18 Days in Spain and Portugal

Old Jan 11th, 2022, 10:27 AM
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18 Days in Spain and Portugal

Hello everyone,

Well, it is that time of year when we begin to start planning our summer European vacation. With us having to cancel our December Belgium trip due to Omicron, we are hopeful that it will be easier and safer to travel this summer.

Our 25-day trip will be split between Portugal/Spain and Crete, with us spending about 18 days in Portugal and Spain and then about a week in Crete. We will be landing in Porto, spending a few days then taking a train to Lisbon, where we will also spend a few days, and a week between the two cities and their surrounding sreas would be our preference. We will then fly to Seville from Lisbon and spend about 12 days in Andalucia before flying to Crete,

In Andalucia, we want to see Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Ronda and maybe even Malaga, if time permits. How long would you suggest we spend in Seville and where else should we base ourselves in order for us to be able to see the places mentioned above? We would also not mind staying a country resort between Granada, Cordoba and Ronda.

Thanks for all of your help.
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Old Jan 11th, 2022, 01:59 PM
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How long to spend in Seville? It depends a great deal on what you want to see. I would want at least 4-5 nights, without any day trips. Will you have a car? I assume so if you mention a country resort. All the places you mention are accessible by public transport but a car allows you to get into the countryside more (but with some associated hassles as well). Your order of travel will depend a bit on where you can catch a flight to Crete.

Personally, I would miss Crete on this holiday and focus your time on Spain and Portugal. I think that would be more cohesive and more enjoyable than dividing your time. Crete also deserves more time than a week.
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Old Jan 11th, 2022, 10:37 PM
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we spent 5 days in Seville and really loved it. We only did one day trip in that time(Cordoba) because there was lots to see in Seville itself.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 07:28 AM
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The reason we want some time in Crete is because of its glorious beaches, which Andalucia just does not have, and its more laid-back island feel. We have looked along the whole Costa Del Sol and there is just no beach areas that even compare. If I am wrong, please let me know. We have been to Rhodes and the Southern Peloponnese and found it lovely and we plan to spend the 7 nights in western Crete which will be enough to get a feel for this gorgeous island.

We will have a car when we get to Seville and 5 nights sounds about right and we will then have 7 nights in central Andalucia.
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Old Jan 12th, 2022, 08:31 AM
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I've been to Europe most summers for the past two decades including most of Italy, Greece and Spain but Andalucia was one place I decided not to go in the summer (I have been there twice, both times in March). The temperatures just get too high to make any kind of sightseeing pleasurable, and as you point out, most of what you want to see there is not on the coast. Seville, Cordoba, Granada, the white villages - all wonderful, but not in summer. Can you travel at any other time of year to go there and go somewhere else in Spain on this trip? How about the northern Spain coast - San Sebastian down to Santiago de Compostela. It would pair nicely with Portugal. Slightly inland from there are some beautiful cities like Burgos and Leon. Or else consider skipping Spain and extend your time in Crete. Especially if you want a lot of beach time, a week is not much. Two weeks just for western Crete is not too much.

I have trip reports on all these places if you click my name they will come up.
Photos - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 06:28 AM
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We have considered the heat in southern Spain during summer but we are willing to accept it, as we think this adds to the charm of seeing this area during July and/or August. We mix sightseeing with relaxation so, for us, we don't forsee it being a problem for those two weeks (we spent time in Sicily a few summer back and we were ok).

Isabel, would you consider northern Spain instead of Portugal for the first week. landing in Madrid and renting a car and driving north, then driving back south to Andalucia, where we end our Spanish portion of our trip in Seville, before flying to Crete?

Thanks
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 02:19 PM
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We spent 4 nights in Seville, and it would have been nice to have an extra night, so if you have the time, I would recommend 5 nights in Seville (without day trips).

I know you say you aren't too concerned about the heat in Andalucia. Thought that I should mention when I was planning my trip and reading trip reports, people who were there in the summer talked about being drenched in sweat after being outside for 10 minutes. They typically returned to their hotel rooms for the afternoon to relax in their air-conditioned rooms or swim in the hotel's pool. So I highly recommend getting a hotel with a pool. We were in Seville in 2017 in late September/early October, and temps were in the low to mid-90's.

