We are planning to visit Andalucia for 18-20 days next May. We would like to fly into the area, rent a car, explore the area at our leisure, and then fly back out of the same airport. I am in the early stages of planning our trip, and would be grateful for some informed opinions on a few questions.
1. Point of entry/departure. It seems that the two choices here are Malaga or Sevilla. It looks like Malaga's a little easier to get to and a little cheaper. Are there just as many car rental options in Malaga as in Sevilla? Any reason we might want to use Sevilla instead of Malaga as our point of entry/exit?
2. I'm a planner by nature, and usually when we take driving trips like this I figure out in advance where we will go each day, how long we will stay, and where we will sleep. I book all accommodations in advance. I am considering, for this trip, taking a looser approach, and not booking hotels in advance, so that we can have some more flexibility. If we find a place we like, it would be nice to be able to stay longer, rather than be slaves to our pre-booked itinerary. We will have guidebooks and GPS, so it seems like we should be able to find accommodations as we go, rather than planning all that out in advance. On the other hand, I don't want to wind up sleeping in the car, should we not be able to find nice places with rooms available! My question is this: In mid-May, sticking mostly to small towns, are we likely to be able to find nice simple places to sleep without having prior reservations? That might be impossible to answer, but it's definitely a question on my mind.
3. Regarding our itinerary. I'm roughing out a loop from Malaga-Granada-Cordoba-Sevilla-Faro-Jerez-Grazalema-Ronda-Malaga, and hoping there will be time to also "follow our noses" and take detours as whims strike us. We are not interested in spending a lot of time in the bigger cities; we're more interested in small towns and countryside. Still, does that seem like too much ground to try to cover in 20 days? I really don't want to feel like we're rushing.
4. Finally, I see all over the place that I will need an International Driver's Permit to drive in Spain with my USA license, but I don't see anywhere how I'm supposed to acquire one of those. Could someone point me in the right direction?
Thank you very much in advance for any insights you can offer on these questions.