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Itinerary review before and after RS tour

Hi, my husband and I (both seniors-enjoy people, sights, natural landscapes, food/wine) will be taking RS Portugal tour, starting May 10 and need your help in checking our itinerary for pre/post days of tour. We are hoping to use public transportation, but not opposed to renting a car if necessary.
Day 1:leave Miami, Day 2:arrive Lisbon, Day 3:day trip by train to Sintra- Lisbon hotel,Day 4: train to Lagos stay 2 nights,Day 5:lagos, Day 6:train to Lisbon - 4 nights, Day 7 – Day 18 (tour starts Lisbon-ends Porto),Day18:tour ends in Porto;fly to Madrid 2 nights), Day 19:day trip by train to Toledo, Day 20: train to Seville- (2 nights), Day 21:Seville, Day 22: train back to Madrid,Day 23: return to MIA.

Posted by
14003 posts

What time do you land in Madrid? Why stay in Madrid twice?

Day 18: fly to Madrid, train to Sevilla (2N)
Day 20: train to Toledo (change in Madrid) (1N)
Day 21: train to Madrid

Toledo is much better as an overnight than a day trip. If you don't want 2 days in Madrid, spend another night in Sevilla and take a day trip to Cordoba.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you Chani. As of now, we arrive in Madrid 10:30 pm. I will look into seeing if I can change my flight from Porto. The only time as of now that we will be spending in Madrid is probably after we return from Seville and the day of our flight home at 4PM. I'm hoping that is enough time to visit the Prado from 6-8pm and/or the Reina Sofia from 7-9 pm. Should I post this also in the Spain forum? Additionally, I do have transportation questions. I understand it is important to book ahead our train tickets to Toledo, however, do I need to book my train tics to Seville? Should we take the bus to Lagos from Lisbon instead of the train?
I look forward to your response.

Posted by
14003 posts

Okay, you're stuck in Madrid overnight on Day 18. So how much do you really want to see the paintings? I ask because you didn't mention art as a priority in your original query. Please don't feel obligated. I had plenty of time in Madrid (twice) and enjoyed spending hours at the Prado (twice) - which is huge, really huge. I'm not a big fan of modern, so I didn't visit. I especially like Impressionism, so I visited the Thyssen twice too. But there are other worthy sights. Rick ranks the Palace as 3rd in Europe, after Versailles and the Schonbrunn. The Naval Museum (a long block or so from the Prado) is very interesting (think Columbus, Balboa), and graze your way through the San Miguel market's myriad stalls of tapas and drinks.

Day 18: Sunday fly to Madrid (2N)
Day 19: Monday Madrid sightseeing (watch for closures or limited hours)
Day 20: morning train to Cordoba for sightseeing, evening train to Sevilla (2N)
Day 21: Sevilla
Day 22: train to Toledo (1N), via Atocha
Day 23: Friday train to Atocha, cercanias to Barajas Airport

That gives you a full day in Madrid for whatever you want to see and do there. If you decide to skip Madrid, you could add a night to Sevilla or Toledo.
There is luggage storage at the Cordoba bus station across the street from the train station. That makes it easy to spend the day. The Mezquita is a must-see, IMO.
With a 4 p.m. flight home, you can easily spend the morning in Toledo and go to the airport without having to spend another night in Madrid.

The trains between Madrid and Toledo are used by commuters living in Toledo and tourists day-tripping from Madrid, so the trains often sell out, especially in the mornings and late afternoons. That's why you have to buy tickets in advance. You could do that when you get to Madrid. The platforms for the Toledo trains are somewhat far from the cercanias (suburban train) to the airport and the AVE trains to Sevilla/Cordoba so allow at least 15 minutes for transfers. There are 3 cercanias trains an hour to the airport and the ride is about 1/2 hour. For a 4.00 pm flight, plan to get to the airport between 1.30-2.00, enough time for a lazy morning and some last-minute sight-seeing or souvenir shopping in Toledo.

This is the best article on using the Spanish rail site. I haven't been to Portugal (yet), so I can't help there.