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Trip Ideas

I have a flight booked to Madrid arriving 16 October and departing 23 October.

My original plan was to fly on to North Africa and only spend 2 nights in Madrid before going home. But now, for personal reasons, I will not be going to North Africa and I'm looking for ideas on how best to use the time in Spain (where I have never been).

I'm thinking of adding Barcelona and Toledo (based on the recommendations for s one week visit to Spain on this site).

I would appreciate specific suggestions about cities/towns to visit, travel logistics, etc. I am especially interested in the local food scene, history, and out of the way places and sites.

Ideas???

Thanks.

Steve

Posted by
1178 posts

Toledo 25 minutes from Madrid's Atocha Station...Most historical site in Spain in my estimation...Romans, Jews, Moors, Christians,all building on top of each other. At last one day, preferably over night...Posada de Manolo Hostal is excellent...adjacent to the Cathederal.

Salamanca...about 1 and 1/2 hours I think via train from Charmartin Station...university town and great features...Over night if possible.

Segovia .. Train or Bus, 1/2 hour from Madrid...Isabella the Catholic became queen of Spain there...be sure to see the Alcazar.

El Pardo On the outskirts of Madrid...the castles of Franco...Will give an insight into his life. Not on all the tourist maps.

The Prado (not the El Pardo) Museum in Madrid...fabulous gallery.

Posted by
22986 posts

I would argue that the Alhambra is the most historical site. It is the most popular site in Spain for the locals and tourists. Toledo as the old capitol of Spain prior to moving to Madrid is also significant. You can certainly use Madrid as your base and do the day trips suggested above. If you want the Moorish influence then you need to move further south starting with Cordoba. The Moors never got to Toledo. On a tight, ten day schedule we did Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, and home from Malaga. That is too much for your seven day schedule but consider Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, and back to Madrid. That would be easy via train.

Posted by
1495 posts

Traveling by yourself?
Flying back out of Madrid?
Hmmmm....
Age? And interests?
Barcelona is a two hourish wonderful AVE train ride from madrid with a great mix of things to do which could consume the remainder of your journey after spending two nights in madrid.
Seville is a two hourish wonderful train ride from madrid which could take two nights and then you are a bus/train ride to granada.
Let us know some more info and we can provide better guidance.
Btw... Train and bus transport is comfortable and convenient.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks to everyone so far....keep the ideas coming.

In answer to question about my particulars: I'm am a young and fit 65 year old guy traveling solo. I fly into Madrid arriving on 16 Oct. and depart Madrid 23 Oct. I am wide open in between those dates and would be grateful for any and all suggestions. I had booked a flight to Morocco on an Iberia flight that I will not use and I don't think I can get a refund. But I probably can change the destination (for example fly to Barcelona then back to Madrid). I like history, food and wine, watching the locals, out of the way nooks and crannies, and did I mention food & wine? Design a trip for me!!

Thanks again.

Steve

Posted by
513 posts

Steve,

I would not recommend flying between Madrid and Barcelona, I would take the train. It will only be 2 1/2 hours on the AVE from city center to city center. That is most likely a total trip time saver over flying. As far as day trips are concerned Madrid has three or four excellent places to tour: Toledo, Segovia, Avila, or El Escorial. Likewise there are several great day trips from Barcelona: Tarragona, Girona, Sitges, etc.
I will be in Spain durring some of your time their (6 to 23 October) and I plan on taking a day trip to Valencia from Madrid.