Spain & Portugal Summed up

Road trip for 53 days

How did we decide that it was a 53 day road trip to explore Spain and Portugal and not a 20 days or a 70 days? We started by looking at pictures of scenic destinations in the two countries, those that “fascinated” us we did a bit more research. We picked up those destinations that appealed to us, then mapped a route that went through all of them. We capped our driving distance for any single day to be not more than 4 hours in total.  With the driving duration limit and the priority of staying as near a major attraction as possible, we dotted the locations where we should spend a night.

Our 53-day trip route

Our 53-day trip route

After so many trips we had “developed” some important criteria that made us “happy” on the go. Our trip must be relaxing, we wanted to sleep well and not wake up “ungodly” early, we wanted to eat our breakfast, read our newspaper (e-copy) and drink our morning coffee like when we were at home. We liked to sightsee without rushing, stayed at the destination as long as we wanted and whenever possible relaxed at an onsite cafe with coffee and cakes to go with the sights. We liked to be able to revisit “stunning destinations” at different times of the day, to enjoy their beauty as the sun rose or set over them. It was important that we had the time to do marketing, to pick up our favourite grocery (salmon, steak, ham, pasta, cheese, chicken, egg, vegetable) and fruits (orange, strawberry, apples, cherry) and cooked them the way we liked for a relaxing dinner. Occassionally we would dine out. It was crucial that as we travelled we were still doing all the stuffs we usually did when we were at home, so that we would not get homesick!

These important criteria helped us finalised the number of days/nights that we would stay at those locations we had selected. Picking up the hotels required consideration in the order of location, decent room, ensuite bathroom, within our budgeted price, on site parking, kitchen and lastly free breakfast.

Breakdown of the cost

The total cost of our 53 day road trip came up to €9,200 (SGD$14,000).  Accommodation took up a huge portion averaging about €68 per night, 20 days of these stays provided breakfast (included in the hotel price) in the morning. All our accommodation came with ensuite bathroom, several of them were self sufficient apartments.

Flight (Singapore <-> Toulouse, Lisbon <-> Azores)

15.5%

Car lease

16.5%

Petrol, tolls, Parking

12.0%

Accomodation (52 nights)

38.5%

Food(9.5%) & Coffee Break (3.0%)

12.5%

All others (souvenirs, data plan, insurance, entry tickets etc)

5.0%

Car leasing

This was the second time we leased a Citroen car for our road trip. The first time was in 2018 when we leased a brand new Citroen (C3 Cactus) for 50 days at €1012 (all in). This time round in 2019 it was  new Citroen (C4 Cactus) for 53 days at €1305.

Car leasing would only be economical when the duration of the lease exceeded 21 days. The leasing cost, came with 24hr road side assistance, full insurance with $0 excess, additional driver and car gps. For Yat Thong and I, road side asssitance and full insurance with minimal excess were pretty important to us especially when we were on the go for so many days.

We opted for a “manual gear” car model as it was less expensive and to pickup/drop off the car in France to save one-way expenses. From Toulouse to the border of Spain took only 1.5 hour which made it the most ideal location for us to pick up and drop off the car for our road trip.

Our C4 Cactus Cool

Our C4 Cactus Cool

As a repeat customer, Citroen rewarded us with a “Priority Pass” with 2 visits to be used at airport lounges. Not bad! Our leasing process was a breeze with Catherine Proust who also handled our first lease. She on knowing that we were travel bloggers offered to give €50 discount to our readers that quote “CEP JAIKTRAVEL BLOG” when leasing a car from her.  We thought that was very nice of her.

Contact Citroën Euro Pass Singapour 
Catherine Proust
HP: + 65 9075 0464 (pas de messagerie vocale / no voice mail)
e-mail: citroenttsingapour@gmail.com
web:    www.citroen-europass.com
Quote: “CEP JAIKTRAVEL BLOG” in your email to enjoy €50 discount on the lease cost of a Citroen car of minimum 21 days.
Memorable Sights

Most people knew Spain and Portugal probably by their famous cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Portugal. If we had limited time and travelled with a tour agency these four cities would most likely be the places we would visit and that would leave very little time for other areas. We were not fans of cities so the only way we ere going to see “sights” outside the “general” scope would be to travel on our own.

Our 53 days road trip allowed us to explore the two countries in depth and definitely Spain and Portugal had so much to offer. In both countries we saw beaches that were almost the best we had seen in our travel. Both countries had their shares of stunning natural parks, high mountains, green valleys, lakes and waterfalls. The white villages in the southern Spain (Andalusia) were simply quaint and special. Sintra was definitely a must-visit Portugese City! In Lisbon we ate the best Portugese tart. In Barcelona we saw the uglyly unique La Sagrada Familia (our opinion only). At Consuegra it was amazing to see ancient windmills on hilltop, and the views rivalled those we saw in Greece-Mikonos. Azores of Portugal offered natural sights that could not be seen on the mainland. An out the way driving trip to Monasterio de Piedra Natural Park (Spain) was worth the effort as the park was home to many waterfalls an an amazing Iris Cave.

Beaches
As Catedrais Beach (Spain) Ponta da Piedade (Portugal)

Benagil Cave (Portugal)

National Parks, Valleys & Mountains
Parque Nacional Ordesa Y Monte Perdido (Spain) Valle Pasiegos (Spain)           
Bardenas Reals – Semi Desert (Spain) Douro River (Portugal)

Estrelas Nature Park (Portugal)

Montserrat (Spain)
Old Fortresses

Monasterio de Gaxtelutxe (Spain)                 

Fortress São João Baptista  (Portugal)

Modern Sights
City of Arts and Sciences (Spain – Valencia) 

Boat Fountain (Spain – Valencia) 

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (Spain) 

Las Setas de la Encaracion (Spain, Seville)

Quaint Villages
Ponte de Lima (Portugal)

Obidos (Portugal)

Ronda (Spain)

Setenil (Spain)

Grazalema (Spanish White Village)

Churches & Castles

Covadonga Cathedral (Spain)

Cordoba Alcazar (Spain)

Segovia Alcazar (Spain)

 Bom Jesus do Monte (Portugal)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Portugal)

Spanish Cities

Sintra

Segovia

Granada     

Cordoba     

Toledo

Unexpected Beauty

Iris Cave at Monasterio de Piedra (Spain)

Caminito de Rey (Spain)
Consuegra Windmills (Spain)
Azores (Portugal)

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