and continue till you come to the Tavira of ramp.

Note that the speed limit on the N10/IC1 is 90 km/hr. The are regular police checks. Allow an extra 75 minutes at least if using this route.

Hope this helps.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Southern Portugal

Evora is not just the chapel of bones but also Roman Ruins, a delightfuly typical inland town and university town.

I would suggest that Lagos is a better option than Faro. Although Faro has a small lovely old centre it is the administrative capital of the Algarve and its beaches are a ways away.

Lagos is historic, its beaches are accessible and in my opinion more fun.

There are twice - daily buses operated by Damas/Eva between Lagos and Seville on weekdays between October and the end of May. In summer the buses are daily.

You can find the timetable here on Cubsur's excellent site:

Have a great trip.

Travel from Malaga to Lisbon

Air Portugal - Tap operate regular flights from Malaga to Lisbon but the one way ticket price is ridiculous - in the order of € 364 per person at the end of June 2008. You may get something cheaper by buying returns.

A combination of low-cost flights involving airlines such as Spanair/ Clickair/Easyjet/Vueling on the route from Malaga to Lisbon via Barcelona or Madrid may be your best bet by air.

By long distance coach, operate an overnight daily bus service as follows:

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Lisbon to Vilamoura

There are two or three things to consider in making your decision as to how to get to Vilamoura from Lisbon.

1) Vilamoura is not the Algarve! It a modern Golf/Marina Complex. There are regular public buses to Quarteira and Albufeira during the day but if you want to explore the Algarve during your week here, a hire car is highly recommended.

The region is only about 160km by 40 km but its wide diversity from the wild rocky west coast, the historic town of Lagos where I live, to the inland hills and the Spanish border, is very difficult to explore without a car.

Consequently, you might consider hiring a car.

If you did, I would recommend picking it up at Lisbon Airport on your departure from Lisbon, cross the Tejo by the Vasco da Gama bridge and take the toll-motorway to the Algarve. On arriving at the A22, bear left on the the Via Infante Motorway and continue until you come to the Loulé/Almancil/Quarteira/ off ramp, bear right until you come to Quarteira and follow the signs for Vilamoura. (Transit Time with stops - 3 hours.)

A reputable hire company in Lisbon is Auto-Jardim.

You can see details here:

If you follow this option make sure you specifiy if you need an automatic, as most vehicles this side of the pond are manual shift.

2) If you really just want to relax in the Hilton, or not hire a car, I would recommend the train as it is a wonderful trip over the 25 Abril bridge and through the Alentejo. There is a cafe on-board and it is a wonderful relaxing way to spend 3,5 to 4 hours.

There are two types of Intercity - Alpha Pendular & Intercidades.

- The first operate twice daily from Lisbon Gare Oriente, via Lisbon Entrecampos stations to the Algarve. If you are staying in a central Lisbon Hotel the second station is the one you want.

- The second type are called Intercidades and follow the same route but stop at more stations and operate three times a day. There is a fourth evening service on Fridays.

You can find the timetable on my blog by scrolling down on the right hand panel, until you come to the section entitled:

>>>> Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on the item

>>>> # Portuguese Railways - 2008 - Lisbon - Algarve Faro/Lagos Timetable

You will be able to download it in pdf format.

For Vilamoura you will want to detrain at Loulé Station. There are often no taxis there but am sure you can ask the Hilton to have one meet you. It will take about 15 minutes from there to Vilamoura. Alterntively, continue to Faro Station where there are always taxis. It will take 25 minutes to Vilamoura and cost about € 25 to € 35 depending on time of day/week.

3) If buses really are you preference, bus operator RENEX operate several services daily from Lisbon Gare Oriente (same as the train station) to Vilamoura.

You can find the timetable on my blog by scrolling down on the right hand panel, until you come to the section entitled:

>>>> Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

Click on the item:

>>>> RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve timetable

Look at the the top panel entitled Lisboa - Loulé - Lisboa

N.B. "P" means departure / "C" means arrival.

Note that there is no Metro link yet to Lisbon Airport. On arrival you will need to grab a taxi or bus to your hotel.

Operator Rede Expressos also operates this route. Buses leave from Lisbon Sete Rios Coach Station (Metro Jardim Zoologico.)

I have published a copy of the relevant timetable here:

Hope this helps and thanks again for contacting me.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

La Coruna - Geneva

I have spent some time on this one and yes, it is difficult.

There are only two trains a day linking Vigo to Porto and these each take +-4hrs:30 min. La Coruna - Vigo by train takes a further 2 hours!

La Coruna is a lot further than Vigo so I really don't think this route is doable by public transport.

