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Help with itinerary

We plan to visit Spain in June 2015. We have two weeks and are not sure if we want to do only Barcelona and Madrid or take the train to Granada and Sevilla as well. Wondering about the heat in late June in the South of Spain. We want to relax, not travel the entire trip. Also-would Valencia be a good addition to a Madrid- Barcelona experience? Our interests are hiking, biking, people watching, eating and water. Probably wont spend a lot of time in museums.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We would like to visit quaint small towns too.
Thank you!

Posted by
6919 posts

Our 2 trips to Spain (each a couple of weeks) have been focused on "northern" one trip and "southern" on the other. Spain's big, and with only 2 weeks, covering a lot of ground means maybe not enough time in any given place. We visited both Madrid and Barcelona this last trip, but could've spent more time in each. Both have great museums, but if that's not your cup of tea, there's still a lot to see and do. Barcelona is by the ocean of course, so it offers more water than Madrid.

Some of my hottest days on earth were in Sevilla and Granada in June 2002. I still liked them both, and the Alhambra in Granada, is one GREAT former palace and worth a visit! Valencia has great oranges but I haven't been there lately, and Rick Steves doesn't provide any insight in his guidebooks. As far south as Valencia is, I might not consider it for a 2-week trip that also includes Madrid and/or Barcelona, unless I had a specific reason to be in Valencia during that time. You'll enjoy wherever in Spain you go!

Posted by
20 posts

My family of 5 is also going to spend 2 weeks in Spain next month.
My itinerary is 4 nights Madrid, train to Seville (3 nights in apartment), train to Cordoba (1night), train to Granada (3nights),
then bus (2.5hrs) to Nerja in Costa del Sol for beach and relaxation before high speed train back to Madrid for flight home.
I know that we will be missing Barcelona (everyone seems to LOVE this city), but will have to go next time.
I didnt want to cram everything in too much and as it stands, I hope my trip is not going to feel like it's too much time in transit.
We do not plan on renting a car (too scary for me) and instead will rely on high speed AVE train between cities and bus ride from Granada
to Nerja.
Our last night will be in Madrid before our morning flight back to USA.

Good luck on your plans.

Posted by
16893 posts

I would include Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Sevilla in a 2-week stay. None of those is a small town, but they have very different atmospheres and architecture. Average high temp for the end of this June in Madrid are predicted in the high 80's and in Sevilla in the low 90's - only a few degrees different.

Posted by
1495 posts

Suggest purchase of open jaw airfare to assist w logistics to max your time. Open jaw allows you to fly into one airport and out of another.
Does two weeks include your travel time to from usa?

My recommendation is (due to individual taste):

Fly to barcelona, rent an apt (saves money, more space and a kitchen) and stay four days. There is a huge menu of opportunity including beach, montserrat (hiking), great parks for picnics and people watching and you might even choose to visit some of the well known tourist sites. Subway is fantastic and bike rental on the streets at your fingertips.

Now for the next two destinations keep in mind the potential of hot, hot hot is rising (pun intended) so you should slow down and beat the heat by being Spaniard and taking siestas. The good news is you can also stay up late like the spanish and make up for siesta time. Stay well hydrated.

Fly to Granada and spend four days, also rent an apt (make sure it has an a/c). Alhambra is the ultimate mixture of walking amidst fascinating history. The sierra nevada mountains are at your doorstep and offer excellent hiking and mountain biking experiences. An hour away is nerja offering a beach experience. The point is for the items you listed and the relaxed style of travel you mentioned Granada offers alot. Sit down order a drink and get a free tapa then watch humanity flow by. If you were going this year i would say keep an eye out for our daughter as she is spending the summer in granada.

From granada i would take the bus/train to seville and spend the rest of your trip there. Again do the apt thing. From seville you can take a day trip to ronda which offers great hiking into a deep gorge filled w history. You can also daytrip to cordoba via train and there is ample to do in seville.

Fly home from seville.

Sacrilege! I did not recommend madrid or toledo or .........

To me Madrid is more about visiting museums amdist a small old tourist town (trust me I am going to be abused for making that statement (fire away Nancy in Bloomington ;). ) and madrid is the third largest city in europe. Again, using the info you provided, I have provided an itinerary covering a large geographical area of spain and providing three distinct flavors of spain. Plus this is a trip designed to minimize travel stress and max enjoyment as you defined it.

Okay, time for me to get out the kevlar...... Is there a Retired Marine ready ro come to my defense?

Posted by
3 posts

i am going to barcelona on July 17th-july 27th and would love to see a bullfight in sevilla--how far away is that and how do i get there? I am new to traveling so this is foreign to me--can i do a trip in a day and get back to barcelona that night?

Posted by
4104 posts

Have to agree w/Marbleskies...
For flights from Barcelona-Granada look @