Friday, 27 March 2009

Lagos - September Festival?

I'm a bit bemused by this one and would like to know your source.

According to the List of Portuguese Public Holidays for 2009, there is no national holiday on this date.

The only annual local holiday I am aware of is the

"Dia do Município e Feriado Municipal celebra-se a 27 de Outubro" or local muncipal holiday - 27th October, 2009.

I have confirmed this on the Council's website here:

Anyway, apart from when the council closing down the main Avenida for sports rallies, or as of this morning, for trying accidentally totally gridlock Lagos by allowing the new river front works to accidentally block the road on a busy Friday morning, we are usually in business 24/7, 365 days a year.

There are all sorts of small fairs and bits and pieces year round, but prices do not go up and we are usually fairly laid back.

The busy season usually starts to tail off around the last week in August. There will plenty of beach space for you.

Be aware that you will have at least a 1km walk or a bus trip from the Marina Club to the nearest beach..however, there will be plenty of space.

The building works around the Marina Club are all finished for now, with the exception of the desultory snail-pace interior kitting out of the Encosta da Marina complex on the other side of the roundabout. However, there is very little visible work ongoing at present.

I would warn, however, that despite the current economic crisis, the Council and local developers are still pushing on with various developments. No telling what mischief they are going to get up to until it starts, and you find a dirty great dozer trundling along your road.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Lisbon to Vigo

The only daily connecting bus service is one that leaves Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus Station at 09:15 arriving Vigo 17:30.

However, it is possible to do the trip by train:

There is an Alpha-Pendular Express train that leaves Lisbon Gare Oriente at 14:09 arriving at Porto Campanha Station at 16:46. There is a train leaving Porto Campanha Station at 17:55 arriving Vigo at 22:12 Spanish Time.

You can get a the Carris Aeroshuttle bus to Gare Oriente just outside the airport arrivals level. This leaves every 30 minutes between 07:00 and 23:00 and goes directly to the airport for a cost of +- € 3.00

Alternatively, take a taxi to Gare Oriente. Its only 10 minutes away.

You should try to get to the station as earl as possible to get a ticket.

Travel from San Sebastian to Lagos

Train travel within Spain and Portugal is quite good, reasonable and useful. However, train links between the two countries are, at present, not good.

Bus Travel, however, is probably the best way to travel between the two countries. It is unlikely that you can get from San Sebastian, Spain to Lagos, Portugal in one day. It can be done driving - a very long day! According to Google Maps the distance is 1,181 km or about 11 hours 13 mins drive.

There are no direct bus services between San Sebastian and Lagos. You will probably need to route via Lisbon. have two daily departures from San Sebastian to Lisbon Sete Rios bus station changing in Madrid:

Dept. Arr:
S.SEBASTIAN 00:30 LISBON S.R 17:00 Price: 74,54
S.SEBASTIAN 09:00 LISBON S.R 23:00 Price: 74,54

From Lisbon Sete Rios bus station there are regular bus services to Lagos throughout the day. Price one way around € 17:00 each.

You can find an extract of the timetable here on my blog:

Faro to Huelva, Spain

1) There is no train service between Faro, Faro Airport and Huelva.

2) In summer, there may be a privately operated bus service between Faro and the Costa de Luz/Huelva but at present details are not clear.


3) Depending on what time you are arriving, there are three bus services per day by bus from Faro Bus Station. You would need to take a taxi from Faro Airport to Faro Bus Station. (10 minutes) € 10.00 & bags.

Have a look at the following page on Cubsur's site which will give you more info on the bus times.


One way ticket presently in the order of € 12.00

4) Transfer/Limo Service

This would cost in the order of € 130.00

One company that offers this service is:


5) Taxis

Faro Airport 2008/2009 winter guide is quoting between € 113.00 and € 140 for a 4 person cab - Faro Airport to Huelva. Be aware there are likely to be extras.

Lisbon Airport to Batalha

There are several daily bus services between Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station and Batalha operated by the company Rede Expressos.

I have posted copy of the current timetable and prices on ScribD here:

According to Google Maps, Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station is 8.4 kms. from Lisbon Airport.

In late afternoon one should allow up to 30 minutes to make the trip from the Airport to Sete Rios Bus Station allowing for traffic.

There are taxis outside Lisbon Airport Arrivals. There may be a bit of a queue depending on the time of day but you should be able to get a cab within 15 minutes.

There are no taxi companies as such. All taxis are either owned by a private individual or a co-operative. There should be no problem getting a receipt. (Ask for a "factura"). However, the taxi drivers may take time to write them out.

Private taxis are usually not licensed to operate outside the greater Lisbon Area. They will take you but if you do not speak Portuguese you are more than likely to be charge a higher price. Prices are difficult to assess. However, according to the online simulator at (Portuguese Taxi Association), the cost of a taxi for one person from Lisbon Airport to Batalha, (136km according to Google Maps) should be in the order of € 150.00.

