I'm trying to plan a trip to Spain/Portugal next year, visiting the following cities:

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Valencia
  • Granada
  • Seville
  • Lisbon

The order of visiting these cities does not matter, but I will be departing from and arriving to JFK, New York.

After some research online, it seems one possible route would be to:

  1. Fly to Madrid
  2. Fly to Barcelona
  3. Rent a car
  4. Drive to the other cities (in the order listed above), finishing in Lisbon.
  5. Fly home from Lisbon.

This seems like a good plan, but the problem is: what to do with the rental car? Is this plan salvageable? Or are trains a better bet? Perhaps there are better options still? Here, "better" means cheaper, more efficient, or even just more practical.

  • 2
    Have you considered public transport instead of renting a car? Also Madrid and Barcelona are only a short train ride apart, that sure will be more convenient than flying unless you can get it as a leg on your main ticket. – mts Oct 25 '16 at 16:16
  • 1
    You have a nice question here and it's a problem I face when beginning to plan for any trip. But the point is you have a huge number of degrees of freedom (medium of transport, where to fly in/out, cost, convenience, duration of stay, ...) which makes this impossible to answer in a way that is "correct" but rather incites discussion. I have thus voted to close as off-topic with reference to the WANTA debate. I am not sure how you could re-phrase to avoid the closure, maybe others have ideas? – mts Oct 25 '16 at 16:30
  • 2
    That being said, you have plenty of possibilites: you can rent at A and drop off at B with many rental companies, Barcelona to Lisbon works e.g. with sixt, just checked. Note that there is an excellent high-speed rail network in Spain, especially to&fro Madrid, so you might even consider to fly into BCN and from there train to Madrid to Valencia and then rent a car or bus or train or fly to the others... – mts Oct 25 '16 at 16:33
  • 1
    Also, if you go between Jan and Feb, the exact reverse of these cities would be better. – Gayot Fow Oct 25 '16 at 16:48
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    @SteveD, no need to apologise; if you think the closure was premature or unadvised, please go over to META and post an enquiry about it meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions – Gayot Fow Oct 25 '16 at 17:24