Saturday, 12 September 2015

Armação de Pêra,Algarve,Portugal to Lisbon,Portugal

There are direct long distance coach services from Armação de Pêra to Lisbon operated by renex.pt.
Timetable here: http://bit.ly/1KJWALW
Transit time is about 3hrs:20mins.

Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisboa, 2015 


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Interesting Study on Behavior and Trends of Chinese Travellers

A very interesting report in Skift on trends and behaviour of Chinese Travellers and Tourists.

7 Charts Revealing the Behavior of Chinese Travelers http://skift.com/2015/09/09/7-charts-revealing-the-behavior-of-chinese-travelers/

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Lisbon to Alvor

The only direct public transport service between Lisbon, Portugal and Alvor, Algarve, Portugal is operated by renex.pt.

Buses depart Lisboa Oriente Bus Station 6 to 7 times per day with a transit time of +- 4 hours.

Bus timetable (in pdf format) downloadable here: http://renex.pt/Files/Horarios_SUL.pdf



"La Dama Blanca" - Chilean Navy Sailing Vessel visiting Lisbon, Portugal

Purely by chance I was looking out of our current lodgings this morning over the Tejo estuary towards the Ponte 25 de Abril and Trafaria and had this wonderful view as a large 4-master four-masted barquentine entered Lisbon harbour.

 At first, I thought it was the Portuguese Navy's vessel, Sagres.

However, I then saw the vessel's ensign.

Turned out that the ship is the Armada de Chile's training vessel "Esmeralda". There is nothing like the lovely view of a sailing vessel entering a harbour like Lisbon! Enjoy!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015

Porto, Portugal - Public Transport Concessions awarded.

National daily observador.pt reports that the Portuguese Government has today awarded Porto Metro Concession to transdev.pt, and Porto STCP urban bus concession to alsa.es

More (in Portuguese) -

STCP para Alsa. Metro para Transdev - Observador via @Linkis_com

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Ryanair's intentions for Faro Airport (FAO) summer 2016.

Article (in Portuguese) on Ryanair's intentions for Summer 2016 for Faro (FAO) base.



Noticias ao Minuto - Ryanair quer alcançar 1,9 milhões de passageiros em Faro em 2016 via @Linkis_com

Benagil Caves from Lagos,Algarve,Portugal

Praia da Benagil is about 35km from Lagos,Algarve,Portugal

The caves can only be accessed from the sea.

It is difficult to get to the area without a car.

This company does boat trips to the caves Armação da Pera..

https://www.facebook.com/algarvecaves

One can get buses from Lagos to Armação da Pera but they are not that frequent, especially at week-ends..

Check at the Bus Station in Lagos or at http://www.eva-bus.com/

Benagil Cave, Algarve

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Serpa - an great lunch stop when driving between Lisbon, Portugall and Seville, Spain

From Lisbon, one runs down the A2 motorway to the Algarve, until Juction 10, then turn left onto the IP8 national road towards Ferreira do Alentejo, then Beja and then the old Roman town of Serpa.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpa

Have lunch at the Molho Bico, just inside the city walls.

http://www.molhobicoserpa.com/

After lunch, run Serpa to Rosas de la Frontera, then Jabugal and then join la Ruta de la Plata E-803 till Sevilla.

Total trip time (non-stop) is about 5 hrs with Serpa located almost equidistant between Lisbon and Sevilla

According to google maps, the all motorway route via Evora and Badajoz is the fastest by about 20 minutes but by the time one gets ofs the motorways into either Evora or Tavira any time advantage is lost.

The good thing about the Serpa route is that it allows one to see parts of the Alentejo and Andalucia oft not visited by tourists.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Spain - Railways Museums - Tren de la Fresa

A great site here: http://www.museodelferrocarril.org/principal.asp

Madrid's railways museum and information on the Tren de la Fresa (Strawberry Train) between the Madrid Atocha and Aranjuez.



More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry_train

New Faro local/urban Bus Station opens 7 September 2015. | Sul Informação via @Linkis_com

Novo terminal rodoviário para urbanas de Faro abre a 7 de Setembro | Sul Informação via @Linkis_com

The new Bus Station for local urban services for the city of Faro, in the Algarve region of Portugal opens 7 September 2015.

