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Priorities for Two Weeks in Spain

My partner and I are heading to Spain next May and are trying to prioritize where to go and what to do. We're booking our skymiles this week and need to decide where to fly into and where to fly out of. We're thinking about flying into Barcelona and out of Madrid (or visa versa?), and we'd like to hear your itinerary suggestions so we can make up our minds. We're also thinking about Sevilla, Granada while in Madrid, but I'd also love to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao. That's a bit out of the way from all these other locations, so am not sure it can fit into a two week trip. Are there sites that we definitely should not miss?

We don't want to pack up every other day. We like to stay in place for 3-4 days (or longer) and do day trips. We're a gay couple in our early 50s and we like to spend our days seeing the sights, afternoons at sidewalk cafes watching people, and evenings at out-of-the-way cafes. Suggestions?

Posted by
9363 posts

You really should see the breathtaking cathedrals in Leon and Burgos. Neither is all that far from Madrid.

Posted by
68 posts

We flew on Iberia from Chicago to Barcelona (changing planes in Madrid) and home from Madrid 2 weeks later in late May/early June this year. We really liked Barcelona and would have liked to have 1 more night(we did 3). The city had an almost San Francisco type vibe to it. We flew on Iberia from BCN to Granada to save time. Granada had a lot more charm than Sevilla for us, in retrospect. Nerja was a nice beach break in the middle of our trip. Ronda was spectacular. Sevilla was just OK in our opinion. Cordoba was a half day stop to see the Mezquita. Madrid was a great place to make day trips from. El Escorial was interesting. Toledo was wonderful and if I ever go back, I would spend an overnight there. Feel free to e-mail me for any more comments. We used RS book for all sight-seeing recomendations, transportation tips; he is right-on.

Posted by
539 posts

You're hitting the "must-see" spots in Spain. For a two week trip I think one hotel in Barcelona would be a good start. Then consider another hotel in the south, perhaps the small, very old Roman town of Carmona which is commuting distance from both Sevilla and Cordoba. A third hotel in Granada would be good. Finally, end in Madrid, with day trips to Toledo, Escorial, or Avila. Buen viaje.

Posted by
1455 posts

I was in Spain last March and we flew into Barcelona, spent 4 days there, then flew to Madrid for 4 more days before heading home. I think I would have cut 1 day less in Barcelona and added 1 more in Madrid.

In Barcelona we did buy the 2 day "hop on / hop off" bus. At first my husband didn't want the tourist bus, but the benefit was the bus stopped at well, the touristy places we wanted to visit. To me, worth the price of the ticket!

In Madrid, we broke away from the city and took a day trip to Toledo and one to Segovia. The bus that took us there was inexpensive and efficient.

On Sundays Madrid offers museums for free, but get there early to avoid the crowds, as its also family day too.

Posted by
31 posts

If you go to Barcelona, you must stop over to Sitges and if you can spend at least one night there. It has the scene you seem to be interested in, sidewalk cafes, beachfront and great food. You might want to look up Antonio, who has a bed and breakfast and is a GREAT HOST. www.antoniossitges.com

Another option is renting a car and heading up to the Costa Brava, and visiting Figueres, Cadaques, Roses, Cap de Creus, Girona.

Granada is Beautiful, and visiting the Alhambra and the tea-shops is quite an experience.

I think flying into BCN would be much better for the Madrid airport is quite a hassle to get through.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks to everyone who has posted suggestions! Keep 'em coming.

We now have our airline tickets (you have to plan way in advance to cash in those frequent flyer miles), but now we have until next May to make our plans. And I do love to spend serious time researching the places we visit. I hate to go to these fabulous places and miss out on some real treasures.

So... we're flying into Barcelona, then are looking at taking the train down the coast a ways, maybe head down to Granada, then ending in Madrid. Bilbao is out, for now anyway. We're in Spain for two weeks and we don't want to spread ourselves too thin. We know we'll be back.