Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Faro to Marbella by bus

Unfortunately, there is no direct bus service between Faro Airport, Faro, and Marbella. However, all buses between the Algarve and Spain have to transit via Sevilla.

Consequently, you should be able to get a bus from Faro Bus Station to Sevilla Plaza das Armas Bus Station, take a local Tussam C4 bus to Sevilla Est. Prado Bus Station and then another bus from there to Marbella.

From Faro Bus Station there are departures daily to Sevilla Estacion Plaza das Armas Bus Station by DAMAS/EVA TRANSPORTES ( http://www.eva-bus.com/ ) as follows:

0740 (summer only - 2014 to be confirmed) arrive: 1130
0820 (year round) arrive: 1300
1355 (summer only - 2014 to be confirmed) arrive: 1745
1535 (year round) arrive: 2015

From Faro Bus Station there are departures daily to Sevilla Estacion Plaza das Armas Bus Station by Alsa.es as follows:

01:45 arrive 05:45 (This bus also continues to Est. Plaza das Armas Bus Station )

 This service does offer a connection onwards to Malaga and then Marbella BUT it is a circuitous roundabout route!

There are three departures per day from Sevilla Est. Prado Bus Station to Marbella.

 The Bus Company is AUTOBÚS DE LOS AMARILLOS. 

The link for the timetable is here: http://goo.gl/AD4DV

There are daily departures to Marbella from Sevilla Est. Prado Bus Station at:

10:00
15:30
18:00

 Transit time is 3hrs 30 minutes

Bear in mind, that Spain is on Central European Time and is an hour ahead of Portugal.

All times shown above are based on local time.

In summary, therefore, it would appear that the 08:20 DAMAS/EVA bus from Faro to Seville Est. Plaza das Armas, and the 15:30 from Sevilla Est. Prado Bus Station would offer the best connection.
Be aware that in busy periods buses may be busy.

Go to www.eva-bus.com for the Faro to Sevilla Segment. It does not appear possible to purchase the tickets from Sevilla to Marbella on-line.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Friday, 26 April 2013

Ryanair Launches Flights To/From Montenegro (Country No 29)

Fascinating! It is amazing how Central and Eastern Europe are becoming profitable regions for Low-Costs!

Ryanair Launches Flights To/From Montenegro (Country No 29)

Rural Crime Prevention - Portugal

I recently wrote this article in response to a question about house break-ins in rural Portugal:
Crime is on the increase everywhere...a result of the economic crisis not only here in Portugal but also over the border in Spain.

From years of experience in Southern Africa and here, I think that an alarm system on a rural property would only have a limited "immediate" deterrent effect! 

If the power is cut then it has no effect.


I am a firm believer in enhanced "Passive Security" for all properties! 

It costs more and may be unsightly, BUT as soon as most potential thieves realize that is going to take a while to break in, they scarper!

Furthermore, it works even when the power is cut!


What do I mean?

1) A good sturdy external fence and gate, if possible!
2) Sturdy Grills lockable with quality sturdy padlocks on the exterior of all windows and external doors.
3) Dead locks with bolts on the inside or all external doors and windows

One will never deter all such crime, but the more a property appears like a fortress, the less likely attempts will be.

Unfortunately, this is not just happening in rural Portugal, but world-wide. 

The days of "leaving the backdoor open" are rapidly waning!

Reconstruction of Portimão Retail Valued at € 20mn

A report in today's Portuguese national daily "Publico" indicates that the cost of reconstruction of the Retail Park at Portimão will be in the order of € 20mn.

Full article in portuguese, here: http://bit.ly/15UMu5b 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Travel from Lisbon to Lagos - Summer 2014

1) Train and Bus Fares are usually set on an annual basis. Fares do not change for the summer season. It is highly unlikely that there will be any change in train or bus fares before August 2013. If there are changes it would only be by 5% or so. 

2) Bus Schedules - Usually there is an increased frequency of service by rede-expressos.pt and renex.pt services in summer. However, it is unlikely one will be able to confirm this until June/July.

3) Train Schedules - Based on previous years, there is likely to be an increase in services in the summer. However, it will probably be only one or two extra services per day. Again, it is unlikely one will be able to confirm this until June/July. 

