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Spain - October/November 3 week itinerary

Please comment on this roughly drafted 3 week itinerary for our first trip to Spain.
We enjoy museums, galleries, beautiful sites, experiencing new cultures, and time to wander.
We are flying in to Barcelona. Does the sequence of this itinerary make sense?
Taking on too much? What to skip?

Barcelona 4 nights

Madrid 4

Toledo 1

Cordoba 2

Granada 2 (pick up car)

Ronda 2 (drive to Ronda)

Stop in Arcos on the way to Seville

Seville 4 (drop off car)

Fly to Barcelona for overnight and fly home next day.

Many thanks.

Posted by
3735 posts

Looks good to me, I don't see any major red flags. Enjoy your trip you'll love Spain!

Posted by
6384 posts

It looks pretty good to me!

Do you have to fly roundtrip to Barcelona? If you flew into Madrid and out of Barcelona or vice versa, it would reduce the time spent travelling.
You would be able to do Madrid-Toledo-Cordoba-Seville-Ronda-Granada-fly to Barcelona, or the other way around.

If the flights are booked, it is not a big deal.
If you feel brave enough after the long journey from BC, you could plan to immediately take the train to Madrid (2.5 hours) after landing in Barcelona. That way, instead of spending 4 nights + 1 night there, you would spend 5 nights in one go at the end. But it would make for a very tiring day of travel at the start. Up to you!

Posted by
3735 posts

I would not subtract any days from Cordoba, it's my favorite city in Andalucia, on the same level as Granada in terms of things to do and see.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you everyone, I really appreciated all your comments.
Yes we’re locked into to our Vancouver-Barcelona return flight.
I’m reluctant to take a day away from Cordoba though I would like 3 days in Granada. I have been back and forth on this.
Perhaps make it a day trip to Toledo from Madrid though forums I have read suggest better to avoid the crowds with an overnight. Where to squeeze in an extra day?
Jean, your itinerary is very helpful, thanks. I had already booked Pension Central Palace Madrid win a view! I had to call reservations about my booking and they were amazing…so accommodating. I will look into the other hotels you recommended.
Thanks all

Posted by
4429 posts

I was in Spain roughly the same time and did similar places - though I didn't do the Ronda/Arcos trip.

As mentioned above, you could consider the train promptly to Madrid, but no biggy.

I did 2 nights in Toledo but it wasn't an absolute 'must' to stay that long. I also didn't find any crowds in Toledo around Nov 7 when I was there in 2017. If you consider the train to Madrid Day 1, you could leave for Toledo mid or late afternoon. Watch sunset from the tourist train, stay overnight and head to Cordoba the following late afternoon. I know to means finding a place for luggage, but as you need to return to Atocha station, can you leave most of the luggage there and pick it up enroute to Cordoba? I know not everyone likes 'moving' late in the day, but it could maximize time in some of those 1 night stand places.
Can you fly from Granada to Barcelona? What about:
Cordoba, Seville, Arcos/Ronda, ending in Granada before your flight to Barcelona? I would consider taking a day from Seville and give to Granada. Moving Seville to right after Cordoba, also means the option of leaving Cordoba the evening/afternoon before and could give you time for a flamenco show and shave off a day to give to Granada. I came to Cordoba from Seville, saw a lot of what Cordoba had to offer in 1.5 days. I stayed in a hotel almost next door to the Mezquita, so handy to everything. I enjoyed the archeological museum there - because they had stuff from the Visagoths - a society that interests me but that is under rated for that part of the world.

Of course, the days of the week matter for some of these locations.

Posted by
6908 posts

How early is your flight home from Barcelona? Would you possibly gain a day for other locations if you flew to Barcelona that return-home day and immediately connected with your flight home, rather than having that last night in Barcelona?

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks again for all the suggestions. Our flight out of Barcelona is 6:55 AM so so we’re going to have to overnight there before departing. Segovia and the beautiful Roman aqueduct…we’ll to do it! Thanks!
We may have take a pass on Toledo or make it a day trip to add a day to Granada. I don’t want to subtract days from Madrid. I thought about Cordoba, Seville, Ronda/Arcos, and Granada to Barcelona. Seemed easier to rent the car out of Granada. So great to get all your suggestions.
It looks like we need to plan another trip to Spain!
Many many thanks.

Posted by
25543 posts

Rather than dropping Toledo, I'd trim Ronda to one night. Yes, you could make use of 2 nights there, but there's really no comparison between Ronda and Toledo.

There is much more to see in Spain, so another trip is definitely in order. It's good that this one won't have you leaving every town with a bunch of major sights missed.

Don't forget that you need to pre-book entries to many Barcelona attractions (if you want to see them) to avoid wasting a lot of time in line and possibly not getting in on the day you want to go:

La Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell
Casa Mila.La Pedrera
Casa Batllo
Picasso Museum
Palau de la Musica Catalana (English tours can sell out)

The need to pre-book so much in Barcelona makes it challenging to fit everything into the three days you'll have there. I also recommend the Barri Gotic walking tour offered by the tourist office, and many of us have enjoyed the blessedly uncrowded (no prebooking necessary) Sant Pau modernista site. Then there's the stuff on Montjuic, starting with the MNAC and Miro Museums.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you ACraven. We are now 2 nights in Toledo and one in Ronda. Thanks too for your heads up on booking sites. I had booked the Alhambra and am now working on all the other RS recommended advance bookings.
Again thanks all.

Posted by
11 posts

We’re thinking of hiring a driver from Granada to Ronda (overnight) and from Ronda, with stop in Arcos on the way to Seville. This would eliminate the hassle and time taken for car rental. Perhaps not so costly in November?
Is anyone familiar with this option? Thanks.

Posted by
1433 posts

I would definitely spend 2 nights in Cordoba. That is what we did, and I actually wish we had a 3rd night. Two nights in Granada is fine.

Posted by
946 posts

It looks like you are splitting your time in Barcelona, with 4 night at the beginning and one night at the end. Suppose you take the train to Madrid the same day your plane arrives, and then put all 5 nights in Barcelona at the end of your trip?

I went to Toledo as a day trip. If i had had more time, I would have spent a night in Toledo, if I could have seen museums and monuments on both days, or one almost full day in Toledo and part of another day. Your original idea of spending one nights in Toledo might be adequate. Suppose you take the train to Toledo soon after waking up or approximately 6 to 8 or 9 am, give yourself the rest of the day in Toledo, spend the night there, spend part of the next day there and take the train to Cordoba sometime between mid-afternoon and evening?