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Is it worth driving from Madrid to Barcelona or Madrid to Lisbon?

Is it worth driving from Madrid to Barcelona or Madrid to Lisbon?

Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Is it worth driving from Madrid to Barcelona or Madrid to Lisbon?

We're in the very early planning stages for a trip to include Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon. We'd probably fly in and out of Madrid and, if we do, is the countryside worth driving to either Barcelona or Lisbon or is it better just to fly? I see that flights on Vueling are fairly inexpensive (at least now). We've already been to Seville and Granada and want to see these other 3 cities. Thanks!
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Better to fly between Lisbon and Madrid. Not particularly scenic. And you incur a (very!) steep dropoff fee between Spain and Portugal when you rent a car. I have flown Vueling to all three cities, and it was a great option, much less expensive than the other options when I did it.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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If all you want to do is to go from one place to another, then you can either fly or take the train. If you want to see something along the way, spend a couple of days enjoying the countryside, seeing the sights, then I'd drive.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:44 AM
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If you have time fine, but otherwise I would take the train or fly.

There is also much to see in Spain and Portugal that are not in the larger cities. But a direct route from Madrid to Barcelona is not the most interesting. I have driven from southern Spain to Lisbon and and once agin there is much to see.

And cars in those cities are a burden not a help
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, everyone. I'm going to check out the route between Madrid and Lisbon to see if we want to drive and make one or two stops. Sounds like Barcelona will be a flight--from checking RailEurope, it seems a lot less expensive to fly than train.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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You can eliminate backtracking to Madrid if you fly in, for example, into Barcelona and out of Lisbon unless you have a reason to visit Madrid more than once.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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I see now that you are planning to leave from Madrid, so your car rental would begin and end in Madrid. At least that way you would avoid the dropoff fee (which was several hundred dollars two years ago). If you do drive to Lisbon, you pass through the Alentejo in Portugal, and that is well worth a visit. We stayed in this area for two nights and want to go back for a week.

There are details about our stay in the Alentejo and in Lisbon and Madrid in my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Ávila and Salamanca in western Spain are definitely worth visiting.
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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"We stayed in this area for two nights and want to go back for a week." - Good news
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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Hi from Spain,

If you find a cheap car rental company, I would recommend to drive between Madrid and Lisboa. You can plan visits to Avila and her known walls, Salamanca and her old university area or to Ciudad Rodrigo.

The road trip from Madrid to Barcelona is not so interesting.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 11:59 PM
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Near the A5 highway Madrid-Portugal, the first km are not interesting, landscape become nicer when entering in Extremadura region and Portugal.
You could split the trip in two parts.
Madrid-Evora and Evora-Lisboa, with possible stops at Plasencia, Merida and Trujillo and Evora in Portugal.

Definetly, places to visit and landspace are far more interesting than in the route Barcelona-Madrid.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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I recommend you travel by the new high-speed train to or from Madrid and Barcelona.I've experienced this on a few occasions. Once I missed the train in Madrid and was forced to hire a car to take us back to BCN. A very uninspiring journey!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Hi!

I am with the others, I say fly. They are long drives to both Lisbon and Barca and not worth the wile.


http://www.allabout-languages.com
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 07:49 AM
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It really depends on the person - I actually love the driving and last time I took a amazing range rover form Madrid to Marbella (Nikki Beach) and it was amazing. see here
http://www.marbellaluxurycarhire.com...ge-rover-sport

If you are in to luxury cars, you will know what I am talking about. In any case, if you are not a fun of driving, why bother?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 08:55 AM
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Why don't you fly into Barcelona, take the train from Barcelona to Madrid, fly from Madrid to Lisbon and then fly home from Lisbon....or vice-versa?

This eliminates the need for a rental car in these 3 large cities where a car would be a burden anyways.

You didn't mention how long you have for this trip. I'd budget at least 2 weeks just for these 3 cities (and nearby daytrips).
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