We have 5 days to travel from Lisbon to Barcelona. Anyone know of bus or train tours between the two cities? Or would renting a car be the best option?
It depends on what you mean by 5 days. If you are spending some time in Lisbon before the five days, and some time in Barcelona after the five days You could take the train from Lisbon to Madrid and spend a couple of days there, and then either drive or take the train from there to Barcelona If the total amount of time you have here is just 5 days, I'd fly.
>would renting a car be the best option?
'Best' is always a matter of personal preference. Driving might (might) be a bit faster than train and/or bus but a) fuel is much more expensive than in the US b) parking is neither easy nor cheap and c) the driver must always focus on the road rather than the landscape. Additionally (and perhaps most importantly) one-way hire with drop-off in another country will add a considerable premium to any rental charge and may not even be allowed, depending on the company concerned. An IDP is required for non-EU citizens in order to drive in Spain and, I think, in Portugal. IDPs are easy to obtain (from the AAA for US citizens) and not expensive, imo it's worth getting one even if no-one ever asks to see it (which they probably won't...but they could and they might).
>Anyone know of bus or train tours between the two cities?
I don't know of any bus or train 'tours' between the two cities (and doubt any exist) but it's certainly possible (and very easy) to travel independently by public transport. It's just a matter of doing some research and then choosing your preferred options. Long-distance buses tend to be cheaper than trains and also tend to be slower. Both trains and buses are, of course, safe and comfortable enough.
You could, for example:
www.skyscanner.com for all flight times, details and fares (but book on the airline's own website).
http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html is the official site for Spanish train times, details and fares in English.
b) Take bus or train from Lisbon to Faro. Stay overnight (it's a nice town to explore) then take the bus to Seville and spend a couple of days exploring before travelling onward by train and/or bus to e.g. Valencia and then on to Barcelona.
Portuguese train times, details and fares in English on the official site:
Times, details and fares in English for Portuguese long-distance buses:
Times, details and fares in English for buses from Faro to Seville (Selvilha): http://eva-bus.com/index.php?lang=uk
Times, details and fares in English for Spanish long-distance buses:
c) Fly from Lisbon to Malaga, spend a day or so there then take the Alsa bus to Granada for a couple of days. Either return by Alsa bus to Malaga Airport to fly or to Malaga itself to take one of the high-speed trains to Barcelona.
There are lots of other possible routes and itineraries. Just use the sites I've given to explore options.
Enjoy your research! :-)
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