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Transportation logistics Lisbon to southern Spain ?!?

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I am planning a return trip to Spain in mid-March 2010 and thought I would try to fit in a few days in Portugal to be spent in Lisbon and surrounding area, given this opportunity for a first albeit brief foray into Portugal for us. However, I am running into logistical problems with regards to transportation options between Lisbon and southern Spain (Andalucia or Estremadura). My initial itinerary thoughts were to fly into Lisbon for a few days, then cross over to southern Spain where we long to return, and then "AVE-it" back up to Madrid for our eventual return flight ("open jaw" air ticket). I am trying to avoid going to Andalucia through Madrid upon leaving Lisbon, as it seems awfully counter-productive.

Transportation options envisaged so far:
1- Rent a car upon leaving Lisbon with return in Sevilla - Problem: sky-high international drop-off fees !
2- Use public transportation (bus or rail) from Lisbon to Sevilla or Malaga or ??? - Problem: poor or non-existent links, involving long journey time and transfers (from what I can tell), etc.
3- Fly one-way from Lisbon to Sevilla (for example) - a reluctant option (I love seeing scenery from the ground when in new areas), and appears to be quite costly (TAP, Iberia, and a few others I looked into).
4 - Go to southern Spain first, rent a car there and eventually drive to Lisbon, park car for a few days and then drive back to Spain for drop-off - Problem: car would be parked for 4 or 5 days in Lisbon, incurring rental charges and parking fees, seems rather wasteful and possibly rather expensive.

I therefore thought I would post my dilemna on this forum. If things are indeed this complicated, perhaps I should be re-thinking this idea of going to Portugal, or the sequence of the itinerary, but we would indeed want to finish the trip in Madrid in any case.

I wonder if any thoughts could be offered from someone who would have faced a similar dilemna in the past.

kanadajin

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