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Help Me Plan My Trip

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I am trying to plan impossible DIY driving tours of Spain and Portugal. We are going to be taking 2 cruises next fall - a Barcelona to Barcelona cruise and Porto to Porto Douro River boat trip. I have 10 days between cruises to see as much of Spain as is reasonable. I also plan to have time before the Barcelona cruise in Spain and after the river cruise in Portugal This post addresses the time before the Barcelona cruise and between the 2 cruises.

We plan to arrive in Barcelona about a week before the cruise starts. We will stay for the week in Barcelona and use this time to see Barcelona and environs. I have read too many guide books that list what you should see and they are all confusing. We are interested in historical sites, small villages, food, wine, outdoor sites, interesting churches to an extent, museums to a limited degree, and art museums only if they are very important. We want to divide this week between sites within Barcelona and sites that are doable on day trips from Barcelona.

For the 10 days between cruises, I was thinking of doing Northern Spain and Madrid and day trips out of Madrid although we are open to alternative suggestions. You should know that the cruise stops at Palma de Mallorca, Cartagena, Seville and Malaga. We do not want to run from place to place with one night stands. We would prefer to pick 2 locations in addition to Madrid and use them to do day trips from the place we are staying at.

I realize that it is impossible to see much of Spain in 10 days or even a month but that is what we are dealing with. Any ideas of my 2 base locations and what I should do out of them Also, I am assuming that we will do day trips out of Madrid to see Toledo and Segovia although again I am open to suggestions.

Or perhaps my whole plan is stupid and we should be doing something else.

Help!!

DON

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