Monday, 15 December 2014

Lagos, Algarve,Portugal - International Contract for Urban Bus Services

Will Lagos see a reduction in local Onda urban bus services from March, 2015. Services to go to International Tender and calling for 36% reduction in costs - see:

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

An Update!

Ok! This blog has been a bit quiet over the past few months!

I've been busy travelling and developing a few new ideas which will see new projects coming on stream soon!

In the meantime, I've just got back from a few days in Evora in the Alentejo region of Portugal. It is a lovely picturesque University city dating back to Roman times which even boasts the remains of an old Roman temple to Diana. It's city walls are practically intact, as is its aqueduct.

Evora roman-temple sunset

Monday, 25 August 2014

...and now, Wizzair from Lisbon to Budapest

Thanks to Sergio Bastos, Low-cost Portugal for this information:

A couple of weeks after announcing the start of flights from Warsaw to Lisbon, have today announced the start of twice weekly flights between Lisbon and Budapest as from 30 March 2015.

Report here (in Portuguese):

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Finally, Low-cost Flights from Poland to Portugal!!!!

Wizzair have today announced that from March 2015, they will launch low-cost services twice weekly between Warsaw and Lisbon Airport.

There has and still is a great deficit in low-cost flights between Portugal and Central Europe. Let us hope that this will be start of a growing number of routes that will allow for a greater flow both tourists and business travellers between Portugal and countries such as Poland and Romania where there already exists strong links.

More here in Portuguese:



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Nasa selects picture of the Moon over Lisbon as "Picture of the Day"

On 21st June, Portuguese astrophotographer, Miguel Claro, took a time-lapse picture of the full moon over the "Cristo Rei" (Christ the King) statue in Almada overlooking Lisbon, Portugal.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal - Tenders open for reconstruction of D. Maria II Bridge reports tonight that the Lagos, Algarve, Portugal Municipal Council has today opened a call for tenders for the reconstruction of the D. Maria II Bridge which links the town of Lagos with the Meia Praia, Albadeira and Marina areas of the town on the other side of the river.

The Bridge was closed two years ago at short notice following an inspection that revealed serious problems with the integrity of the structure.

More here (in Portuguese):

The closure of the bridge brought substantial disruption to local traffic and added 3 kms to the commute between the areas concerned.

Aero-VIP Funchal- Porto Santo Flights - Update

The Portuguese Govt. has signed a new contract this week with Aero-Vip to continue operation of its service between Funchal Airport, Madeira and Porto Santo Island Airport for another 3 years as from 1st June 2014..

More here (in Portugese):

Buses from Ferrol to Cedeira in Galicia, Spain

The following appears to be the current schedule for buses between  Ferrol to Cedeira in Galicia, Spain :
Service appears to be operated by: rialsa/monbus -
Buses leave from: Plaza de Galicia in Ferrol
The following are the weekday departure times from Ferrol and arrival times in Cedeira:
Dep.   Arr:
07:00 08:05

11:30 12:35

14:45 15:50

17:15 18:20

20:15 21:20

Friday, 2 May 2014

Its about space........

Its not often that I post something totally out of this world but today NASA switched on its High Definition Earth Viewing experiment, a live stream view of earth beamed directly from the International Space Station.

Want to go somewhere else on a virtual vacation, watch this.....

Live streaming video by Ustream

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Lagos, Algarve to Salema, Algarve - Bus Timetables 2014 (EVA Transportes)

The following are the current (April 2014) bus timetables for the EVA Transportes bus route between Lagos, Algarve, Portugal and Salema, Algarve, Portugal.

Lagos to Salema

Salema to Lagos

Lisbon Airport to Setubal

From Lisbon Airport there is a slightly more direct way to Setubal by Public transport.

1) Take the Metro Linha Vermelha (Red Line) three stops from Lisbon Airport to Gare Oriente Train/Metro/Bus Station.

2) From Gare Oriente Bus Station, operate their route no. 562 direct to Setubal. Takes about 40 minutes.

For Timetable see:

Monday, 28 April 2014

Train/Bus from Evora to Salema

Since the demise of the local unprofitable local line between Beja and Funcheira, a couple of years ago, the only way by rail to get from Evora to Lagos is via Pinhal Novo. Basically, one takes the Lisbon train back up to Pinhal Novo and then connects with the Lisbon to Algarve trains.
The site shows three departures as follows:
Evora 07h02 Lagos 12h06
Evora 09h02 Lagos 14h22
Evora 16h55 Lagos 21h15
One changes trains at Pinhal Novo and Tunes.
There is no direct bus service between Evora and Lagos. One would have to route via Faro and then catch a connecting bus or train to Lagos and then a further bus to Salema.
For Evora to Faro bus services see:
For Lagos to Salema bus services see:
110830 Salema Bay Portugal
Photo by Jimmy Kreislauf (Obra do próprio)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Bus from Coimbra to Evora

There is only one direct bus service per day between Coimbra and Evora, this being the 16:15 departure.

