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17 Nights - Spain

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Jun 21st, 2015, 08:25 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
17 Nights - Spain

Dear Friends,

I had requested suggestions about a trip to Italy, Spain and Switzerland earlier for which I got some really good advice. Unfortunately since we got the time for a holiday only in December, we went to Australia instead (needed summer)

Looking at your previous advices and our interests (Mainly Food, Culture, Beaches, Party), we now have booked a trip to Spain for which I need your valuable suggestions to fix the itinerary.

Flight to Madrid and from Barcelona have been booked. Stay in Madrid has been booked. Rest of the days need to be planned

Itinerary 1
13th Aug 2015 - Reaching Madrid at 9.45 AM (Hotel Booked)
14th Aug - Madrid
15th Aug - Madrid
16th Aug - Madrid to Seville
17th Aug - Explore Seville
18th Aug - Day trip to Cadez
19th Aug - Day trip to Cordoba (Not Sure)
20th Aug - Seville to Malaga
21st Aug - Explore Malaga
22nd Aug - Day trip to Granada (Not Sure)
23rd Aug - Vineyard Tour to Marbella
24th Aug - Malaga to Valencia
25th Aug - Tomatina + (Valencia to Barcelona)
26th Aug - Explore Barcelona
27th Aug - Day trip to Costa Brava
28th Aug - Explore Barcelona
29th Aug - Explore Barcelona
30th Aug - Leave barcelona at 9.45 AM

Itinerary 2

13th Aug 2015 - Reaching Madrid at 9.45 AM (Booked - Hostal madrid Star)
14th Aug - Madrid
15th Aug - Madrid
16th Aug - Madrid to Seville
17th Aug - Explore Seville
18th Aug - Day trip to Cadez
19th Aug - Seville to Malaga
20th Aug - Explore Malaga
21st Aug - Vineyard Tour to Marbella
22nd Aug - Explore Malaga
23rd Aug - Malaga to Granada
24th Aug - Granada to Valencia
25th Aug - Tomatina + Valencia to Barcelona
26th Aug - Explore Barcelona
27th Aug - Day trip to Costa Brava
28th Aug - Explore Barcelona
29th Aug - Explore Barcelona
30th Aug - Leave barcelona at 9.45 AM


What we do within the city needs to be decided which we will do once we finalize the itinerary and book the hotels. We just dont want to make it unnecessarily hectic Just want to enjoy the country traveling all around. Any particular museum or gallery is not our priority. We actually want to visit the countryside but just cant find them on the map. All the places seem to be either cities or towns. So just going with what sites inform and may be we will figure this part out once we are there. We are a couple (Me 33 - She 29)

Any suggestion will be truly appreciated.

Thanks
Nik
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Jun 21st, 2015, 08:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,497
Nice trip but I would prefer it in April much more than Aug.
I hope you like hot---you will see why they enjoy their siesta time.
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Jun 21st, 2015, 09:23 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Going in August, you will have to plan you day carefully. Most shops and businesses in Madrid and the south close between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Some museums are open, but not all. Barcelona is a little different, but not when it comes to lunch, with most stores closing so people can go to lunch.

People will be going to lunch and relaxing during the hotest part of the day, with lunch lasting up to 3 hours for some, when they can get away with it and don't have to get back to the office.

Most restaurants open at 1:30 pm, some a little earlier.

And if you don't plan on going to lunch at the same time as the locals, be aware that restaurnts, and even some bars, close at 4:00 pm and some don't reopen until after 8:00.
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Jun 21st, 2015, 09:56 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,639
Be aware that southern Spain can be VERY hot. 100 degrees is normal and it can get up to 120 degrees, although naturally the coast will be somewhat cooler.

You need to plan on sightseeing in the am and then in the evening. The afternoon is too hot to do much of anything except sit in a pool or an AC room. Most places will be closed during those hours.

Be sure your lodging has good (american style) AC and a nice pool.

Not sure what you mean by you can;t find the countryside. Anything that isn;t a city or a sizable town is country. What do you plan on doing there? Hiking or biking - will be very hot. Driving through - from experience there is a whole lot of space that is not much but olive groves or low mountains/foothills - very dry and with sparse vegetation.

Partying will be best on Ibiza (mostly 20s) - and then Barcelona or Madrid.

Lunch is usually 1:30 to 3 or so - and dinner usually starts after 9 pm. Nightlife starts around midnight and lasts until 5 or 6 am.
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Jun 21st, 2015, 11:18 AM
  #5
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,119
I won't comment on the heat, since others have.

It really depends on YOUR interests, but FWIW, you are giving both Madrid and Sevilla less time than I would want.

IMO (and it's just that), Cordoba's Mezquita is one of the most magnificent buildings in the world, so trying to get there makes sense to me. Actually, I spent 2 very full very busy days in Cordoba, although many people visit it as a day trip from Sevilla.

I do not think the Alhambra best visited as a day trip -- I think it really deserves a two-night stay in Granada. Others disagree. Here's a recent thread on that.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...bra-palace.cfm

Your pace is very rapid, and with the long siestas you will encounter -- plus the fact that many things will be closed on Mondays -- it isn't clear to me that you will actually be able to see or do whatever you hope to see and do on this trip. I recommend that you get a few good guidebooks (always a good investment, IMO) or look at a few in your local library, identify the things you most want to see and do, check their hours, and then plot them on a calendar. Then add in your transportation time, time for changing hotels, etc. That should give you a sense of how things fit together.

