Spain Portugal Road Trip
"2 Weeks On The Road - Wellington's Peninsular War"
Road Trip - Madrid – Cadiz – SW Portugal - Salamanca - Madrid
Essential Reading : Julian Paget's "Wellington's Peninsular War - Battles and Battlefields"
day --miles driven -- Depart-Destination ---Notes-o/nite accom. dining. Hilite in bold type -- H/way # eg.66 italic.
Day 1 – 250kms-- Airport Madrid – Trujillo, Extremadura – from airport took ring road M40 then the E90 to Talavera de la Reina, Castille La Mancha for lunch and then to Battle of Talavera (1809) Monument. Thence to Trujillo. Very narrow streets so beat a retreat to the H/way into town to find accom at Hotel Peru with easy parking. Visited the colonnaded arcades of the Plaza Major , Museo de Pizarro, shifted drinking spots with the sun (cold day). Spent time observing the nesting storks . Dined near the Plaza.
Day 2 –140kms - Trujillo, Extremadura -- Badajoz, Extremadura. To Merida to see best Roman ruins in Spain. Bought the combined ticket to see 3 sites. Walked down to river to see Alcazaba. To Badajoz. Hotel Rio across river. Very good hotel. Good restaurant.
Day 3 –300kms – Badajoz to Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucía. to Badajoz "I" for information to get map of town. Before departing, went To Archaelogical Museum. free very helpful staff. Good. & Checked out town walls stormed by allies in Peninsular War. Then drove to La Albuera to check out battle site. On to Zafra for lunch then Sevilla. Found traffic jams in Sevilla too much. Headed south to Jerez de la Fontera. Hotel Coloseo.
Day 4 -- local –Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucía – out for b/fast then walked to Gonzales Byass one of the leading Sherry bodegas for 50min tour (16euro). Generous tasting after. In pm took a ride on hop/on-off bus tour of city €16..
Day 5 – 34kms – Jerez de la Frontera. – Cadiz, B/fast at bar nearby. Walked to Alcazar Jerez. Drove to Spanish Dancing Horses €42 for 2. 2nd front row. 1.5 hours. Good. Drove to Cadiz Iman Hotel. Hop on-off bus around town. Drinks on the waterfront. Cloudless sunset 2100 (saw the green flash- Have you ever seen the "green flash"??)). Ate at nearby Italian.
Day 6 – 260kms – Cadiz. – Isla Cristina. b/fast nearby bar. Onto the bus to visit old quarter of town. Walked causeway to fort (no entry). Coffee&cake in old centre. Drove to Seville via autopista. Semi driver deliberately scraped the car in a traffic jam “power takes precedence”! via Huelva,. Got off E1 and drove Lepe, La Antilla to Isla Cristina to beach front hotel Sol y Mar. Balcony overlooking ocean. Ate at Restaurant near fish markets.
Day7 -- local – Isla Cristina. Rest day. Ate B/fast & lunch in Hotel. Visited town for diner – local seafood specialities including Dorado & Ray.
Day 8 – 205 kms – Isla Cristina to Sagres…. back to E1. Crossed border into Portugal. Via 124 into Faro. Too many narrow streets so back to E1 and then to beach Praia da Luz (west of Lago). Pay to park at the beach?? Lots of sunburnt poms on beach. Drove to Sagres & Casa Sagres. Fine view of bay. Drove to Cape St Vincent sw point of Iberian Pen. Dined at Hotel.
Day 9 –280 kms – Sagres to Evora, b/fast at hotel. Gave up taking secondary roads & found freeway to Lisbon turning off after 80k (IP2 : E802)to Beja for lunch. Mc Donalds was open. Not much else so succumbed to macca’s salad bar & clean toilets. Quite good actually. Thence to Evora to Ibis Hotel . Walked through town gate ..well preserved walls..to old city centre. Had beer at plaza watching band recital. Back for diner. Excellent meal. Top town - must return!
Day10 – 102 kms – Evora to Badajoz. Took A6/E90 loads of cork trees. Back to Hotel Rio again as we had enjoyed the first stay so much. Dined at hotel.
Day 11 – 330 kms – Badajoz to Salamanca…. Up the A66 to Cacares to do shopping then to Plansencia for lunch. Thence to Ibis , Salamanca. At 2130 walked to Casa Paca for drinks and tapas. Top evening.
Day 12 -- local – Salamanca area.... Drove to Los Arapiles to inspect the battlesite of the Peninsula War - Battle of Salamanca (1812). Drove/ climbed to top of Grande Arapile. In pm walked through Salamanca. Casa de las Conchas, Cathedrals Nueva & Vieja, University buildings. Back to Casa Paca at night..excellent
Day 13 – 274 kms – Salamanca to Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha. b/fast at hotel. Drove to Avila €3.50 each to walk around the very well preserved medieval walls. Headed towards Madrid airport. Couldn’t find accom in our price range so took Madrid ring road & drove to Guadalajara, Ibis. Dined at Ibis ..quite good.
Day14 -- local – Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha. Drove into town to Palacio del Infantado. Self catered lunch. Dined at Alcala de Henares. Good.
Day 15 –48 kms – Guadalajara to Madrid Airport. Up at 5am to drop car and catch flight to London.….