I am planning a trip to Spain with my girlfriends. On the agenda is Madrid, Barcelona and I am up for a toss between Toledo, Granada, Sevilla and the white hill towns. Can anyone recommend an ideal itinerary? I don't want to pack in too much in too little time but at the same time I want to see as much as I can at some what of a leisurely pace. Thanks for your help!
Over New Years we did Madrid (2), Cordoba (1), Seville (3) ,Granada (3), and home from Malaga. A bit rushed but a great trip. If you are going to Madrid and want a leisurely pace then I would focus on that area -- Toledo, Segovia, Avila and save southern Spain for another trip.
We had the same amount of time and started with Madrid 3 days, Toledo 1 day, Segovia 1 day (both about an hour from Madrid in different directions), 3 days in Barcelona. I didn't go south because of travel times to get there and then it was more of a hassle to fly home (no direct flights from Seville to Atlanta).
Ola, Smee. When will spring really come to Chicago? We spent a week in Espana this past December, flying into Barcelona (3 nights) with the high-speed AVE train to Madrid (2.5 hrs) for 4 nights, with day trips via AVE train to Toledo (30 min) and Sevilla (2.5 hours, with a private guide meeting us at the station). You have an extra night (1 more than us), and so I'd recommend, based on our experience, 3 Barcelona (fly there first), 3 Madrid with a day trip to Toledo (30 min by train), and 2 Sevilla, flying home from Sevilla. If you're interested in the details (along with some restaurant and hotel recs), you can check them out on my travel blog:
This page has our "Report from Spain" on our week-long trip: http://moltogentileitalia.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html
If you'd like a copy of our itinerary, with sites, hotels, restaurants, and costs, just shoot me a message and I'll send as an MS Word doc. Have a great trip!
I normally go with whatever Gio recommends, but in this case I've got to agree with Deanna...mostly since the limited time should be spent in a limited area...and secondly, because I love the south of Spain so much that I would need to spend much more time there (the subject of a separate trip at some future date).
It seems as though Deanna nailed it for a more relaxed pace. I'm planning a one-week trip to Madrid and will do Toledo and Segovia as daytrips. This will be at a very casual pace. With 2 more days, I would have added Barcelona (would have flown into Barcelona and out of Madrid) but nothing more. Barcelona will have to wait for another visit, which will be focused on just Catalunya. I think the south of Spain also merits its own separate visit. I've done the blitz approach on all previous trips. You can see alot all over Europe in two weeks, but you're wiped out at the end of your journey. I'm going to try this shorter, more leisurely approach and see how I like it. Happy travels!
You can also try Zaragoza, which is sort of in the middle between Barcelona and Madrid. It's a great city with an amazing cathedral and wonderful vibe, and I'd say one night is enough if you just want to see some beautiful sights. I agree with the rest of the posters, though -- leave southern Spain for another trip. It's a long distance and worth absorbing in a slower pace.
Bill & Frank, you both recommend saving Southern Spain for a separate trip....we are flying into Barcelona and out of Madrid with two weeks in Malaga/Almeria....please elaborate on what you would do with two weeks in Southern Spain. And is the Alhambra really 'all that'?