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Best route to travel from Barcelona to later segue to Portugal

Hi all
I posted on the Portugal forum as well as my query encompasses both countries.
Leaving Barcelona 8 June after a week there (3 days are at the Catalunya MotoGP).
Flying back to Australia 16 July from Casablanca.
Need to sort an itinerary for post Barcelona travel in Spain for a minimum of 14 days before heading to Portugal, then onto Morocco by approx 5 July. We can allocate time as we wish at this time as only international flights booked, so could have more Spain days and Portugal less.
Confused about route that will ease transition to Portugal. Know that time is limited and must focus on a region, so looking to enjoy the history of Andulusia and drop into Madrid.
Should we make our way to Portugal first then back to Spain for our sojourn -finishing where we could then go to a port to catch a ferry to Morocco OR just fly from Lisbon to Morocco after remaining in Spain after leaving Barcelona and then travelling into Portugal ? Plus best way to go from Spain to Portugal?
If advice is out there, please share
Many thanks in anticipation

Posted by
16766 posts

I'm extremely confused about your timing. You appear to have only 8 days between the time you leave Barcelona and your flight home. Is there perhaps a typo on one of your dates? Because of that, these are general comments:

Andalucía is fascinating, but it is likely to be deathly hot in mid-summer. I recommend taking a look at actual, day-by-day, historical weather conditions in Seville (probably your hottest destination in Spain) on the website timeanddate.com. Check at least the last 3 years; 5 would be better.

The key destinations in Andalucía are Seville, Cordoba and Granada. There are many other worthwhile stops if you have time for them. You'll need a guidebook to make your selection and decide which sights in each city are most important to you.

I realize that if you're flying home from Morocco, Casablanca makes sense, but neither Casablanca nor Tangier (the most common ferry port) are where you want to spend your Moroccan time. Two very popular destinations are Fes and Marrakech, but there are many others--again, time permitting. However, it will likely be very hot in Fes and scorching in Marrakech. Furthermore, it takes some time to visit those two cities. If you are contemplating a quick trip to Morocco (2 or 3 days), I'd say it's not really worth it.

At the time of year you're dealing with, I'd recommend spending a good bit of the time (assuming you have a lot of it) in northern Spain and Portugal, where the weather is likely to be much, much more temperate.

Ground transportation between Spain and Portugal is shockingly limited. There's a night train between Madrid and Lisbon (sleep not guaranteed; it's an individual thing). There are a few trains and buses crossing the border north of Porto in the direction of Santiago de Compostela. There are buses between Faro and Seville. A lot of people find it works best to fly.

Come back when you've got your plans firmed up so we can tell you about sights you will need to pre-book in Barcelona, Seville and Granada.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you so much. Leaving Barcelona 8 June.
Was hoping that temperatures would be okay. We are very used to hot conditions. Our travel time needed to fit our availability and we will manage.
We are planning a minimum 12 days in Morocco with a 7 night private tour looping around a number of sights then coastal stay before our long flight home. Have looked at this plan the most as wanted to see how much time it would take to fit with our flight out.
We have approx 28 days to travel after Barcelona to see some of both Spain & Portugal before Morocco. I will proceed to a draft itinerary now that I have more of a feel for best options to travel to various regions, which may include flying more than I thought may be required, but that is not a problem. This was my main issue and is much clearer now.
I hope to stay with the plan for Andalucia.
Kind Regards

Posted by
16766 posts

That's great! I'm glad you have a good amount of time for Morocco. It's really fascinating, but hot in most of the places tourists go.

I'd be concerned about the lengthy amount of time you'll be spending in such hot weather. Barcelona should be more moderate, temperature-wise, but it can be fairly humid, so it may not be much of a break for you. I made the mistake of traveling to Sicily and then Puglia during June and early July 2015. I believe those areas aren't, on average, quite as hot as southern Spain and Morocco. The experience was utterly draining. But you've traveled through hot areas before, so I guess you'll be at least mentally prepared. Northern Spain is really nice, though.

Posted by
13930 posts

First please use the edit function to correct the dates in your original post and the info you later posted about enduring the heat and length of time in Andalucia/Portugal. I almost skipped the thread after reading the first few lines. It also means that respondents can see all the details without going back and forth for the critical info in your second post.

Now to your itinerary. Fly from Spain to Portugal and from Portugal to Morocco. Taking a ferry will eat up way too much time. It looks like the only ferries are Algeciras – Ceuta and Tarifa-Tangiers. You don't want to spend time in any of those places and it's a long journey to get to/from ferry ports to where you really want to spend your time. I'd start planning 2 weeks in Andalucia/Madrid and 2 weeks in Portugal. Then as you do your research, tweak it for what is more (or less) enticing. You will have to pick and choose carefully anyway - 2 weeks in either place is not enough :-) Use timeanddate.com (past weather link) to see daily conditions in a given city for June or July for the past 10 years. That will give you some idea of what to expect and you can judge what is best for you. Temps will be higher in Spain, but it's low humidity, while Portugal, on the Atlantic coast, should be less hot but maybe muggy. Everywhere I've been in Spain, I've been served drinks with huge ice cubes in February. Something to look forward to :-)

If you stick to the cities in Spain, the train is the best way to get around. From Barcelona you could go to Toledo via Madrid (but skip Madrid unless you want to spend a couple days at the wonderful art museums). Then Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla. Cordoba and Toledo are my favorite places, Granada needs at least 2 nights for a full day at the Alhambra, add another for the rest of the main sights. Check bus schedules to/from Granada, sometimes the schedule is more convenient than the train, both are comfortable and take about the same amount of time. Fly from Sevilla to Porto. I'll look for your post on the Portugal forum.