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Tentative Itinerary for Spain Trip - Please Review & Comment

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We will be traveling to Spain for the first time in May 2012 & would appreciate your comments re our tentative itinerary.

Background - We are a couple in our late 50s. We enjoy the entire travel experience – seeing the sites, taking local walking tours, talking to people, the food, the wine, the beer, etc… Our budget is mid-range. When possible, we like to mix big city tourism with a few days in the country or a smaller town. Of course, that means we have to make choices and have to miss some great cities & sites. But, we feel it makes for a more interesting trip.

We arrive in Barcelona on Monday May 7, Depart from Madrid on Monday May 21 - so we have a total of 14 nights. Our flights to & from Spain are set and cannot be changed. We prefer to stay in each hotel we book at least 3 nights, so we won’t be moving all the time. We break that rule once in awhile if there is a good reason to stay somewhere for a night enroute. We do not speak Spanish, but plan to take a CD course to learn some basic words & phrases before the trip.

Here’s the tentative itinerary as it stands now:

Barcelona - 4 nights – Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs (possible daytrip to be determined later)

Fri – Take Vueling Flight to Malaga 9:15AM-10:50AM, Rent Car at Malaga airport, Spend afternoon driving to Ronda via Marbella

Ronda – 3 nights – Fri, Sat, Sun (will have car to drive around surrounding area)

Mon - Drive to Granada, Drop off Rental Car

Granada - 3 nights – Mon, Tues, Wed

Thurs - Take ALSA- Supra+ Bus to Madrid - Assuming the Thursday schedule is the same when we get 60 days out, there is a Supra+ Bus 9:00 – 13:30 – Granada to Madrid Estacion Sur . We originally considered taking the train, but have decided against it due to concerns re limited space to store luggage onboard (see my previous post re Renfe). I believe there is also an Iberia flight 9:45AM – 10:50AM that we could consider.

Madrid - 4 nights - Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun (at least one daytrip to be determined later)


Does it look like it will work? Will it give us the varied experience we’re hoping for? Any suggested changes?

Any opinion re the ALSA Supra+ Bus vs the Iberia flight from Granada to Madrid? Assuming we will be taking a taxi to a hotel in the Madrid City Center, is there a significant time/cost difference between arriving at Madrid Estacion Sur vs. the Madrid Airport?

One more question re the ALSA bus – the Supra+ bus says it makes the trip in 4 hours 30 min, while normal buses on the same route take 5 hours. Both indicate they are direct. Does the Supra+ really get there faster? How do they shave off 1/2 hour? Is it just the time of day?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance.

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