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Two Weeks in Spain

Looking for some feedback on this itinerary for two weeks in Spain Sept 28-Oct 11, and a few questions at the end below.
Have plane tickets in and out of Barcelona already from/to USA West Coast via Frankfurt.
Sun 10/28 - Arrive Barcelona in afternoon/Sleep Barcelona.
Mon - Barcelona (beach day - recover)/Sleep Barcelona.
Tues - Barcelona/Sleep Barcelona.
Wed - Barcelona/Sleep Barcelona.
Thurs - Train to Madrid on 10 AM train (3 hrs)/Sleep Madrid.
Fri - Madrid/Sleep Madrid.
Sat - Train to Granada at 9 AM (4 1/2 hrs) Only two trains per day morning and late evening/Sleep Granada.
Sun - Tour Alhambra/Sleep Granada.
Mon - Rent car and drive to Arcos/Sleep Arcos.
Tues - Arcos, day trip to Ronda/Sleep Arcos.
Wed - Drive to Sevilla/Sleep Sevilla.
Thurs - Sevilla/Sleep Sevilla.
Fri - Sevilla/Fly to Barcelona/Sleep Barcelona.
Sat - Depart Barcelona for Frankfurt at noon.

Questions:
1. Too much time in Barcelona?
2. Better to sleep in Arcos or Ronda?
3. Would like to try and get one night on the Costa del Sol (Nerja?) What to eliminate if worth it?
4. We are bypassing Toldeo as we could not fit it into this itinerary. Good idea?

All suggestions/opinions appreciated.

Posted by
1268 posts

First, you have a pretty solid itinerary.
Second, it could be justified to do one less day in Barcelona and add a day in Madrid. At the same time I would recommend keeping the day in Barc and using it for a day trip to Monsterrat.
Third, same thought on Arcos or Ronda. If it was me I would base out of Ronda.
Fourth, skip Nerja. The Costa del Sol will not add significant value to this journey.
Fifth, take an earlier train to Madrid to add a bit more time there.
Sixth, be sure and stay up past midnight to gain a real sense of local culture.
Seventh, you are traveling during a great time of the year.
Eight, read up on how to correctly access Alhamba.

Posted by
61 posts

Much appreciated. Looks like with this itinerary my only choice for staying in a Paradores is in Arcos or Ronda. Ronda is booked. The one in Arcos is $$$ for a balcony room. Place next door is much less $ with same view. Is the Paradores experience worth the added cost there (more than double)? I will pay if it is.

Posted by
123 posts

I would agree with above about cutting one day out of Barcelona and adding it to Madrid. Also, you might consider staying at this amazing place just outside Ronda called Hotel Molino del Arco: www.hotelmolinodelarco.com. It is a beautiful property with lovely people and a fantastic restaurant. It's a great "vacation from your vacation," especially since you will be pretty tired from all the sightseeing in Barcelona, Madrid and Granada. You will probably not want to leave. Other than that, I think you have a great itinerary here. It's very similar to our Rick Steves Spain tour. Enjoy!

Posted by
2353 posts

I would be tempted to splurge on the Parador in Arcos.

I agree - skip Nerja - the Costa del Sol has very little charm left and resembles any big resort destination.

As much as I love Barcelona I also agree - subtract 1 day and add to Madrid.

Posted by
4535 posts

Whether to skip a day in Barcelona for an extra in Madrid depends on your interests. Lots of people like Madrid, and it is a nice city. But I personally find it dull other than for the incredible art museums. If you don't much like art, Madrid might not be your place. You would be wise to take an earlier train to Madrid if possible. Arrive there by 11:00 and you'll have the entire afternoon to spend.

I hope you are catching a later flight back to Barcelona, allowing yourself more time in Sevilla.

To drive in Spain you must have an International Drivers Permit. You get them from any AAA office with two passport photos and your drivers license.

Posted by
61 posts

I appreciate the feedback. I am seriously considering the switch of one day from Barcelona to Madrid at this point. Especially since we are flying back to Barcelona prior to our flight home.