If you have a car, the distance is 301km taking about 3:30 mins.

As regards buses there are services from La Coruna to Porto Airport operated by

However, the Friday La Coruna to Porto to service operates too late to tie in with the flight from Porto.

On Thursday however, there is a bus from La Coruna Bus Station to Porto Airport leaving at 09:00 arriving 12:30.

There is then a direct flight from Porto to Geneva operated by as follows

Thursday July 4th

Porto to Geneva

dep. 13:55, arr. 17:00

For the return there is a flight leaving Geneva for Porto as follows:

Sunday July 6th

Geneva to Porto

dep. 13:40, arr. 14:55

However, the current return price is about € 200.

There is a bus from Porto Airport to La Coruna as follows:

Dept Porto Airport 00.45H Arrive La Corunna 06.00H

Easyjet's Summer La Coruna - Madrid service has not yet be confirmed. Not available till 18th May.
It may be that there will be better routings via this route.

However, you might want to have a look at routing via Barcelona although the transit times are somewhat short.

July 4th.

La Coruna to Barcelona - Spanair

09:35 La Coruna 11:10 Barcelona

Barcelona to Geneva


12:05 Barcelona 13:40 Geneva


La Coruna to Barcelona - Spanair

15:25 La Coruna 17:00 Barcelona

Barcelona to Geneva - Easyjet

18:05 Barcelona 19:40 Geneva

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Geneva to Barcelona - Easyjet

10:20 Geneva 11:50 Barcelona

Barcelona to La Coruna - Spanair

12:50 Barcelona 14:35 La Coruna

I would suggest that if you can get hold of a car, driving to Porto would probably be the best option.

As regards, rental accomodation in La Coruna, I unfortunately live in the Algarve in the South of Portugal and am not local to La Coruna.

However, if you would like to visit my blog,

scroll down to the bottom of the right hand panel, and click on "View my complete profile", you could then click on email and send me your requirements. I will then see if I can assist although it may take some time.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Lisbon - Oriente Station-store luggage

There is also a fairly large luggage locker facility on the parking garage level of Gare Oriente.

Find your way down the escalators until you arrive at the level with the internet cafe and cafes/food court.

With the Internet cafe to your right, head past the shops and you will enter the long white passage that leads to the parking, toilets on the left and half way along on the right, a doorway leading to the left luggage lockers.

calicas, lagos

To be honest, it depends which part of Calicas the villa is in.

In any event, I concur with Cubsur. It is a long walk into town and back after a night out.....especially as there is a substantail climb.

You will have to be prepared to get taxis back or one of you will have to be alcohol free of the night.

BTW I live in Meia Praia 500m from Calicas and am often up there, and have often walked the area! :))))

Unfortunately, the restrictions on these forums does not allow one to post links longer than 140 characters to appropriate maps on Google Maps.

If you go to my blog:

I have posted an extract from the appropriate google map of the area.

Items 1 & 2 approx indicate the area of Calicas, while item B indicates the centre of downtown Lagos. Walking even via the Marina bridge is at least 2 kms.

EDP shops throughout Portugal


The main EDP office for Lagos and the Western Part of the Algarve is in Portimão.

You can also do a lot online through their portal (in English as well!!!!!!!):

For Emergency Phone Support see the following link:

For a list of all EDP customer shops throughout Portugal view below. (To enlarge click on the box on the right of the menu bar below.)

Read this doc on Scribd: LojasEDP

how to get from Leiria to Caceres

This route is not easy and is only possible by bus and will require two bus changes.

Furthermore, it is not possible on Sundays as there is no early morning bus between Leiria and Lisbon

Operator: Rede Expressos - Leiria to Lisbon Sete Rios

Dept: Leiria 06:00 h Arrive Lisbon Sete Rios: 07:50 h Price: 10.00 € Frequency : Weekdays except public holidays.


Dept: Leiria 07:00 h Arrive Lisbon Sete Rios: 08:50 h Price: 10.00 € Frequency : Weekdays and Saturdays.


Dept: Lisbon Sete Rios 09:30 h Arrive Badajoz: 13:45 h Price: 25.00 € Frequency : Daily


Dept: Badajoz 16:30 h Arrive Caceres: 18:00 h Price: 8.16 € Frequency : Daily

Note that the tickets will have to be purchased en route - there is no easy Internet Booking, so allow plenty of time to buy tickets.

Hope this helps.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Faro to Malaga

As you have already surmised, there are no direct links by train, rail or air between Faro and Malaga - or for that matter between Faro and any Spanish Mainland city. quotes as follows for the drive by car from Faro to Malaga:

Distance: 414km including 397km on motorways
Estimated drive time:04h18

You should note that it is very expensive to do inter-country drop-offs with hire cars between Spain and Portugal and vice versa.

