We are thinking of spending 10 days in Spain. If you were limited to just 10 nights where would you spend them? We've never been before so we'd be looking for the best of the best!
Large cities: Barcelona. The Paris of Spain - not a true Spanish city in the eyes of many, but fascinating none the less with the harbor, Las Ramblas, Gaudi, Gaudi, and more Gaudi. Also the Picasso museum, cathedral, and food markets. A fascinating city. 2 or 3 nights at least. Madrid: Capital city of Spain. - The Royal Palace and armory, plaza Mayor, The Prado and other museums in the adjacent area, The Park Retiro, Botanical Gardens, Gran Via. A great walking city, vibrant 24 hours a day! 2 or 3 nights also. Smaller places: Salamanca - With its university dominating the town, a train ride away from the Charmatin Station in Madrid. 1 or 2 nights. Toledo - 1/2 hour from Madrid via the Atocha Train Station - El Greco, Moorish Influence, Jewish Quarter, My favorite city. 1 or 2 nights at the Posada del Manola, hostal near the cathedral, great breakfast and accommodations as well. Sevilla 2 1/2 hour from Atocha Station in Madrid. Connection with Christopher Columbus is amazing. You can even see his handwritten notes in the library there.
2 nights at least. Really Discover Sevilla Tour is excellent, small and personalized. Of the above, I would to to Madrid, with side trips to Salamanca, Toledo, Sevilla, or at least two of them.
We live in Andalucia so are probably biased towards it, but if I only had 10 nights, I would probably leave Andalucia out of contention. You could of course do only Andalucia - splitting the time between Seville, Granada and Cordoba - with, in my opinion, Seville and Granada worthy of more time. The Alhambra in Granada is stunning. Only you know your travelling style, but Spain is a very big (for Europe) country and it probably depends on whether you want a taste of it, or want to spend more time in fewer places. Also whether you are a city person. Barcelona and Madrid are both wonderful, but very different, cities. They are also some distance from each other. If I had to choose one, I would probably choose Madrid but it would be a difficult choice. I think you need to narrow down your preferences a little, as what are the magical places in Spain to some are not to others.
We recently did ten days. Bit rushed but worked reasonably well. Flew into Madrid for 3 nights, Cordoba -1, Sevilla -3, Granada 3, and home from Malaga. Use train and bus from Granada to Malaga for the flight home.
With ten nights, start by choosing north or south. North, I'd focus on Madrid and Barcelona, with a couple of side trips in those areas (examples Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, Avila, Montserrat). South, I'd focus on Seville, Cordoba and Granada with a couple of side trips in the area (examples Malaga, Ronda, Arcos, Jerez). Even then, you will only be able to see highlights and will have to skip a lot of worthwhile sites.
Agree with choosing south or north, but my preference would be the south. It is an absolutely beautiful area and I would return there in a minute, but I prefer smaller cities and villages of which there were plenty in the south as well as the sea.
Recently did the south of spain and loved it.
Sevilla, Granada, Ronda and a side trip to Morocco were our favorites.
Barcleona would be my recommendation. You could spend the entire ten days there and still not experience everything. But if you want some variety, using the train or low-cost air you could take several inexpensive day trips or even an overnighter. You might even check out a France destination, it's not that far.
Thanks for all of your great ideas everyone! We really appreciate your feedback.