All other connections route via Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station. It may be better to take an Alfa-Pendular or Intercidades train from Coimbra-B Station to Lisboa Gare-Oriente and connecting with the Intercidades from there to Evora.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Visiting Praia de Benigal from Lisbon in a day by Public Transport

Personally, I wouldn't recommend this day trip but if one must....
Get either the:
08:15 EVA Transportes bus from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station arriving Lagoa at 11:15.
or the
05:30/07:30 buses from Lisbon Oriente Bus Station arriving Armacao da Pera (Get off at the second stop by the sea front) at 08:50/10:50 and Lagoa at 09:00/11:00.
From either Adp or Lagoa get a taxi to Benagil. MAKE sure to arrange a time for a taxi to pick one up IN PLENTY OF TIME coming back or one is in for a long walk 6 to 7km walk back in the heat of the Algarve sun.
There are currently departures back to Lisbon from Lagoa at:
EVA/Rede Expressos. (
Be aware that there may be more bus frequencies in summer and times may change.

Praia de Benagil

Friday, 11 April 2014

Praca Rossio - Lisboa

The centre of Lisbon's Baixa Area today!)

Lisbon - View of Castelo Sao Jorge

View of Lisbon's Castle from Rossio

Lisbon - Catacombs open

The Roman catacombs off Rua Prata in the Baixa of  Lisbon are open for the next three days!

Ill not be visiting them! The queus stretch for three blocks

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Algarve Surf Bus - Praia de Amado - Summer, 2014 - Surf's up!!

Various Portuguese journals have reported in the past few days that Transol, a bus company based in the Western Algarve has launched Portugal's first "Surf-Bus", with the objective of linking centres like Portimao and Lagos with the region's famous surfing beaches on the West Coast.

Until now, it has been difficult for surfers to reach beaches like Praia de Amado without having a car or cadging a ride with a surf school etc.

This service will operate between 8th April, 2014 and 31st October, 2014.

The bus will leave Portimão daily at 08:40, calling to collect passengers in Praia da Rocha, Alvor, Lagos, Praia da Luz, Campismo de Espiche, and then proceeding directly to Praia de Amado, the Surfing Mecca of Portugal's south coast.

More information and booking here: 

Original articles (in Portuguese):


Surf's Up, Dudes!!! Enjoy!!


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

April, 2014 - Bus Service between Seville and Cordoba, Spain

Bus services between Seville and Cordoba depart from Estacion Autobus Plaza da Armas in Seville.

Services are operated by

The following is an extract of the current (April, 2014) timetable for Seville to Cordoba and v.v.

Sevilla Cordoba Horarios Alsa

Visiting the Aqueduto Das Aguas Livres, Lisbon, Portugal.

The following is a free translation of a recent post by the Museum responsible for the management of the Aqueduto (Aqueducts) Das Aguas Livres, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Original post in Portuguese here:

"The crossing of the Vale de Alcântara reopened to the public last Saturday 1 March, 2014 and will be open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 17.30. Visitors are free to wander during this period. 

Entry Prices:
€ 2 - adult
€ 1 - seniors and students
 Free - Children up to 12 years

Address: Calçada da Quintinha, 6 (in Campolide),Lisbon"

A location map can be found here:

Information on the two local bus routes can be found here

Carris Bus 712 from Sta. Apolonia and Marques de Pombal -

Carris Bus 758 from Cais de Sodre, Largo do Carmo (Chiado) (Also from Sete Rios on the return route.) -

Vilamoura to Lisbon by train.

There is no train station at Vilamoura. 

There is a rail station at Loulé, about 5 kms distant from Vilamoura and also from Loulé town.

There are currently 5 trains per day between Loule and Lisbon Entrecampos Station.
Dept. Arr. Time
AP 07h11 09h56 2h45
IC 09h56 13h02 3h06
IC 13h51 16h57 3h06
AP 15h16 17h56 2h40
IC 17h52 20h57 3h05
All have 1st class sections although 2nd class is usually fine.
The two Alfa Pendulars (AP) call at Lisbon Entrecampos and Lisbon Gare Oriente Station.
The other three InterCidade trains call at Lisbon Sete Rios as well.
Schedules and more information can be found on the CP (Portuguese Railways) web site at:

Monday, 7 April 2014

Lagos - Dona Maria II bridge - Works to start in Summer 2014?