A better bet in my opinion would be to book a private transfer.

These are more expensive but probably give you more security.

For example, see

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Portugal - Tide Tables

The Instituto Hidrográfico do Portugal has online real-time tide-tables for major ports, including Lagos here:

Make sure you have javascript activated and click on the name of the Port for which tables you require.

Portuguese Lesson:

Preia-mar = High Tide
Baixa-mar = Low Tide

Using the calendar feature above the map you can track back online until 1999.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Day trip from Albufeira to Lisbon

I assume that you are referring to Clube Praia da Oura, just outside Albufeira.

The nearest train station is at Albufeira/Figueiras which is about 10 kms distant.

You would need to get a taxi to and from the station and given the lateness of the return from Lisbon, you would need to book a cab both ways.

At present the first train leaves Albufeira Station at 7h19 and arrive Lisbon Entrecampos station at 9h56.

The last train leaves Lisbon Entrecampos station at 18h51 arriving Albufeira Station at 21h32.

You should detrain at Lisbon Entrecampos as it is the closest station to the city centre, accesisble via the attached Metro station of the same name.

Site here:

As an alternative, you could try the bus.

Rede Expressos/Eva Transportes have a departure on weekdays from Albufeira Bus Station (4 kms from Praia de Ouro) at 06:55 arriving Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station at 09:30.

There are return departures from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station at 18:30, 19:30 and 20:30.

Site here (in portuguese):

Faro to Lisbon - Evening Public Transport

You are correct.

The last train from Faro to Lisbon leaves at 17:00 hrs.

It may appear early but public transport in the Algarve shutdown early.

Coach Operator have buses leaving from Faro Bus Station for Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station at 19:00, 19:30 and 20:30.

Transit time is between 3 hours 15 minutes and 4 hours.

Your friend would need to take a taxi between Faro Airport and Faro Bus Station. There is a local bus Nº 16 leaving Faro Airport at 17:40.

FC Porto vs Manu U??????

You're going for footie, aren't you!!!!!

FC Porto vs Manu U.??????

A Minibus would probably be cheaper but as your average mini-bus will only legally carry 8/9 persons, it may be expensive.

I also do not think it would be worth the risk hiring a 9 seater and trying to get away with 10 on board as the Portuguese Police will be out en-masse in Porto and on the approaches to the city.

Your real problem is that you need to get back to Lisbon by 08:00 on the morning of 16th April.

The nearest train station to the airport is Gare Oriente where there is also a bus station. You would need to take cabs to and from the airport. About 10 minutes. The last train departs for Porto at 21:39 arriving at 00:39.

There is a regional train taking 4 hours that leaves Porto - Campanha at 1h23 and arrive Lisbon - Oriente (10 minutes by cab from the Airport) at 5h42. Problem is you can't buy tickets in advance.

Train timetables here: have a bus service leaving Porto at 01:15 and arriving Lisbon - Gare Oriente Bus Station at 06:00. Again you can't buy tickets in advance.

The following transfer company is quoting € 960.00 for the service you require for 10 persons return.

The advantage of such a service is that they provide a driver and you don't have to worry about parking, drinking etc.

Where to visit in Spain from Algarve

I was over in Seville a couple of weeks ago by car.

See my report on the drive on my blog here:

As our Peugeot had just a an encounter with one of the new, rapidly expanding population of, jumping bollards of Lagos, (I was not driving at the time :) and I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact the brother of the Mayor of Lagos owns the local Peugeot dealership), I took a vehicle from Luzcar. They allow their vehicles to go into Spain as far as Seville with no problem at all and at no extra cost.. Tell them when you book you intend going to Spain.

On arrival in Seville, I suggest you park at the underground parking under the Bus Station at Plaza das Armas or at Cristobal Colon. From there on walk or use the TUSSAM bus service.

Electrical Installations - Portugal

If you apartment is not new or several years old, best to get the wiring checked by a local sparks.

It is unlikely with new builds, but with older properties there have been cases where builders skimped on electrics, using what a Portuguese electrician friend calls "Electro-Pedreiros", or labourers masquerading as electricians.

I, myself, in the past have refused to install desktop computers down here after arriving at properties and finding the electrical system unearthed.

If it is a new build, should be OK as Portuguese Safety Regs are now much much tighter.

Fly into faro-then where? Isla canela/ayamonte..etc

You can fly into Faro and hire a car to go to Spain. do such rentals.

I was down at Faro Airport on Friday and Auriga Crown the Spanish Car Hire operator is opening up a booth at Faro Airport as from April.

Although they have not yet got prices on their site nor indications of inter-country rates, I have confirmed from a webmaster that I know who operates a rental site marketing their vehicles that they have already advised him about their intention to move in the Algarve / (Portuguese) market. If their inter-country drop-off rates are reasonable this could be of great benefit to those wanting to tour the Iberian Peninsula by Car.