Inter-regional, long-distance and International services to Spain will continue to operate from the old bus station next door..

Brasov, Romaina - Oktoberfest Brașov 2015! via @Linkis_com

Transilvania news reports that, (a bit early), that Oktoberfest in the lovely city of Brasov in Romania will be held between 3 – 13 September, 2015. Wish I was going to be in Brasov again at that time!

Entry free!

Oktoberfest Brașov 2015! Bere la litru și cârnați de juma’ de metru! Vezi programul! |... via @Linkis_com

Very Interesting Aug 15 FT Article on the Algarve Property Market via @Linkis_com

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4ddaf276-3b8d-11e5-bbd1-b37bc06f590c.html via @Linkis_com

Some interesting data on the recovery in the Algarve property market et l'importance des acheteurs français dans l'animation du marché immobiliere.

Los 25 abusos más frecuentes en restaurantes - SevillaActualidad.com via @Linkis_com

Los 25 abusos más frecuentes en restaurantes - SevillaActualidad.com via @Linkis_com

Really Interesting article in Spanish by Sevilla Actualidad reporting on a consumer group's study of client abuse by restaurants in Seville, Spain

The French do Lisbon – POLITICO via @Linkis_com

The French do Lisbon – POLITICO via @Linkis_com

Interesting article on Politico about the French mini-migration to Portugal.

This confirms the theory that I espoused back in 2011-2012, that the Arab spring would close off traditional vacation destinations in the Maghreb to the French Market and that they would start looking at Portugal as a destination.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Wine Resources in the Lagos Area of the Algarve region of Portugal.

There are vineyards in the Lagos area of the Algarve region of Portugal. some of which can be visited.
See the following links for more information:
Monte de Casteleja  
Quinta da Mata Porcos & Herdade dos Seromenhos
This Algarve wine guide is also a useful resource:

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Porto Fransciso Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO) to Porto Garagem Atlantico Bus Station.

Depending what time one is arriving at Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), Transdev now also operating a bus shuttle from the airport to Garagem Atlantico in Rua Alexandre Herculano which is the main Porto bus station for Rede-Expressos.pt and CiteExpress.eu.
The service operates almost hourly between 08:00 (to airport)/ 08:25 (from airport) until 19:00 (to Airport)/ (19:25) from airport. 
Outside these hours, one can use the Metro to Bolhão and then walk the 600m to the Bus Station. Be aware that the Airport Service operates only 2/3 times an hour.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Rail Travel From Seville to Alicante

The only rail routing from Sevilla to Alicante is via Madrid-Atocha or Cuenca.
One has to change trains at least once.
Travel time between 5hrs and 6hrs45mins.
Prices between 63€ and 98€.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bus from downtown Lisbon to Lisbon Airport to connect to a 07:00 Flight

The Metro in Lisbon only starts operating around 06:00 in the morning.

For those staying downtown in the areas of Cais de Sodre, Rossio & Restauradores and wishing to get to the Airport to catch a flight, there is the Carris night bus route 208 that leaves from Cais de Sodre and passes through Praça Figueira, a short walk from Restauradores.

See: http://carris.transporteslisboa.pt/fotos/produtos/208_asc.pdf

As it goes all round the houses, one should probably be better to getting an early departure.

Timetable here: http://carris.transporteslisboa.pt/pt/autocarro/208/ascendente/

Bear in mind that this takes one to Terminal 1. If leaving from Terminal 2, one then needs to get the bus shuttle from T1 to T2.

Friday, 1 May 2015

I'm not scared to show my ignorance - What is a bifana?


This erudite and highly intellectual question was recently posed on the Portugal Forums on a leading Travel Website.

The answer...

A Bifana is a highly addictive, high fat, portuguese pork sandwich which when consumed with a bit of mustard, and when washed down with a Sagres Black Beer, is the sort of food that the Vikings in the Monty Python Spam Sketch would have sailed all the way to Portugal for!