Air is not really feasible as you would have to travel to Lisbon, get a low cost to Madrid and then another low-cost to Malaga.

Rail is essentially the same.

There is a bus service operated by with a bus change in Seville at Plaza das Armas Bus Station as follows:

Town Dept
FARO 02:00
HUELVA 04:30
MALAGA 08:45

This would be the most direct.

You might also be able to catch one of the two daily buses operated by DAMAS/EVA from Faro to Seville (weekdays only in winter.)

Have a look at this page on Cubsur's site for more info:

From Seville there will be several daily services to Malaga from either Plaza das Armas or Prado Bus Stations including these services operated by ALSINA GRAELLS SUR, S.A.

02:50 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
11:00 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
12:00 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
14:00 03:30 DE LUNES A SABADOS
16:00 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
17:40 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
20:15 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
20:30 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA
22:00 03:30 TODA LA SEMANA

Alternatively, you could get a cab from Seville Plaza das Armas to Estacion Stª. Justa Train Station and get the AVE high speed train to Malaga changing at Cordoba.

This will probably be very expensive and probably not save much time.

For more info check out the spanish railways site

Hope this helps

Another Tragic Algarve British Child Incident

The BBC this morning reports that two British children aged 6 and 2 were taken into temporary care by social services in the Algarve, on Friday night, after hotel staff became very concerned at the fact that both their parents collapsed drunk.

The BBC report can be found here:

As of 10:39 this a.m. google news was listing 19 reports of the affair.


It was reported on the Portuguese TV news last night and yesterday's national "Correio da Manha" reported the affair here:

This occurred on the week-end of the anniversary of the Mccann affair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the hell were the parents thinking off?

I rarely make political or social comment on this blog.

However, over the years, I have to confess that I am increasingly ashamed and would really prefer not to be British.

The crass Sangria/Vinho/Beer/Sun obsessed / Obesity encouraging hedonistic activities of many Brits at home, and internationally, make me feel increasingly like ceasing to be a subject of Her Majesty.

The British complain about Americans, and with Dubya and Cheney in the White House who can complain. However, when are the British going to take the logs out of their own eyes and see themselves as world sees them!

The problem is not restricted to younger Brits. On March 20th this year the BBC published this article about "Saga Louts":

Not a few days later walking across the car park in Lagos to the car at 10:30 at night there were 2 British couples staggering their way somewhere. The two women were so far going that one actually staggered a metre into my path even though I tried to avoid it.

The Portuguese Press over the past 24 hours have been reporting on the issue and not favourably:

As of 10:39 this a.m. google news portugal was listing 17 reports of the affair.


I am tired of the crass hedonistic xenophobic attitude exhibited by many Brits when abroad.

At least, the Portuguese Hotel Staff and authorities did something and took care of the kids.

When is Britain as a nation going to have leaders who are going to confront the masses with there own sad image as a society, and get people to take responsibility for themselves and show respect to others?

ADDENDUM: 6th May 2008.

I am pleased to see that the Portuguese Authorities have decided to pursue this matter further.

Even if the parents in this case are not charged, it will hopefully(perhaps, albeit forlornly) send a message to people to enjoy their holidays but be responsible, particularly if they have kids with them.

See the following links:

The Times

The Scotsman

Google News - Links to lots of articles worldwide on this!

Google News Portugal - Links to articles in the Portuguese Press

Friday, 2 May 2008

Bus from Albufeira to monchique spa

Have a look at Cubsur's site here:

This shows buses from Portimão to Monchique which go right by the Spa.

Look at:

for buses from Albufeira to Portimão.

Hope this helps.

Getting from Faro to Seville

Inter-country car drop between Spain and Portugal is very expensive and only offered by the big-boys like Avis, Hertz etc.

Have a look at this post on my blog which may interest you:

Note there is no train between Faro and Seville.

Bus is the only option.

Here is a synopsis of relevant schedules: (Click on the image to enlarge!)

Passenger & Car Ferry - Portimão - Madeira

Spanish ferry company, Naviera-Armas, are now accepting bookings on their website for a new weekly ferry service operating Portimão (Algarve) - Funchal (Madeira) - Tenerife (Canary Islands).

The schedule shown runs from 15th June 2008 and only runs up until 20th July, 2008.

Sailing time to Madeira is 21hrs and to Tenerife 42 hours.

Website is here:

The service atarted as indicated. Price for a return with an "airline" type seat reported at €164. Service reported to be only operating for 15 weeks over the summer.

Note: Regrettably, this ferry service was terminated in 2012!