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Planning a driving trip

Hong Kong, China
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Planning a driving trip

We are in the process of planning a driving trip starting from Lisbon - Evora - Algrave, crossing the border to Spain -Gibraltar - Casta De Sol - Cordoba - Salamanca and back to Portugal - Porto - Lisbon. Any comments/advise on the above route and info on crossing the borders? Also, any sights that should not be missed?

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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57,578 posts
3,576 reviews
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1. Re: Planning a driving trip

Vicky:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187438-c86680/Malaga…

For electronic tolls:

portugaldailyview.com/whats-new/motorways-ho…

I would skip Gibraltar now. There is a feud between its government and the Spanish government that may make crossing the border take several hours.

Here is some info about Malaga:

Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol and has beaches, plenty of sunshine, and one of the best climates in Spain. It is also one of the most beautiful and relaxing cities in Spain, and 100% Spanish. Malaga has 14 museums (among them the Glass and Crystal Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Automobile Museum, and the two Picasso Museums), historic churches (four founded by the Catholic Kings), and monuments that include two castles (Alcazaba and Gibralfaro). The sights are mostly downtown and completely walkable. There are very good restaurants, tapas bars, and nightlife. The city is very safe. The Malaga Park is a very large semi-tropical park and beside it is a new park called the Palmeral de las Sorpresas at the port. Muelle Uno is a new shopping/restaurant complex at the port. The Gardens of La Concepcion are the largest tropical plant gardens in Europe. There are about 1000 buildings from the 19th century downtown, one of the largest and best conserved collections in Spain.

The natives have the great charm of Andalucia and are among the most friendly people in Spain. It is easy to do day trips to the white towns of Ronda, Mijas, and Nerja, since Malaga is the transportation hub of its province. Malaga Airport is the third largest airport in Spain and has direct connections with many European cities. One can take the AVE from Madrid to Malaga. Read the top questions in the Malaga forum.

Shopping is wonderful and most stores are walkable from downtown. Downtown has Calle Larios, Calle Nueva, and Calle Granada and surrounding streets, with many boutiques. El Corte Ingles is a large department store near downtown. Two shopping malls near downtown are the Larios Center and Vialia.

Good hotels in good locations:

5-star: Vincci Posada del Patio

4-star: Hotel AC Malaga Palacio – Good location near Calle Larios. The rooftop restaurant is a romantic place during twilight with a great view of the port.

4-star: Hotel Molina Lario – Good location near Calle Larios with parking. The hotel restaurant Café de Bolsa is a very good restaurant.

4-star: Hotel NH Malaga – Good hotel with a large parking space.

3-star: Hotel Don Curro – Older hotel near Calle Larios.

2-star: Ibis Malaga Centro Ciudad

The Restaurant El Pimpi at Calle Granada, 62, has Andalusian decoration and music and one can have tapas and try Malaga’s sweet wine here. This is the restaurant that celebrities are brought to. Movie stars and members of royalty have all been here.

Malaga was named by Trip Advisor as the 7th best destination in the “Traveler’s Choice 2013 – Top 10 Destinations of Spain” list.

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Planning a driving trip

Thanks for the useful info and links.

London, United...
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for Costa de la Luz
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3. Re: Planning a driving trip

"I would skip Gibraltar now. There is a feud between its government and the Spanish government that may make crossing the border take several hours."

This so called feuding does seem to me to be on both sides and certainly not one sided ! A pedestrian can cross the border with far less hassle than going by vehicle. On some days the Spanish border police may decide to clamp down on searches of vehicles leaving Gibraltar looking for contraband cigarettes etc because Gibraltar is a low tax place and many people have abused this and smuggled more than the strict allowance. The queue system resulted in some long waits for cars as the searches were thorough.

There are some visitors to Andalucia who for one reason or another may like to visit Gibraltar. Perhaps because of old ties to the people or memories of military service so in my opinion it is up to the traveller to make a judgement. Certainly as a tourist you can find parking in the border town of La Linea de la Concepcion and then walk over to Gibraltar in several minutes.

As for the trip into SPain from the Algarve, had you considered stopping off in Seville as you will need to pass this city. Then south towards Jerez and taking the excellent dual carriageway road in the direction of Algeciras you will arrive at the main Algeciras to Malaga road. Her you can turn off for La Linea de la Concepcion for visiting Gibraltar.

Then along the Costa del Sol which has been famous for many years as a summer playground especially around the Marbella area. From the Costa del Sol you could head north through the hills up to Ronda and some charming scenery - maybe consider reading about Ronda and stopping here. You can drive to Cordoba from Ronda.

The drive from Cordoba will take you through the Province of Extremadura which has plenty of history. This is where many of the Spanish "conquistadores" came from. Towns like Merida and Caceres have Roman history. The country is quite bleak in the winter but rather wild and open in summer. I like it a lot.

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Planning a driving trip

Thanks for suggesting alternative routes, we will look into them.

5. Re: Planning a driving trip

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