Pick up your hire car in Marbella or from Malaga airport and you can be in Lagos on the Algarve comfortably less than five hours later. It's a journey we make at least once a year if not twice, just for the weekend.
You have three routes to choose from:
1) To Sevilla through Málaga it's a fast open road with great places to stop for a coffee and tostada and fresh olive oil fragances for 50 kms after Antequera.
2) To Sevilla through Ronda, very picturesque for the passengers but winding curves for the driver all the way to Ronda and you can get stuck behind buses or lorries. Lovely rolling farm landscapes between Ronda and Sevilla.
3) To Sevilla past Los Barrios. Take the toll road all the way down the coast and then turn inland just past Gibraltar. You'll pass Jerez de la Frontera airport on your left after travelling through magificent cork oak covered landscapes.
The Sevilla ring road is merciless. When you see the signs for Huelva to the west of Sevilla, take them, you don't get a second chance. Driving on the ringroad at rush hour is like the Indianapolis speedway. On this stretch, I drive and watch out for cars and my wife looks for the signs!
From Sevilla through Huelva on the border it's a superb road with lots of variation in the roadside services and ventas for food and drink and a break. Cross the imposing suspension bridge over the wide Guadiana river and you are in Portugal. No frontier controls and Lagos is just another hour away on a gently curving highway inland from the Atlantic coast of the Algarve.
The route is popular by bus also but you are looking at a two day trip there and one day to get back to the Costa del Sol. The problem is that you arrive by bus from towns on the Costa del Sol at the Estación de Autobuses Prado de San Sebastian during the day and then your bus to Lagos from Sevilla only leaves the next morning from the Estacion de Autobuses Plaza de Armas. This means an overnight stop in Sevilla on the way to the Algarve from the coast.
Update on the paragraph above, you can now do the trip in one day comfortably using the gomarbella online bus ticket reservations reservation system.
You can do the journey in reverse in a day however, leaving the Algarve in he morning and picking up your second bus to the coast, later that same afternoon.
Pleae contact me with any questions using the comment form on the blog below or from the contact page on gomarbella.com . Have a great stay on the Algarve!
PS: You can now do online bus ticket reservations through the gomarbella reservation system.