Are you planning on staying overnight in Cordoba? We spent 2 nights there and wished we had a 3rd night. I really believe seeing Cordoba as a day trip from Seville does not do the city justice. Cordoba is a lovely place with its white-washed walls and patios, and there is more to Cordoba than just the Mezquita.

And I definitely recommend visiting Malaga, especially in the summer, where it should be a bit cooler than the inland destinations. We spent 2 nights there and wished we had an extra night. Malaga is an under-rated city, and we enjoyed it so much more than we thought we would. I think it would be nice to have some coastal ambiance, and the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean during the summer.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 07:51 PM
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When, this summer, are you planning to go?

We are going to Madrid, Sevilla and Lisbon the third week of June. Check out https://www.timeanddate.com/ to look up temps for the last couple years. We were in London two summers ago when a heat wave went through! High 90s. Hot and tired, but I wouldn’t avoid it given it was the best time for my family.

Southern Spain seems over the top hot though! But, I want to see it with my family so June it is! 😊
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Old Jan 15th, 2022, 05:09 AM
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Well, as vacation planning usually goes in its early stages, we are going to say goodbye to Crete and hello to the Balearics, and include time in Majorca and Formentera (8 nights).

Our only decision left is whether to replace Lisbon and Porto, where we were going to spend 6 nights, and concentrate on Spain entirely. If we do, we would have this time to allocate to Spain and do not know where to spend it.

Our fixed nights are as follows:

- 3 nights in Madrid (which we will see at the end of our trip before flying home)
- 8 nights in the Balearics
- 4 nights in Seville

Which would leave us with 10 nights between landing in Madrid and visiting Seville (where we will fly out of to get to Majorca). How should we spend it?

- all 10 nights in central Andalucia (ex-Seville)
- 4 nights along the Seville-Cadiz corridor and then 6 nights in central Andalucia
- as we drive south from Madrid to Andalucia, spend 4 nights in the Extremadura region, then 6 nights in central Andalucia (ex-Seville)
- spend 6 nights in central Andalucia (ex-Seville) and then drive east to spend 4 nights in Valencia (we would see Seville first, then central Andalucia, flying to Majorca from Valencia)

Which would you choose?

Last edited by WorldsAway; Jan 15th, 2022 at 05:26 AM.
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Old Jan 15th, 2022, 09:43 AM
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I have a niece who taught ESL in the Extremadura region and she absolutely loved it. From the way she described Extremadura, it really sounds like very old world Spain. And you wouldn't find as many tourists there. However, and I apologize for mentioning the heat again, but from what I have read, I think Extremadura is even hotter than Andalucia. That would be a major drawback for me, and I realize this is not my trip; it is your trip, but I think it's something to seriously consider.

I definitely recommend seeing Cordoba, Granada, and Malaga along with Seville. With these extra nights, you could travel more leisurely and spend 2 - 3 nights each in Cordoba, Granada and Malaga. I haven't been to Cadiz or any of the White Villages or Valencia, so I can't really comment on those.
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Old Jan 15th, 2022, 10:14 AM
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Hi Karen. Where in Extremadura did she teach?
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Old Jan 15th, 2022, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WorldsAway View Post
Hi Karen. Where in Extremadura did she teach?
I am pretty sure she taught in Caceres. I remember her talking about all the storks' nests! And how different it is from other regions of Spain and how she loved the old world charm and fewer tourists.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 06:12 AM
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Actually Andalucía has some great beaches: Zahara de Los Atunes, Bolonia and Tarifa (all within very close proximity to each other-less than an hour) to name few. Also Conil de la Frontera, El Palmer, Zahora, Playa del Faro Trafalgar, and Cadiz.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 03:03 PM
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Hi,

We have narrowed our itinerary (18 nights). What do you think?

Land in Seville, 5 nights
- Day trip to Cordoba
Drive to Granada, 2 nights
Drive to Malaga, 4 nights
- Day trip to Ronda
Fly to Ibiza, ferry to Formentera - 3 nights
Ferry to Majorca - 4 nights
Fly home

We are going to leave Madrid as part of a future northern Spain trip.

Thanks again. for your help!


Last edited by WorldsAway; Jan 22nd, 2022 at 03:09 PM.
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