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Spain Summer Itinerary Help

We (40+ year old parents, 20 year old and 17 year old "children") are traveling to Spain from 14 - 30 June 2015--we believe in the rest when you are dead tour concept. We are not big museum or big city fans, but like to get out and about and see the sites/country. We have driven all over Europe, but first trip to Spain. We prefer to drive for the flexibility and ability to get off the beaten path a bit and with requiring four train tickets for each trip, costs balance out. Initial plan is 4'ish days in Madrid, 1 night in Cordoba, 2 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Granada, 2 nights in Valencia, 3 nights in Barcelona, 1 night in Zaragosa and last night in Madrid:

14 Jun: fly from Washington DC and arrive Madrid at 8:00 am--visit the city (Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace)

15 Jun: visit the Prado and Puerta del Sol

16 Jun: day trip to Toledo via train

17 Jun: day trip to Segovia via train (see the aquaducts, Cathedral and palace)

18 Jun: rent car: drive to Cordoba (visit the Mosque and Old Town)--hit some Don Quixote windmills on the way and stay in
Cordoba (4 hour drive)

19 Jun: drive to Seville (1.5 hour drive)

20 Jun: visit Seville (catch a Flamenco dinner/show)

21 Jun: drive to Granada (visit the Alhambra at evening/night) (2.5 hour drive)

22 Jun: visit Granada (olive oil tour, Alhambra)

23 Jun: Drive to Valencia (swing through Guadix on the way) (5.0 hour drive)

24 Jun: visit Valencia (visit Cathedral, Central Market, City of Arts/Sciences)

25 Jun: drive Valencia to Barcelona (swing through Tarragona on the way) (3.5 hour drive)

26 Jun: visit Barcelona (Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum)

27 Jun: day trip to Montserrat

28 Jun: drive to Zaragosa (visit Basilica of Pilar and Aljaferia Palace) (3.0 hour drive)

29 Jun: drive to Madrid (3.0 hour drive)

30 Jun: fly back to DC at 12:45 pm

As this is our first Spain trip, looking for thoughts on if the itinerary is feasible and if there are any big items I am missing. Also would love to hear of any recommended places to stay in each location (I ordered the Spain Book but it takes a little while to reach Afghanistan and want to get the planning/booking going).

Thank you!

Posted by
7124 posts

Sounds good and as though you know exactly what you are doing.
My only suggestion would be to take a night off Madrid at the start of the trip and stay a night in Ronda between Sevilla and Granada.

Posted by
9363 posts

I'm not sure what you think you will see in Puerta del Sol. It's just a semi-circle shaped plaza with a couple of interesting statues, a big El Corte Ingles department store, and a metro stop. It's just a couple of blocks from the Plaza Mayor and could easily be done at the same time. If it were me, I would spend the rest of my Prado day at Retiro Park, just down the block from the museum. It is massive and has a lot to see.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will head down to Cordoba the first day rather than stay in Madrid to allow for the Ronda visit and will couple the Puerta Del Sol with the Plaza Mayor in order to hit the Retiro Park. I will do the Madrid visit and day trips all at the end of the trip. Thank you!

Posted by
1270 posts

Have you considered buying open jaw airline tickets in order to gain better travel efficiency? Doing so well add at least a day in not having to back track to madrid.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Marbleskies. I looked into flying into Madrid and out of Barcelona, but I think visiting Zaragosa looks like a nice town to swing through. The price for the open jaw tickets is about $300 more per ticket which made it a little painful as well. If the rates drop is Zaragosa not worth the trip? Thank you. Nick

Posted by
7124 posts

Zaragoza is quite worthy of your attention if you are passing that way.
However after an intense tour I would fly out of BCN if possible and use the two days elsewhere.