4) Luggage Storage - There are currently luggage lockers on the basement floor of the Gare Oriente Train/Bus Station from whence renex.pt bus and cp.pt train services (change at Tunes Junction for Lagos) to Lagos depart.

There are also luggage lockers and a left luggage department at Lisboa Sete Rios Bus Station (Metro/CP Sete Rios) from whence depart rede-expressos.pt and http://www.eva-bus.com/novo/index.php?lang=uk services for Lagos

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Algarve - Car hire help needed please.

A recent question posted on this issue -

"We are looking to hire a car from Faro and all I can find are bad reviews of the rental companies."

My Reply:


"Forget Cheap Car Hire!
It only ends in tears in my experience!
Go for a reputable outfit such as Luzcar, Zitauto etc.!
It is worth paying the extra to avoid having your holiday or post-holiday period ruined by having to fight car hire firms, credit card companies et al.!
A final suggestion!
Rather than get stressed by this car hire situation in the Algarve, if you cannot find something that satisfies your needs, why not consider holidaying in another location.
The Algarve (Faro Airport) public transport/motorway/car hire situation is now becoming so problematical, I do not understand why potential visitors do not say:
"Well, this transport(public transport/car hire/motorway tolls) situation in the Algarve is such a pain, we are going to go elsewhere!"
Alternative Destination Suggestions: 
Lisbon Area,(good public transport on the north side of the Tejo), Madeira, The Canaries, CroatiaCape Verde(Thomsons)!
Until the entire (private and public sector ) tourism industry in the Algarve realise there are serious problems in these areas, it is becoming more and more difficult to positively promote this region as a destination for relaxing and tranquil holidays. 
Consequently, I cannot blame potential visitors for looking at alternative destinations."



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Portuguese Rum ---- In response to a question.....;)))


Rum usually is produced from sugar cane, a product not grown in Portugal.
The most popular run-type spirit consumed in Portugal Cachaça from Brazil;
As alternatives I can recommend the locally produced Portuguese Air Force (FAP) environmentally friendly jet fuel substitute know as Medronho.
One should be aware that only the highest quality non-commercial product produced in secretive stills in the Area 51 type region in the Monchique area of the Algarve and the neighbouring southern part of the Alentejo is worth consuming! One should watch out for the protective Portuguese version of the Men in Black if driving around these areas! They usually wear Tommy-Lee Jones type Raybans and drive Green Painted 4 x 4's, with GMR painted on the vehciles! (Guarda Medronho Republicana). If you try to get near any of these stills, they will usually shoot first and ask questions later!
A similiar product produced further to the north in Portugal is "Bagaceira"!
Like Medronho, one should only consume the the highest quality non-commercial product!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Portugal - Railways - Stations for Selected Routes


First, note the website for Portuguese Railways: http://www.cp.pt
All timetables can be searched using the timetables and prices tab on the english version page of the website.
1) From Lisbon to Porto
Both Alfa-Pendular and Intercidades Trains Depart from Lisboa Stª. Apolonia Station downtown on approximately an hourly basis. All call at Lisboa Gare Oriente en route North to Porto.
Two Alfa-Pendular trains per day call at Lisboa Entrecampos and Lisboa Gare Oriente en route North from the Algarve.
2) From Lisbon to Sintra
Trains depart from Lisboa Rossio Station for Sintra Station every 20 minutes or so during the day.
It is also possible to catch connecting urban trains to Sintra from Lisboa Gare Oriente, Lisboa Roma-Areiro, Lisboa Entrecampos and Lisboa Sete Rios Stations changing at Campolide or Mira-Sintra Meçeles.
3. Porto to Regua
In Porto, some trains to Regua leave from Porto São Bento Station. All call/leave from Porto Campanha station.
There is only one station called Regua.
4) Pinhão to Lisbon
There are three trains a day with connections to Lisbon via Porto.
Train changes needed at Regua and Porto Campanha!
The late night train requires several changes.
5) Lisbon to Cascais
Only one way! Linha da Cascais from Lisbon Cais de Sodre Station to Cascais Station.
www.scotturb.pt bus Nº. 417 almost hourly from Cascais Bus Terminal (across the road from Cascais Train Station) to Sintra Station.

