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First trip to Spain over Easter Barcelona and ?

We are traveling to Spain with our 17 and 15 year old children in spring of 2014. We can arrive the Wednesday before Easter and leave the Friday after Easter, so we have nine days to actually sightsee. We know we would like to see Barcelona for at least four days. I would like to skip Madrid this trip and see maybe two other areas which are not as urban, like Granada or Seville. Since we are in the beginning phases I would like to get ideas of how to spend the remainder of our days. Also since it will be over Easter are there particular areas which would be good to be during the Holy Week? Please help me with your suggestions or where to fly in and out and how to pace our destinations and what they should be. We would love to travel entirely by train but will drive if need be. First timers! Thanks!

Posted by
807 posts

I think Barcelona is pretty cool, nine days is not very long just for itself. travelling to Granada or Seville if fly, with train unless you take the night train, otherwise it's a lot of time wasted on commute. you could consider Madrid + Seville + Granada. it's tighter and a different flavor than Barcelona. I think Barcelona is better connected with south of france if that's another trip you want to consider.

Posted by
521 posts

Holy Week is a very big deal in Seville. You may not find a hotel and trains in and out of Seville may be booked solid. If you are able to make arrangements, it would be worthwhile. The parade of holy relics seems like it would be really something to see. But at a price of crowds and probably lines at all the other sites. Beware and do your homework before you decide on Seville.

Posted by
2828 posts

AVE train between Barcelona and Madrid takes 2.5 to 3.1 hours, depending on the train. Buy your tickets in advance on Renfe.com to get Promo fares as low as 40 euros.

Since you said you want to skip Madrid, I will suggest a plan that avoids Madrid ( except for changing trains) and also has you traveling all by train, no flights.

Flyinto Barcelona and spend three nights. (I know you said four but if you do that you will be traveling on Easter Sunday, not good).

Train to Toledo ( change trains in Madrid, Toledo is only 30 min. Away). Spend two nights. Toledo is a tiny hill town with lots of history and charm. Lodging is very reasonable and there are some great restaurants.

Train to Seville, changing again in Madrid. Seville is 2.75 hours from Madrid. Again, buy AVE tickets in advance on Renfe to get Promo fares. Two nights in Seville.

Train to Granada, one night. Then train to Cordoba for your last night, unless your Friday flight departs in the morning from Madrid. If that is the case, you will have to spend the night before departure in Madrid.

This has you moving a lot, mainly to fit in both Seville and Granada ( the Alhambra). If you prefer not to move around so much, pick one or the other. Or, fly from Barcelona to Granada and then go to Seville last.

If you want to spend Semana Santa in Seville, reverse the order and start in Seville. But before you decide that, check on availability of affordable lodging. The good places book up well in advance, and everybody raises their prices.

Posted by
11805 posts

Barcelona is a great city, but they celebrate Easter less than any other part of the country (goes back to their communist days before the civil war). Spend actual Easter week elsewhere then end your trip in Barcelona.

I agree with skipping Madrid. Seville and Granada are both great places to visit.

Seville is famous for Semana Santa (Easter Week) celebrations. We spent holy Thursday in Zaragosa (between Barcelona and Madrid). All I can say is WOW! If you get a chance to see Zaragosa's Thursday celebration, you won't be disappointed. Barcelona has only one procession, I believe on Good Friday - it's the only one in the country not sponsored/associated with the church. It was started by some expats from Seville who lamented there was no procession in Barcelona to mark the week.