I have also heard rumours that Pepecar is considering a similar move.

As regards Isla Canela, it is a typical modern tourist resort with lines of aparment blocks, beaches and very little else. Ayamonte has some character but there is limited public transport between the two.

I would suggest that Lagos, Albufeira, Praia da Rocha or Monte Gordo might be more of interest.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Low Cost - Scotland to Lisbon

Globespan, Ryanair, Easyjet operate from Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh to Faro Airport. You can get a taxi from Faro Airport to Faro Train or Coach Station and then a cheap bus or train to Lisbon in about 3 hours.

Train will only really be possible if you arrive prior to 15:00.

However, there are Rede Expressos, EVA and Renex buses to Lisbon with the last departure at 20:30, arriving 23:45.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ryanair - Dublin - Porto cancelled

Ryanair has announced the termination of the following route from July:

Dublin - Porto

Vilamoura to Guarda

Guarda is 55lkm from Vilamoura by the fastest car route, which includes toll roads, which will make the trip quite expensive. Transit time with stops 6 hours each way.

Train times from Loule Station (15 mins by taxi from Vilamoura) to Guarda via Lisbon vary between 7:30 mins and 10:20 minutes each way.

I have post an extract of the current relevant train timetable here on Scribd:

I have post an extract of the current Bus Times by Rede Expressos Bus here on Scribd:

Transit times are similar or longer than the train.

So if it is an urgent trip, car would be better. However, whichever mode you choose, going up and down even on two days will not leave you much time in Guarda.

Travel from Lisbon to Algarve to Malaga

Public transport links between Spain and Portugal are almost exclusively restricted at present to long distance coaches.

While you will not need a car in Seville, you will need one to explore the Algarve and you may well miss places you want to see in Spain.

I would therefore strongly recommend flying in and out of Lisbon on this trip. Rent a car in Lisbon and drop it off there. Intra-country drop offs are very expensive in Europe. Be aware to specify an automatic if you are from the other side of the pond as in Europe we mainly drive manual shift vehicles. I also suggest a vehicle with aircon as Andalucia will be very very hot at that time of year. (Between 35º and 40º during daylight hours.)

You routing should be by toll road from Lisbon Airport via the Vasco da Gama Bridge to Albufeira. (+- 2:30 mins). Albufeira - Seville freeway (2 hours). On the Seville to Malaga route there are various options, including the scenic long one via Jerez/Algecira/Marbella.

While in Malaga, with a car you can also make an easy day trip to Granada and the Sierra Nevada, although it will be very hot in the former.

To do all the above by bus would at least double travel time and add a lot of inconvenience.

500 posts!

Post 500!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope all those have used this blog to date have found it useful!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Algeciras, Spain (Ferries from Morocco) and Lagos (Algare, Portugal)

The following is a brief synopsis of bus routing between Algeciras, Spain (Ferries from Morocco) and Lagos (Algare, Portugal)

Algeciras to Seville (Prado )

Timetable here.

Seville to Lagos (Seville - Plaza das Armas) (DAMAS/EVA Transportes)

Sevilha Lagos 07:30 12:00 Diariamente
Sevilha Lagos 16:15 20:45 Diariamente

Friday, 13 March 2009

Lagos, Algarve - Schools

A full list of primary and secondary schools in Lagos can be found here:


The Escola das Naus behind the Marina may also be of interest.

Be aware that all of these are Portuguese State Schools. I would suspect that at least some of the head teachers will have some English, but do not count on it. Whether they can provide extra tuition I don't know. The state education system here is currently under great pressure so don't count on it.

I would suggest that in the first instance you contact the Escola das Naus.

Madrid to Faro

Ryanair ran a service on this route 2 years ago for 6 months, However, because they advertised it badly, they only got 50% loadings.

They decided not to persevere with the service, which I think was wrong.

There are not low-cost flights between Madrid and Faro.

Your options are:

Low-Cost Flight - Madrid-Lisbon and then Bus/Train Lisbon - Faro

Bus/Train - Madrid to Seville

Bus - Seville to Faro

Have a look at these posts on my blog which may help.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Vilamoura to Lisbon

The nearest train station to Vilamoura is Loulé Station. Trains from Faro to Lisbon stop there. However, it is about 15 mins by car/taxi from Vilamoura. There is no direct bus service. One would have to go to Quarteira Bus Station and then get one of the hourly buses to Loulé 4 Estradas.

Alternatively you could get a bus from Vilamoura to Faro.. first service is at 08:00. This takes 40 mins.

