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8 days in Spain

Going solo to Spain early/mid May, have 8 full days. Flying in and out of Madrid. Would like to spend 3 or 4 days in Madrid, a day in Toledo and trying to figure out one more city to spend the balance. Have been to Barcelona a few years ago and also have been to Seville and Malaga, but not for almost 20 years. Am interested in cities with great food and wine as well as history and worth 2 or 3 nights. I realize that doesn't rule out many places. I am thinking either south to Seville again or northwest to Salamanca. Would like to go somewhere i haven't been before and am looking for suggestions and recommendations. Thanks.

Posted by
4555 posts

Salamanca would be a great place to spend a couple of days. Wonderful university town with some marvellous sights, and probably the most attractive Plaza Mayor in Spain. The cathedral is spectacular....and you'll love the food. And you could stop in Avila on the way up.

Posted by
536 posts

Hi David - My number one choice would be Cadaques - A truly Beautiful village town about a two and a half hour drive from Barcelona.
A favorite haunt of Salvadore Dali, you would find in to be a wonderful place to spend some time on The Spanish Coast.

Greg

Posted by
3104 posts

I agree that Salamanca is a great city. In addition to the sites that Norm mentioned they also have an interesting Art Nouveau Museum.

Posted by
271 posts

Thanks for the responses. So if you had to choose between Salamanca and Valencia??? And why?? Thanks.

Posted by
4555 posts

Salamanca, without a doubt. There's really not a lot to draw tourists to Valencia. Valencia reminds me a lot of Malaga....a busy, bustling, modern city with some hidden gems, but not worth a separate visit, especially since it's a 4 hour drive from Madrid. The only benefit of going to Valencia, IMO, would be to stop in the town of Cuenca, a lovely place, and certainly worth more than just a flying visit.
Contrast that with the history and monuments in Salamanca, and the chance to visit Avila on the way there, and, to me, there's no comparison. If you're driving, you can make a long day of it by heading to Avila, then looping down through the mountains via Gredos and La Alberca, then back up to Salamanca....a wonderful drive!

Posted by
9110 posts

Do exactly what Norm says. Go to Valencia only if you want to see the aquarium.

Posted by
271 posts

thanks for the confirmation, that was the idea i was starting to get about Valencia. Salamanca (and Avila) it is. BTW i will not be driving. Been to Europe many times, never had a car. Did do a tour once and traveled by bus everywhere, but other than that, public transport for me. Thanks again.

Posted by
271 posts

Thanks, i will look into it, but i think i remember reading that the train leaves you closer to the city center in Salamanca than the bus does, but will compare prices and see if train is worth it. Thanks again.

Posted by
4555 posts

Buses are very good in Spain, and usually much cheaper than trains. Click here for the website that covers most Spanish coach routes.

Posted by
4555 posts

It's really a toss-up. From the train station, which is northeast of the downtown, it's about a mile to Plaza Mayor...from the bus station, which is to the northwest, about 3/4 of a mile. So whatever's best for you.

Posted by
271 posts

Thanks for the help Norm. Now I'm thinking of hitting Salamanca as soon as i fly into Madrid and stopping at Avila either on the way to Salamanca or on the way back to Madrid a few days later. This means i'll have my luggage with me, and i'm reading that there are no lockers at the Avila train station, but there are at the bus station. Not sure of the size of those lockers and don't want to be stuck dragging luggage around (also bus station is closed on Sunday, not sure what that means for lockers). Any advice? Thanks.

Posted by
4555 posts

Sorry David...I've never stored luggage at the bus station, and I don't recall what the sizes were.
On another note, if you have any trouble getting good bus schedules Madrid-Avila and beyond on the Movelia website, try La Sepulvedana bus lines. Their AvanzaBus subsidiary runs in that area and is not, I believe, on the Movelia system yet.

Posted by
3104 posts

Hi David,

We did what you're suggesting. The morning we flew into Madrid we took the Metro to the bus station and took the bus to Salamanca. It took about 2.5 hours. We walked from the bus station to our hotel near Plaza Mayor. We were in Salamanca in time to have lunch on Plaza Mayor!

I would make the stop in Avila on your return (not sure about the locker situation.)

Posted by
271 posts

Thanks Sharon, so you were ok, with luggage traveling by bus to Salamanca from Madrid??

Posted by
3104 posts

Hi David,

We pack light--one carry-on and a backpack each. It worked great!! I'm envious though luckily we're going back to Spain in May to visit some cities we haven't been to yet! You are going to have a great time!!

Posted by
271 posts

Thaks for the extra support for Salamanca. Didn't need it as i had already made up my mind to see Salamanca. Went to Segovia almost 20 years ago, may go again from Madrid. Since you're Salamanca expert, can you recommend any restaurans or other items that i may not get from the travel guides? Thanks.

Posted by
6 posts

I heart everyone who's mentioned Salamanca. :D I studied there for five weeks during college (summer 2004) and LOVE IT. Please do go if you can.

I have to say, I thought Avila was not worth it - not just because there wasn't much to do, but because I'd spent so much time studying St. Teresa as part of the program that I was honestly very tired of her - and then to go to her hometown ... it was hard. ;) I'm sure it's very nice if you haven't been inundated with her ... hehe!

Segovia is a wonderful place to go - beautiful cathedral, and a really cool 2nd-century Roman aqueduct. Absolutely incredible. I'd highly recommend both there and Toledo.

Posted by
9 posts

Hi David, Son't know if you have already gone....but don't forget the close by town of Toledo. The most majestic cathedral alter I have ever seen.

Posted by
271 posts

Thanks. I am leaving for Spain May 6th. Will spend a couple nights in Salamanca and then back to Madrid. I will be spending nights in Toledo (will see Cathedral) and Segovia as well. Thanks again.