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Suggestions for time between two RS tours - Portugal and Andalucia

Suggestions would be appreciated!
My husband and I are doing RS "The Heart of Portuga" tour 4/20-5/1/20, ending in Porto. We are also doing the RS Spain “Heart of Andalucia” tour 5/3 – 5/12/20, starting in Cordoba. We end the Portugal tour in Porto on 5/1/20 after breakfast. We are trying to decide whether to spend one more night in Porto before traveling to Cordoba – or go directly to Cordoba on 5/1 so that we have some additional time in Cordoba.
At the tail end of the RS Portugal tour, we will be spending approximately 1-1/2 days in and around Porto (bus tour, evening Douro River cruise, Ribeira district walking tour and free time).
At the beginning of the RS Andalucia tour, we will be spending one full day touring Cordoba (town tour, Mezquita, free time, evening flamenco performance)
We haven’t had much time to research additional sights to see in either Porto or Cordoba and were hoping to get some suggestions from RS forum members as to their ideas on where to spend our additional time between the two RS tours.

We also would love suggestions on modes of transportation between Porto and Cordoba! We do not want to drive ourselves and would prefer the quickest mode.

And just FYI, after the Andalucia tour, we will be going to Madrid for 3 nights before flying home!!

Thanks in advance for any assistance!!
Amanda H.

Posted by
207 posts

I love you are doing 2 RS tours with time in between and afterwards in Madrid. I can speak about Porto as I did a fantastic AMA Waterways river cruise starting as a pre land tour in Lisbon and Sintra and then taking the train to Porto which I loved and will go back. There is a bookstore in Porto where the inspiration for some of the scenes from Harry Potter. I did not go in but those that did, loved the unique architecture. I think Porto that time of the year will be so lovely as well. I went at the end of July and it was hot as expected. I also was interested in the Port wines and how they make and store the wine.

I would spend one extra night in Porto and get to Cordoba a day or two early. I personally like to get somewhere and enjoy the city on my own but I have never done a RS tour.

In Madrid, I stayed at the NH hotel right by the museum and downtown and I am sure there are lovely local hotels and B&Bs and so enjoyed the food markets. I needed 2 full days to take in the art. Such a nice ending to your trip and I too, don’t know the best way to get from Porto to Cordoba but bet it will be flying.

Posted by
745 posts

Excellent tour selections - travelers I have known on both tours loved them - and both have terrific tour guides.
In checking the description of the Andalucia tour elsewhere on this site it states:
"Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Sevilla (SVQ), about a 45-min train ride to Córdoba, where the tour begins. You can also arrange to fly into Madrid, about a 2-hour train ride to Córdoba, and out of Sevilla."
I suspect you are aware of this. This "last day in Portugal - first day in Spain" transportation question will probably be addressed via some air and ground arrangements - where a fair amount of time will be needed. Don't overlook that in your travel planning.

Posted by
2684 posts

Overland routes between Spain and Portugal are notoriously very limited, I doubt you will find anything outside of hiring a driver, to get from Oporto to Cordoba within a day. Your only route really is to fly down to Sevilla and then take the AVE train up to Cordoba. You could spend a day in Sevilla, but traveling will probably take up all day, I'd just go straight to Cordoba, so you can have at least some rest before starting another RS Tour.

Posted by
1259 posts

I suspect the easiest way of travelling between Porto and Cordoba would be to fly from Porto to Sevilla or Malaga (on Ryanair), or Madrid, then go onto Cordoba. From Sevilla it would be either by direct transfer service (dear, but only 90 minutes), or bus/taxi into Sevilla followed by rail to Cordoba (cheaper, but longer). Malaga or Madrid to Cordoba may be easier.

Either way, this will take a fair chunk of the day so if it were me, I'd stay in Porto on 1/5, make 2/5 the travel day, and so wake up in Cordoba on 3/5. If your Cordoba town tour is focused on the Judería and area around the cathedral, you could spend 3/5 before the tour starts in Plaza de la Corredera and around that part of the city.

Personally, I'd skip the flamenco show. But some people claim to like flamenco, for unfathomable reasons.

Posted by
21317 posts

Ground connections between Portugal and Spain are limited, slow and infrequent. The only practical choice here is to fly, unless you want to roll the dice with the night train from Lisbon to Madrid (I wouldn't).

From it appears that there's a 1:35 PM non-stop flight from Porto to Seville on RyanAir--but only on Friday, May 1. All the other flight options into Seville involve connections. One thing to be careful about is that those are not all protected connections, so in some cases if the initial flight is canceled or delayed and you miss the second one, it's on you to buy a new ticket.

There are many non-stops from Porto to Madrid on both Friday and Saturday.

The train from Madrid to Cordoba takes about 1 hr. 45 min.; from Seville it's about 45 min. I don't know how the airport-to-train-station times compare.

Posted by
528 posts

We would probably try to travel on 5/1 and get to Cordoba that day. Gives you a day to "chill", get organized etc. before you start your next tour. In looking at Google Flights there are a number of non-stop flights from several carriers from Porto to Madrid. They take about about 55 minutes. From there you can catch a train from the airport to Cordoba, transferring at Madrid's main train station. The train portion takes about 3 hours.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions. They are very helpful to us! I think we will leave Porto on 5/1 and fly to either Madrid or Seville, then take train to Cordoba.