Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

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Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:34 pm

Hello gents/ladies,
Found out today I've got an extra bit of time off before Christmas, so had a quick look at available cheap flights, and hey presto - I'm jetting off to Faro for 10 days :-D 8) I'm skint, so will be renting an estate-car to sleep in along with a tent, and I'm happy doing that.

I've been reading through old posts on this forum all evening, got a few ideas, hoping for a few steers in the right direction so I can make the most of the time I have out there.

Option A)
Get hire car from Faro, drive West through the Algarve coast, Lagos, Sagres, then head North up past Lisbon to the Estoril coast and perhaps beyond. Then towards the end of the 10 days, either do the route in reverse, or drive straight back, hopefully soaking up some rays on the way.
Like the sounds of this but not sure if it'll be too small/sheltered on the Algarve and I'll miss out on waves on the West Coast, or i'll drive past the points and a few days later they'd start working.... :bounce:

Option B)
Get the cheapish coach direct from Faro to Lisbon, then get a hire-car from there and either head North up the coast or work my way back South towards the Algarve and ultimately Faro before returning the car at that airport and flying home.

Option C)
Jus bomb it up North on the train/bus to Ericeira, and risk onshore Westerlies if that's the time of year they happen!?
Or head to Carrapeteira or Sagres as a base of operations.....


Unless my surf-buddy can miraculously get time off work as well, I'll be heading out on my own, so whilst I like relaxed empty-ish line-ups normally, I'd prefer a few people in the water and not on some desolate bit of coast-line.

If anyone out that way fancies cheap/free travel in the "Opel estate" in return for surf guiding then that's cool too.

A BIG well done if you read this far. :thumbleft: Anyone done anything similar and can offer advice?
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:04 am

I'd personally go for the hire car from airport option. Saves on hassle. but if your skint then maybe bus somewhere but I think hire firms charge for different drop off/pick up. if your deciding your which area you are gonna surf depending on how the charts look as you fly out, then the price of car hire may go up he later you book. You don't want to book your car for Lisbon and then the surf looks crap there. That make sense? Sorry on iPod.

What dates you booked for?

Some more random thoughts. If your sleeping in car the nights can get cold. Petrol ain't cheap over there. The road signs always try to guide you to he toll road from Faro to the west. The slow road parallel, 395? is a fair bit slower but cheaper. If you land late then it's not so bad. If your roughing it then there are some good spots around but signage isn't good. Be prepared to get lost down bumpy dirt tracks. Don't worry tho. Most hire companies don't check the damage at collection and drop off. Haven't been stung yet and we've generally always had something fall off :?

The wind forecast isn't always right.

I'd aim for sagres from faro. About 2hrs-3hrs. A few choices west and south facing. If you need to spend as little as poss then you dont want to be killing fuel.

Pm me and when I get a mo I'll gMap you up some spots you can sleep at.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:47 am

Cheers for the swift reply Poo Stance, some proper food-for-thought there.
Just been having a look around the Sagres area and I'm frothing to be honest, I think you're right it would'nt be a bad place to head. Looks like there's bags of potential this time of year.
Heading out there from the 14th - 24th December, so hopefully lots of time to explore.
Surprised at how reasonable car-hire prices are, think I'm going to bite the bullet and book one from Faro for the whole time, as it's doubling up as semi-accomodation it's a mega-cheap way of doing it.

Dropped you a PM mate and if you do get the chance that'd be be great but don't worry if it'll be too much of a ball-ache. It's late now I'll have a proper think on some of the other points you mentioned tomorrow.

atb
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby henryg » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:00 pm

I'd definitely take a car from Faro and head along the Algarve coast. You have plenty of options on the south if it's big and it's not far to drive to the west coast if it's small. Try Marina car in Lagos (they meet you at the airport) they won't take a deposit off you if you pay fully insured (not expensive) and they don't even look at the car when you return it. I've even paid them in cash with no credit card details taken. There are loads of cheap places to stay as well if you get sick of car camping, i'm talking less than 10 quid a night in those big hotels. They have very low demand in the winter.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby PortugalByVan » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:03 pm

Hi Brigfoot,
how about renting a camper van? Have a look at https://portugalbyvan.wordpress.com/ we are from Lisbon but maybe we can manage a way to deliver a van in Faro. Maybe this option can be the answer to your questions.

