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Moving between borders

Hello,

We are considering taking the bus from the Algavre region into Seville, Spain during our upcoming trip to Portugal. We've never taken a two-country trip to Europe before and were wondering whether there is anything we should know about crossing the border? From what I can gather, though we plan to rent a car for driving around the Algavre, it is better to take the bus than drive ourselves to Seville (I saw an outdated looking website saying there was bus service between the Algavre and Seville, but will need to confirm that this is still the case), correct? If so, is it effortless to cross the border or are there any special considerations? Thanks!

Posted by
4012 posts

You probably won't even notice you've crossed the border. There are no official borders within the Schengen zone so you can cross freely and easily.

Posted by
17098 posts

But you're right that it would probably be very costly to pick up the rental car in Portugal and drop it off in Spain.

Posted by
921 posts

You are definitely correct about the rental car. The best way (and pretty much only viable way) to travel from the Algarve to Sevilla is by bus. And, you don't need or want a car in Sevilla.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Kathy - can you explain why it's really only feasible to take the bus? We were planning to just do a quick day trip from Portugal to Sevilla so curious what our obstacles may be. Thank you!!
Karen

Posted by
17098 posts

The Algarve includes many towns. Where will you be staying?

The major problem I would see with a day-trip from anywhere on the Algarve to Seville is that most people suggest spending at least 3 nights in Seville. You'd have not much more than half a day even if traveling from the eastern Algarve. Your driving time will probably be over 2 hours each way, plus you'll have to deal with picking up and returning the rental car if you opt to travel that way.

If I wanted to see Seville, I'd spend my time there rather than on the Algarve.

Posted by
315 posts

I believe the bus from Faro to Seville is 3-4 hrs. We drove from Seville to Faro. Crossing the Rio Guiadiana on the E1 is pretty. I was able to see 3 major sites in Seville with 2 nights and 1 3/4 days. I would consider staying a night or two. Amoita car rental charges 7-8 E per day to transport car to Spain. A rental car will not save time and increase cost due to parking. You will have no problems with border crossings. In Spain they eat at 8-9 pm and many close before this time.

Posted by
4041 posts

Unless you are staying in the Tavira region or Faro (why would anyone stay in Faro?), Seville is too far for a day trip, as it is 2+ hours by bus each way. It deserves 2 full days minimum.

Crossing the border into Spain is just like passing from one US state to another ie apart from a sign, you won't know you have changed, other than Spain is an hour ahead. It cost us €30 to take our Portuguese hire car into Spain for a week. Parking in Seville is expensive and difficult, so is best avoided.

The previous poster us optimistic - most Spanish restaurants don't open until 8 pm earliest and most locals eat at 11 pm or later. Lunch is 3-4 pm.

Posted by
23886 posts

There are no official borders within the Schengen zone so you can cross freely and easily.

The borders are still most definitely there, it is that there are no border controls, allowing freedom of movement.

Posted by
16791 posts

karench14, There are only two places (in the north) where trains run across the Spain-Portugal border, and with very poor schedules. Rental cars become expensive if not picked up and dropped off in the same country. Rick's guidebooks for both countries include bus information in the Seville, Algarve, and Lisbon chapters, among others. The bus operators in this area are www.damas.es (between Seville and Tavira-Lagos on the Algarve) and www.alsa.es (between Seville and Lisbon-Coimbra-Porto). Both use Seville's Plaza de Armas bus station.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you Laura! We plan to pick up and return the car to the same spot in Portugal but spend a few days with the car in Seville. From all of the information I read above it sounds like that should work, albeit will be annoying to drive in Seville until we park at our hotel. Let me know if I have that wrong and thanks again!