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Trip Suggestions - Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Madrid

I have a rough itinerary planned for an April visit to Spain with my wife and two kids (15 & 13). Unfortunately, we don't have a ton of time. We arrive in Seville on 4/18 and have a departing flight out of Madrid on 4/25. Here's what I have in mind but curious if I'm trying to pack too much in. Open to any suggestions on the itinerary below:

4/18 - Arrive Seville (3 nights)
4/21 - Train/Bus to Granada (2 nights)
4/23 - Train/Bus to Cordoba (1 night)
4/24 - Train to Madrid (1 night)
4/25 - Depart for home

Posted by
1996 posts

Your literary is ok, it's the best one can do on such a limited trip. Though I question making a presumably transatlantic trip for only 7 nights, but that's beyond the point. I think you'll be fine ;-)

Posted by
6519 posts

Maybe just do Cordoba as a day trip from Seville so you don't have to change hotels 4 times

Posted by
4348 posts

I wouldn’t want to change locations so many times in a week. Will you be arriving from elsewhere in Europe or possibly suffering jet lag after a transatlantic flight?

You are short changing Seville, particularly if you may have jet lag, as 3 nights is only 2 days and you may only be fully functioning on one of these. Córdoba can be a day trip from Seville. Pity you are flying back from Madrid, as you don’t seem to be spending any time there. I would look to drop Granada and add a day to Madrid, as Seville to Granada will take 5 hours door to door by bus or 6 hours by train.

You will loose another 4-5 hours door to door travelling between Seville and Madrid. Granada to Madrid is another 7 hours door to door. Do you really want to spend so long in transit in a week?

Posted by
9 posts

I would agree with one of the other commenters and nix Granada. I've never been, but thought about adding it to my itinerary after Seville, and in hindsight, not going was the smart call. It would have been way too much, plus it takes a decent amount of time to get there.

Although my friend and I spent 2 nights in Cordoba, you could make it a day trip from Seville. The main sights in Cordoba are near each other and the historic part of the city is very compact and walkable.

I would definitely recommend more time in Madrid. While transportation in the city is very good, there's simply too much worth seeing to fit all the main sites in 24hrs or less. My friend and I stayed 3 nights in Madrid and thought that was a good amount of time to see a lot of the main sites. My personal suggestion would be to cut out Granada, make Cordoba a day trip and add the extra time to Madrid.

Posted by
17881 posts

Although I agree that there's a lot of transportation time required for the proposed itinerary compared to actual sightseeing time, the travel time is not necessarily as long as is stated upthread. These are travel times by train:

Seville-Granada 2 hr. 30 min. or 2 hr. 39 min.
Granada-Cordoba 1 hr. 26 min. (early AM) or 1 hr. 19 min. (mid-afternoon)
Cordoba-Madrid approx. 1 hr. 50 min.

Alternatively:
Granada-Madrid 3 hr. 19 min. (early AM) or 3 hr. 5 min. (mid-afternoon)

Trains in and out of Granada aren't terribly frequent, so you might have an unattractive choice between a very early or rather late departure time and a travel time considerably longer than the best-case scenarios I've cited above. For full schedule details (not fares) I find it easiest to use the Deutsche Bahn website. For fares, check Renfe.com.

Posted by
24 posts

Also, the main sight there is the Alhambra, and tickets sell out months in advance (although there's probably still some available if you book now).

Tickets for the Alhambra aren't even on sale yet for March, let alone April.

Posted by
348 posts

I’m with Carlos. If 7 nights is all you have, then that’s reality and I think your itinerary is fine. As others have said, think about making Cordoba a day trip from Sevilla if the hotel change bothers you; if it doesn’t, then leave it as-is.

Train and bus travel in Spain is very easy and low-stress, and you don’t have any long segments planned, so I think moving around as much as you are will be as low impact as it could be.

I would not spend more time in Madrid as someone else suggested. It is easy to fly in and out of, so save it for another trip and focus on southern Spain this time.

Do make sure as you settle in and adjust to jet lag for your short trip that you change over to “Spanish time.” In Spain, and especially in Andalucia, the best people-watching and atmosphere happens after 10 pm!

Have a great trip!

Posted by
720 posts

I did an 8 night trip - flew into Seville 4 nights, train to Cordoba 2 nights, bus to Granada 2 nights - flew back from there. Yes I had to change planes in Madrid but they were all on one ticket. I thought the pace of that trip was fine.

Unfortunately you already have the tickets for the flights so not much you can do about it. What time is the flight home? If you are lucky and it's in the afternoon you could skip the night in Madrid and go straight from Cordoba to the airport. But if not, I guess I'd consider Cordoba as a day trip from Seville (4 nights) so at least you have one less hotel change.

Posted by
1201 posts

Another option could be to visit Cordoba as a break when travelling between Sevilla and Granada or Granada and Madrid. You can store your luggage when arriving for the day at Cordoba, before continuing the journey later in the day.

Posted by
578 posts

I agree with the posters who think your itinerary is fine. The important question to ask yourself is this: Will you return to Andalucia some day to see Granada and the AMAZING Alhambra if you omit Granada from this itinerary? I can't imagine going to Andalucia and not seeing the Alhambra.

With your current itinerary, you get to see the 3 most important cities in Andalucia: Seville, Granada, and Cordoba. if you don't mind the hotel changes, I would definitely spend one night in Cordoba. It is magical at night when the day trippers are gone, and the Roman Bridge and Mezquita are illuminated. Cordoba was one of our favorite places.

If the train schedules don't work in and out of Granada, I recommend the ALSA bus. We took it twice; the bus is comfortable, air conditioned, modern and clean. I agree with DebVT that train and bus travel in Spain is low stress. And I would not add more time to Madrid, even though we like Madrid, because as DebVT says, Madrid is easy to fly in and out of. See Andalucia while you are there, and save Madrid for another trip.

Posted by
5818 posts

I would either do Cordoba in transit or from Seville to reduce the hotel changes which gobble up so much time. While Cordoba is certainly worth more time, about 3 hours for the Mezquita would be fine on this very short trip. The Mezquita is the most amazing thing in Spain, but an afternoon let's you see it. Perhaps do it on the way to Madrid --
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/the-mezquita-at-least-the-catholics-had-the-good-sense-not-to-destroy-it-when-they-desecrated-it/
If you are flying out of Madrid then it makes sense to be there the night before and spend a night. If I were doing it. If you have the afternoon then the Prado is my #1 here and if only the evening do a tapas crawl on Cava Baja.