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first trip to Spain, help needed! - Mallorca, Andalusia, and Barcelona

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I've been working on our itinerary for Fall 2015 and have changed it quite a bit from original plans which covered Madrid and towns around it. Since then, I discovered Mallorca and think that it looks and sounds amazing! So, here is our updated itinerary. If we choose this itinerary, we will simply have to save Madrid and surrounding area for another trip. We try to plan trips by the RS adage that we will go back!

Day 1 (Saturday, Sept 26): Flight from US into Madrid or Barcelona

Day 2: Arrive Spain; flight to Mallorca. Explore Mallorca.

Day 3: Mallorca

Day 4: Mallorca

Day 5: Mallorca

Day 6: Granada - 10:35 to 11:55 flight to Granada. Bus into town, check into hotel. Explore Granada, take evening walking tour to explore. Take night tour of Alhambra.

Day 7: Granada - tour Alhambra. Visit Hammam baths after. Enjoy sunset views of Alhambra at San Nicholas.

Day 8: Cordoba - either take 10:30-13:10 bus or 6:45-9:39 train to Cordoba. Tour Mezquita, check out the artisan market, and walk the roman bridge. Maybe do a tapas tour or catch a show? Flamenco or horses?

Day 9: Seville - explore Cordoba in the morning. Take train late morning or around noon to Seville. Visit archaeological museum and cathedral. Take tapas tour at night.

Day 10: Seville - visit Alcazar and Plaza de Espana and roman mosaic museum. Walk the Barrio neighborhood. Catch Flamenco show.

Day 11: Seville - visit Italica. See a hill town possibly?

Day 12: fly to Barcelona, arrive around noon and check into hotel. Explore Gothic quarter and its sites using RS walk as a guide. Visit Barcelona History museum in Gothic quarter. Go on tapas tour 7:30-11:30.

Day 13: Barcelona - explore Guell Park late morning. Sagrada Familia guided tour at 3pm (15:00). Explore Barri de Gracia area. Evening visit of Casa Mila (La Pedrera) at either 8:30 or 9:15.

Day 14: Barcelona - explore La Boqueria Market in early morning. Visit Casa Battlo first. Visit Casa Lleo Morera with guided tour at 11am. Take guided tour of Sant Pau Noveau Hospital at 1pm (13:00). Evening show at Palace of Catalan Music.

Day 15: Barcelona - free day. Possibly see Montserrat? Would also like to visit Guell Palace if we haven't had time to see it on another day.

Day 16 (Sunday, October 11): Flight

Our evenings are interchangeable in Barcelona, as far as I'm concerned. But, I would like to do the tapas tour on the first night in hopes that it will help us get our bearings in the city. Waiting to see what events will be posted at the Palace of Catalan Music so I'm not sure what night we will want to go there.


1. Considering the rest of our itinerary, is four nights for Mallorca the right amount of time (or too much, too little)? Just starting to research this the island and I need to figure out where to stay. Soller, Deia, and Valldemossa all look like places we would like (remind me a little of Orvieto in Italy -- which we loved!). Not a big fan of overdeveloped, resort type areas. We prefer smaller and rustic, but would still like a little a place that's not dead at night. We definitely aren't looking for clubs or big parties, though, just a nice place to go enjoy some atmosphere and a drink. For our activities while on Mallorca, we want ample time to explore some of the towns on the island. Also interested in walking, light hiking, and exploring beaches. We'd also be interested in picking up a motorcycle for a day and exploring the island that way as well, weather permitting. Definitely ok with picking up a rental car, too since that seems to be the best way to explore.

2. Should we catch the morning or the afternoon tour of the Alhambra? I'm guessing we might want to sleep in (which is relative, since we're not usually very good at that) if we go on the night tour of the Alhambra the night before.

3. I was thinking that we should consider spending a night in Cordoba versus seeing it as a day-trip from Seville. I'm hoping it will be worth the hassle of switching hotels for a single night (but, on the bright side, it will be our only single night). Recommendations for night activities in Cordoba?

4. Third day in Seville - we would like to see Italica and possibly a hill-town (or two)? Anyone have recommendations of which one(s) to see? Should we do this via rental car or public transportation?

5. What neighborhood do you recommend to stay at in Barcelona? I am attracted to the Gothic quarter...good or bad in perspective to the rest of our sight-seeing? Would prefer to stay in the $200USD or less range but could spend more, depending on the rest of our lodging for the trip. I did see the Arai Aparthotel that is higher and it would be a splurge for us. Looks wonderful though.

6. This itinerary will require us to catch (3) in-country flights: BCN/MAD to Mallorca, Mallorca to Granada, Seville to Barcelona. If at some point our luggage gets overweight do to purchases, how do the airlines fine you? Do you just pay for an extra bag? Anyone have experience with this? Our plan is to have (1) carry-on bag and (1) larger checked bag, with (2) small personal bags.

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