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ChickenFriedSA Sep 13th, 2013 07:53 PM

14-Day Spain Itinerary
I'm attempting to plan a 14-day trip to Spain next May as part of our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. I've made a list of cities that I would like to visit, but the list is just too long to comfortably fit in 14 days. We'll have some friends that will actually be staying in Malaga/Mijas for about a week during this trip, so we plan on staying there for a few days and some day trips. Here are the cities that I've listed: Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Mijas/Malaga, Gibraltar, Valencia, Barcelona, Pamplona, and Bilbao/San Sebastion. Like I said, that list is too long to comfortably fit into 14-days. Below are some of my interests in each city, could you take a look and see if there is anything I'm missing?

Madrid (2 days?) - Prado, Walk the city, Drinks/Nightlife
Toledo (Day Trip on way to Seville) - Simply walking the city and see what made the famous painting
Sevilla (2 days) -Food, Wine, Flamenco, Cathedral, Plaza de Espana
Cordoba (Day trip from Mijas?)- La Mezquita, Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos, Parks
Granada (1-2 day?)-Alhambra, the Generalife, Royal Chapel, Cathedral
Mijas/Malaga (3 days?) - Beaches, hang out with friends
Gibraltar (day trip from Mijas)- The Rock, random sights
Valencia (1-2 days)-beaches, food, possible musesums/nightlife
Pamplona (1 it worth visiting?)-Running of the Bulls route
Bilbao/San Sebastion (finally city on list...willing to cut off trip) - Food, beaches
Barcelona (3 days?)-...almost anything and everything

I know that I'm missing plenty of Northern/Northeastern Spain, but this is our first time and not sure when we would be able to travel back. We're not to big into musesums, but wouldn't mind visiting a few. Food and historical sites are a big plusses for us. Random places that most people don't know about are also the Montserrat, Ordesa National Park. I know that we don't want to be travelling the whole time, but actually want to stop and enjoy some time around Spain

kja Sep 13th, 2013 10:20 PM

As you probably already know, you are missing tons of stuff -- but only you can decide what to skip and what to make a priority. You are absolutely right in saying that your list is too long for a 14 day trip. You might want to consider focusing on 2 general areas: (1) in and around Madrid, (2) in and around Andalusia, and/or (3) in and around Barcelona.

Don't forget that you need to plan for time for travel, checking into/out of hotels, etc.

There are LOTS of threads with similar questions on this board (use the search feature in the upper right hand corner) and most of these things should be covered in any decent guide book.

Good luck with your planning, and happy anniversary!

kimhe Sep 14th, 2013 02:14 AM

May is serious festival time in Spain, especially in Andalucía. Most of the festivals goes way back in time and are primarily local events. Great opportunity to get under the skin of things and experience the history, culture, food, wine and fiesta spirit. And May is perhaps the best time of year to go to Andalucía, full spring blossom and the summer heat is still some weeks away. The region is full of Phoenician, Roman, Jewish, Christian, Moslem and Gitano history and culture.

In May, all Andalucian towns - but especially Granada and Córdoba - celebrate the "Cruces de Mayo":

Córdoba in May is something special, the "cruces" celebration is followed by the patio competition leading on to the flamenco inspired Feria by the end of the month.
Córdoba patio exposition and competition:
The Feria in late May:

In Jerez, you have the horse fair Feria de Caballo de Jerez:

May is also the month of the San Isidro festival in Madrid, the huge celebration of the city's patron saint:

My advice would be to focus mainly on Andalucía (Mijas/Málaga for friends and beach, Córdoba for festival time, and Sevilla, the queen of the cities in the South) and then some days in Madrid during San Isidro.

Córdoba is 50 mins from Málaga with the high speed AVE train, and Sevilla is 50 mins from Córdoba with AVE. The AVE also takes you from both Málaga, Sevilla and Córdoba to Madrid in no time.

Be sure to visit wonderful Málaga city before or after Mijas. Málaga city is genuine Andalucian atmosphere, great tapas bars, cafés, terraces, restaurants, theaters, museums, nightlife and 3000 years of history. Within 300 meters in the city centre you'll find the newly excavated Roman theater just beyond the 8-11 century Moorish Alcazaba, the 16th century cathedral, Picassos birth place, the Picasso museum and the new Carmen Thyssen museum. A couple of articles about Málaga:

"Secret Spanish pleasures":
"Picasso's city of hidden treasures":

kimhe Sep 14th, 2013 02:49 AM

... and to give you an idea of the San Isidro festival in Madrid, here's this years programme.

Local food and nighttime concerts in majestic Plaza Mayor, and processions, lots of music, dance, food, wine and fiesta into the night in the La Vistillas park close to the cathedral and the Royal Palace.

This years festival was started with a concert and free screening of the both funny and gloomy silent movie Blancanieves, a Spanish Snow White story set in Sevilla's flamenco and bullfighting circles of the late 1920's. This years Spanish Oscar candidate and highly recommended!

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