My husband and I (early 70’s) are planning a last-minute trip to Spain and would appreciate feedback about time of visit and about the order of the itinerary. We haven't made flight reservations so we are free to tweak it. Suggestions for hotels/apartments (under $175/night) and restaurants (simple, good food; will probably eat a lot of tapas!) would be helpful, too. We are planning to go in late October – early November and wonder whether there is much difference in the weather we could anticipate if we push the dates a little earlier toward mid-October or later toward mid-November. (We know that weather is unpredictable but also know that there are probabilities.)
We look forward to wandering through old/scenic areas of town; visiting cathedrals, mosques, art museums, gardens, and markets; and experiencing local culture and food. We are usually up and out early, are on-the-go all day, and typically walk 6-8 miles/day (more if we need to but would rather not). We did a lengthy driving trip and cruise to Italy, Greece, and Turkey in May and June so we’re trying to keep this trip shorter (2 weeks) and less intense.
We have driven in Italy, France, and England and traveled Switzerland and Italy by train and would prefer to use trains for transportation in Spain. I have some questions about train travel that I’ll post separately.
We would appreciate feedback on this itinerary, particularly the order in which we’ve placed the cities and whether the time in each place seems reasonable for seeing the sights in which we’re most interested. (I’ve marked the “must sees” with an *) We’ve done some research but like to get input in case there are considerations we’ve overlooked.
Note: We plan to book as many sights in advance as possible to save wait times
As always, thanks for your assistance.
Days 2, 3, 4
Arrive Barcelona early in the day; check into hotel or apartment
Las Ramblas walk,
La Boqueria Market,
Cathedral of Barcelona *,
Sardana Dances (If there on Sunday),
Santa Catarina Market,
Sagrada Familia *,
La Pedrera *,
Park Guell *,
Days 5, 6
Fast train (direct) Barcelona –Granada 6 ½ - 7 ½ hrs; arrive by mid-afternoon; check into hotel
Days 7, 8, 9
Early train Granada to Seville; arrive noon – 1 pm; check into hotel
Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower *,
Basilica de la Macarena,
Day trip to Cordoba – Mezquita * (versus stopping on our way from Seville to Madrid)
Days 10, 11, 12, 13
Early fast train Seville to Madrid; arrive 12 – 1 pm; check into hotel
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Guernica),
Retiro Park (near Prado),
Royal Botanical Garden (near Prado),
Day trip to Toledo – Cathedral *, San Juan de los Reyes Monasterio (versus stopping on our way from Seville to Madrid)
Madrid to Houston
Would adding an extra day for a day trip to El Escorial or Segovia add a new dimension to what we’ll be seeing elsewhere?
As always, thanks in advance for sharing your expertise.