Friday, 29 October 2010

Light Van hire in the Algarve

Unfortunately, I do not know of many "budget" van hire firms of the type you are referring.

Europcar and Hertz offer this type of service with quality vehicles.

Autorent in Praia da Rocha also have vans for her here:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bus or train from Seville to Evora

There is no direct easy route by public transport from Seville to Evora.
If you are flying into and departing from a Spanish Airport, there should be no problem taking a Spanish Hire car into Portugal. (Provided you inform them upon hiring the vehicle.)

The following guys have a programme where you can even pick up a car in Spain and drop it off at Faro Airport in the Algarve for a reasonable cost.

As regards buses, your best option would probably be to get the daily DAMAS/EVA bus from Seville to Faro as follows:

Dept Seville: 07:30
Arr: Faro 10:10

then the Rede Expressos departure as follows:

Dept Faro: 11:15
Arr Evora: 15:45

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

Getting to Braga from Porto Airport

You would need to get the metro from Porto Airport to Porto Campanha Railway Station and then a train to Braga.

Extract from Timetable here:

The Metro Line E trip would take about 35 minutes.

The 2010/2011 Porto Metro timetable can be found here:

An Airport Transfer might also be another option.

These guys are quoting € 114.00 for Porto to Braga for 4 people.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Investing in the Western Algarve

MCG...don't get me started, just don't get me started!!!!!! :))

I am an libertarian free market economist by persuasion and all I am can say is that the property market in Western Algarve is, and has been since I've been here, the furthest thing I've ever seen from a "free market".

Prices have been, and even now with the current economic crisis, are incredibly inelastic, given the general poor quality of construction and the vast stock of unsold properties. I estimate that housing values and property prices would probably have to drop 40/45% over 2008 values before the Algarve market would really start to move again.

At present, they are down about 15-20%.

However, that is not the Algarve. People would rather sit on properties for 20 years rather than sell for less than what they personally think their properties are valued at.

Finally, remember, the competition is not just from the rest of the Algarve. It also from the Spanish Costas where there are tens of thousands more properties up for sale.

Webcam, Funchal, Madeira

Webcam showing live views from Funchal, Madeira

Click below

Lisbon to Badajoz by bus

It takes about 3hrs 15mins to travel between Lisbon, Portugal and Badajoz, Spain with bus service

Be aware that the time in Spain is 1 hour ahead of Portugal.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Your views about the Algarve, Portugal.

A Student at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, Karolina, is undertaking a BA in Travel and Tourism and researching the above topic for her final dissertation.

If there is anyone who has visited the Algarve as a tourist who would be prepared to complete a small survey to assist Karolina in her research your help would be appreciated. Please read on...

    " Your views about the Algarve, Portugal - would you recommend it to a friend?

Hello, my name is Karolina. I'm originally from Poland but living and studying in the UK. I'm about to finish my degree and therefore and I'm looking for tourist who would like to share their thoughts, experiences and views about holidays spent in the Algarve, Portugal. Any help and support is appreciated. If you think that you could spare a few minutes and fill in my questionnaire, you are more than welcome to do so. I'm happy to share the results of this research as soon as it's completed, you can request that by providing your e-mail on the last page of the questionnaire, although it's not necessary

    Questionnaire link: http://www.surveymon​​

or if above does not work:


    Thank you in advance! "

Monday, 18 October 2010

Nice Luzcar Story

I was in the Luzcar office in Lagos this morning paying for a vehicle I had hired for an emergency trip.

An English gentleman came in while I was there and identified himself at the desk. Turned out friends of his had dropped of their Luzcar hire car after hours at Faro Airport a couple of nights ago. One of them had dropped their wallet in the car.

They had only noticed later and phoned Luzcar.

Luckily the vehicle had not gone out again. Luzcar checked the vehicle in question, recovered the wallet, and sent it to the Lagos office intact where it was waiting the clients' friend in a sealed envelope.

Once again, great service from a quality local company.

And no, I am not employed by Luzcar, before anyone asks!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Xmas in Faro

Faro is the administrative capital of the Algarve, region of Portugal Apart from Ilha de Faro, 8km from the town, it is not a tourist destination itself.

Be aware that the weather in the Algarve at Christmas can be relatively cool (+-10ºC to 15ºC), windy and wet.

In winter, you may find that the Algarvean towns of Lagos or Albufeira more suitable destinations. Alternatively, Xmas may be a good time to visit the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. It is only +-3hrs by train from Faro and there will certainly be more to do there.

Internet Shop Vila do Bispo/ Raposeira

Arrgh! Just seen your post.

Sorry, I have been away in France on a mercy mission and only got back last night.

I know Hortas de Tabual well.

