Algarve in Autumn 2017

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Monte Carlo Classic Car Rally

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Description

October and November might be wet, cold and blustery in the UK but It usually isn’t in Spain and Portugal and the 2017 Algarve Tour may be your last opportunity to get the hood down and feel the warmth of the sun.

We’ve put together a trip which will give great driving, great hotels, stunning scenery and a range of fun things to do. Spanish and Portuguese roads are in the main very quiet and where we’re going, great fun to drive on! We’ve continued our process or ringing the changes so there are new stops to change the mix and some the same to maintain the highlights. In 2014 after the very first day’s driving a participant exclaimed “I’ve just driven down the best road on the planet!” In 2016 we had bright sunshine and blue skies every day bar one—not bad for October/November.

Starting with a crossing from Portsmouth to Bilbao on the high speed Cap Finistere, we get an early arrival at Bilbao so there’s plenty of time for a scenic run through the Picos de Europa mountains before running on to our first stop just outside Salamanca. Hacienda Zorita is a converted watermill.  We’ll stay there two nights and the management are pushing the boat out to welcome us to Spain with a wine tasting and gala dinner.

Salamanca is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities and only a few miles from the hotel, so a day’s sightseeing is well worth it!

Our next stop is at Merida, a world heritage city and the site of the best preserved Roman ruins in Iberia, the emperor Trajan was Spanish! Then a change to previous years—we head south to Huelva on a fantastic road and then straight into Portugal to the 5 star Pestana Alvor Praia Hotel, which is just 12 miles from the circuit. We will have full VIP passes for the weekend; we are usually able to fix parking in the paddock at Portimao. There may be parade laps as well.

After the racing we’re off to Jerez for a night at the Hotel Puerto Sherry which is a lovely marina side hotel in El Puerto de Santa Maria. After Jerez we go to Durcal just outside Granada for two nights and a track day at the Circuito de Guadix. Here, with an English team, safety is the best and the circuit never bores. Lewis Hamilton trained at Guadix in his early days and a large number of well known drivers and teams test there all year round.

Sooner or later we have to head for home, so we’ve organised a great drive; from Granada we head to Toledo for a great view and great city and then skirt Madrid over some super mountain passes for our last night in the wonderful 17th Century Palace Hotel in Lerma

Schedule

Sun 22nd Oct  Late evening departure from Portsmouth on Brittany Ferries high speed ferry Cap Finistere for Bilbao via Roscoff

Tues 24th Oct  Arrive early in Bilbao then drive to Salamanca for two nights at Hacienda Zorita at Valverdon—a watermill hotel where Christopher Columbus stayed (280 miles)

Thurs 26th Oct  Drive to Merida for an overnight at the Parador which is an 18th century convent in the heart of this world heritage city Outstanding driving roads today! (180 miles)

Fri 27th Oct  Drive to Alvor for three nights at the newly refurbished Pestana Alvor Praia Hotel 12 miles from the circuit. The drive today is also a real drivers road, for mile after mile! We will have full circuit passes and hospitality for the Saturday and Sunday (245 miles)

Mon 30th Oct Drive to El Puerto de Santa Maria for a night at the waterside Hotel Puerto Sherry (220 miles)

Tues 31st Oct Drive to Durcal for two nights at Hotel El Senorio de Nevada, a beautiful new hotel in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. We’ve got a night out at a local Thai restaurant planned—it’s a great place (195 miles)

Wed 1st Nov Exclusive trackday at Circuito de Guadix; with a British team and very high standards we should be able to operate an open pit lane

Thurs 2nd Nov Drive to Toledo for a night at the Parador overlooking this wonderful world heritage city (245 miles)

Fri 3rd Nov Drive to Lerma for our last night in the Palace of the Duke de Lerma (225 miles)

Sat 4th Nov Drive to Santander for evening departure (160 miles)

Sun 5th Nov Mid evening arrival at Portsmouth

 

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