Setting the wheels in motion

Getting around the parish of Lagoa has never been easier

The comfortable, flexible hop-on, hop-off Rota das Falésias (cliffs’ route) minibus service is a great way to see the sights of Carvoeiro, Ferragudo and Lagoa. The 20-seater, air-conditioned Mercedes Benz minibus runs every half hour, seven days a week, with passengers able to hop on and off as many times as they like, buying either a 24- or 48-hour ticket.

So, for an interesting day out, you could catch the morning bus from Clube Atlântico, have breakfast by the beach in Carvoeiro or Centianes, then head inland to Lagoa. Perhaps pop into the Convento de São José and check out an exhibition or visit the fabulous art gallery, Galeria de Arte, in the old winery beside the EN125, enjoying some fair trade coffee with your art or maybe a spot of people-watching at one of the many roadside cafes. Hop back on and take the coastal road to beautiful Caneiros beach, home of the stylish fish restaurant, Rei das Praias. Near Canerios bus stop you will also find Saluki, a brilliant Moroccan-inspired restaurant, with lounge bar, roof terrace and swimming pool open to patrons.

If you head to Praia Grande beach, you’ll find four very different beach bars and a Kayak/Stand-up Paddleboarding kiosk; Club Nau has a delicious new sushi menu, live music several days a week and an outstanding wine/cocktail selection. Back on the bus, you could pop into the sleepy fishing village of Ferragudo, walk through the tiny cobbled streets, browse the shops and lunch at one of the many decent restaurants, such as Borda do Cais on the harbour front – a real treat for fish lovers. Nearby is a great marine biologist-run excursion company, Wildwatch, which has an excellent success rate finding wild dolphins.

This fabulous service has stops at Clube Atlântico, Rocha Brava, Palm Gardens, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Algar Seco, Carvoeiro square, Monte Carvoeiro, Sesmarias, Caneiros, Vila Castelo, Ferragudo centre and Lagoa library.The Spring/Summer schedule is 9am until 11pm. Tickets cost €10 for 24 hours and €15 for 48 hours. In a first for Portugal, electric bikes can now be rented in Carvoeiro’s

main square. The network includes 20 state-of-the-art e-bikes, all equipped with GPS and 3G communications, as well as alarms and other anti-theft and anti-vandalism devices. With bikes and charging points based in Carvoeiro, Ferragudo and Senhora da Rocha (Porches), the bikes can be rented automatically with a membership card or by downloading the Bewegen Lagoa app on iPhone and Android smart phones. Membership cards or occasional user passes can be bought at docking station, with prices ranging from €5 to €80. Residents can buy six-monthly or annual subscriptions for €72 and €108 respectively (a Portuguese tax number and address are needed for the residents’ subscription). Smart bikes are exactly that: they know where they are, and where they’ve been. Using the website and mobile app, you can track your previous bike routes, see how far you have travelled, check the time of your trips, and much more. The great news is that they can be ridden for a full day and still have battery life remaining.

Created by the Portuguese company bikeemotion, the bikes are yet another great, home-grown product designed to make the most of this beautiful country. The bike network was a top-voted idea in Lagoa’s 2014 citizens’ budget, which allows locals to suggest and vote for their own projects. It cost €125,000 to bring to life, €65,000 of which was funded by Lagoa council and the rest by Wegoshare Lda, one of the project’s partners.

Council president Francisco Martins thanked the project’s partners for “the idea and the fact that they contributed a functional, alternative option that should help combat the difficultly of traffic congestion in the summer months”. Thanks to these two new local transport options, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a safe and stress-free summer. |

Text: Mia Wallace

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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