February 6, 2016

Planetario Calouste Gulbenkian

The Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian in Belem, Lisbon presents 30-50 minute shows on the solar system. Some of them are in English or you can use a set of headphones with English commentary or the commentary may be live. The journey to the stars is viewed in reclining chairs and the planetarium is certainly a good place to escape the summer heat in its dark, air-conditioned environment. The building itself dates from the 1960's but has been renovated since.

Planetario Calouste Gulbenkian, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal.

Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian
Praça do Império
1400-206 Lisboa
Tel: 21 362 0002

February 5, 2016

Hotel Mercure Lisboa

The Hotel Mercure Lisboa is another four star hotel in the neighborhood of Sete Rios rail and bus station and close to the Novotel Lisboa down the road.

Hotel Mercure Lisboa.


The Mercure Lisboa has all the plus points and facilities you would expect from a four star international chain hotel: spacious, well-appointed rooms, large, comfortable beds, speedy Wi-Fi lobby bar and restaurant and a pool (on the 9th floor roof). There are even views of the Águas Livres Aqueduct in Campolide from the elevator.

Novotel Lisboa
Av. José Malhoa 23
Campolide
1000-090 Lisbon, Portugal

February 4, 2016

Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry

The ferry across the River Guardiana from Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Portugal to Ayamonte in Spain takes about 15-20 minutes.

The ferry is a pleasant way to commute between the two towns. Remember that Spain is an hour ahead of Portuguese time.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.

From May 1 until June 30, boats leave Vila Real de Santo Antonio at 9.45am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.00pm.

Ferries from Ayamonte depart at 9.30am, 10.00am, 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 3.00pm, 3.00pm, 4.00pm, 5.00pm, 6.00pm, 7.00pm and 8.00pm.

From July 1 until September 15th boats leave Vila Real de Santo Antonio every 30 minutes from 9am until 9pm; from Ayamonte there are boats every 30 minutes from 9am until 9pm (Spanish time).

From September 16 to April 30th, boats leave Vila Real de Santo Antonio at 9.45am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.00pm. Ferries from Ayamonte depart at 9.30am, 10.00am, 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 3.00pm, 3.00pm, 4.00pm, 5.00pm, 6.00pm and 7.00pm.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.


The cost is 1.75 euros. Services on public holidays and Sundays are slightly reduced.

If you are visiting Ayamonte the website Info Ayamonte is useful.

January 29, 2016

Novotel Lisboa

The Novotel Lisboa is a four star hotel close to Sete Rios rail and bus station and the Praça de Espanha Metro Station of the Lisbon subway. The similar four-star Hotel Mercure Lisboa is also close by.

Novotel Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

Although a little way from the historic center of Lisbon, the Novotel Lisboa is right in the center of the city's CBD and also close to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Lisbon's Central Mosque is also just down the road in the direction of São Sebastião subway station.

Facilities at the Novotel Lisboa include a pool, fitness center and free Wifi. The hotel's Latitude Restaurant serves both Portuguese and international cuisine.

Novotel Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.


Novotel Lisboa
Av. José Malhoa 1-1A
Campolide
1099-051 Lisbon, Portugal

November 26, 2015

Dinas Guest House

Dinas Guest House in Lagos on the Algarve in southern Portugal makes for excellent, affordable accommodation on a visit to this most popular of Mediterranean resorts.

Dina's Guest House, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

Dinas Guest House offers air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and air-conditioning. Located in the center of Lagos old town, Dinas is close to the beaches, the Santa Maria and Santa Antonio churches, the city museum and the historic slave market. The accommodation is also close to one or two bars so there may be a bit of noise at night sometimes.

Dinas Guest House, Lagos, Portugal.


The woody interiors are cleanly furnished to offer a spacious and cool feel to the rooms.

Dinas Guest House, Lagos, Portugal.

Dinas Guest House, Lagos, Portugal.

Dinas Guest House, Lagos, Portugal.


Dinas Guest House
Travessa do Mineiro no. 1
8600-634 Lagos

October 2, 2015

Sea Kayaking in Lagos

Sea kayaking tours off the coast of Lagos on the Algarve has become a popular part of any holiday to this lovely part of Portugal.

Sea Kayaking in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.


Sea kayaking tours generally last about 3 hours and head south from Lagos town around the spectacular promontory at Ponta da Piedade, where participants can marvel close-up at the picturesque limestone and sandstone cliffs, islets, grottos, caves and coves.

Sea Kayaking in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.


Tours also take in the beautiful Praia do Camilo (Camilo Beach) usually on the way to Ponta da Piedade.

After a rest on shore, the tour companies will tow you back by motor boat which is with you to insure safety.

Kayak tour packages generally are limited to about 15 people, include a guide, insurance, a life-jacket, water-proof bag and often snokelling equipment. It is usually cheaper to book the tours down on the sea front in Lagos rather than up in town with travel agents.

Sea Kayaking in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.


Prices are presently about 25-30 Euros with the morning tour slightly more than the afternoon tour, though some companies may charge less at the end and beginning of the high season in August.

There are a number of sea kayak companies to choose from. One we have tried is:

Ezride
Cais da Solaria
Lagos
Algarve
Portuga
Tel: 351 913 066 468

Sea Kayaking in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

September 16, 2015

Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station

Vila Real de Santo Antonio is the eastern terminus of the Algarve Line from Lagos in the east via Faro.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station, Algarve.


The Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station building is a lovely white-washed art deco structure about 15 minutes walk from the center of town.

There are presently 13 trains a day from Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station to Faro where travellers can change for onward connections to Lagos or north west to the capital Lisbon.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station, Algarve, Portugal.

The stops on the line from Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station are Monte Gordo, Castro Marim, Cacela, Conceição, Porta Nova, Tavira, Luz, Livramento, Fuzeta, Fuzeta-A, Olhão, Bom João and Faro.

Trains leave Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station for Faro at 5.48am, 6.26am, 7.05am, 7.22am, 9.08am, 11.13am, 12.39pm, 1.33pm, 3.33pm, 4.35pm, 6.03pm, 7.10pm, and 8.42pm.


Walk south from the station to get to the centre of Vila Real de Santo Antonio. places to stay include the Hotel Apolo, Coracao de Cidade and Villa Marquez.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station, Portugal.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio Station timetable.
Click to enlarge timetable