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Spain Itinerary Help

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Hi,

I am planning a trip to Spain & Portugal with friends during 18th August – 2nd September 2012 - total 16 days - as we are flying into Madrid on 18th August morning and 2nd September would be spent in the outward flight. Outward journey is flexible (possible to return from Barcelona).

We intend to cover:

1. Landing Madrid at 11:35 AM on 18th Aug
Madrid 18-20 Aug / 2.5 days

2. Fly to Lisbon on 21st Aug morning
Lisbon 21-22 Aug / 2 days

3. Take a flight to Seville on 23rd morning
Seville 23-24 Aug 2 days

4. Leave for Granada on 25th morning
Granada 25-26 Aug / 1.5 days

5. Take a train on 26th night & reach Barcelona on 27th morning around 9:30 AM
Barcelona 27-29 Aug / 3 days

On 30th Aug morning, my friends depart Spain however I have 3 spare days (30-31 Aug & 1 Sep) to travel on my own as I can take the flight back home on 2nd Sep.

In short, I would really appreciate if people who have visited Spain could spare their valuable time and:
1. Comment on the route plan & let me know the must-see’s.

2. Suggest the best possible use of 3 days:
1. Places nearest to Barcelona for day trips.
2. Should I do Valencia.
3. Should I go to south of France for 3 days.
4. Should I fly to Zurich and spend 3 days there, considering my return flight route would be anyway via Zurich & by paying extra, I can take a stopover there.

3. I have the flexibility to cut short my Barcelona days (27-29 Aug) and leave alone for Valencia to be there for Tomatina festival on 29th Aug 2012. Is it worth snipping the trip with friends and going alone to Tomatina? If you think 2 days is too less for Barcelona, I could always come back on 1st Sep and spend the day and then fly back home on 2nd Sep morning.

Please do consider the following before responding:
1. My philosophy is to give each country in Europe time rather than flying through a dozen landmark cities in 2 weeks and hence do only 1-2 countries during one annual vacation.
2. I have travelled extensively in South East Asia but this is my first visit to Europe.
3. Options / routes which are safe for a girl on her own.
4. Money-wise & time-wise, pragmatic, not necessarily frugal.

Thanks a lot for reading my post!

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