See (in Portuguese but with pix): http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bifana

And to start the day of right for everyone....



Happy MayDay, Comrades!!!! ;))

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Best Burgers in Lagos, Portugal

There is really only one place in Lagos if you want real burgers ...

"Nah-Nah Bar"

11 Travessa do Forno
Near Praca Da Armas,
Lagos 8600,
Portugal

Speak to Selmo and tell that you were referred by Barlaventoexpert!!

See:

http://www.nahnahbah.com/

http://www.nahnahbah.com/where.html

http://bit.ly/nahnahbartareviews

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cataplana

By definition, a "Cataplana" is a seafood dish!

Eira do Mel Cataplana 01 (3177019170)
See:
Consequently, it is highly likely that ANY cataplana, even those described as meat based, will include some form of sea-food, be it fish, cephalapod or mollusc.
I had this yesterday in Alvor, when a member of the party wanted a cataplana without molluscs. She chose one which said "mixed fish", but when it appeared it was full of "items of wobbly nature" as well!
There is such a thing as chicken cataplana but usually it calls for clams as well!
However, if you want to do it yourself, here's a couple of recipes (in Portuguese) I found for it on the Portuguese web!!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Ferry Services between Madeira and Continental Portugal to return??


Following the election of the new regional government for Madeira, complete with a new First Minister, rumours are flying around the web that there is a possibility that a ferry service between Madeira and Continental Portugal may be reinstated.

One may remember that Spanish Line, Navera Armas, operated a weekly service from the Canarias via Funchal to Portimão until 2013. The line closed because the then First Minister of the Madeira Regional Government insisted that high Port handling charges remained in force, ostensibly making the route unsustainable.

However, even if the ferry link is resuscitated, I believe passenger fares will still be steep.

Remember ARMAS is a privately held Spanish Company and they are going to have to be sure of their numbers and vessel availability before committing.

The line is currently operating a weekly Huelva to the Canarias, so there will have to be some pretty persuasive commercial argument to reinstate the route from the Canarias to Madeira and then onto Portimão.

Personally, I feel that, commercially, a new ferry route from Funchal to Setubal would be much more attractive to shippers, who would be the main raison d'etre for the line, as it would reduce the amount of tolls to pay to get trucks to the ferry from Portugal's main commercial centres. Setubal, also, already has the capacity to handle "Ro-Ro's" as it is the main port for shipping vehicles from the AuroEuropa VW factory near Coina.

Some web articles on the issue here in Portuguese:







Monday, 20 April 2015

Lisbon, Portugal - Walking from Hotel IBIS Barata Salgueiro to Cais de Sodré by an alternative route.

A different route from the IBIS Barata Salgueiro to Cais de Sodré, involves turning left out of the IBIS, continue up the hill, then bear left into Rua Nova de São Mamede, then left into Rua Escola Politecnica, continuing on down passing Praça do Príncipe Real, then on as the street becomes successively Rua Dom Pedro V, then Rua São Pedro de Alcantara, then Rua da Misericórdia, and then after Largo do Carmo, Rua Alecrim which carries straight on down to Cais de Sodré.
It's a different routing, but one can see places such as the Jardim do Príncipe Real, the Jardim do São Pedro de Alcantara with views over towards the Castle , and if one looks left while passing Largo do Carmo, one may just see through the crowds, the bronze of Fernando Pessoa sitting at his table in front of Cafe Brasileira.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Lisbon Airport Terminal 2

One cannot walk to Lisbon Airport T2.
Directly contrary to the spirit of the EU's policy on freedom of movement, the only way to get to T2 is by car, taxi or the shuttle from outside the entry to Departures at Terminal 1. (T1)

Warning, Will Robertson! - TAP-Air Portugal - Pilot's Strike - 1 May - 10 May 2015

