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6 days in Spain

Hello,

Looking for thoughts on where to go and what to do in Spain for 6.5 days in early June. We will be landing in Madrid on a Sunday morning, and then need to be in Malaga by the following Saturday morning. We enjoy being outdoors walking around experiencing the culture, eating good food & learning about the country we are in. We may do a few museums, but not all day affairs.

I am looking for itinerary suggestions for what cities to visit. We were not planning on renting a car, but will take others advice on this. We were thinking of getting around via walking, bus, train or plane.....

Note, we will be seeing Seville & Gibraltar the next week

Posted by
2145 posts

I would immediately go to Cordoba when arriving to Spain, spend 1-2 days, then go to Granada and stay 2-3 days. If you have the time and inclination, you could go to the white village area. Ronda wasn't my favorite, but it is many people's favorite and it is lovely. I believe there is an easy connection to Malaga from Ronda. I have not been to Malaga so I can't say for sure.

Posted by
3855 posts

Start by being honest with yourself...

Looking for thoughts on where to go and what to do in Spain for 6.5 days in early June. We will be landing in Madrid on a Sunday morning, and then need to be in Malaga by the following Saturday morning

How exactly is that 6.5 days (or even 6)?

Get out your fingers...Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. How many days do we really have?

So...with five usable days (maybe 4, depending on where you are when you head to Malaga and how long it'll take to get there), where to go, excluding Seville & Gibraltar? That last bit complicates things, since there's great stuff in the general vicinity of Seville...presumably you don't want to double back there and cover that terrain twice.

A more basic question: have you ever been to Spain before, and if yes, where?

Posted by
12036 posts

That sounds about right for Granada and Cordoba.

Madrid-Cordoba: 2 hours
Cordoba-Granada: about 2:20
Granada-Malaga: about 2:20

Trips in and out of Granada will probably require a combination of train and bus because they are still finishing up work on the rail lines near Granada. The transfer is seamless; you just buy a ticket from Renfe or other supplier of train tickets. Do not use RailEurope; you will probably pay far too much if you get tickets from that source.

Another option would be to spend some time in Madrid (visually not as interesting a city as Coroba, Granada and Seville, but with great art museums and some other things to keep you busy). Toledo, just to south on a spur rail line connected only to Madrid, is very interesting and is worth a 2- or 3-night stay itself.

If you include Granada in your itinerary, you'll need to stay on top of the ticketing situation at the Alhambra. Tickets for April are now on sale. Ticket-release policies can change at a moment's notice, but I would guess June tickets will go on sale at the beginning of March. I'd check weekly in early February to be sure they are not yet available, then be ready to pounce on March 1. Alhambra tickets often sell out far in advance.

Posted by
18 posts

We have also received other pieces of advice outside this forum.
A. 2 nights in Madrid, 2 nights in Cordoba & 2 nights in Grenada
B. 1 night in Segovia, 1 night in Madrid, 2 nights in Barcelona, night train to Grenada & 1 night in Grenada
C. 1 night in Segovia or Toledo, 2 nights in Madrid, & 2 nights in Grenada

B sounds very busy, but was told that Barcelona was worth it.

Posted by
12036 posts

Of those options I definitely prefer A.

I adore Barcelona but would absolutely not travel there for two nights. Your first (partial) day will only be a very few hours, and you will very likely be sleep-deprived and jetlagged. Your second day there (your only full day) you might still be operating on about 3 cylinders. Barcelona is more a 5+ night kind of place. It has a lot of sights you need to pre-purchase tickets for, guessing how much of a gap to leave between visits. It's a very difficult city for those attempting blitz trips. Please leave it for your next trip. There are also really good day-trips from Barcelona. Catalunya makes a very nice destination all by itself. With a bit more time, Catalunya and the Basque Country can be great.

Your arrival day may well find you fuzzy-brained. Going somewhere for just that first night (Option C) will probably be a waste of energy. Toledo and Segovia are both very worthwhile, but that initial one-night stay is too much effort for very, very little benefit. If you want to see Madrid, spend the three nights there and make a day-trip to Toledo (closer) or Segovia after you've recovered from your jetlag. Of forget Madrid as a place to sleep and go straight to Toledo for at least two nights.

Posted by
307 posts

Option B is very busy, and with so few days I would save Barcelona for a future trip. There is lots to see and do that way but it is much further than the rest of your desired destinations. Don't let a fast pace and a desire to see as much as possible defeat your plans to experience the culture. Prioritize what is really important to you and tell yourself that there will be future trips where you can continue to explore and learn.

