Pick up your hire car in Marbella or from Malaga airport and you can get from Marbella to Lagos on the Algarve in less than five hours. It’s a journey we make at least once a year if not twice, just for the weekend. We most often stay in Jack’s or Rocha de Gralheira up behind Faro or the Marina Rio hotel in Lagos.
Getting to the Algarve. You have three routes to choose from:
1) To Sevilla through Málaga city. it’s a fast open road with great places to stop for a coffee and tostada. You’ll smell fresh olive oil fragances from the olive oil co-operatives or 50 kms after Antequera. If you are travelling from the airport take the AP43 from behind Malaga airport which will whizz you up to Antequera in no time at all.
2) To Sevilla through Ronda, very picturesque for the passengers but winding curves for the driver all the way to Ronda and you can get stuck behind buses or lorries on a Friday. Lovely rolling farm landscapes between Ronda and Sevilla.
3) To Sevilla past Los Barrios. Take the AP7 toll road all the way down the coast and then turn inland just before you get to Algeciras. You’ll pass Jerez de la Frontera airport on your left after travelling through magificent cork oak covered landscapes. There are two speed traps on this section. One going to Sevilla and one returning. They are just after the exits from tunnels. Watch your speed as you come out of the tunnels.
Getting through Sevilla The Sevilla ring road is merciless. However you get to Sevilla my advice is when you see a sign for Huelva to the west of Sevilla, take it. You don’t get a second chance. Driving on the ring road at rush hour is like the Indianapolis speedway. On this stretch, I drive and watch out for cars on my left and right and merging traffic and my wife looks for the signs. We’ve done it many times but always switch in to super alert mode.
From Sevilla to Lagos. You’ll travel through the Huelva province just before Portugal. It’s a superb road with lots of variation in the roadside services and ventas for food and drink and a break. Travel in the morning because the sun will be behind you and return to Spain in the afternoon when the setting sun is behind you again. The striking suspension bridge over the wide Guadiana river will come into sight. You are about to cross into Portugal. There are no border checks but just inside the Portuguese border pick up your toll road registration and travel in comfort on the Algarve toll roads.
Lagos is just another hour away heading west on a gently curving highway inland from the Atlantic coast of the Algarve. Not long now, focus on the beach and a cold glass of good Portuguese vino branco in your hand.
Travelling by Bus. The route is also popular by bus. It’s an overnight trip from Faro on the Algarve to Fuengirola and a day trip from Fuengirola to the Algarve. Check out the route and timings on the Gomarbella online bus ticket reservations reservation system.
Please write to me any questions using the comment form on the blog below. Have a great stay on the Algarve!