Despite the fact the Portuguese Government is barred by EU rules from pumping more funds(even if this money was available,which it is not) into the State owned airline TAP-Air Portugal (www.flytap.com), the main national pilot's union decided last night to call a TEN (yes, ten day) strike from 1st May until 10th May 2015.
See(in portuguese): http://bit.ly/1yxzPFs
The Portuguese Govt. has been trying to privatise the airline, but forced by the air-crew unions, it has put so many restrictions on potential buyers, that yesterday the Spanish Globalia Group, owners of Air Europa, pulled their bid saying it would be impossible to run a privatised TAP with all the restrictions.
See (in Portuguese): http://bit.ly/1yuQKbT
It seems like the TAP-Air Portugal unions are hell bent on taking the airline down the same road as Olympic, Alitalia and Malev. The airline needs capital to develop and the EU will not allow more subsidies.
So BIG warning, it looks like we are in for a possible summer of discontent with TAP Air-Portugal. The Portuguese Govt. may use rarely-utilized legal powers citing "national interest" to stop the strike but I have a feeling the next few months are going to be difficult for the airline.
So, unfortunately, one may wish to avoid flying TAP-Air Portugal for the time being.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Supermarkets near the HF Fenix Lisboa Hotel

If one is staying at the Hotel HF Fénix Lisboa, on Marques de Pombal, the closest supermarket is probably the:
Pingo Doce
Calçada Bento da Rocha Cabral, 16 - 1250-047 Lisboa
1250- Lisboa
Lisboa
Open: 8:30 / 21:00

Lagos,Algarve,Portugal - Frente Riberinha Car Park - Tariffs - April 2015

As requested, a photo of the current car parking charges for the underground car park "Frente Riberinha" on the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.


Note: época alta = High Season | época baixa = Low Season

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Travel from Rome,Italy to Faro,Portugal

There are currently no direct airline routes between Rome and Faro.

Most airlines, with the exception of TAP, Lufthansa, and a couple of Scandanavian operators, are low-cost and therefore, one would have to buy two one sector tickets via a hub and hope the flights connect.

Vueling.com, (a Catalunyan low-cost ), begins seasonal flights between Barcelona and Faro from 20 Junee 2016. They also operate Rome to Barcelona. Unusually for a low-cost they allow multi-sector bookings. I have used them in the past to travel Sevilla to Napoli via their Barcelona base...all on a single ticket.

There is a flight available on 20 June as follows:

Roma (FCO): 09:55

Barcelona: 11:45

Barcelona: 13:55

Faro (FAO): 14:50 (-1)

Another option, but not lowcost, is with IAG's Iberia Group via Madrid Barajas. Iberia operates the sector Roma to Madrid Barajas and its subsidiary Air Nostrum will be operating three flights per week in the high season between Madrid Barajas and Faro.

On 1st June, 2015 when flight start there is availability on the route as follows:

07:45h - Roma Fiumicino (FCO) Terminal 3

10:20h - Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas (MAD) - Terminal 4

Duración: 2h 35m

11:35h - Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas (MAD) - Terminal 4

11:50h - Faro (-1)

Duración: 1h 15m.

Current price is around 250€ at time of checking. See: http://www.airnostrum.es/

The final option would be by TAP Air Portugal. See http://www.flytap.com/

At present there appear to be three to four connections per day via Lisbon in early June for prices around € 175.00 at the time of writing.

However, I would issue a major warning about booking with TAP so far ahead. The company is currently in the final phase of yet another attempt at privatization. The Pilot and Aircrew unions are all making mutterings about new strikes in common months as things come to a head.

Unaccompanied minors travelling in the EU

Within the European Union, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 MAY require some authorisation when travelling between countries.

As regards minors entering Portugal see this pdf document from the website of the Embassy of Portugal in Washington, D.C.

http://portugal.usembassy.gov/uploads/Xl/ep/XlepckUL1UNRC_CaspnJZA/minors_exiting_entering.pdf

If flying, one should also check with the airline to be used as they may have additional requirements.

Wi-fi Internet Access on board Long-Distance buses between Lisbon and the Algarve

Most Rede Expressos, Renex and EVA buses on service between Lisbon and the Algarve now come equipped with on-board wifi internet access. However, one never knows beforehand if the bus in question will be wifi equipped.

