I will by flying to Madrid in early April with friends. I would like to use Madrid as a home base taking day trips to Toledo, Segovia, Cuenca as well as seeing Madrid. My travel companions would like to see Seville. Is it possible as a day trip or should be rethink Madrid as a base? Maybe go to Seville and take some day trips like Granada. Also can white hill villages and Ronda be done as a day trip from Seville? Hire a driver or rent a car for that trip? Thank you.
Sunny, You can take a train from Madrid to Seville and back, but it would make for a long day. Also, your friends may want to spend more time in Seville than from the mid-morning to early-evening. Seville to Granada I believe is more of a stretch than Madrid to Seville. The villages are better done with a driver or rent a car. Edwin
Madrid is a good base and lots to see and do there...Toledo can be a day trip via the AVE 1/2 hour there and 1/2 hour back. Tour busses are at the train station in Toledo....but, walk out to the main street (Right entrance as you exit the train station) get a city bus to the Plaza Zodocover, get off and explore from there (the heart of the city)..cheaper and more fun!! Can go early and make a long day of it. Seville is 2 1/2 hours from Madrid via AVE train. Overnight at least to see some of the highlights. Not sure as regards the remainder of your post. Toledo and Seville are both very interesting cities..
I like Seville, Cordoba, and Granada; I'd make my base further south. Day trips to Ronda and Jerez would be worthwhile.
Sunny, I think the real question here is how much can you really cover at a reasonable pace in just 7 days - the other questions (where to base, etc.) are secondary. You can do a day trip to Toledo (although I think the Toledo experience is MUCH better if you spend the night there - because everyone does Toledo as a day trip). Same for Segovia. Don't know about Cuenca. You can not really do Sevilla as a day trip. You can do Cordoba as a day trip (half day stop) on the fast train between Madrid and Sevilla - but I think you have too many items here for just 7 days. I'd suggest... - Madrid (a minimum of 2 full days, 3 is better) - Toledo (go and spend the night)
- pick another place, maybe Segovia (best if you spend the night), or a day trip to Cordoba (can be done easily if you get an early start and take the fast train from Madrid, return to Madrid by evening). OR, just split your time between Madrid and Sevilla (with a half-day stop in Cordoba), but you would need to drop Toledo, Segovia and other day trips. Be honest with yourself about how many full days you have, nit including the days you fly in or out. The white hill towns and Granada are great, but you don't have time for them. Save 'em for another trip.
Thanks for your input. We have lots to think about.
Toledo is not to be missed if you are in Madrid. A day trip is very easy and you can at least see the highlights without being overly rushed. I do agree that spending the night is even better. If Madrid and Seville are really desired, then skip Segovia and do Madrid 3 nights with 1 day spent in Toledo and Seville 3 nights with 1 day spent in Cordoba (daytrip or along the way to/from Madrid). Sure its a bit rushed overall but you'll get the highlights. Just know that you can't add more without dropping something.
With 7 days I would stick to your original plan of Madrid and the surrounding area. Save Seville, Granada and the white hill towns for another trip.