Driving in PORTUGAL/SPAIN/GIBRALTAR

Old Feb 7th, 1998, 10:18 PM
  #1  
Gittings
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Driving in PORTUGAL/SPAIN/GIBRALTAR


Would appreciate thoughts and advice on renting a car and driving in Southern Portugal, Southern Spain (Seville), and Gibraltar. How are the roads? How are other drivers on the roads? Anybody know what size car an Opal is and how big the trunk is for suitcases?
 
Old Feb 8th, 1998, 06:51 AM
  #2  
Robert Vesely
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It is likely that the Opal will be a rather small car but with reasonable luggage space. You can probably get a look at it on their web page or the web page of a company such as auto europe. I love driving in spain but you definitely want a small car. The major highways are excellent but the lesser roads, generally in fairly good condition, are often relatively narrow and winding and often extremely winding. I have found the drivers fairly competent. You will probably notice that they almost always use their signals when passing and changing lanes on the roadways and will rarely if ever ride the passing lane which is a pleasant change from the US. Having said this cities can be quite different and more helter skelter. Again, a good reason to have a small car. I have not been to Gibraltar recently but I would note that you should be careful to follow the signs. The last time I went, a number of years ago, the Spanish were still not to happy about the Brits being there and so they did not go out of their way to point you in the right direction. Also get the international license in case you are stopped. As with most countries there is a speed above the limit that most people drive. Have fun.
 
Old Feb 8th, 1998, 03:14 PM
  #3  
Ralph Lydecker
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The roads linking the major cities in southern Spain are excellent. Take care in using the toll roads, there can be a toll to get on and to get off as well (confusing). On the toll roads anything goes. Doing 140kmph we had a sports car pass us as if standing still. Driving in Seville proper is a nightmare. There are two major federal highways going through Seville that are under construction. While staying in southern Spain we passed through Seville several times and each time had a horrible time getting out of town.
Getting to/from Gibraltar is a snap, however parking in Gibraltar is 'tuff'. Might be better off parking in Spain and walking across. By the way, consider a side trip to Tangiers, quite an experience. Parking at the boat landing (in Algeciras)is no problem and easy (well marked) to get to via good roads. The road from Seville to Faro in Portugal is very good and a pretty drive. The drivers in Spain are by far the most courteous of all Europe (that I have driven in).
 
Old Feb 14th, 1998, 11:01 AM
  #4  
francis
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i was in porturgal 1996 and drove from lisboa to algrove, getting in/out of lisboa was crazy, but after you left town the road are pretty good.
my package includd the use of opal for 12 days but only limited to use in the country. (everything included except the gas/petro).
 
Old Feb 17th, 1998, 11:33 PM
  #5  
Marcel Jonker
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AVIS or Hertz rent a car at every mayor airport in Spain. Try to book ahead, and get a better deal, find out about the Special Deals for that period, it can save you $$.
Driving, use your common sense, dont drink and drive, and stick to the speed limit. Movce over for Trucks and busses tailgating your car, after all you are on holiday. Never leave any valuables in your car, this counts for EVERY mayor city in Spain.
Good Luck. Marcel.
 
Old Feb 19th, 1998, 05:04 PM
  #6  
rebecca
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Marcel,what do you mean exactly by "book ahead." Do you mean from the States? Or a day ahead if you're in another location? Thanks for the information.
 
Old Feb 20th, 1998, 11:50 AM
  #7  
Pete
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I've travelled to Gibraltar several times. I never rent a car there. Just about everything, except the top of the rock, is in walking distance. They are plenty of rock tours that will get you to sites on and in the rock. Take a tour, in my opinion its worth it. The streets are very narrow and the motor scooters are always zipping by on one side or another. I save my nerves and get a little exercise by walking. In addition getting a car through the Spanish border is a real pain. Sometimes it can take an hour or more to get into Gibraltar by car. There is no hold up if you walk. If Gibraltar is just a tiny protion of your trip, maybe you'll want to deal with the hassles to have car, but if it is more than that, I wouldn't have a car in Gibraltar.
 
Old Feb 20th, 1998, 11:09 PM
  #8  
Jerry Kronenfeld
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We rented a car and traveled for two weeks through southern Spain (including Gibralter but excluding Portugal). It is definitely worth it. We traveled between Malaga and Gilbralter, including Rhonda and a few points East and North of Malaga. We found the roads very good (if steep in some places up and down the mountains) and the people very helpful in directions. The cliches about being able to go and stop where you want seemed to apply well. Some of the roads in some cities are VERY narrow and steep. Particularly in Rhonda, they are not for the faint hearted. However, we found that most other drivers exercised reasonable caution so that these roads added to the adventure (once we were past them.)

Getting into and out of Gibralter was not so bad (in March without a lot of other tourists).

Enjoy your trip.
 
Old Apr 7th, 1998, 07:22 PM
  #9  
dale
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Marcel,
Is it not possible to travel by train from three major cities, locate a central hotel and walk or taxi to visit important sites? We are not too interested in renting a car.
 
Old Apr 7th, 1998, 08:30 PM
  #10  
julie
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Roads are generally good. We find European drivers generally predictable, however they do drive fast, on the whole, and often roads do not have much of a sholder, or are bordered closely by lines of trees. Must stay to the right, except to pass, then turn on signal and leave it one while you are in the left lane, then return to the right just as soon as safe. We were told in Madrid last year that thiefs were "bumping" your car, then when you stopped, they would rob you. However, we have never had any trouble. Don't drive at night, as a general rule. Street signs may be poorly lit, and hard to read. If you get lost, language can be a real barrier.
 
Old Jan 10th, 1999, 03:05 AM
  #11  
Maira
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Bringing this one to the top...
 

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