Signal quality en-route varies, especially on the stretch between Almodovar and Messines as the signal comes from the 3G/4G mobile network and depends on "line of sight"! Also if everyone on board is using their wifi-enable devices, the routers can become overloaded.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Train from Seville to Faro

My reply to a really stupid question on the TripAdvisor Seville Forum which has be previously answered hundreds of times.......

"Obviously, you have not searched Google or these forums as you would have found a myriad of posts on this subject going back at least 9 years!
There are and never has been a direct train line from Seville to Faro.
Perhaps you are using a printed 1980's travel guide? At that time, there was a local train, (since discontinued) from Huelva to Ayamonte on the Guadiana. From there, there was a ferry to Vila Real Sta. Antonio, and then another local train to Faro. The line between Huelva and Ayamonte was taken up over 20 years ago!!!!! Hence, it is an "ex-Railway"!!!
So if you insist on wanting to go by train from Seville to Faro, be prepared to take AVE from Seville to Madrid, the overnight Lusitano Express to Lisbon and then an Alfa-Pendular/Intercidades from Lisbon to Faro.
To repeat, once again for future generations (or at least the next 2 generations), THERE IS NO DIRECT (or easy indirect) RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN Seville and Faro.
Now if you want to travel between Seville and Faro by public transport, go to this page on Cubsur's excellent website, which for the past 9 years has been the main source for information on this topic!!!
http://algarvebus.info/001.htm"

Thursday, 9 April 2015

CNN - Excellent Article on Portugal's Central Region

CNN has today published an excellent article on the tourist offering of Portugal's Central Region.

See: http://bit.ly/portugalcentralregion

This certainly echoes my thoughts in recent years that there is tremendous Tourism potential in the area between Lisbon and Porto. With low-cost operators such as Ryanair.com, Easyjet.com, Wizzair.com, Vueling.com, Germanwings.com and Transavia.com expanding their routes to and from Lisbon and Porto Airports, this has got to be good news.

I note that the article makes no mention of the delightful town of Tomar with its Templar castle! A great omission.

A Very Recent Photo of the Castle in Tomar

Monday, 30 March 2015

Peneda-Gerês,

10 of Europe's best national parks - UK Guardian … that you've probably never heard of  http://gu.com/p/47v28

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bem-vindo "Metoposaurus algarvensis" - "Triassic Park - Loulé" - Algarvean Salamanders in the News

An interesting report on the BBC websites this morning reports on the publication of a scientific paper on the existence of a large repository if fossilised remains from the late Triassic period salamanders in the Loulé area.

As if we don't have enough dinosaurs and the like of pre-historic and current era here in the Algarve! ;))

More here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32016625

It appears that a large repository of salamander bones were identified during research between 2009 and 2011.by Dr Steve Brusatte, Dr. Octavio Matos, R. Butler and others.

There is a further article here (in Portuguese)

Lusodinos- Dinossauros de Portugal: Super salamandra do tempo dos dinossauros em Portugal

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Seville airport to Cordoba

I have found it easier to fly friends into Malaga Airport, get the local Renfre Cercania train from Malaga Airport to Malaga Station and then travel by train to Cordoba. It turned out that there were better connections and more direct flight using that routeing..
One can then travel down to Sevilla afterwards.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Portugal - New Airline Services - Summer 2015.

An excellent article this morning, courtesy of Portuguese online daily "Notícias Ao Minuto", summarising all new routes/destinations to be operated from Portugal's Airports over the 2015 Summer Season.

Summary in English:

- Aeroporto Sá Carneiro Airport(OPO) - Porto

New Routes: Stuttgart, Bristol, London – Luton e Manchester (easyjet); L'orient (Ryanair); Istanbul (Turkish Airlines); Dusseldorf (German Wings) e Prague (Czech Airlines).

New Services: Luxemburg, Nantes, Stuttgart (easyJet); Ponta Delgada, L'Orient (Ryanair) e Zurich (Swiss Airlines).

- Aeroporto da Portela Airport (LIS)- Lisbon

New Routes: Ponta Delgada (easyJet and Ryanair); Warsaw (Ryanair and Wizzair).

New Services: Lyon (Transavia) and Budapest (Wizzair).

