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Need Itinerary Help! honeymoon Spain Paris??

Need some advice. Honeymoon March 31-April 11. We are interested in Madrid, Granada, and Paris. The thing is, based on advice from people I’ve heard Madrid recommend 1-2 days and Granada 3 days. So we were thinking we arrive from US to Madrid March 31 and spend then til April 2 in Madrid for general sightseeing, night life then fly to Granada and spend April 2-5 in Granada to see Alhambra, walk around, general sightseeing but then we are left with so much more time. Worth it to catch a flight to Paris for April 5 to the 11th? There’s a direct flight from CDG to our city on the 11th. Then I read min 3 days is recommended for Paris. Too much to do Paris April 5-8 and then Amsterdam April 8-11 flying back to US from AMS late on the 11th? I know it’s a lot but we want to see a lot. We generally spend our time partying and eating. Lol. I guess potentially could do Madrid Granada Seville then Paris but I love Amsterdam too.

Posted by
7496 posts

1-2 days Madrid when dealing with jet lag? You need another day or two. Aren’t you visiting Seville too? You need much more time in Spain to make it worthwhile. Only three days for Paris???
Where did you find recommendations for so few days in some of the world’s greatest cities? Your trip as it is stated will be a blur.

Posted by
2408 posts

I agree with Suki, not enough time to really see or do anything. Why not spend the entire time in either Amsterdam or Paris. Or just pick two of the cities, those with the easiest route between them. You wouldn’t be wasting time getting to and from airports, checking into/out hotels, packing/unpacking, getting oriented. Trips always look easy when they are on paper, but never play out that way. You could easily party and eat your way around two cities of the cities, 3 or 4 would be too many.

PS, just saw you decided on Spain. Good choice, start researching now.

Posted by
8 posts

Yes, I think if we can extend a day or two we may do Andalusia Spain for 10 days then Paris for 4-5. The flights flow well that way and it’s a direct flight from Paris back home then. Thanks for the help

Posted by
20851 posts

Especially at that time of year, I think Andalucia is a great idea for reasons of weather. (Barcelona also has more moderate weather than the area around Madrid.) Seville is a large city with a lot of sights. If it's your first stop, I'd recommend at least 5 nights (more if you decide to take a side-trip), because the arrival day probably won't be worth much due to jetlag and sleep-deprivation. Granada's a bit smaller. A lot of people would say 3 nights there is sufficient; some even manage to cram all their Granada sightseeing into one day. Cordoba is also very worthwhile. It can be a day-trip from Seville if you don't have a long list of sightseeing targets there, but I found it easy to fill more than two days (3 nights). There are other good destinations in Andalucia: Ronda and the white villages (Arcos de la Frontera, Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema), Jerez (sherry and horse shows), Cadiz, and more. I think the time you have available is about right for Seville, Cordoba and Granada. There are day-trip possibilities to attractive smaller towns from Seville (Carmona) and Granada (Priego de Cordoba). Or you could try to squeeze in Malaga, which is an engaging coastal city.

If you land in Madrid (which may well be your least expensive possibility in Spain), a train to Andalucia is an option, as opposed to flying on a separate ticket. Figuring out what to do about timing of a separate flight or a train is a bit tricky, because you just don't know when your transatlantic flight will arrive. One way around that is to plan for your first destination to be close enough to Madrid that you can buy a last-minute train ticket after you arrive without breaking the bank. If you have time for Toledo (which is wonderful), that would greatly simplify things. You could spend a couple of nights there, recovering from jetlag, and then move down to Andalucia. However, it could be coolish in Toledo in March, and that stop would cut into the time available for Andalucia. The next-closest/cheapest first-night option would be Cordoba.

I like a variety of destinations when I travel, so I understand your thought process about including Paris and/or Amsterdam. But you will probably be ready to relax after your wedding, and there's nothing relaxing about a rushed trip through cities that deserve more time than you have, followed by traipsing through airports in the middle of a short trip. And when you plan a short visit to a huge city with tons of sights (like Paris), I think it's hard not to be a bit stressed about seeing as much as you can. Now, if you've both been to Paris before, that might make a difference. However, do be sure you understand what sort of weather you might encounter in Paris in early April. I like to review the actual, day-by-day, historical weather statistics available on timeanddate.com. I go back at least three years; five would be better. I particularly dislike the combination of chilly and wet weather. For precipitation I usually just check the climate-summary chart in the city's Wikipedia entry, but I am not sure how reliable those are; the time period on which the averages are based usually cuts off in 2010 (some even in 2000), and weather seems to have gotten wackier since then.

