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Greece or Spain

I am looking to schedule a trip with my sister for 7-10 days in early to mid October. We are trying to decide between Greece and Spain. We don't want to rent a car and are very comfortable with public transportation. We are both in our upper 40's and don't have any physical limitations. What are some things we should consider in our decision? Would love to hear about personal experiences in either of those countries at that time of year.

Posted by
27409 posts

For me 7 to 10 days would be awfully short for Greece. The flight there is longer, and most folks want to include both Athens and an island or two, if not also some of the classical sights on the mainland. Options for moving rapidly between those locations are not numerous, so I think you'd end up with a trip heavy on the transportation time and light on the sightseeing.

Now, Spain is a very large country with great cities scattered all over, so you can't see Spain in 7 to 10 days. You can pick one or two cities and have a great trip. I'd argue strenuously for 10 days and suggest something like this:

  • Barcelona-Zaragoza-Madrid
  • Barcelona-Madrid with a day trip or two from one of those cities
  • Seville-Cordoba-Granada (might need to fly into and out of Madrid)

There are lots of other great possibilities, but those above would be simpler logistically and require no time dealing with airports or ferries.

If you dislike hot weather and want to be reasonably certain you don't have really unpleasant weather to deal with, I'd avoid the Seville-Cordoba-Granada option because the first two cities could still be consistently hot in early October. You might encounter a hot day or two in Madrid or Zaragoza, but an unrelenting heat wave at that time of year would be very unlikely.

Posted by
1667 posts

I think early to mid October would be fine for Andalusia (Seville, Granada and Cordoba). We were there in mid September to very early October. All of our destinations were in the 80's except for Seville which was in the low 90's. Still manageable. I suppose November would be even cooler but October is certainly better than the summer months for Andalusia.

And 10 nights would be a decent amount of time. For example, spend 4 nights in Seville, 2 or 3 nights in Granada, and 2 or 3 nights in Cordoba. Check to see if you can get flights in and out of Seville. Or open-jaw: fly into Madrid and home from Seville. If you fly in or out of Madrid, spend a night or two in Madrid.

Greece would work, too, but would probably include more traveling, especially if you want to visit an island or two. One possible itinerary would be fly into Santorini for 3 nights, take the Blue Star Ferry to Naxos for 4 nights, and then spend 3 nights in Athens. I would suggest spending 5 or 6 nights on the Peloponnese Peninsula combined with 4 nights in Athens. However, you would enjoy Nafplio and the Peloponnese better if you have a rental car, which you state you don't want to do. I know there is a bus that takes you from the Athens airport to Nafplio but I don't know how convenient it would be to sightsee without a rental car.

I have been to both countries twice, and I love both countries. I think you should make your decision based on the amount of traveling around you want to do.

Posted by
11368 posts

We had a car in Napflion but saw ads for tours of nearby antiquities.Ae have been to Andalusia twice in early November and the weather was perfect, sunny, warm but not hot!