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Spain and Portugal

We would like to plan for an Europe tour this summer(July/august). We are thinking Spain and Portugal for 10-12 days. I would love some recommendations about location we should focus on. We have 2 boys with us 6 &8 yrs.

Posted by
6113 posts

You have posted this in the reviews section, so you will get more responses if you put it in the general Europe section of the Destinations Q & A section.

More information about what you are interested in will get you more meaningful answers. Is that a total trip of 10-12 days or in each country? Spain and Portugal aren’t as easy to combine as you may think if using public transport. If the total trip length is 10-12 days, I suggest that you opt for just one country. There is plenty to see in both countries.

Are you happy with high temperatures? Are you going to rent a car? What style of holiday do you want - one or two bases or moving frequently? Cities, beaches or rural countryside?

You are travelling in peak summer season, so your choice of accommodation is going to be limited in some places.

Are your flights booked?

Posted by
2267 posts

I'd edit that itinerary by a country. 10-12 days is barely enough for a quick survey of Portugal. It could serve for one region or two cities (with a few day/side trips).

Certainly not enough time to get anything out of trying to cross borders.

Posted by
1294 posts

I have never read a request for itinerary help where somewhere did not say "cut and slow down". (And I don't always agree) However, in this case, I agree with Scudder. You would probably be better to pick one country. If that country is Spain, pick one or two areas of Spain. We took a 17 day trip to Spain in April-14 full days on the ground, 3 days getting there and back. We spent almost all our time in Andalusia (half day in Consuegra, one day in Toledo, and one day in Madrid were the exceptions). When we started planning, we thought we would see much more of Spain. But it is a larger country than our inexperienced minds thought. (While we have had 12 trips to Europe, this was our first time to Spain)

Which brings me to my overall itinerary advice: How do you travel here in the United States?

Do you prefer visiting cites, lots of museum and churches, or do you prefer country side with scenery and smaller attractions? We usually spend most of our time enjoying the quieter countryside with short trips into cities. On our first trip to Europe, we tried to see all the museums, churches and castles, etc. We burned out quickly. On our Spain trip, we visited the Cathedral in Seville, the Alhambra in Grenada, and the palace in Madrid. We also spent 4 days doing 5 hikes (our passion) and visited the Rock of Gibraltar and the horse exhibition in Jerez. That left some time to walk through cities and towns we were staying in, walks on the beach in Cadizl, etc. That is a reflection of what we enjoy when we travel and would not work for many others.

I have not been to Portugal. If you were to choose Spain, I would recommend you focus on either Northern Spain or Southern Spain .If it were me, I would visit Northern Spain. It has both beaches and mountains which is wonderful in July/August. Southern Spain is quite hot that time of year (which is why everyone is at the beach). Barcelona, Pyrenees, Basque region..I could easily fill 2 weeks in Northern Spain.

Posted by
65 posts

Thank you everyone. We will fly from USA. After reading the suggestions we are considering to stay in Spain only and in northern Spain. We like country side or small town, culture, architecture, little bit of beach time for the boys(6&8 yrs).
Any refined recommendations?