Personally, I would recommend that you avoid all this hassle and take a bus. There are three companies operating the route

1) Eva Transportes - operates to Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station

I have uploaded the timetable in pdf format here:

2) RENEX - Operates to Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus Station

If you go to my blog at:

Scroll down on the right hand panel until you come to the section entitled:

»» Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links

You will find a link to the Renex Bus Timetable entitled:

»» RENEX Bus Service - Lisbon to Algarve (including Lagos) timetable

Click on it and you will be able to download the timetable in pdf format.

3) - operates to Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station

National Bus Company. Operates some services in co-operation with EVA.

Returning to Faro you could also consider the train.

See (Click on uk flag for english version)

Train/Bus Seville,Spain to Lisbon,Portugal

There is no direct train service from Sevilla to Lisbon.

You would have to take the AVE to Madrid and then the once daily overnight Lusitania Express from Madrid to Lisbon.

You best bet would be by coach.

There are two options:


This company currently operates 2 daily services between Sevilla and Lisbon as follows:

SEVILLA LISBON 15:00 21:15
SEVILLA(Prado) LISBON 23:30 06:00next day

2) EVA Transportes/DAMAS Change and buy ticket in Faro

Sevilha Faro 07:30 10:10
Faro Lisboa 11:00 14:15

Sevilha Faro 16:15 18:55
Faro Lisboa 19:00 22:15

Bus Transport - Seville to Madrid

There are also long distance coach services from Sevilla to Madrid.
operate several services daily from Seville to Madrid Estacion Sur. Transit time is currently 9 hours but the price of a single is € 35,34. also operate a similar service.

Transit takes between 6 and 6 1/2 hours and the fare is € 19.25 according to their website.

I used their overnight service from Madrid to Seville a couple of years ago. Not luxurious but perfectly adequate.

Ryanair changed our flights!!

What's new!

With Ryanair don't expect anything until the plane is airborne and even then.

After Michael O'Leary's musings on whether or not to charge people to use the 'loo on Ryanair flights a week or so ago, I have now heard a rumour around the web, that Ryanair is now also thinking of charging people for breathing while the plane is in the air as it is possible to reduce flight costs by reducing the power needed to power the air exchangers between the cabin and exterior in flight.

Swimming in Lagos

There are two pools open to the public in Lagos.

1) The new olympic size pool between the old Pingo Doce and Mcdonalds/Seagulls Swimming Pool roundabout.

2) The pool at the Bombeiros (Fire Station.)

I swam in the former a year or so ago.

I have not checked either out over the past year or so.

Am v. busy at present but will try to find out more in the next week or so.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Lagos to Seville (Again!)

I had to go to Seville by car again this week from Lagos.

Trip took 2hrs 45 minutes from Lagos Pingo Doce Supermarket to the Leflet Hotel Castilleja, Castilleja de la Cuesta. This is situated just of the Seville/Huelva/Algarve motorway (A49), on the main street of the town of Castilleja de la Cuesta about 3 minutes by car from IKEA and about 12 minutes by car from Estacion da Armas Bus Station, Seville.

The price for a double room, booked over the net, via was in the order of €45 per night including free car park (one steep entrance though...not for the faint hearted). It also include free wifi but the room we were in was at the extremity of the hotel and reception was bad.

We had to drive to our meetings but for those who wish to take public transport, I was informed by the hotel reception that there are regular buses from circa 07:00 till past midnight into Estacion da Armas Bus Station.

Link here in Spanish:

Full Address:

Hotel Leflet Castilleja
C/Real 106
Castilleja de la Cuesta


The Hotel was extremely clean and there is a cafe next door where one can get coffee and breakfast.

The good thing about the hotel is that it is not far of the motorway. Its a bit of a fiddle getting to the hotel because of one way streets but only takes 5 minutes. Its ideal for those who do not want to face the traffic of Seville.

We also dined on evening in Central Seville at the San Marco Italian Restaurant on C/Cuna 6, 41004 Sevilla.

Great Atmosphere, Good food and for Seville prices were reasonable and service good.

Seville - Sta. Justa Station - Car Hire Companies

I was in Seville again last week and took a gander around the Sta. Justa Area.

Avis and Hertz have rental offices within the station precincts.

If you leave the Station by either of the main two entrances, turn left and head towards the large boulevard of Avenida Kansas City, you will find on the left in car park before you cross the Avenida, car hire offices for SIXT and SWING Car Hire companies.

If you carry straight on and cross Avenida Kansas City you will find directly in front off you on the other side, offices for PEPECARS. Crown AURIGA and ATESA.

7 companies in a 200. radius!!!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lisbon to Salema

There is no direct public transport link from Lisbon to Salema.

You would either have to take a train or bus from Lisbon to Lagos and then a local EVA bus to Salema.

You best bet would be by EVA Transportes bus from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station to Lagos and a local bus to Salema.

I have posted the current Lisbon to Lagos EVA bus timetable in pdf format on Scribd here:

I have posted the current Lagos to Salema bus timetable in pdf format on Scribd here: