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Madrid to Lisbon ----Which is the best route? What to see in between?

My wife, my two kids , and I are looking at flying to Madrid and flying home from Lisbon.
We are going in November and will have 9 days. I was planning on 3 nights in Madrid and 3 nights in Lisbon, but we are open.
I would like to rent a car and head out from Madrid toward Lisbon and spend 3 nights in different places along the way.

I would like to spend no more than a couple hours per day in the car (if possible)

Any suggestions??

Thanks for your help.


Posted by
16883 posts

Note that there's a pretty hefty fee to pick up a car in Spain and drop it in Portugal. Get some price quotes through Auto Europe or other rental agencies. is a good site to help plan driving times and routes. Salamanca and Coimbra are among Rick's recommended stops, but are not on the fastest driving route. Toledo and Evora lie along the more direct driving route, but not in the middle.

Posted by
511 posts

Extremadura has many beautiful places to visit. If you do drive to Lisbon from Madrid you will pass though it. I am going to make a few suggestions.: Trujillo, Cáceres, Mérida and Guadalupe. There are excellent Roman ruins in Mérida. Trujillo was like stepping back centuries in time. The monastery at Guadalupe and the whole town were just wonderful. Cáceres is a great place to wander in the old medeval sector. These were some of my favorite places in Spain. Do some research and see if they appeal to you. Extremadura is often overlooked by tourists but it is wonderful and probably cheaper than many other areas.

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks for the recommendations!