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1 week in Spain, mid- to late-June

Hello, hoping for some advice/suggestions for one week in Spain. This will be part of a 15 day trip, which will also include ~1 week in Florence/the hills of Tuscany. I am a woman in my upper 20s and will be traveling with my ~50 year old mother, in mid- to late-June. I am willing to drive if needed. We are both vegetarian (no meat, poultry, fish) and we love to eat. My mother does not drink alcohol (I do, but any wine-centered day-trips will be of little interest to her). This will be my mother's first trip to Europe, and my second.

Currently, I am debating between:
- Barcelona and Madrid with a possible Toledo daytrip
- Grenada/Sevilla (and possibly Madrid/Toledo)
...or another combination.

My ideal trip would include Barcelona, Grenada, and Sevilla, but from reading through other forum posts, it seems that this would be way too much for one week.

Though my mother and I would both enjoy Madrid's museums, I feel that Barcelona or Andalucia would provide more memorable cultural experiences. I spent three days in Barcelona a few years ago with some of my friends and I LOVED it.. but I am also intrigued my the Moorish history of Andalucia. Regardless of where I go during this trip, I plan to return to Spain (as much as I can :) ) in the future.

However, I am not sure if/when my mother will ever return to Spain (will probably visit other parts of Europe before returning to Spain, but who knows, maybe she will fall in love with it like I did!)... so I want to show her the best experience possible!

I suppose this is a difficult thing to provide advice on, but any input is welcome! Thank you in advance :)

Posted by
4535 posts

You are right to limit it to one or the other with only a week. That said, there will be no right or wrong answer as both options are amazing.

I will suggest Barcelona and Madrid, for the main reason that they are both easy to access from Italy. You could fly into Barcelona, spend a few days, then take the AVE to Madrid and spend a few days. Then fly wherever you are off to next. (Use multi-city flight options for the best deals). You won't have much time in either place but will get the highlights. And as you say, you'll enjoy the museums in Madrid (which are fantastic). I'm not sure you'll have time for a daytrip to Toledo, but it would be worth it if possible to get you some of your Moorish fix (be sure to see the Jewish synagogues - built by Moorish craftsmen, and the little Moorish Mosque - later converted to a church).

Posted by
16893 posts

I agree with Douglas' logic. RyanAir does fly from Bologna to Sevilla at 6:30 a.m. but that doesn't sound attractive; see for budget flights.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you both for the advice! Looks like the flight availability was indeed much better for Barcelona/Madrid, so that is where we shall go! :)