My husband and I are planning our first trip to Spain together for early Nov for 11 nights. Given that we work full-time in the US, our vacation time and opportunities to visit Europe are limited, so we tend to try to cover as much ground as possible on our trips with the expectation that it's a once in a lifetime visit. For this trip, we'd like to plan one "must-do" activity per day and then see where else the day takes us and what we feel like.
I hate the hassle of changing hotels and repacking suitcases, so ideally, we'd like to minimize hotel changes and make day trips from a few bases. Given that we are traveling in November, it seems it would be easy to see the cities lit up at night before catching a late train back, but with the late dinner timing in Spain, we probably can't stay for a 9 pm dinner on a day trip. I know I see day trips seem to be discouraged on this forum, but I am not sure if it's really worth more overnight stops with our limited time? We like seeing historical sights (especially cathedrals and castles), architecture, natural scenery, and trying local food and drinks. My husband is also a big soccer fan. We aren't big art museum or organized tour people and prefer smaller towns to big cities. We love being able to use public transport in Europe instead of driving, but can consider a car for a day if worthwhile. It seems the white villages/Ronda would need a car, but again not sure it's worth the hassle with our limited timeframe when there is a lot that can be seen without a car.
Here's what I'm currently thinking for an itinerary, please let me know if you have other ideas! I could move a night from Sevilla to Granada if there's a good day trip from there I've missed.
Day 1- Arrive Granada aprox 1 pm via connecting flight from MAD (Mirador de San Nicolas if feeling up to it)
Day 2- Granada (see Cathedral)
Day 3- Granada (thinking it makes sense to save Alahambra for this day in case of jetlag??)
Day 4- Travel to Sevilla (trains are very limited, so considering a bus instead to arrive early afternoon if that's a good idea)
Day 5- Sevilla (see Alcazar)
Day 6- Cordoba day trip (see Mezquita)
Day 7- Sevilla (See Cathedral. Must be in Sevilla this evening for a soccer game)
Day 8- Cadiz day trip (Thinking this is the best opportunity for a day trip to see the coast in Spain via public transit. Is there a better option to see the ocean or for this day??)
Day 9- Train to Madrid (Plan to just walk around the city and just see the highlights for the afternoon and evening. Perhaps entry to one place like the palace. Madrid isn't a high priority, but offers the best flights for us.)
Day 10- Day trip from Madrid to Toledo (see Cathedral)
Day 11- Day trip from Madrid to Segovia (see Cathedral)
Day 12- Flight home from Madrid mid-day
I've scoured over countless posts on this forum and have found the insight so valuable! Thank you!