I have clients at Ingrina. The PT phone line runs from Vila de Bispo, then Raposeira and then Hortas. You should, as you note, be able to get SAPO ADSL over the landline in Hortas although the data transmission speed over the landline may not be that great.

As regards using a Vodafone dongle do not be to hopeful. With the folds in the hills around Hortas 3G reception is patchy at best. I suspect that even with a 12m usb cable the signal may not be that good. Furthermore, with the damp in winter and heat in summer, signal performance will be affected. This summer, I tried a vodafone dongle installation with a 12m cable, at the client's insistence,near the Ingrina Township over the hill from Hortas. The performance was not that great and was patchy.

As regards work, as you are a biochemist, you may find it worthwhile making contact with the University of the Algarve in Faro which has a marine research centre.

If I remember correctly, there used to be an English couple who lived in the big white round house above the restaurant at Praia de Zavial just down from Hortas who were marine research scientists and affiliated with the University of the Algarve. I have had a quick look through the Phone Directory but for the life of me cannot remember their names.

There have been a few marine research projects going on off-shore the Algarve and I would think there may always be a need for bio-chemists.

Also get in touch with Zoomarine in Guia as they have a R&D section as well I think.

Lisbon Apartment Needed

Downtown Lisbon is set on 7 hills and, owing to traffic calming measures over recent years, is not conducive to driving.

I strongly recommend that if you need to hire a car only do so when you are leaving Lisbon and pick it up at the Airport or Gare Oriente. Parking is difficult to come by in the old centre and if you have to put a car in a parking garage, you may still have to walk a good distance to reach your accommodation.

Lisbon has an excellent public transport service with metro, trams and buses.

Taxis are not that expensive either.

For apartments have a look at this recent thread:

For Coimbra, I would recommend the IBIS Coimbra.

Stayed there earlier this year. A few blocks for the Centre and the River is just over the road.

Part B:

Cascais and Sintra are easily accessible from central Lisbon via Cais de Sodre and Restauradores Train Stations. Travel time less than an hour each way. You do not really need a car. There are always taxis at the stations.

Evora and Elvas will need a car as there are few public transport links between the two.

Why not leave the latter till you leave Lisbon. Drive from Lisbon to Evora and Elvas? Go to Elvas first, then Evora. Stay at the IBIS In Evora and then drive to Coimbra, (Provided you are prepared to pay the tolls, ) via the A6, A13, A1 motorway thus bypassing Lisbon.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Vilamoura to Lisbon Sete Rios Rede Expressos - Winter 2010/2011


Monday, 4 October 2010

Faro benefits from Low-Cost Airlines.

The Portuguese Daily newspaper "Jornal da Noticías" has just published an article based on research in the Algarve that shows that the expansion of low-cost flights to Faro, (including the creation of the Ryanair base) has resulted in improvements in business for local entrepreneurs.

Full article (in Portuguese) here:

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Algarve - Bus Hire

Don't raise your hope of getting replies from EVA!

I was trying to organise buses for Dance Algarve 2010 last Easter and despite emails(in Portuguese) and one visit to the office, I had to go again to Faro and basically stand in front of the desk and refuse to move to extract a quote. EVA appear to feel that they are doing clients a favour in providing quotes!!

They also handle bookings for Frota Azul in Portimão as the two companies are linked by cross shareholding.

I suspect the problem with the high quotes is the 2am/3am Saturday night return trip to Albufeira. It probably means double or triple overtime.

One company I did get a 48hr fax reply from was Transol in Portimão:

Rua Projectada à Caldeira do Moinho, Edf. Abicada Loja 5
8500 - 726 Portimão
Tel: 282 450 460
Fax: 282 475 511

Most of these companies do quote for a variety of vehicles. You really need to tell them when asking for a quote how many pax there will be on each.
Transol has vehicles to carry 8, 16, 40, 49, 53, 55 and 59 pax.

It also might be worth contacting Lepebus in Cartaya, just over the border in Spain.

They have a fleet that has buses that can carry 19/25/30/35 pax and fuel in Spain is cheaper. We used them for transporting dancers in 2009 from Seville to Lagos and back. They operate to Faro Airport but I am not sure about doing jobs within Portugal but is is worth a try.

Website here:

Christine Chabeau or Mari Carmen Moreno
Ctra. Nacional 431, Km. 114
Apdo 8
21440 LEPE (Huelva)
T. (+34) 959 39 29 29
F. (+34) 959 39 27 27
M. (+34) 629 18 50 07

Dolphin Viewing from Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I have written several times on this forum that I also think that the companies doing these trips do not pay the dolphins enough commission!

Dolphins are not stupid as we know!


Consequently, why turn up for work when the pay is not good!

I have often wondered and felt not a little concerned about the advertising for these trips from Lagos Marina and do feel these push the bounds of credibility.