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Albufeira and/or Lagos?

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Singapore
posts: 37
reviews: 42
Albufeira and/or Lagos?

Hi! Will be making my first trip to Portugal mid-May, was thinking of doing a 5 night stay in Algarve then 5 night stay in Lisbon thereafter.

Just a few questions which I hope some of you guys can aid me with, greatly appreciated.

1) Getting to Algarve from Lisbon (my flight should arrive at 3pm 10/05 Fri), should I get the evening bus or train to Algarve?

2) Wanted to stay all 5 nights in Albufeira, however I read in a few of the forums here, that Albufeira is very touristy now? Might Lagos be a better option for beach, sight-seeing, relaxation and a little bit of nightlife? Or should I split 2 nights and 3 nights respectively?

3) Checked the EVA bus, the duration between both should be about an hour?

4) Any accommodations to recommend in those 2 areas please?

Thank you once again, everyone. :)

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 30,830
reviews: 22
1. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

1) Getting to Algarve from Lisbon (my flight should arrive at 3pm 10/05 Fri), should I get the evening bus or train to Algarve?

Ticket prices for train and bus are about the same, but if you are heading for Albufeira the railway station here is about 6km out of town, so you must add the cost of a taxi (about 8 Euros) or bus (€1,40) to the equation.

The RENEX bus line (www.renex.pt) uses the Lisbon bus terminal called Gare Oriente, which is much nearer the airport than the alternative.

The Rede-Expressos / EVA buses leave from the Sete Rios bus terminal in Lisbon, which is 30 minutes by metro train from the airport costing about 2 Euros, or a bus will take you there for €3,50 or taxi of course.

Trains leave from the Oriente railway station, which is next to the bus station of the same name and about 5 minutes by metro from the airport.

Reservation is essential for train or bus. Fridays from Lisbon to Algarve are very busy in terms of people travelling.

2) Albufeira is very touristy in summer, but in mid-May there are will not be many tourists around. Lagos is a better town from the scenic point of view but there will be less to do. Lagos is also popular in summer.

3) Not sure what you mean. The bus journey Lisbon to Albufeira is about 3 hours. They run non-stop part from a 15 minute rest break en route. The trains are slightly quicker but do make several stops along the way.

4) Perhaps you can give us an idea of your budget and requirements. there are literally hundreds of hotels, apartment hotels etc etc.

You can easily stay in one and visit the other. There are buses and trains between Lagos and Albufeira several times every day. The bus journey is about 90 minutes.

Singapore
posts: 37
reviews: 42
2. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

Thanks for addressing my points! I checked out Renex but it's only in Portuguese ...

For the budget of the hotel, preferably around 70-90Euros? With pool, free wifi, pool, and a central enough location? (to beach, supermarts or shops)

So would you suggest I spend all 5 nights in either Lagos or Albufeira, then take a day trip to to other? Or is it feasible to do 3 nights in Albufeira then 2 nights in Lagos then take the bus/train back to Lisbon?

Thank you.

Singapore
posts: 37
reviews: 42
3. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

Oh and would you recommend staying on the Strip or the Old Town area in Albufeira?

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 30,830
reviews: 22
4. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

Few hotels here offer free wifi (if they offer it all you have to pay and / or it may only be available in reception areas etc) but you can get free wifi in numerous bars and cafés, also in McDonalds.

For self catering apartment hotels, check the Brisa Sol and Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa. These are 7 - 8 minutes walk into the old town centre and beach and within 3 minutes of a shopping centre. Slightly further out of town is the well regarded Forte do Vale building.

Actual hotels in the old town area, (ie not self catering) include the Hotel Baltum, right in the town centre also the Hotel do Cerro, Hotel Belver Boavista and Hotel Rocamar Beach. There is the Sol e Mar hotel, a slightly old fashioned place (no pool) but it is right on the beach and the only hotel in town (currently open) that is so situated.

You can find plenty of reviews of these and others if you go the Albufeira forum page and look across to the left under 'Albufeira hotels´. You should be able to get rooms for less than 70 Euros per night.

I would not recommend the 'strip' in May. it is heavily geared for the summer tourist business and will probably still be quiet. The old town area is where the 25,000 local residents would be for an evening out.

In terms of seeing both Albufeira and Lagos in May, a day trip between the two will save you uprooting yourselves for just one or two nights. Both towns have train and bus service back to Lisbon.

BTW I don't know if you noticed this, but the RENEX website does have a downloadable timetable (unlike Rede-Expressos) which is easy enough to work out. But they do not, at present, offer on line ticket sales.

http://www.renex.pt/HorarDwn.php

Edited: 2:51 am, December 28, 2012
Singapore
posts: 37
reviews: 42
5. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

This is great, thank you! So I guess if I wanted to book in advance bus tickets, it'll only be on EVA?

Antrim, United...
posts: 95
reviews: 19
6. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

You gotta go for Lagos over Albufeira everytime. Albufeira more "brits abroad" type destination - kiss me quick hats, watneys red barrel Brit pubs, egg & chips.......ok I'm generalising a bit but you get the picture.

Lagos more cultural, authentic Portugese.

Shropshire England
posts: 31
reviews: 15
7. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

I completely agree with the above . Lagos is miles nicer than Albufeira.

You could rent an apartment near the marina (www.ownersdirect.com) or see if you an get a deal at Marina Club Dom Jaoi 11(make sure you have room with a view) or Vila Gale (smart, with a v good indoor and outdoor pool. )

I would definitely recommend staying in th Meia Praia/marina area.

They are both a comfortable walk from the train station (5 to 10 mins) or bust station( 5 to 15 mins)

Singapore
posts: 37
reviews: 42
8. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

Thanks you so much guys, very helpful.

9. Re: Albufeira and/or Lagos?

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