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Old 3rd September 2010, 05:45 PM   #1
thatcher.hubbard
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Default Help with road choice - Madrid to Rota

I'm flying into Madrid in two days' time, and I need to get from there down to Rota. Nobody in my group (myself included) had figured out that the train tickets are cheaper the earlier you purchase them, so tickets for the train are quite a bit more expensive than a rental car was.

I know it's a bit of a drive from Madrid to Rota, but a Google Maps search indicates that I've got at least two options that use A roads for most of their distance.

The first is to head southwest out of Madrid on the A-5, which gradually turn southwest until it hits Merida, then the A-66 down to Sevilla and finishing up on the AP-4. This is supposedly the fastest way.

The other option is to head due south out of Madrid on the A-4 all the way to Sevilla and again, finish the trip on the AP-4.

The drive times look comparable, and I'm getting into Madrid rather early in the morning, and I've got all day to get to Rota. I'd prefer to take the route with the best views.

Has anyone around here driven some or part of one of these routes? Any opinions on which one is more enjoyable?

Thanks!
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Old 3rd September 2010, 10:27 PM   #2
Legazpi
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I've driven quite a bit on the A5 towards Cacares, and a few times on the A4. For the first 4 hours out of Madrid there's not much in it - both routes go through meseta (plains) which in parts can be very beautiful. The A5 route will also have mountains (Sierra de Gredos) to the right as you drive.

The A4 route takes in Cordoba, which is worth a visit (if you can find anywhere to park). The A5 route takes in Tujillo and Cacares, which are classic medieval towns. Merida has the best Roman ruins in Spain. If you plan to arrive in the early evening then the A4 route might be more tiring as you'll be heading south east and facing directly into the sun.
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Old 4th September 2010, 04:31 PM   #3
Ben
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A5 is route is quiker but pretty dull most of the way (we just did it!) - A4 is more intresting but the road is in worse condition and takes longer... Worth a stop in Cordoba to see the mosque though if you have time! On the other route, Trujillo is also an easy stop for lunch. It's such a long way, that to be honest I'd take the a5 route as the Merida to Seville road, though dull scenery wise, is a dream to drive on when tired...
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Old 4th September 2010, 05:16 PM   #4
MCP
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Is there a dedicated road thread on this forum? There are so many things I'd like to mention with respect to driving in Spain, not least of which is the complete confusion we always face when driving around Madrid (usually from Valencia en route to the north and vice versa). Big signs to small places, no mention of main destinations until almost too late to see them, traffic cutting in from all sides, a numbering system which to us has always seemed semi-devoid of logic...! Oh well, I'm sure it just takes getting used to!
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Old 4th September 2010, 09:34 PM   #5
Legazpi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCP View Post
Is there a dedicated road thread on this forum? There are so many things I'd like to mention with respect to driving in Spain, not least of which is the complete confusion we always face when driving around Madrid (usually from Valencia en route to the north and vice versa). Big signs to small places, no mention of main destinations until almost too late to see them, traffic cutting in from all sides, a numbering system which to us has always seemed semi-devoid of logic...! Oh well, I'm sure it just takes getting used to!
One of the things I've always wondered is how much pollution is caused by people getting lost and having to drive round in circles, simply because the council can't be bothered to (or doesn't have the competence to) clearly sign post roads. Everywhere in Spain seems to suffer from either missing signs or overloaded signs where you'd have to stop the car to take in all the information. The addiction to continuously re-structure junctions doesn't help either, nor does the addiction to keep building new toll roads and then direct (i.e. force) traffic onto them without making it clear that it's a toll road.
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Old 5th September 2010, 03:18 AM   #6
thatcher.hubbard
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It sounds like either one would be okay, but in the interests of time and the possibility of my being a little less than completely rested, I'm going to give the A5 a shot. Thank you both for the advice, and Ben, thanks to you and your wife for helping me learn enough Spanish that I feel like I can make my way.
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Old 6th September 2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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Thanks to you too, and I think that's the best choice - certainly the quickest - stop for breaks often though, it's a loooong hot drive!
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