Posted by
8 posts

Hi neighbor! Also from DC area, 10 min from Dulles airport (which is SO nice). Thanks for the very helpful advice. I think we may do much of what you were suggesting… Madrid Granada Seville maybe Toledo so thank you. It is a delayed honeymoon (we got married days before Covid got bad and had to cancel days before …) so I think we just are super antsy wanting to travel and see a lot since we didn’t travel for what felt like so long. My husband has been to Paris many times and we really only wanted to go for a soccer game and like to see a few things but I get what everyone is saying makes sense I guess to just stick w Southern Spain. Plus like you mentioned weather sounds like it will be perfect at that time. Thanks again!

Posted by
8 posts

However tho it seemed annoying looking at flights to have to start and finish in Madrid as if we leave from any other city we basically have a layover in Madrid. I feel like I won’t want to leave to MAD back from Sevilllw or Granada. it was cheaper to actually fly IAD to Madrid then Paris to IAD and was direct and with a better airline so that was also my thought process like Madrid to Granada to Seville to Paris back home to IAD direct flight rather than Madrid to Granada to Seville back to Madrid on a shitty airline I’d that makes any sense. And times were better too.

Posted by
483 posts

There are nonstop flights from Seville to CDG on both Vueling and Air France.

There are nonstop flights from Malaga to CDG on both EasyJet and Air France.

I assume you are looking at United for your transatlantic flights. You could purchase multi city IAD to MAD and return CDG to IAD on United (one ticket), then train to where you want to go in Spain and purchase a one-way ticket from Seville or Malaga to CDG.

Posted by
20851 posts

I wanted to begin my 2019 trip in Andalucia. But for flights originating at IAD, the fare difference between Madrid and either Seville or Malaga was something like $500 one way, so I flew to Madrid, which I had visited just two years previously. Spent one night there before getting a bus to Ubeda in northern Andalucia. (Interesting place, but weather iffier than in the more southern cities.) That's how I dealt with the uncertainty of flight arrival time, etc.

Obviously, things can change on the flight front. Before caving and buying RT to Madrid, do check flights back from Malaga as well as from Granada and Seville. Malaga might be closer than Madrid, depending on how you structure your itinerary. However, based on my 2019 experience, I'm afraid you're going to be looking at a large fare difference. The good news is that the AVE and other express trains will get you back to Madrid from Seville, Granada or Cordoba really fast; the longest trip is from Granada at about 3-1/2 hours. You'll certainly have to spend your last night there, rather than down in Andalucia, but you mentioned partying. I believe Madrid is the nightlife capital of Spain (ignoring the Balearic islands here). Even if you decide not to do a real sightseeing visit to Madrid on this trip, I don't think you'll regret having an evening in Madrid. The Spaniards eat really late, so you can arrive by train at 8 PM or so and have plenty of time to check in at your hotel, go out to dinner, and explore Madrid's nightlife afterward.

Mentioning this just in case you end up needing to tweak your schedule: Holy Week (Semana Santa) begins on March 10 next year. It is a very, very big deal in many places in Andalucia. For example, hotel rates in Seville will at least double. Opening hours and days for some sights will be affected, if only because processions can make access to the venues difficult enough that they choose to open late or close early. It's an interesting time to be in Andalucia (lots of folks travel there the week before Easter for that reason, thus the impact on hotel rates), and one can see essentially everything, but it takes longer to do so. You might need to make two sweeps through a neighborhood because the local sights have different opening hours during Holy Week, and simply walking through central Seville can be a challenge during a procession. I've never missed a bus or train because of a procession, but I have come close twice, both times in Spain.

Posted by
2213 posts

Have you ever been to Europe? Has your affianced? If no, Europe 101. If yes, Europe 201. I see your husband has been to Paris, but what about you? I'd be strongly happy on my wife showing me what she loves about Paris. That's part of the fun of travel with the new spouse. I'd spend 3-4 days in Paris, myself (I doubt you OP has ever been).

Posted by
8 posts

Been to Europe a few times but I’ve never been to Spain or France. My husband has been to both but only to Barcelona and he’s been to Paris a few times. And yeah, would be fun. I think just because of Covid being in the house I feel like going to another place too. There’s also a few restaurants in Paris I really want to visit

Posted by
2213 posts

Having been to Paris 3-4 times, I think that you should get to there on your honeymoon. And, yes, there are a few restaurants and bars and museums that are really cool. Our favorite activity was to find a restaurant district at 5 PM and go from one to another looking at the menu. Isn't the song "April in Paris"? I'd stay in Paris for 6 days. You can do a day trip to Chartres to see the great Notre dame du Chartres. I'd actually do a night there, because they do the "son et lumiare" where they project pictures on buildings. There are 3-4 great churches, the Louvre, Versailles, etc etc etc. i get goose-bumps just thinking of it.

Posted by
2213 posts

April in Paris
Lyrics
I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
I never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
Holiday tables under the trees
April in Paris, this is a feeling
That no one can ever reprise
I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
I never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris
Whom can I run to
What have you done to my heart

Posted by
5221 posts

Sorry Paul, no son et lumiere in April. But it's a nice thought.