|Subject: Re: Traveling around Spain and Portugal|
You can take the overnight 'Lusitania Trenhotel' from Madrid, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal. The Lusitania Trenhotel (train number 332) leaves Madrid (Chamartin station) daily at 22:45, arriving in Lisbon next morning at 08:15.
>From Lisbon (Terreiro do Pašo) a ferry sails across the River Tagus at 13:20, connecting with a 14:25 train departure from Lisbon's Barreiro station on the far bank. This train (InterCity IC581) arrives Faro 18:05.
Returning, leave Faro at 09:00 on train IR870 for Lisbon (Barreiro) arriving 13:30. The connecting ferry across the Tagus arrives Lisbon (Terreiro do Paco) at 14:10.
Returning, the Lusitania Trenhotel leaves Lisbon daily at 22:01 (train number 335), arriving in Madrid next morning at 08:25.
The Lusitania Trenhotel has reclining seats, 4-berth tourist-class sleepers, 1- and 2-berth berth first class sleepers, and 'gran classe' de luxe sleepers with en suite toilet and shower. It also has a restaurant and bar.
I got the above information from a fantastic site I discovered in researching your options - definitely worthy of a place in everyone's favorites - http://www.seat61.com/ Rail and sea travel times, fares and information.
Also see, Portugal Travel and Tourism web site http://www.portugal.org/tourism/index.html click on Algarve.
Car rental can either be handled by a travel agent or directly via the Internet. If you put car rental algarve into a meta search engine like Google.com, you'll get numerous possibilities you can investigate.
All that said, with just five or six days to spare, we'd probably spend those days covering more of Spain, saving Portugal for another time to explore more than the Algarve.
Cheers! Don and Linda Toronto http://www.thetravelzine.com