Interesting article here suggesting that the Câmara Municipal de Lagos in the Algarve, may, repeat may, be about to receive approval for EU support funding to assist with the reconstruction of the D. Maria II bridge that links Lagos to its Marina and Meia praia.

According to an article in today's "Região Sul", the works may start in the summer with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

More here (in Portuguese):

Ponte de Lagos fechada há dois anos deverá ir para obras no verão

Portugal - Sources of Historic and Current Cartographic Material

The address for the National Library of Portugal is:

Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Campo Grande, 83
1749-081 Lisboa

Tel.351 21 798 20 00
Fax 351 21 798 21 38
(Nearest Metro: Entrecampos)

There is an English language web-site here:

Here is an extract from the index of cartographic holdings, which appear quite extensive and it appears digital copies can be downloaded:

Unfortunately, this section is only in Portuguese.
Current cartographic activities in Portugal are handled by the military - Instituto Geográfico do Exército.:


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

TAP-Air Portugal - Larger Capacity Aircraft on Seville - Lisbon route from 1st July, 2014

Spanish website reports today that TAP-Air Portugal will be upgrading its aircraft on its Lisbon / Lisboa ( LIS ) to Seville / Sevilla ( SVQ ) route from 1st July 2014.

This is excellent new as until now the route has been operated by 19-seater Beechcraft aircraft. TAP-Air- Portugal is to introduced large capacity ATR-42 - 300 aircraft on the route. With a capacity for up to 46 pax, this is very welcome news for a route that is badly underserved and where the only alternative public transport is by 6 hour coach trip.

There will be 14 weekly departures  with monthly capacity doubling from 2.888 seats to 5.152 seats.

More here (in Castellano):

Monday, 24 March 2014

Lisbon to Trancoso, District of Guarda, Portugal

National bus operator currently operates three daily services from Lisbon Sete Rios Coach Station to Trancoso as follows:
Dept: 08:00 Arr: 13:40
Dept: 14:30 Arr: 19:35
Dept: 18:15 Arr: 23:10 (Friday Only or Thursday if Friday is a public holiday) - operate a weekday service(except public holidays) between Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus Station and Trancoso as follows;
Dept: 08:30 Arr: 13:50
Dept: 18:00 Arr: 23:05 (Friday Only or Thursday if Friday is a public holiday)

Buses to Minas de Rio Tinto from Sevilla and Huelva

It appears that the week-day buses from Huelva to Rio Tinto continue on to Nerva, a fairly sizeable two-horse pueblo, we once passed through which is only 5kms from Minas de Rio Tinto. (It appears that the bus runs straight through to a pueblo called "Bea" and only starts dropping of and picking up from there en route to Nerva.)
So (a weekday example):
Dept: Huelva 09:30
Dept: Huelva 12:00
Dept: Huelva 18:00
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:11:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:13:45
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:19:45
Arr: Nerva 11:30
Arr: Nerva 14:00
Arr: Nerva 20:00
Dept: Nerva 07:00
Dept: Nerva 09:00
Dept: Nerva 14:00
Dept: Nerva 16:00
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:07:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:09:10
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:14:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:16:15
Arr: Huelva 09:00
Arr: Huelva 10:45
Arr: Huelva 16:00
Arr: Huelva 18:00
Now, the Damas timetable states that there is also a bus service to/from Sevilla to Nerva (No. 501) as follows:
Dept Sevilla: 10:30
Dept Sevilla: 15:30
Dept Sevilla: 17:30
And back from Nerva at:
Dept Nerva: 05:15
Dept Nerva: 09:30
Dept Nerva: 18:30
This seems to be the Damas Sevilla Plaza das Armas to Zalamea La Real 501 Service. HOWEVER, nothing comes up on a search from Sevilla to Nerva with Based on what I have been able to gleen from searching Sevilla Plaza das Armas to Zalamea La Real on , it seems to take the bus about 1hr 50 minutes to wander down from Sevilla to Nerva and v.v. It seems that the service does pass Rio Tinto 10 minutes earlier/later.
SEVILLA (Plaza de Armas) 10:00 / 10:00 0 Km
CAMAS 10:05 / 10:05 5 Km
BARRIADA DE SANTA CRUZ 10:10 / 10:10 7 Km
SANTIPONCE 10:15 / 10:15 11 Km
LAS PAJANOSAS 10:35 / 10:35 28 Km
EL GARROBO 10:45 / 10:45 40 Km
VENTA LA PLATA 10:55 / 10:55 50 Km
CASTILLO DE LAS GUARDAS 11:00 / 11:00 58 Km
LA AULAGA 11:20 / 11:20 67 Km
NERVA 11:40 / 11:40 91 Km Parada inicial
RIOTINTO 11:50 / 11:50 95 Km
EL CAMPILLO 11:55 / 11:55 99 Km
It appears to me that as the buses cross the boundaries between the provinces of Sevilla and Huelva, the through routes are not being showing because of local fare subsidies.
So it looks like one could get the bus from Sevilla Estacion Autobus Plaza das Armas at 10:00, get to Riotinto at +- 11;50 and get the 18:25 (not Fridays before public holidays) back to Seville arriving at 20:10.
A search for the route of the following site seems to confirm this:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Low Cost Mobile Options for travelling in Portugal, Spain and Italy.

