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Advice on September Trip to Spain

Hello Everyone,

Once a year I throw myself on your mercy for advice on a European trip! it has always been gracious and good.

Here is what we know as of now: Barcelona Sept 17, 18, 19, Granada Sept 20, 21 ,22, Seville Sept 23, 24, Sept 25, 26, 27 ????,
Sept 28,29,30 Lisbon, Portugal. We fly out of Madrid on Oct 2.

1st question - do we use all public transportation? Or do we rent a car part of the time? If so, what part makes the most sense?
2nd question - recommendations for Set 25, 26, 27 after leaving Seville
Thanks in advance.

Bill from Michigan

Posted by
7175 posts

This would be my option using trains, buses (or flying) ...
Sep 17 Barcelona
Sep 20 Granada
Sep 23 Sevilla
Sep 26 Lisbon
Sep 29 Madrid
Oct 2 Fly home

However, rental car from Sevilla would work
Sep 17 Barcelona
Sep 20 Granada
Sep 23 Sevilla
Sep 25 Pick up rental and drive to Faro
Sep 26 Drive to Lisbon for 3 nights (perhaps staying in Cascais)
Sep 29 Drive to Merida
Sep 30 Drive to Toledo and return rental
Oct 1 Madrid
Oct 2 Fly home

Posted by
65 posts

Hi David,
Thank you very much for your response! As a follow up, could you expand upon Faro, Cascais, and Merida? I looked them up and I can see that they would be on our general route. But I know nothing about any one of the three. For example, I saw that Cascais is about 20-30 west of Lisbon. would that be a smaller, easier town to stay in than Lisbon?

Any advice will be most appreciated.

BTY - I sure would like to go to Australia some time.


Posted by
326 posts

I love everything that was mentioned, but instead of Faro I would go to Lagos. Amazing beaches and scenery.
Cascais and Estroil (connected by a boardwalk) are an easy quick train ride from Lisbon. It's basically a day trip from Lisbon. Go to and type in Cascais and in another search Estroil and you will get more detailed information. Another day trip from Lisbon is Sintra.
Have a wonderful adventure!

Posted by
7175 posts

Merida is UNESCO listed ...

Cascais is a pretty beachside fishing village with easy train access to Lisbon, and close driving to Sintra.
My thinking was with a car it may be much easier than central Lisbon.

Faro was a convenient midpoint but others with more experience may offer better suggestions closeby.

Posted by
15477 posts

I would add at least a day to Barcelona, especially since it's your first stop (jetlag, long flight, etc). 2 days in Granada usually suffices, one for the Alhambra, one for the other main sights (which pale in comparison with sights at your other stops). That probably means 3 nights, because it takes so long to get to/from Granada. At least 3 nights in Seville. Try to fit in an overnight in Cordoba, maybe by going from Granada to Cordoba and then to Seville. If not allow an extra day in Seville for a day trip to Cordoba - the Mezquita is the best sight in Spain after the Alhambra. You don't need a car for any of this. Going from Barcelona to Granada is probably best by flying. There's no high-speed train service to Granada.

I haven't been to Portugal (yet, it's high on my list) but friends went this spring and did not like Lisbon, but loved Porto. I wanted to add Portugal to my big Andalusian trip, but the logistics were too difficult. Hopefully one or more of the good route planners will chime in with good ideas.

There are lots of ways to fill up whatever days are "left." With a car from Seville (for Portugal) you may need the extra time just to get to Portugal and then on to Madrid. If you fly to Lisbon from Seville you could spend more time exploring Portugal. Or rent a car in Granada, visit the pueblos blancos with at least one night in Ronda. There's a lot more to Andalusia than Seville - Jerez, Cadiz . . . by train or car.

Posted by
7175 posts

I would leave Portugal for another time perhaps.

Sep 17 Arrive Barcelona (4 nights)
Sep 21 Fly to Granada (2 nights) - check Vueling for cheap fares
Sep 23 Bus to Ronda (1 night)
Sep 24 Train to Sevilla (3 nights)
Sep 27 AVE Train to Cordoba (1 night)
Sep 28 AVE Train to Madrid (4 nights)
Oct 2 Fly home