Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > 16 nights in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia

16 nights in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia


Nov 29th, 2016, 07:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 979
16 nights in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia

I post this with some hesitation as I know it replicates other posts - I beg your indulgence. We are looking at approx 16 nights in early June. Looks like it makes most sense to fly into and out of Madrid. Does this make sense as an itinerary (we would want to use trains mostly to get around although maybe fly to Barcelona)
4 nights in Madrid including day trip to Toledo
3 nights in Cordoba
3 nights in Seville
drive to Ronda, 1 night in Ronda
2 nights Granada
fly or take train to Barcelona
4 nights Barcelona
train back to Madrid - 1 night - fly home

hmm, that comes to 18 nights. If we have to cut where would you cut? and does the general flow of the itinerary make sense given the train routes?

any other advice most appreciated.
lauramsgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,317
3 nights in Córdoba is too long
danon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
What's your home airport?
RonZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,714
2 nights in Cordoba and fly home from Barcelona; no reason to return to Madrid, is there?

You might take that night from Córdoba to stay in Toledo for a night. It is wonderful at night after the day trippers leave.

Sorry, can't find anywhere to cut nights! You will just have to extend your trip! ��
joannyc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,441
Here is our 20-day trip in 2016 (in words and photos).

I would do two less nights in Cordoba and bag Ronda.

I would add two days and stay in Toledo (instead of day trip there).

I would add one day to Granada.

Whatever you do...you can't go wrong. Love Spain!


maitaitom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
That's got to be one of the most creative trip reports I've ever seen.

I think 4 destinations would be better than 5, but as to the list, flying Madrid/Madrid I would stay there once at the end. Head immediately to Sevilla, then to Cordoba and Granada by trains also. Granada to Barcelona Vueling has a flight at 12:35 arriving at 2PM, train back to Madrid. That's only 11 full days on the ground.

Quick train schedules on the german rail site:

RonZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 10:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
That plan can be checked in reverse, as train times to Sevilla and Barcelona from Madrid are the same.

Exchange Madrid with the other cities for lotsa travel info:

RonZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2016, 10:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,899
It depends on your interests, but this trip would be too rushed for my tastes.

I wanted 4 full days in Madrid (not counting time for Segovia, Avila, etc.), 2 full days in Toledo, 3 nights in Granada, and 6 nights in Barcelona.

I’d cut Barcelona, deferring a visit to that delightful city until you can spend more time there and also see some nearby locations.

I’d also trim time from Madrid, not because it doesn’t merit the time – it does! – but because it has a major international airport, and so is most easily added to a subsequent trip. From my perspective, it makes sense to be sure to spend all the time you want in Andalusia on this trip. JMO

Also, if you are flying out of Madrid, try to put all of your time there at the end of the trip to save a change of hotels. Or fly out of somewhere else (Sevilla?), even though you’ll have to transfer in Madrid.

I trust you know that you don’t need a car to visit Ronda (or anywhere else you plan to visit).

I like that you are giving 3 nights to Cordoba, but depending on when you would arrive and depart, you could probably shift a night to Sevilla – but without cutting your time in Sevilla. (In other words, I think 6 nights about right for Sevilla and Cordoba together, whether 4 and 2, or 3 and 3, depends on your specific timing.) As you plan, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break – these timing issues can make a huge difference!

Be sure to book your tickets for the Alhambra well in advance and include both a very long day visit (the longer the better, from my perspective!) and also a separate night visit, preferably, IMO, after your day visit. Seeing the Nasrid Palace at night remains one of the most magical of all my travel experiences, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have more than a few! I think you can also get evening tickets for the Generalife, which I would do for the night before your daytime visit.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 30th, 2016, 07:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 979
Thank you everyone. this helps the thinking.

Home airport is Albuquerque or Durango, CO. probably Alb. though for overseas. I just looked at airline fares and discovered to my surprise that it would be less than $200 difference to fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona so that more than makes sense.

Originally I hadn't even known about the white towns, but after reading this thread they sound enticing. ON past trips one of our favorite parts has been exploring the countryside and small villages on our own - hence adding Ronda. I'm confused KJA - why wouldn't we need a car - I'm assuming the train doesn't go there.

Maitaitom - why would you bag Ronda?

I like the idea of staying overnight in Toledo - much there I would like to see. Can one take the train directly from Toledo to Cordoba? One consideration is we have learned that we like it best when we have 3 or more nights in any one place - gives a chance to get the lay of the land and explore and not feel like we are always switching hotels. Of course the payoff is that we can't visit as many places.

while I appreciate the idea of not concentrating on the south this time around and saving Barcelona for later, not sure when we will be able to get back and don't want to miss Barcelona.

KJA what is Generalife? and I hear you about the Alhambra tickets - will do.

excited to be digging into the trip planning.
lauramsgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 30th, 2016, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,899
You can take a train or bus between Granada and Ronda and a bus between Sevilla and Ronda. For preliminary info, check rome2rio.com

No direct train from Toledo to Cordoba -- you go back through Madrid.

If Barcelona is a priority, then consider whether you prefer to give up Madrid and Toledo or Andalusia -- you really don't have time for it all.

"Generalife" is the name of the gardens of the Alhambra.

Sounds like you could really use a good guide book or two! I recommend the Michelin Green Guide and Rough Guide
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:05 AM.