Cheers.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby henryg » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:06 pm

Oh yeah and definitely avoid the A22 like poo says, it has a really complicated toll system that you have no idea how much you are racking up and it's really difficult to pay for and if you leave without paying the hire car company will add a charge when they bill you later. The N125 is the free alternative.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:24 pm

henryg wrote:I'd definitely take a car from Faro and head along the Algarve coast. You have plenty of options on the south if it's big and it's not far to drive to the west coast if it's small. Try Marina car in Lagos (they meet you at the airport) they won't take a deposit off you if you pay fully insured (not expensive) and they don't even look at the car when you return it. I've even paid them in cash with no credit card details taken. There are loads of cheap places to stay as well if you get sick of car camping, i'm talking less than 10 quid a night in those big hotels. They have very low demand in the winter.


Hi Henryg, I was hoping you might appear on this thread. Nice avatar btw.
Cheers for the reccommendation of Marina cars, I've emailed them for a quote, as I'd prefer to go with a company others can vouch for.
Tonights homework has been trying to sort out the decent rental places from a few rogue-traders.
There's a few hidden extra charges that car rental providers add on- "Super CollisionDamageWaiver" whereby in the event of a crash, an insurance provider pays the excess on the CDW rather than yourself.
Had a look around and www.carhireexcess.ie/ gets great reviews and will cost £20 for the 10 days which is cheaper than all the rental companies so will be booking this soon as.

I didn't realize how quiet it got out of season. Definately worth checking out then, I'll probably 'crack' half-way through the week and end up in a hotel...

PortugalByVan wrote:Hi Brigfoot,
how about renting a camper van? Have a look at https://portugalbyvan.wordpress.com/ we are from Lisbon but maybe we can manage a way to deliver a van in Faro. Maybe this option can be the answer to your questions.

Cheers.


Aah, I love the look of that and stumbled across your site the other day. Bit out of my price range though but maybe one for the future as it looks awesome.

henryg wrote:Oh yeah and definitely avoid the A22 like poo says, it has a really complicated toll system that you have no idea how much you are racking up and it's really difficult to pay for and if you leave without paying the hire car company will add a charge when they bill you later. The N125 is the free alternative.


Noted, cheers. I'm going to start familiarizing myself with the maps of the area this weekend.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby PortugalByVan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:25 pm

So sorry to hear that. Maybe next time. We look forward. Have a nice holiday in Portugal.

Cheers,
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:20 pm

I seem to remember something about paying the tolls. For some reason I asked about them when I picked the car up. A lot of different comments from people over there. But can't seem to remember anything useful on how to avoid them (other that use the N125).

I think the deal was you can only pay the toll 2 days after you've been through it. There are no booths on the motorway, just cameras that take you number plate. So after 2 days you need to go to the post office and give them you number plate and pay what you owe. You have 4 days from when you can pay to pay. That make sense?

I now remember cancelling my credit card and not paying anything for the tolls. Seem to remember some folks saying that the gov hadn't thought the system through properly with regards to tourist/hire car usage and there wasn't a consensus on if tourists should pay or the hire companies. I mean, what happens when you are driving to the airport and use the toll road? The hire company I used said I should 'estimate' what I used and pay them when I returned the car...ok.

If my memory is right it worked out about €10 per 80-90km for tolls.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:00 am

Big 'shout out' to Poo Stance here for emailing me some stuff on the area:- good places to eat, bars etc. :wink:

Poo Stance wrote:I seem to remember something about paying the tolls. For some reason I asked about them when I picked the car up. A lot of different comments from people over there. But can't seem to remember anything useful on how to avoid them (other that use the N125).

I think the deal was you can only pay the toll 2 days after you've been through it. There are no booths on the motorway, just cameras that take you number plate. So after 2 days you need to go to the post office and give them you number plate and pay what you owe. You have 4 days from when you can pay to pay. That make sense?

I now remember cancelling my credit card and not paying anything for the tolls. Seem to remember some folks saying that the gov hadn't thought the system through properly with regards to tourist/hire car usage and there wasn't a consensus on if tourists should pay or the hire companies. I mean, what happens when you are driving to the airport and use the toll road? The hire company I used said I should 'estimate' what I used and pay them when I returned the car...ok.

