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Spain/Morocco Itinerary

Hello Everyone,
I'm planning a trip to Spain from Seattle this year in end of June until mid july during my son’s summer break. While over there, we want to try to visit Morocco as well. We will have a total of 17-18 days (excluding travel days).Do you think weather will be comfortable? We want to visit Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Madrid. We can cut Morocco from our list if its not possible. Im having trouble to make a trip plan. Looking for recommendations for flight, lodging and trip plan if anyone recently visited from Seattle.
Thank you.

Posted by
18405 posts

No, the weather will not be comfortable in southern Spain or most of Morocco; I remember that it was 113F one day in Marrakech in June 1990-something, and that was before climate change really ratcheted up. That's just the way it is in the summer, though 113F was definitely hotter than average. You can check out the actual, historical, day-by-day weather statistics for your proposed destinations on timeanddate.com. Take a look at the last 3 years at least; 5 years would be better.

The best way to see Morocco is by flying to Fes or Marrakech (two very interesting cities) from somewhere in Europe--like Madrid--and branching out from there if you have time. I'd want at least 3 nights in each of those cities, and there's a lot more to Morocco than those two; you certainly wouldn't have time for much more if you want to do a decent job of seeing Andalucía and Madrid in the time you have.

I definitely do not recommend a blitz one-day visit to Tangier. It is not a good example of Morocco and it is awkward to get to from the most worthwhile destinations in southern Spain.

I'd recommend these minimum-stay times for your Spanish cities, assuming you end up flying into Madrid and go there first.

Madrid: 2 nights if no interest in art; 4 nights to include the 3 major art museums. Add 1 night to day-trip to Toledo. Add 1 night to day-trip to Segovia. Both of those are highly recommended.
Cordoba: 2 or 3 nights
Seville: 4 nights
Granada: 2 or 3 nights
Optional: Ronda and/or white villages

If you must also fly home from Madrid, it would really be better to press on to one of your other destinations on your arrival day--Cordoba being the closest and easiest--so you can finish your trip in Madrid and be well positioned for the flight home.

The order of your itinerary can be varied because of the way the trains work.

But it's going to be hot. Are you up for 2 solid weeks of high heat? Because you're unlikely to get a significant break. There are parts of Spain where you'd be unlikely to run into more than 2 or 3 days of high heat over that period, with most days down in the 70s.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for your reply. We have to plan something else than. My 14 year old won’t be cooperative at all. Thanks again. It helps a lot.

Posted by
18405 posts

If you mean you want to avoid the heat, one place I'd recommend you include is the Picos de Europa area. It is small but mountainous and has gorges and streams. The old stone town of Potes is picturesque (though touristy), and I believe there some active-sport possibilities in the area. There's a mountain lift at Fuente De, though I don't know when it opens for the summer season. I was there in early July 2016; there was patchy snow on the ground at the top of the lift, and it was too cold to be out in shirtsleeves.

The Picos de Europa area is west of the Basque Country. There are many interesting cities in that part of Spain.

The Pyrenees farther to the east also offer opportunities for sightseeing in comparative summertime comfort.

You might take a look at flight options to Spain to see what will work for you, financially. From my origin Madrid and Barcelona are usually about the same price and everything else tends to be much more costly. It may be different for you.

Posted by
4742 posts

I am from South Georgia so the heat in Spain is not much different. It does get hot in Spain, especially in the south in June/July. Compared to Seattle it will be a significant difference in temp. Use Weather.com to check the monthly temps for your locations.

If you have 17-18 days, I would stick with Spain. It is a large country, but you don't include Barcelona.
Madrid should have 2-3 days, add 2 more for day trips to Toledo and Segovia. Toledo was the original capital of Spain and Segovia has an intact Roman aqueduct that is 1900 years old.
Seville deserves 4 nights, Cordoba 1-2, then over to Granada 2 nights. You have used 12-13 nights.

Consider visiting Barcelona or if going to Morocco, Marrakesh.

Posted by
2120 posts

I 100% agree with acraven here, if you have any doubts or reservations about the potential for incredibly unpleasant heat, I would not visit Andalucia nor Morocco during the high summer months.

I would agree with her recommendation of Northern Spain instead, much more temperate weather in the summer. With 17-18 days you can fly in to Madrid, spend a few days, then rent a car and head north to "Green" Spain, for the bulk of your time, then turn east and finish in Barcelona for a few days before flying out from there.

I would describe Northern Spain as a bit of a mix between Switzerland and Ireland, a far cry from the south of the country. From charming medieval stone villages, to the picturesque rolling hills, the emerald waters of Bay of Biscay, the culinary delights of the Basque country, the unique Celtic culture of Galicia, and finally the towering jagged peaks of the Picos de Europa national park; Northern Spain has something for everyone and is generally less touristy than the rest of the country.

Here's a nice feature on Cantabria, from Lonely Planet, one of the several regions of Northern Spain: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/cantabria-discovering-spains-little-visited-north-coast