Spain has long been associated with package holidays, where the holidaymaker is picked up from the airport in a tour bus and deposited at their hotel, often they are expected to spend almost all of their vacation time using the hotel facilities and apart from paid excursions, will not be offered any other form of transport. This is slowly changing and all of the well known rental companies such as Europacar, Hertz, Avis, Sixt and Budget now operate throughout Spain. One of the earliest parts of the Southern Spanish coast to be opened up to tourists was Malaga, and is still a great place to begin exploring the Costa del Sol from. There are several other cities close to Malaga that would make a great choice for those people wishing to see life away from the coast.
Seville is considered to be the artistic and cultural capital of the Southern part of Spain, a vibrant metropolitan city. Cordoba is an ancient Roman city built upon the banks of the Guadalquivir River, a large town with many architecturally interesting buildings. Situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Grenada is built around the Alhambra Palace, of Moorish origin, and still retains much of this former heritage. Jaen is a town with Arabic roots, it is also the global capital of the Olive Oil (or liquid gold as the locals call it) industry. These four cities offer the driver of a rental car the option to explore Southern Spain away from the coast, finding a different culture and heritage without the heavy tourism of the coast.