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Spain/Portugal Itinerary

My wife and I will be meeting our son who is spending a semester in Barcelona. We will be in Barcelona 12/18 through 22 then thinking of going to Valencia(2 days), Madrid(2 days), Andalucia(4 days) then Portugal as we fly out of Lisbon. Leaning towards Porto(3 days) and Lisbon(1-2 days). Any suggestions on the order or how to travel between locations?

Posted by
582 posts

You say you have 4 days in Andalucia. Where? Andalucia is a large region with 3 very important cities for Moorish architecture, history and culture: Seville, Granada, and Cordoba. So 4 days in Andalucia is not a lot. And are you talking about days or nights?

If going to Seville, I would spend 4 nights in Seville. If you are going to Granada, you need to buy Alhambra tickets ASAP. They might even be sold out by now. Unless you have your heart set on Valencia and Madrid, I would take those nights and spend them in Granada (2 nights) and Cordoba (2 nights). Andalucia was ruled by the Moors for 700 years, so in each city you will see some amazing sites: Granada has the Alhambra, Cordoba has the Mezquita, and Seville has the Alcazar.

In Andalucia I would travel by train or bus. You should check Rome2rio for information on how to travel from Spain to Portugal. I've heard there aren't many options. I know you can fly TAP Airlines from Seville to Lisbon. Not sure how you would get to Porto from Spain. I would give Lisbon at least 3 days. Haven't been to Porto yet.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
3551 posts

You have a short stay only and the distances will take at least half day. Why not just see Spain only.
Reaching Portugal if u Ck public transport Rome to Rio will give u an idea of the distances/ time to travel. Portugal is terrific to visit but takes along time to get to.

Posted by
582 posts

I do agree with JS about seeing only Spain on this trip, and saving Portugal for another trip. But it sounds to me like you have already made your airline reservations in to Barcelona and out of Lisbon.

Posted by
18736 posts

I would drop Valencia, which will add a lot of train time compared to the 2.5 hours or so for a train straight from Barcelona to Madrid. I'd rate Toledo (from Madrid), Seville, Cordoba and Granada all as being a lot more attractive for visitors than Valencia. Valencia is attractive, pleasant, etc. But the others are far more than that.

I would spend more time in Lisbon than Porto.

I suspect all your references to "days" really mean "nights". If you spend 2 nights somewhere, it gives you only one full day and a few hours. That's not nearly enough for Lisbon, or for Madrid if you're interested in the art museums.

If you're considering Granada: The last time I checked, General tickets for the Alhambra were sold out for your travel period, but it's worth checking on Dobla de Oro tickets. If those are also unavailable, see whether your Granada hotel can supply tickets. The next step would be to sign up for a tour, but you must be sure it includes the Nasrid Palaces, and I don't actually think a tour is the best way to see the Alhambra; better to use the audio guide and go at your own pace. Although there are other things to see in Granada, you have very little time, and I wouldn't try to shoehorn Granada into the itinerary if I couldn't get Alhambra tickets.

Posted by
29 posts

I agree with A Craven about Toledo, Cordoba, Seville and Granada. I flew from Barcelona to Granada...and it was really cheap....like under $100.00 Cdn. It was quick and saved a lot of time. I took a bus to Malaga ( I think the train is now available but not sure) and then did the train to Seville, Cordoba, Madrid and Toledo but I had a bit longer than 8 days. Cordoba and Toledo are both worth overnights IMHO. In fact I am going back to Madrid and I am going back to Toledo...that church is amazing. If you are going to Portugal I think it best to stay in Lisbon and do Porto another time. I totally understand wanting to see more. My thought was you see more and that way I know where to go next time. But, now in hindsight, I wish I would have done the slow method of travel...it is much better. Enjoy your stay...

Posted by
16847 posts

Ryanair flies nonstop from Seville to Porto on Dec. 29 & 30 and Jan. 1 & 3, for instance. If you need to end in Lisbon but want to include Porto, then, flying to Porto first would avoid back-tracking.