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Andalucia from Sintra and Back

My wife and I are planning a special trip to Southern Spain for a big birthday celebration and we wanted to start with 3 nights [of a 16-18 night trip] at a bed and breakfast very close to Sintra run by friends from Philadelphia. They have a place called Quintadoscoto that looked great. My questions are what to do from there.

One thought was that we arrange to fly round trip Phila-Lisbon and as we leave Quintadoscoto we rent a car in Portugal and drive to Seville -- we would then plan to spend 12-13 nights total in Andalucia [Seville, Cordoba, Grenada - of course] but we'd also like to see some other, a bit off the beaten track sites as well to the extent possible.

We like slower travel so we don't really want to spend less that 3-6 nights in each hotel if we can.

The big question is can we reasonably drive from Sintra, Portugal to Southern Spain and then return to Sintra at the end of the trip to spend our last night before returning to the States through Portugal. Alternatives would otherwise involve flying into one city and out of another or using local planes and trains - from Sintra/Lisbon to Seville - and maybe renting a car in Spain??

Advice please with practical guidance -- I understand the drive between Lisbon and Seville, with border crossing and during September should be doable in about 4-5 hours.

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Even with slower travel, I would consider one and two nighters as you make your way toward Granada.

A pleasant itinerary would be to drive down to the Algarve Coast, Salema to Tavira, as you set out on this adventure. Then head east, staying in Rhonda as you explore 'off-beaten areas of La Frontera'. In Granada you can slow down, enjoying your evenings at a patio bar near Mirador de San Nicolas. Heading back west, Cordoba can be well seen with only two nights, but three wouldn't hurt if you want. Next comes Sevilla, where the better part of a week would have you becoming an expert in flamenco and tapas culture. Making your way back to the Lisbon area, try not taking the coast route, but driving through 'Pata Negra Country' (up to Merida, turn left, and into the Alentejo), spending a night or two in Evora before the final leg home.

Have fun!...