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Spain, Lisbon, Malaga, Seville, Cordoba (Spain), Granada

What's a good driving itinerary from Lisbon to Malaga?

I'm taking a road trip with a friend of mine from Lisbon to Malaga over two weeks in April, hoping to stop in Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada on the way. Any recommendations on nicer hostels, boutique hotels or apartment rentals would be great! Budget under $100/night

9 Answers

top answer by
Tiffany from Corvallis

I don't know the Lisbon portion of your trip, but as you work your way down the E1 and have time, it's worth a detour on the E5 just before or after you see Seville.

On the southern coast of Spain, go to Jerez de la Frontera for good food, flamenco, and sherry tasting. The tour at Bodegas Tio Pepe is a lot of fun and well worth your time. Walk around the city. There are some beautiful places to see.  Nearby at Sanlucar de Barrameda they have horse races on the beach in August. It's a pretty place whether they're racing or not though and there are more sherry makers there with tours.

You absolutely must see Cadiz. If you're trying to pack in a lot, you really can do this city justice with just one day. Take the ferry over from Rota (Spain) early, watch the schedule, then ferry back in the evening. It's a beautiful town with amazing food. Lodging will be less expensive in Rota than in Cadiz. Seville

You'll want at least a day, but preferably two in Seville, one day in Córdoba, and 1-2 days in Granada. These are minimums and with packed days. If you want to relax, add an extra day in between. The distances are easy though, so you can get from one to another without really spending much of your sight seeing time.

On your way south from Granada, if you have the time and don't get too carsick, head to Lanjaron and work your way up into the Alpujarra villages to Bubion. Grab a map and just drive. It's really amazing.

Driving south to head back towards Malaga, stop at Cabria near Almunecar for a quiet beach stop with a restaurant right on the sand.

Gibraltar is within reach of Malaga if you have an extra couple days and you can add another country to your list. You really only need a day to go, climb "the rock", see the monkeys, and tour the tunnels. It's beautiful and you can see Africa from it's southern tip - pretty incredible.

I hate backtracking on road trips and I realize these suggestions have a bit of that... perhaps it would work best to go from Lisbon to Seville, Cordoba, Granada, then south and cover as much as the coast towards Cadiz as you can before the last backtrack... either way... you'll see some beautiful areas.

For lodging, I usually use either or Both have lodging in a wide range of prices.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sanlucar de Barrameda (city)
  2. Cadiz (city)
  3. Rota (Spain) (city)
  4. Seville (city)
  5. Córdoba (attraction)
  6. Granada (city)
  7. Lanjaron (city)
  8. Bubion (city)
  9. Malaga (city)
  10. Almunecar (city)
  11. Gibraltar (city)
  12. Jerez de la Frontera (attraction)
  13. Bodegas Tio Pepe (attraction)
  14. Cabria (attraction)
11 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

Tiffany gives you an amazing itinerary in Spain, but I would say that before leaving the Lisbon are, I would definitely visit Sintra, which is a Unesco world heritage site.  The town was a royal retreat in the mountains and there are several castles there.  The Pena National Palace was tops for me, but again, the entire place is great.  The drive there is beautiful as well.  I personally would drive through, and perhaps, stop in Cascais (which is a great seaside town with cobblestone downtown area with lots of shops and cafes), then work your way up to Sintra.  On your way to Spain, the beaches, cliffs and coves around Lagos and Faro are amazing as well, which you could probably visit on your way to Seville and Tiffany's recommendations.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lisbon (city)
  2. Sintra (attraction)
  3. Pena National Palace (attraction)
  4. Cascais (city)
  5. Lagos (attraction)
  6. Faro (city)
  7. Seville (city)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by

from Lisbon I would recommend you to stop the first night near Azeitao which is close to Setúbal where you have plenty of hotels.

Setubal has excellent fish restaurnts by the harbour front by the way.

In Azeitao you have Portugals biggest winery called Jose Maria de Fonseca where you have some very good wine tasting tours in their cellars and Azietao is also the home of some of the best makers of portuguese tiles.

The tile maker called "Simao Arte" is nice to visit.

He decorated the kitchen of Elton John and the Casino Macau among other things.

Then next I would recommend the toen Lagos which is a historical town by the sea which has a good restaurant and nightlife scene without being that touristy and I think you should give it two nights there as the surroundings are really nice.

From there you could drive towards the spanish border and stop in either Faro or Tavira which are both lovely places too.

And in Spain I would like to recommend Jerez de la Frontera which is super cool but not that visited.

I see you have Córdoba included and that is good. I personally prefer that city to both Sevilla and Grenada.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lisbon (city)
  2. Azeitao (city)
  3. Setúbal (attraction)
  4. Lagos (attraction)
  5. Faro (city)
  6. Tavira (attraction)
  7. Jerez de la Frontera (city)
  8. Córdoba (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
David from Júzcar

Another suggested stop would be Ronda, the biggest white village, which is located in Malaga province. Ronda has lots of history, gorgeous landscapes surrounding the town as well as the famous New Bridge crossing the stunning gorge, El Tajo.  Nearby in the Ronda mountains, there is a curious tiny village (Júzcar) that has been painted completely blue to promote Sony's Smurf films.  My small hotel & restaurant are located here as well, Hotel Bandolero, Júzcar . Call in for a drink if you happen to make it this way on your Andalusian tour.  This area is full of stunning mountain landscapes & forests. April is the first month of many wild flowers as well.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ronda (attraction)
  2. Júzcar (city)
  3. Hotel Bandolero, Júzcar (hotel)
3 thanks

answered by
Victor from Lisbon

From Lisbon to Malaga, the first stop should be Faro , 3 hours by car. In Faro you can stay in Best Western Dom Bernardo (50 €) and after a good meal in Restaurante A Taska ( you can go to Seville (but before you should stop in Tavira). From Faro to Sevilla it is about 200 Kms - 2hours

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lisbon (city)
  2. Malaga (city)
  3. Seville (city)
  4. Tavira (city)
  5. Best Western Dom Bernardo (hotel)
  6. Restaurante A Taska (restaurant)
  7. Faro (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Alberto from Dos Hermanas

I recomend you look for at or Nice areas near the monuments, bars, and local people live in Seville could be: El Arenal, La Alameda de Hércules, Plaza de la Alfalfa

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. La Alameda de Hércules (neighborhood)
  2. Plaza de la Alfalfa (attraction)
  3. El Arenal (neighborhood)
2 thanks

answered by
Gonçalo from Cascais

You have to make a pit stop at Ronda!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ronda (attraction)

answered by
Eric from San Francisco

Wow, thank you all for wonderful tips. Here's our current plan:

comments (1)

answered by

The tile places are small workshops where you can just pop in and they will show you around unless they are real busy.

It's suprisingly small places when you consider that they have some pretty big and famous clients.

If a larger group is coming then it's a good idea to give a notice by phone but if you are a just a couple of individuals then it's generally fine just to drop by and if one guy is busy or closed that day then you do have a few of these small places in Azeitao even if it's a fairly small village as they have the right typs of clay for tiles in that part of Portugal.

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