If my memory is right it worked out about €10 per 80-90km for tolls.


Pahaha, so that would be an 'estimated' total cost of.....5 Euro's, for the entire time you were out there then. :lol:
Sounds like you got lucky there whilst the system was still in its early stages, you can bet that the hire-companies have screwed the nut a bit now, and have a robust system in place to milk the toll money off the punters now - think I read they either take it from a deposit, or credit card details left etc.
But I will be cautious on that as the last thing you want after a decent break is an unexpected bill for motorway tolls!

I'm glad we don't have too contend with toll-roads as well as expensive petrol here in Blighty as well as - I'd never leave the house. :shock:
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:57 am

No worried fella. But don't think there was any food and drink info in that PM. Maybe someone else can recommend. I did find the BbQ chicken places on a few beaches to be good grub and reasonable.

I was last there May this year. So not sure if a 'proper' system of toll payment has been set up.

Here's what The Daily Fail have to say... http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/ ... rists.html sure google can help some more. Or maybe contact tourismo portuguesy. :D

Here's what Avis had to say. http://www.avis.co.uk/blog/portugal-toll-road-payments/
They've 'found' a solution. Which is conveniently only €1.50 a day!

Personally my 'solution' would be to stop before you get on the toll road and change a few letters on the number plate with some well placed duct tape.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:42 am

Poo Stance wrote:No worried fella. But don't think there was any food and drink info in that PM. Maybe someone else can recommend. I did find the BbQ chicken places on a few beaches to be good grub and reasonable.


Argh, doesn't matter, I wanted to thank you publicly without revealing the nature of info you sent me, but the cats out the bag now eh! :glasses1:

Poo Stance wrote:
Personally my 'solution' would be to stop before you get on the toll road and change a few letters on the number plate with some well placed duct tape.


Good idea, a roll of black masker's has now been added to the kit-list..........for short term ding repair only of-course! 8)
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:52 am

Ah yes. I see the winky smilie now. Lol. Ooops.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Leedsol » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:37 pm

Black masking tape won't work as its the transponder that records the toll. Plus if you do that then it is perverting the course of public justice (subject to evidence being demonstrated to show guilt and subject to Portugal having similar crimes to the UK which I am sure they will emanating from Latin jurisprudence as do we) for which a life sentence is the maximum penalty (tho' never given).

I've just ignored the tolls last three times i've been. Let the transponder record it, liability attaches to the car owner and I've not been billed since (been 3x in the last 10 months). The system is unworkable and in fact Spain are taking Portugal to the European Court regarding it as they funded the fast road. Expect an answer in about 10 years.

N125 is the most dangerous road in Western Europe and sooo slow. I'm not a driving or car fan by any stretch but the A22 is perfect to drive on. Once you hit Lagos there's no tolls.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:07 pm

Leedsol wrote:Black masking tape won't work as its the transponder that records the toll. Plus if you do that then it is perverting the course of public justice (subject to evidence being demonstrated to show guilt and subject to Portugal having similar crimes to the UK which I am sure they will emanating from Latin jurisprudence as do we) for which a life sentence is the maximum penalty (tho' never given).

I've just ignored the tolls last three times i've been. Let the transponder record it, liability attaches to the car owner and I've not been billed since (been 3x in the last 10 months). The system is unworkable and in fact Spain are taking Portugal to the European Court regarding it as they funded the fast road. Expect an answer in about 10 years.

N125 is the most dangerous road in Western Europe and sooo slow. I'm not a driving or car fan by any stretch but the A22 is perfect to drive on. Once you hit Lagos there's no tolls.


The firm i've hired my car with fit transponders in their hire cars:- you give them a 20Euro deposit at the start of the week, and sign a fair usage thing. At the end of the week, if you've got money left from that after travelling on toll-roads, you get it re-funded.

I'd advise anyone else to have a REALLY good read before going with some of the cheap car rental companies that get thrown up by price comparision websites etc.

After much investigating various hire firms in the region, I went with EconomyCarHire, as they have an incredibly good reputation for customer satisfaction, unlike a lot of other firms who are operating basically as scam-artists, trying to suck as much money/deposit out of people for superficial/existing damage to cars, filling up with petrol etc.

