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Spain 5 weeks fall 2021

I have been on many RS tours, this is my first time posting to this site. Planning a 5 week trip to Spain, ( our daughter lives in Madrid). We have been there before. Our current itinerary: fly into ( and out of Madrid),
Madrid 6 nights
Granada 5 nights
Hill towns 7 nights
then the trip is fuzzy , our plans keep changing
along the coast 2 nights
Seville 3 nights
Salamanca 3nights
Santiago De C. 5 nights
then towards Basque region.. last in the Basque region fall 2019 for RS tour
back to Madrid.

planning on train from Madrid to Granada. renting a car thru the hill towns and coast. leave car in Seville.
then really looking for suggestions on travel for rest of trip.
thanks I look forward to responses. happy travels

Posted by
2080 posts

I'm lazy about math--could you tell us how many days exactly you have to work with?
Have you scoped out the transport for Sevilla-Salamanca-Santiago de C?
What month is the trip? There are currently rental car issues but those should be cleared up eventually.

Posted by
3224 posts

Not knowing what you plan to do in each place, my initial impression is you have too many nights scheduled for Granada, the hill towns, Salamanca, and Santiago de Compostela. To me, 2-3 full days in Granada in more than enough. I assume by hill towns you’re referring to the white towns between Ronda and Arcos de la Frontera. Unless you’re going to do some hiking 3 full days is enough. Salamanca is worth 2 full days at most, as is Santiago de Compostela unless you keep the rental car and take some day trips. To best explore the north coast (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and País Vasco) one should really have a car.

Sevilla to Salamanca is 248 miles. By keeping the rental car you could use some of those days previously planned for other locations and stop in Zafra, Mérida, and Cáceres and see some of the sights those cities have to offer. Santiago de Compostela is 200 miles further and from Salamanca one could stop in Zamora, Puebla de Sanabria or Pontevedra en route to Santiago.

Edited: if you decide to go to León, I second the recommendation to stay at the Parador. We stayed there in 2017 and shortly thereafter it underwent a couple year renovation and restoration. It is within walking distance to the historic center and is located right at the Plaza de San Marcos. When we were there parking was free.

Posted by
2291 posts

With this outline, you spend a lot of time in Andalucia and comparatively little elsewhere. And do not underestimate distances: Santiago to Bilbao or S. Sebastián takes up a full day, and almost the same to head back to Madrid afterwards. Since your trip to the Basque country was not so long ago, I would perhaps leave it out this time?

So here's what I would do, off the top of my head:

  • 6 nights in Madrid: sure, plus your daughter's there :-)
  • I would spend a night in Córdoba heading south
  • I would cut down Granada by 2 nights (spend 3 nights) and spend no more than 4 nights in the hill towns (they tend do look alike once you visited 3). This brings us to 14 nights
  • 2 nights on the coast (15-16): I suggest Cádiz
  • Add 1 night to Seville, so 4 nights total (17-20)
  • Sevilla to Salamanca is a long bus ride. I would stop in Cáceres for 2 nights (21-22), it is a very pretty town
  • Salamanca is good for 3 nights (23-25), but 2 would be enough if needed.
  • I would hire a car again to go from there to Santiago, with an overnight stop in Puebla de Sanabria (26) and use the car for day trips around Galicia (5 nights is good, 27-31)
  • Then head to the north coast and stop somewhere in Asturias for 2 nights (32-33), e.g. in Cudillero
  • Drive down to Leon, drop the car, spend the night (34)
  • Take train to Madrid, spend the final night (35)

It is really just an example and I felt that I was running out of days at the end because I added Asturias.

Posted by
4889 posts

You missed Barcelona!
Madrid, go to Toledo and Segovia on day trips
Granada 5 nights is too much, cut to 2-3 days
Seville, add more days, 3 not enough
Salamanca 3 nights is a bit high, the city is not that large, we pretty much did it in a day.
Santiago De C. was great, cut to 2 nights

Posted by
2 posts

love the feedback. This will be our 4th trip to Spain, skipping Barcelona ( a little COVID related). Have been to Toledo, Cordoba, and Segovia. We really enjoy just spending time in the cities/towns we go too, so that is why more time in some areas. Also overseas friend meeting us in hill towns. Plan on hiking and biking. In Santiago plan to do some walking on the Camino.

Thinking will probable skip Basque area, but consider Leon and Burgos?
From these posts plan on adding in Cadiz too.
It's the travel from Seville to Santiago that is challenging me and would rather use trains than driving.

Posted by
6624 posts

On first reading I wonder why only three nights in Sevilla while 5 nights in Granada? Where is Cordoba? It has many important sites to see plus is a wonderful city.
I love 5 nights in Santiago de C. as we wish we had spent more time there.
And the Basque region is a wonderful area to explore. Read Michael Kurlansky’s “ The Basque History of the World” before you visit!
We had a rental car for Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque region, ( west to east on French side of Pyreenes) then Costa Brava, dropped car off at Barcelona airport.
Both Cadiz and Leon are so worthwhile to visit. Try to get a room at the Parador in Leon! Cadiz is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Lots to see.
Your trip sounds fabulous.