I've planned the trip to Spain and Potrugal for the beggining of May and I ask for the advices
I will fly to Madrid and have 3 days there that I hope will be enough for the first look. After that I'm flying to Faro for 11 days and booked the hotel in Villamoura.
Maybe the weather won't be perfect for the beaches but anyway I want to see some of them in Portugal - where are the most beautiful ones?
And I don't want just to stay in the hotel - I'd rather rent the car and make the trip to the South of Spain. I'm thinking of Sevilla-Cordoba- Granada, maybe Cadiz, maybe some beaches at the Mediterranean... Any suggestions?
And maybe some recommedations as for the cheap car rental companies in Faro? Usually at the sea resorts there are lot of very inexpensive proposals - has anyone got the experience in Portugal? Or should I book in advance with Hertz/Europcar etc...?
Suggestions for the south of Spain:
Granada is a MUST. Not only because of the Alhambra and Albaicín. One of the best things of Granada is going to a bar, asking for a beer and getting a free (and often generous) typical tapa.
The bad thing is that maybe Granada is a bit far from Faro.
Sevilla is much closer and it's also worth a visit.
Maybe you could make a trip to Ronda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronda
I don't know the situation of car rental companies in Portugal. In Spain Europcar seems to be the cheapest and if you book and pay in advance you get a discount.
Thank you, cmunch!
I will definitely go to Granada but upon your recommendation I think I will stay there not only for one day. I'm thinking about 4-5 days (or even more) trip to that region so actually it's not so far.
If you want further advice just ask. I could help since I travelled there recently. I made Granada, La Alpujarra, Málaga, Costa del Sol, Ronda, El Torcal de Antequera, Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, Sevilla and Córdoba in 11 days.
i have googled your route - that seems so wonderful!
Ronda, El Torcal de Antequera, Desfiladero de los Gaitanes are so interesting places that I haven't heard about before.
Pity I don't have so much time to visit everything but I think I could come to Ronda and maybe to see El Torcal de Antequera on my way back to Portugal from Granada. What can you say about the roads there? How to access El Torcal - is it a closed reserve area? Should I spend there a whole day by feet or I can visit for a short look on my way from town to town?
The road to El Torcal is a good local one, asphalted. Don't worry about it.
If I am not wrong, I think that I drove to Villanueva de la Concepcion, and from there I took the A-705 road until finally I saw a sign to El Torcal park, in a big turn to the left.
You drive until finally you arrive to the visitors center, where you can park the car and get some info. There are two circular paths for walking: the shorter (1,5 km) and the longer (3 km). We made the shorter because we were on a hurry and it was raining. It took us less than 2 hours doing lots of stops to make photos and moving slowly, enjoying the place.
Granada, Ronda and El Torcal all seem a long way from Faro to me. Seeing all the sights of Spain is a lifetime project, not something to be attempted in 11 days. Therefore although all those places are well worth visiting, I would advise staying closer to the Portuguese border.
Coto Doñana is pretty much the first place you come to, and is a wild expanse of wetlands. After that you have the Costa de La Luz. Drive slowly down the coast and stop at the places that take your fancy. Off the cuff, those places might include Jerez, Cádiz, Zahara de Los Atunes and Tarifa.
I'm not sure how you will get on with hiring a car in Portugal and taking it to Spain. I've never heard of hire companies offering that facility because of the problems of registration, insurance, etc. I would suggest you ask a couple of hire companies well in advance.
Hi, i'm a bit confused, you say that "After that I'm flying to Faro for 11 days and booked the hotel in Villamoura.", then you plan to go to south of Spain. Do you want to do that on day tours to and from Vilamoura? By car? You'll be on the road for very long hours...
Why don't you flight or go by train to Sevilla and then do tours to all those places that you want to visit? The south of Spain has a lot of beaches too, and in May the weather is similar in both countries.
Come to Portugal on another occasion.
Thank you all for your input- I really appreciate it and I'll consider carefully my route.
I'm flying to Faro cause I want to stay there on Algarve coast. And I'm thinking of not to stay there for the whole 11 days but to shorten my hotel booking in favour of the trip to Spain. I've got used to the long trips by car through Europe and I love it so actually it seems to me not such a challenge to have the brief look onto southern part of Spain (but definitely return there later again).
But I will also think about seeing more Portugal as LittleHote advises - thank you.
As for the car hiring - I'm planning to take the car in Faro and to return it in Faro too so why do you expect this to be a problem? Maybe they will ask for some additional insurance fee but what else?