Husband & I will be flying into Madrid and departing from Barcelona for 12 day trip in April. From Madrid we would like to drive south to Granada, Seville, and up the east coast to Barcelona. Is this feasible? Any and all suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
You might want to take the train to Sevilla before picking up your car. The train is quick and easy and if, you order tickets ahead of time, probably cheaper than driving. You don't need a car in Sevilla and could pick it up at the end of your stay there. We did the opposite trip in 2010 - picking up the car in Granada then driving to Sevilla (with a week in between). We turned in the car in Sevilla and took the train to Madrid.
Driving between Granada and Barcelona would be a very long drive. Also - 10 nights is really not a long amount of time to cover that much distance. You would really be able to see Madrid and southern Spain in 10 days and not feel too rushed.
Tell yourself you will go back to Barcelona next time.....
I agree with Kathryn about taking the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla - there is little point in driving that route. From there a car is very useful to see the white hill towns and more rural areas and sites in Andalucía. Personally I would skip Barcelona on this trip since it is so far remote from Andalucía. You'll spend much of your time in a car driving between the two rather than enjoying the sites in between. And there is more than enough to fill your time in/around Madrid and Andalucía. You can either return to Madrid by the AVE or fly out of Malaga.
An alternative, if you are fixed on seeing both Madrid and Barcelona, is to spend a few extra days near Madrid to see things like Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial and then go to Barcelona. You could also visit Valencia as a stop between the two cities - it is easily served by rail from both cities.
If you really want to see Seville/Granada, Madrid, and Barcelona in just 12 days, the best way to enjoy it and not have it be an endurance test is to fly into Granada, train or bus to Seville, train from Seville to Madrid, train from Madrid to Barcelona, then fly home from Barcelona. Each of these travel legs is about 3 hours, so you lose a half-day with each location change. This will still be a rushed trip, but it is possible. You could also cut one of these destinations and focus on a smaller area; if you do this, a car may be useful, depending on what you want to see.
A lot to cover in ten nights. I think 3 nights is fine for Barcelona (more if you have it, probably not less), 2 nights for Seville (add time for Easter week or April Fair), 3 nights for Granada. That doesn't leave really any time to travel between destinations - and it's not a small country.
I'd stick either south or north, flying into one end and home from the other. A car is great in Spain, roads are good and traffic, outside of the cities, isn't bad at all (when possible use the A rather than AP, toll, roads). Trains offer limited coverage and are backed up by first rate private (competing) bus companies.
April includes Easter Week, Semana Santa, April 11-19 in 2014. I would definitely plan to visit a place with lively festivities during that period. Barcelona is a letdown during this time - they are the least religious part of the country. Seville is famous for it's Semana Santa processions. We went in April and, unfortunately, wasted most of the week in Barcelona. We spent Holy Thursday in Zaragosa, however, and were treated to one of the most amazing travel experiences ever. Pamplona's Good Friday procession was, in contrast, not nearly as exciting.
Late April is normally April Fair in Seville. It's a set number of days after Easter Week, so I think it's in May in 2014.