Public transportation is easy to use in Spain. Trains and busses have very convenient, frequent service. What is your total time for Spain?

I like Madrid. You could spend your whole week using Madrid as a base, combining key sites in Madrid with daytrips of your choice. Daytrip possibilities include Segovia, Ávila, Toledo, Aranjuez, la Granja de San Ildefonso, Alcalá de Henares, Cuenca, etc. You would have to do your research to see what appeals to your interests.

Since you already have plans to visit Sevilla after Málaga, and if Madrid does not appeal to you, then consider Córdoba and Granada. I would try to visit Córdoba either on route to Granada or in combination with your Sevilla visit, depending on how many days you have there. I, personally, would skip Gibraltar and dedicate that time to Spain. If you do decide to go to Gibraltar look carefully at your public transportation options and get advice about that. They may be more limited.

Posted by
2145 posts

I guess I would ask myself what the objective is for Madrid. If it is for museums, great. If its to do day trips, I'd much rather experience cities for a full day including the quieter late afternoon evening and the quiet morning. If you are using Madrid to go to other places I'd rather go and stay at Toledo, etc. If something is an hour train ride, thats two hours a day on a train versus trying to make a loop of cities. I pack very lightly so I have little difficulty moving from city to city. At this point in my life, my travel days are still limited. I am very adverse to "backtracking". I will say that I have been to Segovia on a daytrip, liked it very much and would feel no need for an overnight. This is opposite what many on the forum think, so I think you take in the information and decide what is best for your personality and travel plans. There is no right or wrong in any of this. Well, if a trip is a bunch of one day stays in fabulous cities with much to offer, I'd say that's wrong. ;)
I think your "B" is very busy with long travel distances with limited "reward". If I go clear across the country, I'd want to stay long enough to make it feel worth while.
I still think a great plan would be to go to COrdoba on arrival and then to Granada. This way you are making your way to where you want to be after your 6.5 days.

Posted by
18 posts

Our goal in Madrid is to have a day to decompress from the flight, see some of the Plazas, the market, and a few other sites. In other words is to get a taste of the city. We have been told that Segovia/Toledo were great day trips that we could do from a base in Madrid for a day trip or stay. If it is better to use one of these towns as a base and hit Madrid for a day, we could be up for that.

Posted by
11839 posts

Are you taking a cruise from Malaga? If so, you will be short-changing Sevilla with a day trip from a port stop.

Posted by
2145 posts

Thats not much time for Sevilla. If your cruise doesn't include an Alcazar tour, I strongly suggest purchasing the tickets in advance. The cathedral will also be very busy. I don't know if the sell advance tickets, but a trick is to go to the Church of the Savior to buy tickets. Cathedral tickets do include the Church of the Savior, and the lines are always shorter at Church of the Savior. You could even get there a bit before opening to be at the front of the line

Posted by
18 posts

Going straight to Toledo or Segovia for two nights once we get there sounds appealing. Any thoughts on doing that?

Posted by
2145 posts

Straight to Segovia or Toledo upon arrival is completely doable. I really liked Segovia, but with two days, I think I'd go to Toledo. Either city is just a short train ride. Segovia is an hour from Madrid's Chamartin station and Toledo is a half hour from Madrid's Atocha. There are a few ways to get to those train stations from the airport. I've only used the cercainias train, which ends up being "free" with the tickets to Segovia or Toledo. There is also a bus. I bought my tickets at the RENFRE station at the airport. The staff person was friendly, helpful and spoke English.

Posted by
18 posts

Are there any parts of either town that you would recommend staying for 2 nights.

Posted by
2145 posts

In Toledo, I for sure would want to stay in the old town area. If you want to be where there is more action, stay around Plaza Zocodover. We stayed in a quiet area just south of the cathedral. FYI, the old town of Toledo is up on a hill and even then there is a lot of uphill and downhill walking. Our inn was very comfortable and clean, but quite modest. Hotel Santa Isabel. They have a roof top deck with pretty great views. I didn't stay overnight in Segovia. I suppose some stay close to the aqueduct and others close to the Plaza Mayor. If you plan to do day trips from Segovia via train, the train station was about a 20 minute ride (I think) from the old town. There is a bus between the aqueduct and the train station.

Posted by
18 posts

We have had a change in itinerary, and need new thoughts. Our cruise now will be first and end in Malaga, where we will have 6.5 days to spend in Spain, before needing to be in Lisbon. FYI...We will be cruising up the river to Sevilla, and spending 1 day there. We are now looking for your thoughts on how and where to spend our time in Spain