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Madrid—Portugal—Northern Spain—Barcelona by car, need an itinerary...

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Hi, fellow Fodorites,

Our plans have suddenly changed due to some unexpected circumstances, and we need to make some QUICK decisions and book new accommodations for our trip to Spain that's starting less than 3 weeks from now...

Originally we were planning 15 days in Spain (after 10 days in Israel): 4 nights in Barcelona, 2 nights in Valencia and our last 5 in Madrid. That itinerary has not changed, we're still landing in Madrid in the morning but instead of taking the flight to Israel, we now plan those 10 days to be added to our original itinerary, all spent in Spain and Portugal. Also I already am taking advantage of the new situation, planning to arrive in Barcelona 2 nights earlier to enjoy more time in that fascinating city (already booked that accommodation).

So we have 8 days to "kill" between landing in Madrid and arriving in Barcelona, which I really want to use the best I can.... I thought to rent a car at the Madrid airport (please note: Jet lag would be an issue...) and travel to Portugal that I know has some fascinating places, and then travel to northern Spain, and then arrive in Barcelona. Truth is, I have to make some QUICK decisions, in order to book our accommodations ASAP, but being buried with work I simply didn't have time to spend researching Portugal or Northern Spain.

I'd appreciate some itinerary ideas... Thanks so much!

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