Mossel Bay shines in Europe


Interesting article on the promotion of Mossel Bay, South Africa at the last ITB in Berlin!

Mossel Bay shines in Europe

Many people do not know about the +500 year-old links between Mossel Bay and Portugal!

Mossel Bay was one of the main layover points on the Southern Tip of Africa for the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery. The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex is one of the best historical displays about the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery I know, even better than many here in Portugal!

I had a chance to visit this Museum in 2007 and still do not understand why a similiar museum has not been built in Lisbon. Sines or Lagos, Algarve, Portugal to celebrate these incredible feats of navigation!
See:

http://www.visitmosselbay.co.za/museums-and-culture/the-post-office-tree

and

http://www.diasmuseum.co.za/ 

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal - Urban Bus Routes - Onda


I was in town on my bike this morning, (it's a beautiful day here in Lagos, btw ) and dropped by the bus station. My friend Ana who works in the ticket office there tells me that ONDA has not provided them with printed up to date copies of their timetables despite repeated requests!
So as far as ONDA (www.aonda.pt) goes, the online timetables offer the best source of info at present BUT I would not trust them 100%, at present!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Vol Low Cost Paris-Faro

Il existe trois compagnies aériennes qu'assurent la route Paris - Faro.

Ryanair.com - Paris(Beauvais) - Faro
Easyjet.com - Paris(Orly) - Faro
aigle-azur.com - Paris(Orly?) - Faro

Richard Quest is the devil - Mail & Guardian - ZA

A really funny take from South Africa's Mail & Guardionon the evolution of TV news personalities!

Poor old Richard!!!!

Richard Quest is the devil - Mail & Guardian Mobile

Spare a through for Richard though! He is spending this week-end travelling around Europe on Low-Cost Flights!!!!!

See: http://goo.gl/DqujS

Thursday, 4 April 2013

World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism World Competitiveness Report 2013 - Portugal well ranked

The World Economic Forum has just released its (517 page) 2013 Travel and Tourism World Competitiveness Report analysing the state of and ranking the performance of the Travel and Tourism Sectors in individual countries world wide.

I have downloaded a copy and posted it here: http://goo.gl/Lb9oP

Today's Portuguese National Daily, publico.pt reports that in summary Portugal gets an overall ranking of Nº. 20 in the World. However, while emphasising many positive aspects of Portugal's ranking world-wide,  it does points out that negative aspects include:

"...... a competitividade dos preços de viagens e turismo, os custos dos combustíveis, as práticas de contratação e despedimentos e ainda a extensão e impacto que os impostos têm sobre os incentivos ao trabalho e investimentos. "

In summary, price competitiveness in terms of prices of transport and tourism services, lack of flexibility on labour practices, (viz: hiring and firing) aand the negative effect of taxes on incentives to create employment and promote investment.

Copy of article ((in Portuguese) here: http://bit.ly/10wq5qa

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wizzair - New Flight from Bucharest, Romania to Dubai!

Wizzair are certainly expanding rapidly and have just announced a new service between Bucharest and Dubai.

http://www.romania-insider.com/wizz-air-to-connect-bucharest-to-dubai-with-new-flight-this-fall/79038/

The airline is also studying the possibility of a route from Bucharest to Tel Aviv.

I just wish they would consider routes from Poland, ( e.g. Warsaw, Cracow) to Portugal, (at least Porto!)

 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Cycling the Hills of Portugal

Interesting Article in the Vancouver Sun promoting biking vacations/holidays in the Algarve Region of Portugal!

See:

Cycling the Hills of Portugal

Portimão Hospital, Algarve - Paid Parking Only from April 5th 2013

A news report in today's online edition of Sulinformação reports that as from 5th April, 2013, all on-site visitor's parking at Portimão Hospital will be paid. Various reasons are given for this move. However, it is a serious matter as there is no alternative parking of any substance in the surrounding areas.

More here (in Portuguese):
http://
bit.ly/Zw9W0b