(My answer to a recent question...)

I cannot answer about buying a mobile in Italy but I can tell you that if you buy a mobile in Portugal, you will have to pay roaming charges in Spain and Italy. Ditto if you buy a mobile in Spain you have to pay roaming charges in Portugal and Italy. Charging them up with funds in different countries can be a real pain. In Spain, one has to provide a passport to purchase a mobile phone.

Obviously, if you currently own an unblocked mobile, preferably a dual-sim smartphone, you can just buy a sim card in each country and fit it to your own phone.

As regards to cheaper calls to the US, it is very difficult to assess what the costs of calls would be. As I said above, if you used a Portuguese mobile in Spain to call the US, you would have to pay roaming charges as well as the call cost.

Have a look at these guys who offer low-cost services in each of the countries you want are asking about:

In my experience, the best way to reduce phone costs in Europe, is to have a powerful wifi equipped smartphone with Skype or similar installed. Then, whenever one is near a free wifi access point, one has very cost-effective calling internationally.

I was recently informed about this company:

You can download an app to your smartphone and, like, use them to call world-wide at reasonable rates.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Rod's St Patrick's Eve Concert Program - 16 March 2014

Next Sunday evening,baritone Rod Mcgahon, accompanied by Daniel Montero and Ana Carrilero will be performing an evening of traditional and classical pieces at a St Patrick's Eve Concert Program at the
Centro Cultural São Lourenço, Rua da Igreja s/nº, São Lourenço, 8136-901 Almancil, Algarve.

 The performance starts at 19:30. Coma and enjoy a wonderful evening and celebrate St. Patrick's day with Ron.

More here:

Friday, 28 February 2014

Algarve - The 1969 earthquake

As a young teenager living in Lisbon, I had first hand experience of the 5.5+ Richter Scale earthquake that shook Portugal at 02:40 on the morning of 28 February 1969. My strongest memory is of our our new young puppy getting the blame for shaking my parents' bed, the building shaking and the next morning seeing the phone and power lines outside the house were down, as well as the afore-mentioned puppy taking to the air on all four paws after peeing on a live 24V downed phone cable!(There was no permanent damage to him! :) ) I wasn't aware of the the effects of the quake on the rest of the country. Today, SUL INFORMAÇÃO, the Algarve online daily, has published an interesting article (in Portuguese) about the impact of the earthquake on the Algarve, together with photos. More here:

Economist Article on Portugal's Jeronimo Martins Group - (Pingo Doce/Biedronka)

This weeks's edition of The Economist has an interesting article on the growth of Portugl's Jeronimo Martin's group growth into a leading Retail Chain not only in Portugal, but also in Poland through Biedronka and now in Colombia. See:

Thursday, 27 February 2014

And now for something Completely Different..... Iberian Goat and Sheep Cheese Course!

This has just come through my perusing of the Ovine Times:

The Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin in the USA is organising a one day hands-on workshop on the Goat and Sheep Milk Cheeses of Spain and Portugal. Portuguese Technical Expert Mariana Marques de Almeida  will be present at the course.

So any of you in the mid-west wanting to learn about Iberian Cheese now is your chance!

and for those of you who can't attend....

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Stop Press: Portugal - Airports - Off-site Car Hire firms to be charged from 1st April 2014

It appears that recently privatised Portuguese airport operator has bowed to pressure from the main "Big" car hire operators with counters at their airports and has decided to levy a charge of between 10 and 17 Euros for each car hired at the airport from "non-licensed" car hire firms.

Article here (in Portuguese) in today's Diario Economico on-line edition:

 While I am not against private companies charging for services, this substantial levy will have a very severe effect on the "low-cost" and independent car hire operators PARTICULARLY at Faro Airport which services the Algarve region.

