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Itinerary Advice Needed! 1 night in Cordoba and 2 in Toledo or Vice Versa

My family will be in Spain in June and July and will be ending the trip in Toledo and flying out of Madrid. For the last three nights I’m not sure how to allocate them - 1 in Cordoba and 2 in Toledo or 2 in Cordoba and 1 in Toledo.

Here is the itinerary for reference, I also have a 7 year old and 9 year old.

Flying into Madrid Monday - 4 nights (we land in the afternoon and leave early Friday morning so we will have 3 full days for visiting)
Madrid to Bordeaux Friday - 2 nights
Bordeaux to Paris - 3 nights
Fly to see family in Romania 7 nights
Barcelona - 3 nights
Valencia - 1 night - meet up with another family for the rest of the trip
Granada - 3 nights (we are in the countryside at a B&B and will sight see the city in the evening)
Seville - 2 nights
Cordoba - 1 night / 2 nights
Toledo - 2 Nights / 1 night

Any advice would be appreciated!

Posted by
208 posts

I like both cities, but I'd vote for 2 nights in Toledo. That's partly because Toledo really transforms in the evenings and partly because in late June/early July Cordoba is going to be sizzling hot. When I was there, the first week of July 2016, it reached 106 Fahrenheit.

Caroline

Posted by
1992 posts

In late July it's going to be sizzling hot no matter where you go lol! I'd prefer the cool shade of Cordoba's narrow whitewashed streets to sweating it out climbing around Toledos steep hills, my preference is 2 nights in Cordoba and 1 in Toledo.

Posted by
3604 posts

Seeing your whole itinerary, this is what I would recommend if you want both:

Seville - 3 nights
Cordoba - 1 night
Toledo - 1 night

If you’re willing to give up one of them:

Seville - 3 nights
Cordoba - 0 nights
Toledo - 2 nights

Seville deserves more than two nights with everything to see there, and in my opinion, Cordoba is more alike than Toledo to give you more experiences.

Posted by
11904 posts

We spent 2 nights in Toledo because the apartment we liked had a 2-night minimum. We were really glad we did. One night was enough to do all we wanted to in Córdoba (Mesquite, horse show, and a peek at some patios in the festival.

Posted by
578 posts

Everyone has their own personal preferences. I prefer Córdoba so I vote for 2 nights in Córdoba and one night in Toledo. The poster who mentioned climbing Toledo’s hills in the heat has a valid point. Córdoba is flat. Makes a difference in the heat.

This is a fast-paced trip in the heat. Three nights is not enough for Paris or Barcelona, and 2 nights is not enough for Seville. Can you delete a few destinations? Such as Bordeaux? And Valencia? And meet up with the other family in Granada? And add those nights to Paris, Barcelona, and Seville.

Posted by
11904 posts

Toledo is on a high plateau, like Madrid. It is around 1400’ ’ higher than Córdoba, which is at 350 feet above sea level. and farther south. Once one is up in the town of Toledo, you are exposed to cooling breezes. And I do not recall that much up and down within the town itself. But that was 9 years ago so cannot claim clear memory.

Córdoba is flat and bakes in the midday sun. Shade in the narrow lanes will not protect you then. We were in both towns in May (not the heat of June) but Toledo was definitely cooler at that time. And there was a refreshing downpour that drove us, along with a whole wedding party f rom a church we were passing, into the shelter of eaves of the buildings while we all laughed together. Maybe this experience is why we liked Toledo so much.

Maybe just look at dining and lodging opportunities, and things you want to see, and that will help you make up your mind.

Posted by
14206 posts

Unlike Lola, I do remember the steep up and downs of Toledo. At the time I thought it was comparable to San Francisco. One way to know is that there are some public escalators to take locals (and tourists) up and down, not so useful for tourists that want to visit sights. I never did use them. I'm not trying to discourage you from going, just so you are aware.

Are you going to take a taxi from Toledo to the airport?

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for your input! We were able to speak to the other family and make some changes - specifically we added a night to Barcelona, got rid of Valencia and added a night to Seville. We will still plan to spend the night in Cordoba because that's where we will part ways and then we go on and spend the last night in Madrid to make leaving for LA in the morning easier. We will do a day trip to Toledo while in Madrid and perhaps book the show with transportation to and from Toledo on our last night in Madrid. It will be a long night but I feel better being closer to the airport.

