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,

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


Sunday, 26 April 2015


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

Eira do Mel Cataplana 01 (3177019170)
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 (, 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):
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):
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
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., (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:

The final option would be by TAP Air Portugal. See

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.

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!!!"

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.


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,,,, and 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