4 days outside of Madrid?

Oct 29th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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4 days outside of Madrid?

In late November, I will be in Madrid. I have four free days & would like to spend them outside of Madrid. I need to return to Madrid for my outbound flight. I am trying to decide if I should:
-- explore southern Spain (e.g. Sevilla, Cordoba)
-- explore northern Spain (e.g. Bilbao) & parts of southern France (Lourdes, Toulouse)

I have searched this site & read many of the postings but am as undecided as ever! I know four days is not much but my intent is just to see a few highlights. For this trip, I donít mind seeing one town/city a day Ö I only want to get a quick overview. Yes, I know this is no way to really discover a place, but again, this is a quick trip for me to get a very brief overview.

I am a fairly experienced American traveler & have seen most of the major capital cities of Europe. I have not however traveled much outside of the major cities. Iím not opposed to renting a car if thatís the best way to explore in the 4 free days I have. Or perhaps there would be recommendations that I base myself out of Madrid for two days & take a few day trips via train, and then travel to Bilbao (or Sevilla) & take a few day trips from there? (Ideally, if I spend the night outside of Madrid, Iíd like to base myself in Bilbao or Sevilla as I have enough hotel points for the Starwood properties there.)

I do not speak French or Spanish & am looking for the trip that would be fairly easy/hassle free. I enjoy art & architecture & would be happy spending my days walking through a town & seeing some of its highlights stopping a few times for a cup of coffee or a meal.

Thank you for any suggestions. Much appreciated!
Jenson is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 04:44 AM
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Since you're in Spain . . . head south & spend one day/one night in Granada & see the Alhambra. Then west to Sevilla for the remainder of your free time. I'd drive, since it's easy & a great drive, but train is also possible.

Ian is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 04:55 AM
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Since you are traveling in late November, which implies iffy weather, reduced trains schedules, and fewer daylight, your best bet is to head South; Sevilla. On you way down/back, you may want to make Toledo an overnight stop. This loop should pretty much take care of four days; train down to Sevilla and explore with a day trip to Cordova. Train back to Toledo, overnight, explore, back to Madrid.

If for any reason South is out, then head out north & west; Salamanca and Segovia.
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Another city to visit in the North would be Burgos. I think that this is the location of the Guggenheim Museum, and if a person in arch. (sp??), this is the place to visit.

blackduff is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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The Guggenheim is in Bilbao, not Burgos
kenderina is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Bilbao is better. Burgos is close but no cigar. In any case, it's a good choice to visit.

blackduff is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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I think you should take the AVE train down to Seville, and tour around there. I don't think you realize how far away Toulouse and Lourdes, or even Barcelons is from Madrid. YOu don't have the time to do that. YOu could perhaps fly to Barcelona, but you couldn't drive and do all that in four days, or even do it by train. The train from Madrid to Barcelona alone takes almost six hours.
Christina is offline  
Oct 29th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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If you haven't been to Toledo or Segovia, I would recommend doing day trips to at least one of those since they're both so close to Madrid. That would still leave time for either Seville or Bilboa. I haven't been to Bilboa, but Seville is fabulous!

Have a great trip.
artlover is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Thx for all the advice. I think Toledo & Sevilla will definitely make the cut due to their proximity. If only I had a month ....
Jenson is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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I would suggest taking the train south to Seville. Cordoba is on the same line - you could stop there for several hours or do a day trip from Seville. The Mesquita in Cordoba is wonderful. There is quite a bit to see and do in Sevilla - if you visit the alcazar there it is similar to the Alhambra. The AVE train makes it very easy to visit this area - plus the weather should be more pleasant in the south.
suec1 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Another vote for taking the fast train to Sevilla, and doing a day trip to Cordoba from there.

If you want to include Granada, check into flying there, or renting a car from Sevilla and driving -- but you would definitely have to fly back from Granada to Madrid.

When is your flight out of Madrid?
nessundorma is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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If you want to see something no one of your friends has seen, you should go north, past Burgos to the NEW Frank Gehry creation for Marques de Riscal winery: the Ciudad de Vino. It boasts a 5-star lujo hotel and restaurant and will probably be THE place for International travellers next year. I think one of the Magazines did a spread on it recently.

After we visited Sevilla on a daytrip on AVE I decided that the next time we would take AVE around 8:00 PM, arriving Sevilla just in time for supper; spend several hours at a Tablao Flamenco and catch an early morning AVE back to Madrid. I think they start running around 06:30 AM
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 02:31 AM
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For Spain first-timers I always recommend the South.

Ned, I really want to see the new building! It has been all over the news (I get TVE in Puerto Rico) and some of the travel/food magazines. Another excuse to return to Spain
marigross is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Here is a long-winded report of a recent trip I took making a kind of circle around Madrid; I think doing the Toledo, Segovia, Pedraza portion, with Avila, would be a great way to spend 4 days: You would need a car.

ekscrunchy is offline  
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