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10 days in Spain starting in Madrid April 8th. Winging it.

Looking for some suggestions of the upcoming trip to Spain. My girlfriend and I are first timers in Europe. We have no itinerary and usually just wing it on other trips. We are renting a car. The only for sure destination is to Morocco for a day tour and Almeria to visit an old friend for 1 day. We will be there over Easter, so it should be interesting. Any thoughts would be well received.

Posted by
7124 posts

On arrival in Madrid get a train to Córdoba for 1 night to see the Mexquita.
Then by train to Sevilla for 2 nights. Pick up your hire car when you are leaving Sevilla.
Drive via Jerez or Arcos to Tarifa for 2 nights, giving you the full day in between for Tangier.
Drive to Malaga/Nerja for 1 night.
Drive to Granada for 1/2 night and book the Alhambra.
Drive to Almeria for 1/2 nights, returning the car.
Fly to Madrid for 1 night before your flight home.

Posted by
4551 posts

I don't know if, "winging it" is what you really want to do on this trip...Especially since you'll be traveling during, Semana Santa (Holy Week), during which you'll encounter large crowds and expensive accommodations (booked way in advance).

You may be interested in reading this recent thread about Tangier.

If you're considering visiting Granada, make sure you book your Alhambra tickets now.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
14210 posts

Priscilla is so right. I just took a peek at ticket sales for the Alhambra for April 12, and nearly all the morning tickets and most of the afternoon tickets are gone already. On the other hand, until you have a hotel reservation you can't be sure you'll be there. Malaga is often an option for a base to see the Alhambra as a day trip but Malaga during Semana Santa is even more crowded than Granada.

Posted by
17 posts

All good replies, and greatly appreciated. I intended to reserve the car ahead and a couple rooms along the wandering way. It sounds like i need to nail down a more solid plan as far as lodging. Sleeping in a car due to a lack of planning sounds terrible.

Posted by
2922 posts

I have to agree with the other comments, in this case you may want to have a somewhat more definitive plan. The main plaza in Almeria is nice as is its castle. The coastal town of Mojacar is nice as are a number of coastal towns. If you end up driving back to Madrid consider stopping in Cuenca. If you like castles, there are plenty between Madrid and Almeria, but you need a car to visit them.

Posted by
17 posts

A plan is starting to come together. Thank you to all who commented. We have also been told that Ronda is a must see, so we will spend time there for sure.

Posted by
14210 posts

Oh, right, you'll have a car. That will be a challenge in Andalucia. Aside from all the usual issues with driving in towns and finding parking, because of the processions some main streets will be completely closed to traffic for the week and others will be closed for hours at a time, maybe in the morning, maybe in the afternoon, maybe from 8 pm to 4 am.

Posted by
17870 posts

Traveling through Spain last summer via public transportation, I ended up in Toledo and Laguardia on local-festival days. They were fun, but even pedestrian movement was seriously affected. At one point I thought I was going to have to run with the bulls in Laguardia to get back to the bus stop. I can't imagine trying to move a car around an Andalucian city during the Easter period. I suggest consulting both your hotel and the local tourist office immediately upon arrival, to figure out what will be going on, and where, on days when you plan to use the car.

Posted by
162 posts

I have been in Spain in Semana Santa. My only suggestion is to AVOID Seville during that weekend! TWO MILLION people come to Seville for the festival, it is absolutely crazy!

I usually go without a lot of plans either, but during Semana Santa, you will want to make your reservations ahead. Definitely buy your Alhambra Tickets now, or you won't be able to get any. Yes, you can't DRIVE a car to Morocco! It is across the water! (although you can take a ferry). But you won't be able to take your rental from Spain to Morocco. You can do a day trip from Tarifa to Tangiers, and they sell tickets to that all over the place in Spain. It isn't expensive, it includes the bus to the ferry, the ferry, and a guide when you get there. You don't want to visit Tangiers without a guide. That city is a maze and you will miss a ton trying to wing that place. A day there is fine.

You didn't mention what your city of arrival was.

Posted by
17 posts

I guess I could have been more clear on the plans. We intend to take the ferry over to Morocco, and also go with a reputable tour. We are arriving in Madrid. We would like to avoid using a car while in Madrid, so I am thinking of following the advice of an earlier post and taking a train to Cordoba. We had planned on getting the car in Seville, but perhaps we need to find a better place to get a car. My gf is a catholic so I am sure that we will be attending quite a bit of the parades and ceremonies. Thank you for the reply and keep em coming.

Posted by
162 posts

Forget a car in Seville during Semana Santa. You won't be able to move or park. Take a train to Seville and plan on using the bus or local train. Make sure you have a place to stay already booked or you will be up a creek!

You can do Morocco in a day trip. Everyone here sells day trips to Tangiers for around $79 Euros which includes transportation, the ferry and a guide. A day in Tangiers is plenty.

Posted by
67 posts

Donk! My husband and I will also be in the area April 2-17 - travel starts in Madrid, then we circle down through Andalucia and are including a Tangier trip - we end the trip in Madrid to fly home. We found that the pricing on hotels/airBnB were greatly increasing as we got closer to the trip time, so we booked everything in advance. Train tickets will sell out fast due to the holiday as well. This is our first time in Spain, but so many of the kind folks here on the forum have been SUPER helpful!

Where are you travelling from?