I plan to take my daughter and wife to Madrid Spain, then Portugal. Does anyone have advice on renting and driving a car from Madrid to Portugal? We'd like to visit Lisbon, and go south to Algarve in Portugal - with a 8 year old, I have to mix in some beach/pool time, along with cultural/museum activities. Thank you.
FYI: It's a 400 mile drive from Madrid to Lisbon. From Lisbon down to the Algarve is approximately 170 miles.
I have not been there, but our niece has oceanfront property and a house outside Faro. She flies Easyjet out of London for weekends. She just loves the south end of Portugal.
We made the drive from Lisbon to Toledo for an overnight stop, then around Madrid on our way north the next day. It's been too long for me to be able to give specific suggestions apart from mentioning the town of Evora which is worth a stop. And Toledo is well worth a visit as well. The beaches south of Lisbon on the Costa de Caparica were very nice when we were there. The Portugese have a reputation for bad driving. In my experience it is well deserved so be wary. If you're thinking of a one way rental be aware of the steep drop charge which is normally imposed for one-ways to another country.
Miles vs time is deceiving. Madrid to Lisbon is six hours. Leave early and you can pull in for a late lunch. Albuferia is about the middle of coastal Algarve; it's a bit over two, maybe two and a half, hours from Lisbon. There are good beaches along all of the csouthern coast, pick a spot. The car business might get tricky. Dropping it in a second country will eat you alive. You're going to have to be more specific, do some study, something. For example your first route goes smack dab through the Alentejo - - do you know it has one of the few double stone circles in the world, or that it has hill towns that beat Tuscany and Andalusia? Do you have to go out to Sintra, because its in The Guidebook? We can type for hours and not hit a single thing that interests you
I have not been there, but I want to chime in on Portuguese people being bad drivers. My uncle grew up there until age 12, and even he says that when he goes back there he is horrified by the driving and that he would never drive himself around the country. But he is older now and lives in the great wide open in Alaska, so take that with a grain of salt.