Driving from Granada to Sintra

Aug 5th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Original Poster
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Driving from Granada to Sintra

Any advice for a two night road trip from Granada to Sintra in early October? We will be three couples traveling in a minivan, leaving on Saturday and arriving on Monday. Staying in Sevilla for two nights was my first thought, but we'd like to see the Andalusian countryside and perhaps a bit of the coast. The bulk of our trip will be in Madrid and Sintra for five nights each. Two nights in Granada follow Madrid. None of us have been to Spain or Portugal before. Thanks.
carolyn64 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 01:41 AM
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Not sure what you're asking here Carolyn. Are you asking for "where to stay" for each of your two nights or is that already sorted? Are you asking "what to see on the way"?

Is this minivan hired and are you flying back out of Lisbon? That will incure a big fee from a hire company so hopefully it's someone's own property.

Please give a bit more info about what you want, to get some specific answers.
Lifeman is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 06:13 AM
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I would rethink the entire itinerary---too much jumping around. Why not stay in Andalusia--it deserves 10 days and lets you avoid the big drop charge. Think Seville,Ronda, etc.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 01:46 PM
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Thank you Lifeman and bobthenavigator.
Most of this trip (Madrid apartment-5 nights, Sintra townhouse-5 nights, open-jaw plane tickets and van rental with drop fee) were booked months ago.
Originally thought we'd take the overnight train to Lisbon from Madrid, but turned out more cost effective to rent the van and drive. Driving also allows us to see a bit more of Spain. Granada's booked too. Need a fresh perspective for breaking up the 7.5 hour drive to Sintra. Have 2 nights free.
carolyn64 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 03:45 PM
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I would need to get out my map for details, but I would try hard to include Evora and the Pousada at Palmela south of Lisbon.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:33 AM
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As you are staying at Sintra, I wouldn't stay at Evora as it's too close to your base. You'll have the chance to explore locally to Lisbon and the surrounding area during your stay.

It makes sense to break up your journey as you mentioned and with two nights, you might like to consider for the first stop:


the first two are on the coast, the third inland. Granada to Cadiz is some 4 hours and 230 miles. Granada to Seville is less than 3 hours and 165 miles. The Cadiz route along the coast road takes in most of the western Costa del Sol , with places to stop for lunch along the way, maybe at Puerto de la Duquesa. The inland route to Seville passes through some lovely places and lots of lunch potential.

If you get a map out, you could take the coast road as far as San Pedro de Alcantara, just past Marbella, then swing through Ronda and up to Seville.

At Seville, you're 5 hours and about 250 miles from Lisbon on a direct route, easily doable in a day. However you have two nights, so spend your first night in Seville (you could easily spend two and more here) and then head for Faro on the Algarve for a laid back overnight. This is a couple of hours driving and around 125 miles.

From Faro you have a three hour drive of around 180 miles to Lisbon.

None of these times allow for stops.
Lifeman is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:53 AM
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You got some fine options already.

From a more generic perspective, I'd say that you need to think about if you want a route where you can pop in a small village once in a while. Or if you prefer a "big sight" like Sevilla as stopover.
You can go on a route avoiding big Seville (which IMO, is a bit of a hassle as a mere stopover) - and focus on scenery, small (white) villages, etc.
For example:
Granada - Antequera (El Torcal Natural Park) - Arcos de la Frontera.
Arcos - (bypass Sevilla to get across the Guadalquivir) - El Rocio - Matalascanas - Tavira.
Tavira - Sintra

On the Algarve, Tavira is a nice small town for a stopover.
But: The famous Algarve coast line with the arches lining the coast is not until you go west of Faro. If you want to see that, you got to skip something in Spain to get as far as Faro or Albufeira on Day 2.
On Day 3 you could then go thru Lagos, to Sagres, back to N120 and up north along the west coast. (that drive will take MUCH longer than taking the motorway IP-1!)

But regardless which route you choose eventually, going from Spain to Portugal will always take one hour less than what you calculated ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  

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