In recent years, the Economic Crisis, the introduction of tolls on the A22 Via de Infante Motorway and the increased cost of flights, has made the Algarve, and particularly, its extremities more and more expensive to visit.

It may well result in several local Algarve car hire firms folding, creating more unemployment, as holidaymakers may well decide the Algarve is becoming to costly a destination.

 I cannot see going back on this under commercial pressure but the implications will be profound.

Lisbon - Love it! Great Alternative Video about Lisbon

Great Video here by Ovella Blava Films about Lisbon:

Lisbon - Love it from Ovella Blava Films on Vimeo.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Deutsche Marine "Gorch Fock" - Alongside Portimão Naval Wharf - 16 February 2014

We had the pleasure this afternoon of visiting the "Tall Ship" of the Deutsche Marine "Gorch Fock", moored along side the Portuguese navy quay in Portimão.

More on this history of the vessel here (Wikipedia):

 A few days ago I had the pleasure seeing her of Praia da Rocha in the company of another "Tall Ship", a scene that cannot have been seen in Lagos Bay for decades.

These vessels are amazing and allow for the continuance of training of real seamen and women who know the sea in all its tempers.

Some photos here (more to come):

February, 1954 - The Algarve covered in snow!

There is a wonderful story with photos (in Portuguese) in today's online edition of Sul Informação about how the Algarve was covered in snow during February. 1954

"....Também em Lagos nevou com abundância, constituindo um “espectáculo maravilhoso nunca observado nesta cidade.” ..."

"....also in Lagos in snowed in abundance a "wonderful spectacle never seen in this town..."

The article can be read in full via the following link:

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Lisbon Cathedral/Sé Patriarcal - Times of Mass

Have a look at this link on wikipedia for information on the Sé de Lisboa.

(Sé Patriarcal - Lisbon Cathedral)

The Dioscean Website shows that at the time of writing Mass is said at:

Sé Patriarcal - Tuesdays to Saturdays at 18:30


Direct flights from Portugal to Greece!

There are no direct flights by low-cost or regular airlines from any airport in Portugal to Greece at present.

In terms of low-cost, the best bet might be via Barcelona.

Getting from Portugal to Greece and other Eastern Mediterranean Destinations can be a problem.

Portugal - Trains - Valenca to Lisbon on Saturdays and return weekdays

The following is the current timetable for trains from Valença, Portugal to Lisbon Gare Oriente, Portugal on Saturdays. (Source:

Portugal - Trains - Valenca to Lisbon on Saturdays

The following is the current timetable for trains from Lisbon Gare Oriente, Portugal to Valença, Portugal on weekdays.

Portugal - Trains - Valenca to Lisbon - Weekdays

The Jewish Legacy of Portugal

A really interesting article about the History of the jewish Population in the Portugal!

.: Jewish Legacy in Portugal: Set out on a journey of discovery through towns, cities and villages, of a heritage rich in memories evoking the Jewish presence in Portugal...

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Travel from Malaga, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal

Guided tours will be difficult and expensive if they exist, as will be a private driver.

There is no direct train service from Malaga to Lisbon. It would be necessary to travel from Malaga to Madrid and then to Lisbon. Spanish railways site, indicates that, at present, it could take between 20 and 24 hours to make the trip by rail depending on how many changes one has to make.

If one wants to get from Malaga to Lisbon directly, the quickest way will be by the twice daily TAP-Air Portugal flight from Malaga Airport to Lisbon Airport. See:

Note these flights may be operated by a sub-contractor and may be operated by aircraft as small as 19 seater Beechcraft 1900 turboprop aircraft.

As regards private chauffeur services one could try some of these services (located via



The distance from Malaga to Lisbon is about 700km and will require a drive of about 6 to 7 hours(without stopping), a considerable bit of which is on toll roads.

There is a daily overnight long-distance bus services operated by between Lisbon and Malaga

Depart: Málaga 21:00 (Spanish Time)
Arrive: Lisbon Oriente: 06:00 (Portugal Time)

Transit time: 10h 00min (Possible Bus change in Seville)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New Ryanair Routes - Lisbon/Faro, Lisbon/Porto, Porto/Rennes, Porto/Limoges

At a press conference in Porto this morning, announced the following new routes as from April 2014:
Lisbon - Faro - Daily
Lisbon - Porto - 5 x weekly
Porto - Limoggies - 2 x weekly between 1st July and 30 September
Porto – Rennes - 2 x weekly between 1st July and 30 September
Thanks to Sérgio Bastos - for the heads up!