Hi. We are visiting Spain in September and are planning to drive from Valencia to Casares at the end of our trip. We need help with deciding how to get to Casares from Valencia. Should we do it in one go or stop off somewhere. I did think Alhambra would be great to see. Is it too far out of the way? We are planning on a day trip to Gibraltar and also to Ronda while at Casares. We are limited for time. Plan to leave Valencia on the 8th of September and need to be in Madrid to catch a flight to Santorini which leaves at 12.15am on the 12th. Should we drive to Madrid or take the train? Thank you for any help or suggestions you can give
1. I'm a bit confused by your post but it looks as if you are thinking of a one-way car hire from Valencia? You will pay an extra premium for this. Check that the company you use allows drop-off in Casares (you may find you have to drive to Malaga) and/or Madrid.
2. For the above reasons I suggest you think about dropping the car in Malaga and taking the train to Madrid. The fast AVE trains take from 2h 28m (there are plenty of daily departures) whereas driving from Casares to Madrid will take you 6+ hours.
Use the official Spanish railway website to find train times, details and fares. You can often get cheaper advance discount fares if you buy online through Renfe:
3. If your flight leaves at 1215 you need to be at Madrid airport by 1015 at the very latest. For that reason I suggest you arrange to spend your last night in Madrid. There are plenty of hotels within walking distance of Puerto de Atocha railway station and it's very easy to catch the airport bus from there.
4. Driving from Valencia to Casares will take at least 7 hours, and very possibly longer. You definitely need to break the journey at least once...and preferably more....but I suggest you leave Granada for another trip.
One potential route from Valencia will take you past Granada. The Alhambra is superb but it is absolutely huge. You need at least 3 hours to even scratch its surface and far more than that to see everything (especially if it's hot). The Alhambra also has strict limits on the number of daily visitors so it's best to buy tickets online in advance through the official site:
5. Alternatively, you might think of taking the train from Valencia to Malaga and hiring a car from there. Doing this would save you money on car hire, fuel and possibly tolls plus (if you decide to take the train to Madrid) saving you the one-way premium.
The fast AVE trains Valencia>Malaga take from 2h 28m ....*much* faster than driving!
If I were making your trip, that's what I'd do. :-)
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