I need to be in Barcelona for a business trip from Oct 10-14. I want to arrive several days prior to that to tour Spain and possibly Portugal. If I have a total of 10 days for the trip, what is the best itinerary? Should I skip Portugal and just do Spain?
First time to Spain?
What is your motivation for visiting Portugal?
Recommend you stick to Spain and consider the following options:
Fly open jaw into Seville, spend three nights then take AVE to Madrid and spend three nights then take AVE to Barcelona for remaining time.
Fly into Seville and spend four nights and take a day trip to Ronda. Then fly to Barcelona and spend remaining time and take some day trips.
October weather is terrific so you should have lots of opportunity to get out and explore.
First time to Spain as an adult. Was in Madrid at age 14. The motivation for Portugal was that my company was offering a pre-conference trip to Portugal that I was considering but it's only for 3 days and I wanted to plan at least a 10 day trip, including the conference. I like the idea of the "open Jaw" ticket (had to look it up!), traveling around Spain and skipping Portugal. Friends have a condo I can stay in while in Madrid. Would love to join a Rick Steve tour prior to arriving in Barcelona, but not sure there's one short enough for me to join in on. Thanks for the suggestions.
"Free condo" caught my attention.
You could fly into Madrid and use it as a base for five days. This would allow day trips via train/bus to several close destinations and provide opportunity to absorb the culture instead of just the buildings and museums. Recommend taking a tapas tour one evening (check trip advisor for recommendations or PM me), Toledo, picnic in Retireo Park, etc.
Then take AVE to Barcelona for remaining of trip. Continue to advocate renting apt in Barcelona via Airbnb.
Hi, Jan. There's plenty to see within Spain in that amount of time. Public transportation connections from Portugal to Spain are primarily limited to: flying, or night train from Lisbon to Madrid (no daytime train), or 7-hour bus from Lisbon to Seville (no through train). It does make sense to fly into your furthest point (whether that's Seville or Madrid) and work your way north to Barcelona. And it sure makes sense to take advantage of free accommodations in Madrid, with great museums and daytrip opportunities. You can get a taste of Rick's Spain sightseeing priorities under Spain - At a Glance.