Good luck!
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Jun 21st, 2015, 04:47 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 93
What about Merida, Salamonaca and Segovia then back to Madrid. We did a circle from Madrid, to Toledo, to Cordoba, Granada and Seville .
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Jun 21st, 2015, 11:09 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Very much countryside along your route, here are some examples from the Sevilla, Cádiz, Malaga part of your trip.

The Ronda Mountain Range/Serrania de Ronda, between Sevilla and Malaga: http://www.andalucia.com/province/ma...a-de-ronda.htm

Axarquia, just east of Malaga city: http://www.rusticblue.com/andalucia_...a_axarquia.php

The Ardales-Alora-Antequera area just north of Malaga city with the spectacular Caminito del Rey and the Torcal limestone mountain.
El Caminito del Rey: http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/
Torcal: http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

Las Alpujarras, a little furter east: http://www.rusticblue.com/andalucia_...alpujarras.php

The Doñana National Park close to Cádiz: http://www.andalucia.com/environment/protect/donana.htm

The Sierra de Arajena, just north-west of Sevilla: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...de-aracena.cfm
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Jun 22nd, 2015, 01:07 AM
  #8
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Thanks guys ...

We know its goin to be hot but since we are both working professional, this is the only time we could manage a break together.

Since its siesta time, i assume mostly everything around will be more laid back and relaxed and nightlife will be enthralling along with the beaches which more or less sums up our interests. Coming from a extremely hot region, if we find temperature anywhere below 95 deg F or 35 deg C, I dont think it'll bother us much.

*bobthenavigator - I remember you suggested to take up Italy first but we decided for spain mostly for beaches and nightlife.. cant wait for april '16 as already booked for august '15

*robert2533 - Thanks for the heads up on the afternoons and timings. Will plan things accordingly

*nytraveller - mostly driving thorugh or may be biking/ hiking in the early am or late eve... by countryside i meant away from the city crowd.. taking in a little rustic spanish charm ..if thats a thing .. Ibiza we had discarded cos then we 'd end up being in just one place for the entire trip and as u mentioned, madrid and barcelona are pretty good nightlife places as well..

*kja - Less time for Madrid and seville is cos of our urgency to reach a coastal city and nothing is 'must do' for us. as you correctly pointed out that things look rushed, thats why we planned/ plan to do as many day trips rather then hopping cities checkin-in checkin-out. But thanks to you now, we will definitely be doing a day trip to cordoba from seville (discarded cadiz) and Granada from Malaga, the two places we were unsure of earlier.

*simrules - we cannot do that circle since we are flying out of Barcelona and our priority is coastal region. But we might cover Toledo on a day trip from Madrid

*kimhe - A million thanks for those wonderful links. Next couple of days will be dedicated only to those details. We also heard that drive through Costa brava is pretty amazing. Well you have given us a lot of homework to do.. Thanks again for pointing us at the right direction

Thanks to you all, our final Itenerary is this

13th Aug Onwards, 3N - Mad (Day trip Toledo), 3N Sev (Day Trip Cordoba), 5N - Malaga (Day trip Granada and covering as much of costa del sol and lovely villages, 2N Valencia( Tomatina) , 5N- Barcelona (Day trip costa brava, day trip to 1 close by beach, rest at leisure) Flying out 30th Aug
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Jun 22nd, 2015, 02:09 AM
  #9
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*4N - Malaga
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Jun 22nd, 2015, 03:58 AM
  #10
 
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<*4N - Malaga (Day trip Granada and covering as much of costa del sol and lovely villages>

Colmenar, Comares, Acebuchal, Alhama de Granada would be great options here.

Colmenar, the honey village: http://www.andalucia.com/province/ma...menar/home.htm
Comares, the highest village in the Malaga region: http://comares.webs.com/
Tiny "lost village" Acebuchal: http://eastofmalaga.net/2014/12/22/t...-el-acebuchal/
Old SPA town Alhama de Granada: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...d-of-town.html

Suggest you have lunch in Nerja by the Med. Tons of great options here, but I would recommend the freshest fish and seafood in traditional Andalucian freiduria La Marina. Have splurged here on severeal occasions. http://www.guideofnerja.com/pages/gu.../marina_en.htm

Or very popular El Pulguilla, fabulous free tapas grilled on the spot with every drink of whatever in the bar area (around 1,50€), and a nice terrace in the back for a full meal. Just off the famous Balcon de Europa: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

Or have the famous paella at Ayo's down on the Burriana Beach. Also grilled steaks, chicken, fish, a great variety of salads etc. etc. http://www.ayonerja.com/chiringuito_en.html
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Jun 22nd, 2015, 07:03 AM
  #11
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Thanks again Kimhe.. You have litrally made our lives much easier in Malaga, We love sea food and now we know where to look. We have increased the number of Nights in Malaga to 5, decreasing Valencia to 1N (Going solely for LaTomatina).
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