This time next week I'll (hopefully) be there 8)
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:10 am

Bud. It's looking good for you 8)
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:30 pm

Poo Stance wrote:Bud. It's looking good for you 8)


And good it was. :) Cheers for the info you provided before I flew out there, probably saved us loads on diesel! :-)
Had a cracking trip, really chilled out out there, great hot weather, could have cracked board-shorts some days. I see what you mean about the "crusty germans in camper-vans." Jeez they're everywhere.

Most days the entire West coast was going OFF! As in massive, hollow, no-one out surfing. Looked like such sweet waves though for someone with the skill level to take them on. Wind if present, allways seemed off-shore.

Half the time even Zavial/Branco's (the 'sheltered' south coast spots) were well over head-high, with nobody out surfing. Caught a couple of days when they were managable height, watching people getting shacked at Zavial was good to watch.

So spent a lot of the time closer to Lagos where the waves were manageable. Had some great sessions, Beliche was good at high-tide, if I remember right, quite a fast powerful wave though, a few snapped boards and getting wiped out was a bit cheeky. Tonel was pretty massive most days, and hollow.

And had a good couple of day at Arrifana, one day the point was really working beautifully, and whilst I didn't surf it (I minced about in the beach break,) I was stoked watching those with bigger bollocks than my own paddling out to take it on.

If anyone wants any info then feel free to message me, if I can help, I will.

If anyone's worried about the "packs of stray dogs" I'd heard about, I wouldn't sweat it. Most of 'em are little ankle biters - Chihuahua's and jack-russls etc running around everywhere like a scene out of "Homeward Bound." :roll:
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:00 pm

Nice 1 bud. Glad you had a good time.

What was the sitch with the toll roads then? You pay up?

How's about some pictures too? :-D
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:10 pm

Poo Stance wrote:Nice 1 bud. Glad you had a good time.

What was the sitch with the toll roads then? You pay up?

How's about some pictures too? :-D


Hehe, well the hire-car firm I went with (EconomyCarHire.com - had the best reviews of the ones I could find, no complaints from me) and some of the big players out there, have agreed to fit transponders in their vehicles, which you pre-load with e.g. 20 Euro's when you sign for the car. Any thing left at the end of the week gets re-imbursed to your bank account.

The roads were absolutely deserted so I did bomb up and down the toll-roads a bit, as it was a pleasure to drrive out there, and if my Euros help in any way to pull Portugal out of the Euro-crisis stink, then I'm happy with that.

Reference pictures..... - well I'll never be a photographer, my attempts to capture this trip on film were dismal. I'll have a look tomorrow (try and work out how you upload them,) if there's any half decent that do the place justice I'll upload them.

regards :wink:
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby Poo Stance » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:21 pm

Nice. Good work, surf to save the Eurozone. Me likey. Crap pics will do too :D I'd post some of GC up but can't take camera to the point for fear of thievage.
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Re: Decision for Algarve/S.W Portugal in 2 weeks time!

Postby briggfoot » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:26 pm

Just a few shite one's then,

New road down to Barranco's for the last couple of miles, not sure if this was there when you were, but it makes the journey a bit less of an epic:
Image

Dramatic coast-line at Praia de Cordama, the huge cliffs rising out of the sea make you feel very, very small:
Image
Not too busy this time of the year..... These sea-cliffs are typically 100ft tall and all round that part of Portugal, and weirdly you get people stood at the very top of them, dangling fishing lines all the way down! Would love to see someone heave a big catch up the cliff-side in practise, fish would be like "WTF is happening!"


Praia de Amado. Snagged a few good waves there one morning, got out and took this photo as it approached low and started closing out loads:
Image

Checked out the West coast on a 'smaller' day when I thought it might be manageable....lol....Even from a couple of couple of km away it looked big. As a reference, one fingers width to the left of the main peak in the photo, white house, and the waves were breaking a good way behind that:
Image

Next ones the beach just North from Arrifana on the day I surfed it. Quite big hollow waves, again photo doesn't do them any justice, only the spin-drift off the top of the wave gives any indication that they're considerable size.. One guy spent ages trying to paddle out, dropped in to this waves (he's somewhere in the pitt out of shot,) took a few batterings and a trip over a reef to the left, and promptly came back in, looking sheepish/some-what violated. Still fair-play:
Image

(travel agents/surf magazines wishing to use these photos - please contact me to discuss fees. :? :lol: )

atvb
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