My family is gathering near Seville, Spain for a week this May, where my sister has rented a house. This will be my first trip to Spain and my husband's second trip to Europe (I have visited a few other times). After the week with family, we are looking to travel elsewhere for another 3-4 days before heading home to the States. Any suggestions? I'd love for my husband to see one of the major cities (London, Paris) but we also know we'll be so close to Morocco. The trip is time limited because we're both able to take only 2 weeks off from work and want to allow packing/recuperation time on either end. Price is also a factor, but so far I've seen some good in-Europe prices for flights out of Seville to just about anywhere. Open and interested to hear any ideas! Thank you.
Personally, I wouldn't get involved with Morocco for a family reunion because it's so far from Seville. Madrid is a major Euro city, with days and days of activities. Even if you don't get to the West coast, Spain is a rich tourist destination. Close to Seville, you have Carmona, Italica, Jerez, Cordoba, Arcos de la Frontera, and Ronda. Gibraltar has some interest as another country and a WW II site, but like Morocco, I don't think it's worth the journey for a large group.
Don't take the wisdom of this site to be that you must see Barcelona or you haven't seen Spain. Barcelona and Granada are worth a trip by themselves, perhaps with Sitges, Montserrat, Valencia, and a Ballearic Island and if you have the time and money. (We're looking forward to the Choir of Montserrat at St. Thomas Church in NYC this winter.) Honestly, I've been to Sagrada Familia, and it's not nearly as important as the Gaudi sites in Barcelona. It's a kind of nut-case, like the reinforced-concrete castle in Doylestown, PA, associated with the Moravian Tile Works.
If you don't have your airline tickets yet, you would be looking for where you can return on open-jaw flights and match them up with where you can fly to on a budget airline from Seville. An extra 1 or 2 hours of flight time won't add significantly to travel time (most of which is getting to/from the airport, security, etc.). I thought about Morocco when I was planning a trip to Spain. It's not any "closer" than other places once you start flying. With only 3-4 days, you will only have time to see one city. Choose one that really interests you.
If you have already booked round-trip tickets to Seville, then you are probably better off just taking the train and seeing more of Andalusia - trust me, there is enough for 3-4 weeks.
Agree, there's plenty to see in Spain without going further. How about Madrid? Or, if you want to get to another country, Lisbon is interesting.
I would spend the 3-4 days in a major city from where you can get a direct flight back to the U.S. If you haven't already, check out your options on skyscanner.com or kayak.com. There are pretty cheap direct flights from Seville to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and others. If you connect through Barcelona you can get to Rome, Berlin, and a ton more places.
The flights to Morocco (Marrakesh for instance) are a bit more expensive, plus you'd have to fly from there to e.g. Madrid to catch a transatlantic flight home.
One option is to train north to Cordoba, Toledo and Madrid. The advantage is they are easy connections. Cordoba's Mesquita is one of the great sights in Spain. Madrid isn't my favorite, because it has little historical significance. For me, a visit to the Prado (and maybe Temple Debod) is plenty for Madrid - then train to Toledo. One night in Cordoba, a night in Toledo, and the rest in Madrid before your flight home is about right.
Another option in the area might include Jerez (the only Bodegas you can see in Spain without advance reservations); the white towns of Arcos or Ronda; Tarifa, Barbate, Conil, or Cadiz (although we were disappointed with how run down Cadiz is) to see the sea; and/or Gibraltar to visit England. Pick up to three of these for a quick visit.
We liked Tarifa but didn't take the ferry across to Tangier, Morocco. Reports I've read say Tangier is a lot like visiting Tijuana and saying you've been to Mexico.
Hello Jennifer. I agree with the repliers who recommended that you stay in Spain. You could fly from Madrid to the U.S.A.
A week in seville and surrounding area will provide a distinct understanding of one portion of Spain. Highly recommend spending remainder of trip in Barcelona to capture a completely different side of Spain.
I second with Barcelona. Fascinating city with an international airport to fly home from.