Please sign in to post.

Spain Itinerary

Hello!

My brother and I will be visiting Spain during our Spring break in March, so we are limited to 10 nights. We have not bought plane or train tickets, yet, so our plans are very open! Where do you suggest we visit, and how should we go from place to place? We would like to stick to public transportation.

Thanks for your help!
Carrie

Posted by
50 posts

Spain can still be pretty cold in March, so you may want to focus on the south part: Sevilla/ Ronda/ Granada. Other posts have advice on how to get between these cities. Happy travels!

Posted by
1245 posts

start in Barcelona, 3 nights
train to madrid, 2 nights
train to granada, 2 nights
train to seville, 2 nights

Posted by
14780 posts

I agree with Kathy. I might even skip Granada. It just takes too much time to travel from Barcelona to Madrid and from almost anywhere to Granada for so short a trip. Use the Renfe website for Spanish train schedules. The train stations in the Andalusian towns are very near the historic centers, easy to get to. The trains in Spain are very modern, comfortable and many are high-speed.

Posted by
21655 posts

We did a ten day winter trip. Flew into Madrid and home from Malaga. An open jaw ticket is essential. It was Madrid (2 nights), Cordoba (1), Seville (3), Granada (3). It was relatively short train rides to all and a bus from Granada to the Malaga airport. A bit rushed but a good trip.

Posted by
4529 posts

Depends a lot on what you want to do and see. Barcelona has a reputation for nightlife and is popular with younger people. Catalonian culture is closer to the French than it is to what we think of as Spanish. It also has a beach, which may or may not be useful in March. You could also travel south from Barcelona down the Costa Blanca to towards Valencia. By March, beaches there and around Malaga will be reasonable.

For cultural attractions, Madrid is tops with the Prado Museum and others. Toledo nearby is the heart of historic Spain before the Reconquista and there are several other fantastic daytrips from Madrid.

For Moorish history and architecture, Andalucía is where to visit: Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba. Sevilla and Granada also have a rich nightlife (Granada is a major college town).

I do not recommend northern Spain that time of year.

If visiting more than one region, get an open jaw (multi city) plane ticket to avoid backtracking. Buying train tickets well in advance can net you significant discounts (use the Renfe website direct - never RailEurope).

Since no one here can know what interests you - use this type of general advice to research regions and cities that interest you further. Get a couple of good guidebooks or browse online.

Posted by
1178 posts

No matter where you travel in Spain, Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Seville, etc., the train will be an important part of your trip. For information on purchasing tickets, see the following: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madrid:Spain:Buying.Renfe.Tickets.Online.html It is frequently updated. Be sure to "register" on the site at the first opportunity given as it will make the purchase easier.

You can purchase tickets at a substantial discount on line, but the tickets are not changeable. Also, the trains leave the station on time, not a minute later has been my experience.

I would recommend Barcelona if you want to see a fabulous city, even described by many as the "Paris of Spain." Madrid is another favorite of mine as well as Toledo (spend the night if possible). Sevilla is fascinating with the C. Columbus and America connections

The weather in March can be very changeable, no matter where you are, but it will be a fun trip.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks, guys!

I am currently living in Ireland and have toured Eastern Europe in January, so the cold and rain don't bother me one bit. I like to see basically anything - except anything I will see back in the states (resorts, shopping centers, and the like). Show me history, beaches, music, traditional culture, the great outdoors, or nightlife and I will happily take it all in. We are both fit and active (or at least I pretend to be, though I'm nowhere near as fit as my brother, who is in the military) and like to walk as much as possible, away from the tours (so Rick Steves' self guided tours are perfect).

Thanks again!

Posted by
11798 posts

March is better for Andalucia than Castille (south rather than north).

One possible exception that you may want to center your trip around is the Fire Festival in Valencia, March 15-19 in 2014. If you take in the festival, it will be an epic memory - and only happens in March.

If you do the fire festival, maybe start in Barcelona for 3 nights, Valencia for 3 nights, and Granada for 3 nights. Trains don't serve the Barcelona to Granada corridor well. A bus is the best cheap public transport option plus another popular local experience that is rarely shared by American tourists. The buses are very nice, like luxury charter buses here. Buses will get you anywhere. Each station I've been in has an information booth with an English speaker who will help you sort out your options and book your ticket. You can do the same at any local travel agent in town.

http://www.carnifest.com/events/spain/valencia/26/las-fallas-fire-festival-2014.aspx

If you choose against the fire festival, I'd stick south. Fly into Granada for 3 nights and plan two nights in Seville (their festivals are in April, so you won't catch them). You can train between the two, but consider buses as a low cost alternative. I'd also plan at least a short stop in Cordoba to see the Mesquita and surrounding quarter (no less than four hours and use a taxi from the train or bus station to save time).

Some options if you stick south. Between Granada and Seville, you can bus to Ronda for a night, then bus to Gibraltar (probably La Linea, Spain) for a night, then up to Seville by bus (Jerez is another good stop). Cordoba could be a daytrip from Seville if you fly home out of Seville, or a stop on the way to Madrid if you fly home from there. The fast trains are great for Seville to Madrid (Cordoba between) or Barcelona to Madrid (Zaragosa between).

I could give you other options that include more stops in the north - but I really think you would kick yourself, because of the potential for very cold weather, if you choose north. Castille doesn't get the "soft" weather that Ireland gets. It can be bitterly cold along with wind, snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc. - much less than ideal touring weather, even if you're used to cold.