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Two Week Itinerary ....... Help!

I am traveling to spain with two other women, I am doing all the planning and am hoping for suggestions.....

Below is my two week itinerary, please offer any suggestions:
1. Madrid 2 nights
2. Toledo 1 night
3. Seville 4 nights (day trip to Cordoba, one day trip to Jerez & Cadiz)
4. Ronda 1 night
5. Granada 2 nights
6. Barcelona 4 nights (day trip to Figueres & Girona)
Questions:
What do you think of itinerary?
Should I rent car in Seville to drive to Ronda and then drop off at Granada?
Has anyone taken overnight train from Granada to Barcelona?

Thanks!

Posted by
1 posts

hey rbenardo,

your itinerary looks good but there's a few places i would definitely add to your trip in Spain which i think would make your Spanish experience alot better. i think you should definitely spend more time up north around Bilbao and definitely San Sebastian. im currently doing my second season in san seb and loving it. these cities are a must do if spending a stint in Spain.

when do u arrive in Spain??

there are alot of people here that could put u on some amazing day trips around basque country to Harro, Zaroutz etc. its amazing and theirs alot of major festivals up this way eg running with the bulls in Pamplona, San vino water and wine fight in Harro.

also i would head towards Valencia around august. there r some amazing festivals around that time.

email me at gjwoods91@hotmail.com if your want some more advice.... i hope this helps

regards geoff

Posted by
984 posts

'What do you think of itinerary?' - You have little time to do justice to Madrid, Seville or Barcelona (let alone add to the itinerary as the poster above suggests) - but I would not know what your interests are.

'Should I rent car in Seville to drive to Ronda and then drop off at Granada?' - Why, is there something/somewheres you want to see on this route which you have not mentioned?

'Has anyone taken overnight train from Granada to Barcelona?' -No, but I have taken many an overnight train journey and would not do so if there is an alternative like a flight. If, like me, your or your companions' sleep is disturbed easily it will leave you 'washed out' and foreshorten your following day.

Posted by
1270 posts

Need to know when you are traveling as this may impact the amount of time available to visit within a destination. Also, is this a first trip to Spain? Strongly suggest you gather information, but make other travelers take active role in selecting the intinerary.

14 nights and 6 destinations, obviously you enjoy lugging, unpacking and packing luggage. Plus you must enjoy meeting new hotel desk clerks and spending time transistioning from place to placet.
You really have an intense stress potential first itinerary.

Lets step back and ask "is it important that you SEE as much of Spain as possible?" Or "is it important that you EXPERIENCE as much of Spain as possible?"

There are so many wonderful memories to be gained by designing a trip seeking experiences.

Here are some suggestions:

Arrive in Barcelona and spend 4 nights w a day trip.
AVE train to Madrid (wonderful convenient method of travel offering scenic views and arrives near old town madrid)
Stay in Madrid for 3 nights w a day trip to Toledo (I have downgraded Toledo for has become massive tourist jam). Spending a night there is highly romantic and provides a different glimpse of the city. Just not sure if this is a must do for you.
AVE from Madrid to Seville for a 4 night stay. Delete day trip to Jerez and Cadiz and insert daytrip to Ronda. You can also hop on and off the AVE for a couple hours to spend in Cordoba while on your way to Seville (highly recommend this option).
Take a bus from Seville to Granada (less than 3 hour ride and quite comfortable). Spend 2 nights in Granada.
Train back to Madrid for departure home (means buying an open jaw airfare, quite common).

So now you have 14 nights and only four room changes.

When staying in one location for three nights or more we always first seek to rent an apt. Advantages are costs, more room, kitchen, we always seek a terrace/balcony, sometimes offer a clothes washer and we find to be a more rewarding experience. Check out Airbnb as a start for examining these options. FYI we have never had an unsafe experience in an apt.

To answer you questions: we rent cars due to our desire to explore, but advise aganist not renting a car to get from point A to B. Our daughter last saturday night took the night train from Barcelona to Granada (where she is "studying" this summer) and enjoyed the experience. She is young and wanted this experience. We would fly and pay more money in order to save more time.

TIP: pack far less than you think you need. Pack even less than what you just thought of. Success? Three carryon bags are all you need between three travelers. This really does impact your trip.
Want to save money? Walk a short ways outside the main tourist zones to eat. You will be astonished at the price differences. Be adventurous w eating. Dont know the language? No big deal.

Finally, take out a map and plot the distances between your destinations. Then use a map of the USA and plot equal distances to gain a perspective of how far you are traveling. Use your home city as the starting point.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for all the tips!

I too was worried about so many overnights.....the other girls are leaving the planning to me, however only want to spend 2 nights in Madrid. From what I've read Toledo is a must see, I too hate touristy places and am hoping by staying overnight we will be able to enjoy the real Toledo for a bit.

By staying four nights in Seville and taking a day trip to Ronda (any day trip company suggestions?) are we spending too much time in Seville....is there enough to see? We also must take 1/2 day trip to Cordoba as if we stop on way to Seville we will have luggage.

Please feel free to give any other suggestions.....

Posted by
1270 posts

Early October is an excellent time to travel.
Check the Cordoba train station for options on lockers for luggage storage.
Toledo. Your choice. I hope other readers will jump in with comments on how to best enjoy.
We do not use tours so am not capable of making that recommendation on ronda. However, it is a compact place believe you can use sites (like tripadvisor) to plot your journey.
Learn how to,use the spanish rail site RENFE to book train travel and save money.

Posted by
1270 posts

And i believe three nights in seville should suffice.
You must carefully plan your visit to Alhambra.

Posted by
16883 posts

I had no problem with your original plan. In Cordoba, there are luggage lockers at the adjacent bus station, not at the train station itself.

Posted by
5589 posts

Yes, if you want to enjoy Toledo, do it as an overnight, not as a day trip (everyone does it as a day trip, so it's very crowded from 10 am - 4 pm, outside those hours, it's wonderful; spend the money for a hotel in the old center, it's worth it).

Given the hurried pace of your trip, you might consider cutting a night from Sevilla and spending it elsewhere (Madrid?). Same with Barcelona.

Personally, I much preferred Arcos over Ronda, but tastes vary. In any case, these two popular little towns are best experienced overnight if you can manage.

The white hill towns are best done by car, but you won't want a car once you're out of there.

Definitely do the half-day stop in Cordoba between Madrid and Sevilla. The one potential 'gotcha' is the luggage lockers in the bus station across the street from the train station. There's just a handful of lockers, and others will be gunning for them, so be among the first off your train, make a beeline for the bus station, find the lockers and grab one. Have coins on hand (they're self-serve). Otherwise, you could be stuck with your bags for the day.

Look at a map and the place you're going. What sticks out like a sort thumb? What doesn't fit? Barcelona.

I know it's blasphemy (and the girls will hate the suggestion) but I'd recommend you drop Barcelona entirely from this trip. Technically it's in Spain (well, depending who you ask...) but Barcelona is far from everything else you're heading for. Save Barcelona for another trip - it actually fits just as well as part of a trip to the south of France as it does to a trip to Spain.

Skip Barcelona, slow down just a little, and see - and enjoy - more of the rest of Spain. Barcelona will still be there next time.