When we travel, we like to be independent to do our own thing and it usually involves getting off the beaten track. As a result, we almost always hire a car if it makes any sense at all given the circumstances of where we are visiting. In this case, because Sue's sister was joining us from England for eight days of our trip, I had to go one size larger than normal to accommodate three suitcases. It turned out to be a diesel Ford Focus station wagon with a 5-speed manual transmission. There was enough space in the rear for the suitcases plus a few other odds and ends as well as a flap that covered-up everything from prying eyes.
We hired it from Red Ribbon Car Hire Spain but picked it up from the Goldcar desk four days earlier away up the Mediterranean coast at the Alicante airport - at a daily rate of 18.26 Euros. However, when all the extras like insurance and diesel surcharge were added in, the total for 18 days came to 617 Euros.
After our not much fun driving experiences in larger congested cities like Sevilla and Granada, I was glad we had picked the small city of El Puerto de Santa Maria (across the bay from Cadiz) as our base for this part of the trip. The car did not give us any mechanical problems during the 3240-km (~2000 miles) we drove it and was just great in allowing us to reach the many smaller destinations on our trip.
We had hired a car and being a city wondered how we would find parking. Driving along the streets it did look very busy and saw nowhere to park but then saw signs for parking and the next thing we knew we were in a huge underground car park that had different levels. You took a ticket from a machine after you had parked, this had the time on, and when you returned and were ready to leave you slotted your ticket back in the machine which then told you how much you had to pay, it was all worked out on the minutes you had stayed and I think it was around two euros per hour. There was ample parking available.
From Madrid, you will arrive to Cadiz through the N-IV National Road, free highway till Sevilla
The A4 autopista from Sevilla to Puerto Real on the east side of the city carries a toll of 6 euros.
The toll free alternative, the N1V is a lot busier and slower.
From Malaga & Gibraltar, you will arrive by the national 340 road all along the coast.
As you enter the city from anywhere you will find a long broad avenue that runs along the modern part. If you go to a beach hotel, the beach will be at your left. If you go to the old town follow straight till the City Walls.