Spain & Portugal 2002
In april & may of 2002, Eric and I drove down to Portugal
and Spain for a two-week vacation. We spent the first week
at the beach near Monte Gordo,
in the Portuguese Algarve, at just a few kilometers from
the Spanish Border. In the second week, we visited
Granada (with the famous Alhambra
palace) and Barcelona, in Spain.
You can find some practical info
on this trip in general further down on this same page.
For photographs, and a more personal description,
go to the following pages:
Monte Gordo & around (Portuguese
Getting there & away
We drove the 2500 km from our home in the Netherlands
to the Portuguese Algarve; our little Peugeot 205 did
a perfect job. We drove down to Burgos, Spain (about
1500 km) in one very long day, so as to arrive in
Portugal on late afternoon of the second day. On the
way back, we drove to Granada, spent 3 nights there,
then drove to Barcelona, spent another 3 nights there,
and finally drove back home from Barcelona.
The first and last days, in which we drove 1500 km or
more, were long and exhausting days. The highways in
Spain are good, and they're mostly very good in
France, if you're prepared to pay toll. Don't
underestimate the toll: I think it cost us close to
400 euro for the entire trip. Our trip is roughly
indicated in the map below.
Euro. The trip took us through
the south of the Netherlands, Belgium, France,
Spain, and Portugal, and although I've always
opposed the euro, I must confess that it came in
very handy now. Otherwise, we'd have had to
deal with five different currencies. We used a credit
card a couple of times, and got money from
automatic teller machines. The latter was a bit of
trouble in Granada - a lot of the ATMs seemed to
be out of order.
Dutch, French, Spanish, and
Portuguese; I'm sure you can figure out what
language is spoken where.
Portugal is on a different
time than the rest of western continental Europe;
it is one hour behind (which puts it at GMT).
Where to stay
In Portugal we stayed
at a beautiful and very large privately owned
house, which will soon be available for rent.
I know the owners, so contact me for more
information (via my home
We booked our six nights in Granada
and Barcelona in advance, so we wouldn't have
to waste time searching for a hotel. We booked the
hotels through the internet. We weren't satisfied
with the one in Granada - it didn't come close
to offering all it promised - but the manager
didn't make a fuss over that. He was very kind
and booked us into another hotel (same company)
that was more suitable for us, and cheaper too.