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Itinerary Help for 14 day trip

Hi, I'm traveling with my husband and sister on what will be our first trip to Spain. Our travel dates are 5/23 thru 6/6. We are meeting our daughter in Cadiz where she is studying abroad early in our trip. Our daughter will travel with us from Cadiz.
I am using Rick's book but need some help with how to connect the dots. Especially where it makes sense to have a car. Should we pick up a car in Sevilla on route to Cadiz? So we can return it to Sevilla? Rest of the time we would do trains.
Here's what I have so far:
5/23 Arrive in Madrid from US.
5/24 Madrid
5/25 Travel to Cadiz
5/26 Rondo or Arcos
5/27 Granada
5/28 Granada
5/29 Cordoba
5/30 Sevilla
5/31 Sevilla
6/1 Madrid
6/2 Madrid
6/3 Barcelona
6/4 Barcelona
6/5 Barcelona
6/6 Flight back to US
We do have to be in Cadiz on 5/25-26. We wanted to avoid too much travel on Day 1 in Madrid since we will be jet lagged. None of us sleep well on planes and will arrive early morning. Our plan for Day 1 is to check in hotel. Siesta. And explore in evening trying to adjust to eating habits in Spain of eating late and staying up late. Thanks! Cindy

Posted by
1178 posts

Sorry I have not made the trip you are undertaking, but have made part of and will comment on some.
From the time of your arrival in Madrid to your hotel will be something in the area of two hours. You can take the Aerocity van from the airport, fast and efficient and less expensive than a taxi in most cases. Their location is out the luggage pickup and to your right. You will see a Pharmacy sign and a restaurant on your right. Their booth is in the area across from them, next the exit to the street door.

The travel time from Sevilia to Madrid via AVE train is 2 1/2 hours. Get your tickets on line 45 or more days in advance and save a good bit on the price. The tickets will have the car number and seat number on them. Your luggage is placed inside the car as you enter. There is a snack car and you should look for its location as you load.

From Madrid to Barcelona is also 2 1/2 hours. Both the arrival from Sevilla and the departure to Barcelona are from the same station, Atocha..

Enjoy your trip!!

Posted by
16893 posts

There is train service from Madrid all the way to Cadiz, with a couple of direct departures taking only 4 hours, so I would pick up the car when you leave Cadiz and later drop it in Sevilla. There is usually no extra charge to drop off at a different city within Spain.

Posted by
7175 posts

I think your plan is spot on.
With four of you travelling I think a rental car is probably the best option.
Make sure you have enough room for all your luggage.
Train from Madrid to Seville, pick up car, drive on to Cadiz.
Drop the car back in Seville, train to Madrid and Barcelona.

Posted by
15446 posts

The Spanish rail system is very good. I would use the train as much as possible. 4 adults in a car is cramped unless it's a really big car . . . and really big cars aren't suited to the narrow streets of Andalusia's towns. The trains are really comfortable and the fast trains will be faster than the car (even if you don't get lost). The trains travel at up to 300 kph.

I would not stay in Madrid on your first night, but take the train on to Cordoba for the night. It's about 2 hours by train and saves the time getting to a Madrid hotel, checking in/out and getting back to the train station for the next day. The train station in Cordoba is a short taxi ride from the historic center, which is very attractive in the evenings. Then you can add a day to Madrid, the hill towns or (my recommendation) to Barcelona. (I just got back from Spain and I loved Barcelona!!)

I'd take a car from Cadiz through the hill towns and on to Granada because they aren't served by fast trains. Whether you keep the car to go to Seville or take the train will depend on the train schedules and budget. You won't need a car in either place, so if you keep the car to Seville, you'll pay for the 2 days' rental and parking in Granada. If you can't get a car in Cadiz, you can rent one in Jerez.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for your tips! Y'all are so helpful. We will be able to take the train all the way to Cadiz. Take taxi to hotel. Pick up car in Cadiz downtown near our hotel as we are leaving Cadiz. I am dropping Cordoba as a stopover. We may see it on the way from Sevilla to Madrid. Or as a day trip from Sevilla as was suggested on other threads. I shortened our time with the rental car to only 3 days. 5/26-5/29. I do think it will be tight with 4 adults and limited luggage. It's a standard size car Opel Insignia or similar. There was no difference in price picking up/returning in Sevilla vs. picking up in Cadiz dropping off in Sevilla. Yeah! 5/23 arrive from U.S. sleep Madrid, 5/24 Madrid, 5/25 Cadiz, 5/26 pick up car rental in Cadiz; sleep Rondo, 5/27 Granda, 5/28 Granada, 5/29 Sevilla, 5/30 Sevilla, 5/31 see Cordoba on route to Madrid, 6/1 Madrid, 6/2 Toledo, 6/3 Barcelona, 6/4 Barcelona, 6/5 Barcelona, 6/6 fly back to U.S. Thanks again! Cindy

Posted by
15446 posts

Excellent, Cindy. Please make sure to stop for a few hours in Cordoba on the way to Madrid. The Mezquita is not to be missed.