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help with itinerary

I am ready to book my very first Spain vacation. This is a full one-month plan.

My first option is
Sfo --> Barcelona --> Cordoba --> Seville --> Granada --> Madrid --> SFO

Second option
Sfo --> Madrid --> Toledo --> Cordoba --> Seville --> Granada --> Barcelona--> SFO

Third Option (reverse of the second option)
Sfo --> Barcelona --> Granada --> Seville --> Cordoba --> Toledo --> Madrid --> SFO

The issue with option A is there is no direct connection between Barcelona and Cordoba. There is train change involved which I would like to avoid if I can.

Is there a good connection between Granada and Barcelona? travel via Train or plane? any suggestions on this sequence?

Any feedback on Iberia airlines? I am finding direct flights to Madrid and Barcelona from SFO on this airline.

thanks in advance

Posted by
2072 posts

I did the third option that included a direct overnight train from Barcelona to Granada and was well worth it. My sister and I rented a sleeper car for two. You can also fly nonstop from Barcelona to Sevilla without breaking the bank. The only time you’ll have to transfer is in Madrid to get from Cordoba to Toledo.

Posted by
112 posts

Thanks for your reply @MaryPat. May I ask when did you take this direct train? In my online search, i am not finding any direct train between Granada and Barcelona. Thx

Posted by
1217 posts

It’s going to be faster and probably cheaper to connect the south and Barcelona by plane, whichever direction you’re going.

Iberia is fine—it’s the long-standing national carrier, now a corporate sibling of British Airways and Aer Lingus. Their low-cost sister airline is Vueling—you’re likely to see them as an option. Whoever you fly you’ll pay for luggage and any extras.

Posted by
2072 posts

It may have been in 2012 when I took a direct overnight train from Barcelona to Granada. The best site to book trains in ES is but it’s not a user-friendly booking tool.
The Man in Seat 61 said: Because of COVID this train may not be up and running yet but I would keep checking in case one suddenly appears. Europe is getting crowded, so hopefully public transportation will open up more.

Posted by
7175 posts

I would go with a version of Option 2.

SFO --> Madrid --> Toledo --> Cordoba --> Seville --> Granada --> Barcelona--> SFO

Fly in to Madrid (5 nights)

Train to Toledo (3 nights)
Regular departures

Train (via Madrid) to Seville (5 nights)
Regular departures with connection

Train to Granada (3 nights)
AVN8295 dep 09:13 arr 11:43

Train to Cordoba (3 nights)
AVN8525 dep 13:18 arr 14:55

Train to Zaragoza (2 nights)
AVE3931 dep 09:43 arr 12:33

Train to Barcelona (7 nights)
Regular departures

Fly out of Barcelona

This is a very leisurely trip if you have a full month.
You could include a brief stop in underrated Zaragoza. Jerez or Ronda in Andalusia would be other easy options.

Posted by
112 posts

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Now I am booked to fly into Barcelona and flying out of Madrid. I am waiting for the train route to open up for sale between Barcelona and Granda. So I am planning for my third option,

Sfo --> Barcelona (7 nights) --> Granada (3 nights) --> Seville (6 nights) --> Cordoba (3 nights) --> Toledo ( 2 nights) --> Madrid (7 nights) --> SFO

this is final for now. I can always add or subtract a night from any city depending on suggestions.