- Aeroporto Internacional de Faro Airport (FAO) - Faro, Algarve 

New Routes: Barcelona (Vueling); Madrid (Air Nostrum)(Not confirmed on any website?????? Is this being confused with the new Air Nostrum route to Faro do Vigo in Galicia?) and Prague (Travel Service).

New Services: Stockholm (SAS), Dusseldorf (German Wings) e Zurch (Air Berlin).

- Aeroporto da Madeira, Funchal (FNC), Madeira 

New Routes: Edinburgh (easyJet).

New Services: Barcelona (Vueling), Cologne/Koln (Air Berlim), London – Gatwick (British Airways), Madrid (Iberia), Munich(TUI fly) and Manchester (easyJet).

- Aeroporto João Paulo II Airport, Ponta Delgada (PDL), Açores

New Routes: London (Ryanair).

New Services: Lisbon (Ryanair and easyJet) and Porto (Ryanair).

Public Transport from Porto, Portugal to Salamanca, Spain

There are two options for travelling between Porto and Salamanca by public transport as follows:

Rail:

There is a daily train connection between Porto and Salamanca as follows:

Porto-Campanha Dept: 22h00 
Salamance Arr: 04h53 (Spanish Time)
Transit Time: +- 6hrs.
Change trains at Coimbra B

See: www.cp.pt

Bus:

There is currently a Monday to Saturday service operated by intercentro.pt / alsa.es as follows:

Porto Dept: 10:15
Salamanca Arr: 17:30 (Spanish Time)
Transit time: 6hrs15min

On Sundays the service runs as follows:

Porto Dept: 20:30
Salamanca Arr: 03:00 (Spanish Time)
Transit time: 7hrs30min

The bus departs from the InterCentro/InterNorte Bus Station at Metro Casa da Musica in the Boavista area of Porto.

Alfa-Pendular - Stations in Lisbon and Porto

All Alfa-Pendular trains operating the daily Lisbon to Porto route start from Santa Apolonia Station in Lisbon, with the exception of the twice-daily services from Faro in the Algarve to Porto, which calls at Lisbon Gare Oriente Station and Lisbon Entrecampos Station. All Alfa-Pendular services call at Lisbon Gare Oriente Station.
In Porto, Alfa Pendular services only call at Porto Campanha station. 

Full timetables for Alfa-Pendular services in pdf format can be found here: 

http://www.cp.pt/StaticFiles/Passageiros/horarios/horarios/PDF/ap_ic/ap_ic.pdf

Buses between Lisbon Airport (Portela) and Gare Oriente Staion, Lisbon, Portugal

If perchance one doesn't want to use the Metro between Lisbon Airport and Gare Oriente Station in Lisbon, local Carris Bus Route 744 operates this route throughout the day.
First bus is a 05:35 and Last one just after 20:30.
I've used it a couple of times when coming up from Lagos and the Algarve on the RENEX.pt overnight "Redeye" arriving at Oriente at 05:00.
Overnight Carris Night Route 208 also operates the route between Gare Oriente and the Airport.
Bear in mind these buses may not have much space for big bags as they are local buses.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Porto, Portugal to Santiago da Compostela, Galicia, Spain by Public Transport

There are two public transport options for travelling between Porto and Santiago da Compostela.

Train:

There is a twice daily "Celta" train connecting Porto Campanha Station and Vigo in Galicia. Only the morning train has an onward connection to Santiago da Compostela according to renfe.es, the Spanish Railways website.

Daily Schedule as follows:

Name: TRENCELTA No. 12424 MD
Dept: Porto Campanha 08.15
Arr: Vigo Guixar 11.30
Dept: Vigo Guixar 12:13
Arr: Santiago da Compostela 13:37

Bus/Coach

There is a daily bus service operated by alsa.es(or associates) that departs Porto Casa da Musica Bus station as follows:

Dept: Porto 12:45
Arr: Santiago Compostela 17:45
Transit Time: 4h00 (Note time in Spain is one hour ahead of Portugal.)

This service operates via Porto Airport (15 minutes later), Braga and Vigo.