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1 week in Spain with daughter and 1 week alone ideas?

I will be traveling with my daughter to Spain in March to drop her off in Madrid for her study abroad. We have been to Madrid and Toledo before and would like to see more country side than city this time. I was thinking about flying into Barcelona and spending a few days then trying to get down to the Alhambra. We have 1 week together then she has to be in Madrid to start her program. I want to help her get settled into her apartment then travel alone for 4 or 5 days. Flying out of Madrid. Thanks!

Posted by
31830 posts


Regarding the Alhambra, be sure to get reservations well in advance. Also note that they're very strict about the entry times so don't be late!

Regarding getting from Barcelona to the Alhambra, I'd have to spend some time looking at options. The first option that comes to mind would be a budget flight with Vueling, but I haven't checked their flight schedules.

Good luck with your planning!

Posted by
1178 posts

To avoid carrying her luggage around I would suggest flying in to Madrid, getting her partly settled, and then traveling...Ave to Barcelona is 2 1/2 hours. A few days there, then back to Madrid by AVE and on down to Sevilla. From there you could rent a car if you wish and travel in that area. Then back to Madrid by AVE and finish getting her settled in. Have you been to Cantarbria on the coast? Fantastic and completely different from the remainder of Spain....Santander, Bilbao, and the other cities and areas along the coast. Finally, back to Madrid for you and on home.

Posted by
12077 posts

So many options, so little time.

One nice week around Madrid would include Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Valladolid (several great castles in the area Pinafiel, La Mota, and Coca), and Burgos. It's a chance to see classic Castille.

The downside with this option is March is likely to still be cold in the hilly northern Spain.

During March, you may be better going south. If you do, the obvious places to visit are Granada, Seville, and Cordoba. You could easily spend a week on those three. If you rush a little, you may be able to add a stop or two. If so, Ronda, Jerez, Arcos, and/or Gibraltar are all good choices.

Barcelona is really nice. It will be cool, but hopefully not freezing in March. Transportation between Barcelona and Granada isn't great (you probably want a cheap flight) so pairing Andalucia with Barcelona is likely to use up valuable travel time.

Madrid to Barcelona by high speed train, however, is very easy. It's a natural for after dropping your daughter in Madrid. You could plan some side trips (Girona for example) to fill out your week.

Posted by
6534 posts

What a great opportunity for your daughter to study abroad - congratulations & best of luck to her! We just returned from 3 weeks in November. Madrid was cool, and towns to the north (Segovia, Bilbao, San Sebastian/Donostia, Girona, Figueres, and Barcelona) were positively cold with rain some days. You could visit any of these and have a great time, but be prepared for the possibility of rain or snow. Andalucia and the Costa del Sol are great, too, and have a different vibe than in the north. The University in Girona is right up in the medieval quarter, and it's really a college town - we met kids there from all over who spoke fluent English.

While Barcelona has lots to see and do, it's a definite CITY with a CAPITAL "C," so if you're looking for more "country" and less "city," keep that in mind. While you probably wouldn't want to try to drive in Sevilla or Granada (too hectic), the historic centers are more like fabulous, relatively intimate towns, while Barca is very New York City-like, with all the benefits and drawbacks that implies.

Have a great time with your daughter, in any event!