2 Weeks in Spain and Portugal

Aug 26th, 2013, 07:59 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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2 Weeks in Spain and Portugal

Hello friends!
YOu guys have time and time again helped me with my trips, and I am so appreciative! Any info will be amazing! Ill try to provide as much info as possible.Okay so I know this may change what you recommend because of the weather but we have not picked which month we will be traveling yet, most likely March or April! My boyfriend and I are taking two weeks to see spain and portugal! (which Im sure you will say is not enough but its all we've got --My sister will be studying in Barcelona hence we picked Spain to visit. My boyfriend is also graduating college so it is a combined trip . We are in our mid -20s and do not drink, however enjoy the energy of the nightlife. I have some experience traveling throughout Europe with my sister and have learned after a few trips what things we value more or less. Basically money is not an issue although after going on a few trips Ive learned that for me I would prefer to stay at hostels because the experience of meeting other young people and the cheap rates are awesome! I would rather spend my money on excursions or basically anything but where im sleeping. My boyfriend has never been in a hostel and tends to be a tad fussier than me! He is hoping for more of a vacation where I like adventure. So we are hoping to meet somewhere in the middle. We will be flying from NYC and thought to spend a few days in Lisbon before flying into Barcelona. Im very excited to see spain as it is my first time and I am very interested to see areas with Islamic influence I also enjoy 'hidden gems" maybe things most travelers don't know about! My boyfriend is in love with golf so any suggestions on really good golfing i'm sure he would be happy to hear. We have two weeks are are going to be flying in and out of Lisbon. I obviously want to spend a few nights in Barcelona as my sister will be there. I also was curious about Ibiza as I just read an article about it being historical and full of culture not just the nightlife. Im also very interested in Tenerife but to be honest I think the location is what is interesting me, I do not know much about it just a little research that i've done! Orginally I saw the Carnival that happens in February but I dont think we ill be visiting that early in the year-- anything else like that is right up our alley) I love old towns and anything Nostalgia, also any recommendations on hostels that are exceptional would be much appreciated. Also this im very ignorant about but I would love to see Fes, and i know nothing about how to get there the time it takes, safety, etc. I may not have time for it in this trip but would LOVEE to see it

Best,
Jean
jeandiament is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 04:41 AM
  #2  
 
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Travelling with your boyfriend is a different trip than with friends. Hostels rarely give you the level of privacy that is ideal and as you have a small difference in requirements in accommodation I'd meet in the middle somewhere. Maybe a 2/3 star hotel? OK it won't be as cheap as a hostel but you did say that money wasn't an issue.

In March or April, you'll still be in off season and most hotels won't be full and will be very glad to see you. One of the best trips we ever took was when we didn't book a hotel and when we saw one we liked, we asked to see the room and bargained for it. Invariably they didn't want to see us leave and we got some great deals. It only took us maybe an hour out of the day, each time we changed locations (apart from travelling time of course).

The archetypal Islamic site is the Alhambra in Granada, so you need to work out your trip to accommodate it. Tenerife is too far out of your loop and I don't believe it's worth the detour. Ibiza town is a great place to visit, but Palma on Mallorca is probably better. Again Morocco is too far out to do in this trip.
Rubicund is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 06:07 AM
  #3  
 
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"Islamic influence / golf / hidden gems"

Maybe I'm biased (because I love the place) but Andalucia is jumping off the page here.

Islamic influence
Take your pick - Seville, Granada, Alpujarras etc.

Golf
Valderamma GC, held the Ryder Cup in '97, fantastic golf course.

Hidden Gems
Some of the less explored white villages. I would personally recommend Zahara De La Sierra (Al Lago is beautiful).

Don't overstretch yourself.

Do you have to go in and out of Lisbon? What you are proposing is way too much for 2 weeks.

I would suggest:

4/5 days in Barcelona

9/10 in Andalucia
pgriffin is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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< Take your pick - Seville, Granada, Alpujarras>>

CORDOBA - can't beat it for Moorish influence. It's way smaller than Seville or Granada, though.
BigRuss is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Don't overlook your stay in Lisbon. It's an amazing city. Very affordable.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 11:53 AM
  #6  
 
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I also question your flights - would be much better if you can do an open jaw to fly into Lisbon and out of Barcelona (or into Barcelona, out of Lisbon). Are your flights already set? Open jaw flights used to cost quite a bit more but not so much now.

I have not been yet, but from my research, Lisbon has some very good looking hostels and you could opt for a private room with some of them - that way you get your alone time with your boyfriend but still are able to meet up with other travelers.

In Granada, look into staying at Casa Bombo (I've not stayed at Casa Bombo but was tempted to book it). I also thought this looked good: http://www.elnumero8.com/

We are staying in http://www.cuevaselabanico.es/english.html in Granada.

Just some thoughts! Have fun planning!
sealonsf is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 12:40 AM
  #7  
 
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As BigRuss says, Córdoba is a must when it comes to al-Andalus/Islamic Spain. The Córdoba caliphate (929-1031) represents the highlight of Islamic Spain. Then Córdoba was the most advances city in Europe (pop about 500 000, 400 public baths, the greatest libraries etc etc.)
http://www.theguardian.com/spanish-t...-changed-world

The Mezquita (the cathedral-mosque):
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/mosque.htm

When in Córdoba, you should also visit the ruins of the 10th century palace city Madinat al-Zahra just outside town. Build to picture paradise on earth in the 10th century and destroyed in a civil war only a few decades later. http://www.andalucia.com/magazine/en...d4/madinat.htm

This BBC documentary is a fine intro to Islamic Spain. Much about Córdoba from 5 mins on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0IaCK-7z5o
kimhe is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2013, 08:59 AM
  #8  
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Okay!! Thank you everyone so much!
jeandiament is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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If you need a hotel in Lisbon, I can't praise this hotel too much: the Avenida Palace.
Tabernash2 is offline  
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