Planning a 30 day run through Spain and Portugal September 2014. Have travelled extensively but never S & P. We prefer apartments or rooms in a home occupied by owner; prefer trains but would go yhe car route if necessary. Planning arrival Barcelona-to Madrid-head south towards Gibralter around to Salema,leave for home from Lisbon. Any ideas, first hand experience much appreciated. Thanks
Don't rule out buses, they reach a lot of places the trains don't. I spent a couple of days in Nerja on the Costa de Sol and would highly recommend it. Lots of apartments close to the beach and great scenery. http://www.nerjatoday.com/
Envious of your trips.
I hope brad from Gainesville va will post on here as he recently completed a similar trip. RENFE will be your friend for train travel. Learn how to use their site. Be sure and register on this site. Also check out tripadvisor forum for excellent instructions on using the Renfe site. Big $ savings by booking on line on Renfe, but you must hold to the purchased ticket times. Second class travel is great on the AVE, high speed train. We have utilized AVE several times w great enjoyment and success. Advise taking AVE from Barca to Madrid then a choice of non AVE to Granada or an AVE to malaga. We chose to take AVE to Malaga and rent a car for moving around the area. Car rental at train station was ez, we used Autoeuropa. Be sure and obtain an international drivers license, required, from AAA for $20. I will stop here as am confident you will get a lot of great advice from many seasoned travelers.
Found brads post on trip reports titled Spain: Clean Toilets, Affordable Lodging Check it out
Thanks will do
I spent 3 weeks in Andalusia. Trains were easy and fast and comfortable. I spent a few days in the pueblos blancos for which a car is really best, unless you just want to go to Ronda, which is served by the train. Arcos is an easy bus ride from Jerez. I can't advise on how to get around southern Portugal. I think the drop-off charges for a rental car from Spain to Portugal will be very high. There are few connections between the two countries. The only train I found is Madrid-Lisbon. I think there's a bus route between Seville and Salema. So before you lock into a route, figure out how you are going to get from Spain to Portugal. From there, I'd work out the Spanish itinerary.
Thank you Chani. We just read Rick's "22 Days in Spain/Portugal". I was exhausted just reading it. We like to stay in a location for a week and venture out to a site, enjoy and return whenever at night to reflect with an aperitif and a walk. Latest thoughts are Arrive Barcelona (1week), train to Madrid with regional travel(1week), train to Seville and regional travel (1week), ??????? to Salemma/Lisbon/Home (1week). Has anyone recently stayed in an apartment they would recommend or a contact they trust in any of these regions. City center Madrid and Barcelona if reasonably priced works. Farms or vineyards for Seville. A room with breakfast on a farm or vineyard would be a nice setting for that aperitif. The feedback is great, thank you all.
I hope you have a great trip. I originally planned two or three weeks including Spain and Portugal but quickly focused on only Spain (and increased to 30 days) because there is so much to see in Spain - we'll have to plan Portugal on our next trip in the area. One thing you will find, if you do both Spain and Portugal, there really isn't train service between the two. You can either drive or use buses if you prefer. Bus service isn't something to be avoided. It's cheap and easy. Each bus station has an information booth, with an English speaker, to help you choose the route and buy your ticket among several competing lines. You can also visit a local travel agent in town to book your tickets with no advance purchase needed. I like picking up tickets at the station at least the evening prior - so I know when I need to be there, where the station is, and where my bus departs from.
Thank you, Interesting thought. I would cut out Portugal and leave for another trip if it didn"t make sense to try and do both. Our general idea is to go crazy three weeks and chill on a beach one week before leaving for home. Just got a look at the Costa Brava, (OK I want to live there - forget about visiting). I'm thinking Salema in late September is still warm water. Through Parker Villas we rented an apartment two weeks Positano, one week Rome back in '07. Shopped for food in town, cooked, swam at Onefire Beach, walked around, drank and ate some more (and drank some more).Fabulous experience. That's what we're trying to capture again. Anyone one rent an apartment in Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba or Salema.
found info on the apt we rented in Madrid and thoroughly enjoyed. Carol Giscombe Basalto 16, 2B Urb El Guijo 28260 Galapagar, Madrid Spain Phone: +34 918588649 firstname.lastname@example.org
x0120691x Located in the Latina district, one block south of Cascorro Plaza. Five minute walk to Plaza Mayor, two minute walk to great local market, non-tourist area. Carol was great and apt was as photos depicted. When we return we will rent same location from Carol.
Thank you Steve, a start. Definitly going to check it out. Very much appreciated. Brad,
Haven't thought about buses. But the get ticket day before train good to hear instead of trying to figure one year ahead, my daily schedule and how many times I'll ride the train. All of you have been great.