Re: only 3 nights in Paris - we were there for 5 night last summer and I used to live there so 3 nights to get my fix.

Thanks again!

Posted by
4598 posts

Toledo and Cordoba can be done in one day. You can do Toledo on a day trip from Madrid.

You need MORE time in Seville, it is a magic place. Also, don't miss a day trip from Madrid to Segovia.
Why three nights in Granada?

Posted by
1496 posts

I would do 2 in Cordoba. I did Toledo as a day trip from Madrid and that was sufficient for me.

Posted by
578 posts

Córdoba and Toledo can each be done in one day; however, based on my travel experience, seeing them as day trips is not very rewarding. It depends on what SoCalTraveler wants to see and do, and what he/she wants to get out of the experience. What are your interests? You will have 2 children with you. You probably won’t be able to rush around from site to site with young children in tow. Everything takes longer with children. So you need more time.

We spent one night in Toledo, and we enjoyed it much more than if we visited for the day. Toledo is very popular and very, very crowded with large tour buses during the day. At night it was peaceful and quiet, and the city is gorgeous when it is illuminated. There were primarily Spanish families hanging out in Zocodover Plaza at night, with the little children riding bikes and eating ice cream. Most tourists had returned to Madrid. It was very pleasant, and I enjoyed Toledo so much more.

And I will say the same for Córdoba, where we spent 2 nights. The Mezquita is amazing, but there is more to Córdoba than just the Mezquita. We enjoyed the Alcazar gardens, Palacio de Viana, wandering through the Juderia, with its white-washed walls, narrow lanes, patios, and flower pots. Córdoba is beautiful when it is illuminated at night. The Roman Bridge was fun in the evening with Spanish families strolling across the bridge, socializing, and children riding bikes.

By overnighting, you enjoy the ambience of each place. Also, I think it would be hard taking young children on day trips in the heat. When you have a hotel room, you can return in the afternoon, if necessary, for a couple hours to get some respite from the heat.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all again for your input!

geovagriffith - Why 3 nights in Granada? Well, we are 2 families, who have been lifelong friends and see each other just once a year when combining travel. We have 4 kids between us ages 7-13 and need to give them some time to relax and just enjoy being together. We are staying outside of Granada in the countryside and need enough time to combine sightseeing and social time relaxing together. We will have a car and will drive into Granada for visiting either early morning or early evening depending on tour hours etc.

https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/el-amparo-alhama-de-granada.en-gb.html?label=gen173nr-1DCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaIkCiAEBmAEJuAEHyAEM2AED6AEBiAIBqAIDuALukLfxBcACAQ;sid=75b6886191e3090f5289c68195ba56f9;all_sr_blocks=220240203_144060659_0_41_0;checkin=2020-05-10;checkout=2020-05-11;dest_id=-370190;dest_type=city;dist=0;group_adults=2;group_children=0;hapos=1;highlighted_blocks=220240203_144060659_0_41_0;hpos=1;no_rooms=1;room1=A%2CA;sb_price_type=total;sr_order=popularity;sr_pri_blocks=220240203_144060659_0_41_0__15500;srepoch=1580058840;srpvid=22ed792bb2ef011c;type=total;ucfs=1&#hotelTmpl

kmkwoo - Regarding overnights. I definitely agree with you and would love to have more time, but every trip there seems to be a need to compromise! Since we are staying in central Madrid I plan on taking the train to Toledo in the evening and enjoying an evening there with my family. My son is 7 and for him the fun of the trip is the transportation, so train rides and metro/subway/tube rides are still his highlight. This trip we decided to give 3 nights to Seville and 4 to Barcelona (our flight gets in at 8am from Romania so we will have 4 full days). Because we want to stay with our friends as long as possible, we will spend 1 night in Cordoba and the last night we have opted to stay in Madrid as opposed to Toledo because I think it will be easier to get to airport in the AM. But this is still flexible. We want to see this show and I thought it would be easier to join a tour for it since transportation to and from the sight is challenging and it would be easier to wake up in Madrid after such a long night. Thought?

https://www.getyourguide.com/madrid-l46/from-madrid-puy-du-fou-espana-ticket-and-transfer-t301198/?utm_force=0