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My hubby and I are planning our first trip to Spain in mid May of 2012. Since we are using airline miles for our round trip tickets, I need to make the reservations within the next 6 weeks. This is the itinerary we have planned. I would appreciate any advice, opinions or suggestions. OPTION 1: FLY INTO MADRID AND OUT OF BARCELONA
Day 1: (3 nights in Madrid) Land in Madrid in the morning. Visit El Prado and stroll El Paseo in the evening. (We've never experienced jet lag, so doing El Prado on our first day shouldn't be a problem - besides, it's not open on Mondays) Day 2: Madrid: Palacio Real and Thyssen Day 3: Day trip to Toledo from Madrid Day 4: (3 nights in Sevilla) Train to Sevilla: El Catedral, Giralda Tower and Alcazar. Day 5: Day trip to Cordoba from Sevilla (OR SHOUDL WE STOP IN CORDOBA FOR A DAY ON OUR WAY FROM MADRID TO SEVILLA?) Day 6: Sevilla: Museo de Bellas Artes, Casa de Pilatos and Bullfight Museum (and tour). Experience flamenco at Casa de Memoria Day 7: (2 nights Granada) Train to Granada: Royal Chapel, St. Nicholas Viewpoint and meander through the Albayzin Day 8: La Alhambra Day 9: (5 nights in Barcelona) Fly to Barcelona in the morning: Catalan Art Museum and Park Guell Day 10: Barcelona: Stroll through the Barri Gothic and stop at: Picasso Museum & Casa MIla Day 11: Day train trip to Sant Sadurni D'Anoia for wine tasting Day 12: Daytrip to Montserrat Day 13: Sagrada Familia and just meander through Barcelona Day 14: Fly home from Barcelona OPTION 2: START IN BARCELONA AND END IN MADRID Does one "loop" make more sense than the other? If we wanted to skip Toledo or Cordoba to add more time in Sevilla, which one would you skip?

Posted by
338 posts

I have not been to all of the locations you mention (e.g. Barcelona), so I won't comment on the overall itinerary.
However, I do have a couple of observations. 1). In Madrid you can easily add more to Day #2. The palace and Thyssen will not take a full day. You could add a visit to the Reina Sofia and see the highlights (e.g. Picasso's Guernica). You could duck into the Madrid cathedral. You could check out the archaeological museum. In the evening you could catch a bull fight (depending on schedule). 2). I would not drop Toledo. It is worth a day and easy to get to from Madrid. 3). You have plenty of time left in your Seville days to add a bit more. However, if you're looking to drop something, I'd drop the bullfight museum unless you haven't seen a bull ring before. I thought it was a bit boring. If you're looking to add something, I liked the Macarena museum. Good luck.

Posted by
4132 posts

1) Toledo better than Madrid, in many ways. Don't drop it. 2) Consider 2 visits to wonderful Alhambra, the first at night. Grab a cab from the Albaicin to the entrance your first night. You only get to see the Nasrim Palace but it is totally worth it; magical under the stars.

Posted by
811 posts

Overall, I like your itinerary. As a matter of fact, your Option 2 is very similar to a trip my husband and I took a couple years ago, although we elected to rent a car in Granada and drive to Seville over the course of a couple days. This allowed us to check out some of the White Hill Towns and Gibraltar. Regarding Cordoba, we decided to take a day trip there from Seville so that we didn't have to deal with luggage storage. We left early in the morning (on the less expensive, slower non-AVE train) and were back in Seville by about 3:00 or 4:00 pm. It worked out great and was well worth it (the Mezquita absolutely blew me away; the rest of Cordoba not so much). Regarding luggage storage in Cordoba, last I knew you can store luggage at the bus station across the street from the train station, but there are a limited number of lockers. If you decide to see Cordoba as a stop between Seville and Madrid then make sure to check on current luggage storage options before you go, especially as things can change if new security measures are put into place. Lastly, I'd try not to skip Toledo (loved the cathedral), but you could always make that a "game day decision" based on whether or not you feel you've seen what you'd like of Madrid. Have fun!