Transit: Rede Expressos Bus Lisbon to the Algarve

Leaving Lisbon felt a bit too soon.  Clearly it’s a big city, and there is a lot more to see and explore, so I’m flagging Lisbon as a place I would like to come back to and spend some more time.

Departing Lisbon

Getting an Uber was super easy and fast.  Public transport would have taken nearly an hour, and with only 10 minutes in an Uber for EUR6.55, it was more than worth it.

I had bought my coach ticket in advance on the website, and the journey to the Algarve was only EUR20.

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The bus station was easy to find, and the bay for the bus I had booked was clearly marked.

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I did have to print my actual tickets from a machine in the terminal, which was simple and easy too.

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The coach arrived on time, and boarding was easy and smooth.

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It was a great view of Lisbon on our way south.

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We even went over the bridge I was viewing from my apartment every day.

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The view back to the centre and Belem was incredible.

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And I got up close to Christ the Redeemer (Lisbon-style).

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The journey was scenic through the Portuguese countryside.

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It was only 3.5 hours from Lisbon to Quarteira.

Arriving in Quarteira

The bus made 2 stops at other towns, but it was quite fast arriving in Quarteira.

The bus station is in the middle of the town, and was very close to the airbnb I had booked.

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Airbnb Dramas

The owner of the apartment was in Paris, so he sent a surly real estate agent to take us the 2 blocks and let us in to the apartment.  The agent was clearly not happy to be helping us. I wish I knew which agency he worked for, as I would mention it.

It wasn’t long after arriving at the apartment did I realise it was going to be a problem.

I have some basic requirements for my stay, and this apartment did not meet them.  Firstly the bed base was broken, so the bed tipped onto the floor.  So sleeping would actually mean pulling the mattress off the bed and onto the floor – not ideal!

Secondly the toilet seat was completely broken, so I could almost see my sleepy self falling in 😉

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Thirdly the bathroom door handle was broken, which meant if I closed the door from the inside, I literally could not exit.

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OK. I could go on and on, as there were some other issues too, but they were the first issues that came to mind.

I had never experienced this before, so I took a breather and looked at my options:

  • A hotel was possible, but not the best idea for 10 nights, as it meant eating out constantly
  • Another airbnb was my best bet, but could I find one asap?
  • Leaving Quarteira and going to another nearby town

So I started sending messages to other apartments in town, hoping some were available.

I also messaged the host, a carefully constructed message, explaining the issues.  Luckily, he said he was shocked, and wasn’t aware of these problems, he was sorry, and of course he would cancel the reservation from his end, so I would be free to book another airbnb.  Phew…

Next, I heard back from another apartment owner, saying their airbnb was available, and we could have it for the 10 days if we wanted to – yay! Perfect!

Moving Apartment

It was even better news that the apartment was just across the road.  The neighbour would be able to let us in and show us around.

The neighbour was lovely, and let us in and gave us the keys with no issues.

This apartment was a BIG improvement, and had a great balcony to chill on.

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Not quite how I imagined arriving on the Algarve, but I am just grateful that all the pieces came together and sorted themselves out in the end.

Time to relax.


Also published on Medium.

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