5 Week Trip Revised - Spain Exploration

Apr 1st, 2013, 07:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 95
5 Week Trip Revised - Spain Exploration

Hey again guys.

So I've done some thinking about my earliest trip plan: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-europe.cfm

I'm graduating college and am planning a tentative month to five-week trip. I have decided it would be most worthwhile for me to spend a decent time seeing a bunch of different perspectives of a city. Spain is just the one country I can't seem to let go of when I make cuts on a list of places to go. Ugh, I need to go back.

So here's my more modified itinerary
Depart Boston Oct 1
London + Bath Day Trip(4+1= 5 Days)
London > Madrid
Madrid (4 Days)
Toledo (1 Day)
Santiago or Orense (Want to experience Galicia) (2 Days)
Bilbao (2 Days)
San Sebastian (2 Days)
Granada (2 Days)
Malaga + Ronda (3 Days)
Sevilla (3 Days)

I am putting 7 days aside for travel/laundry and emergency. I think this is fair considering a lot of the Spain traveling won't be too ridiculous and night transport is an option. This leaves me with 5 days on top of the extra 7. I want to do somethinng in Italy, relaxing and outdoorsy. I've seen a lot of Tuscany but never did a vineyard stay type thing and think it would be a cool note to end my trip on. I don't want to be exploring a big city right before I wrap up my long trip.

Also, I am looking for advice on my exploration of Spain. I've seen Barcelona and Valencia so I feel this will give me a thorough look around Spain for a first time trip of the sort. I am looking for outdoors related stuff to do to break up seeing cities. I love museums, history and restaurants but also need some natural world diversions on a long trip like this.

Also, I have set myself up with some vacation from vacation type days (i.e. Malaga and San Sebastian) to break up the heavy touring.

Thanks for your input
branderson925 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
A lot of moving around (2 days, 2 days, 2 days) but doable. Forget the night transport thing, you'll end up hating it. Travel by day and enjoy all you can.

Orense is nice, but somewhat out of your way unless you're driving. I'd go with Santiago.

If you want to visit some vineyards, then there is nothing better than the Rioja (Alta and Alavesa), but while you are in San Sebastian-Donostia, you can visit the vineyards in Getaria on a quick day-trip.

Just remember that it will be very warm if heading into southern Spain in the summer.

You might want to take a look at Maribel's Guides for some help in the País Vasco, Madrid, Granada and Sevilla.
Robert2533 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,706
I like that you are leaving yourself enough time for "decent visits" and that you've blocked out time for travel and laundry -- kudos!

I wonder why you are considering leaving Spain for some relaxing, outdoorsy time in Italy. Why not include these experiences in your time in Spain? You could (for example) consider spending a few days in Las Alpujarras instead.

I also note that you haven't indicated a plan to visit Cordoba. I would urge you to reconsider. The Mesquita is one of the most amazing places I've been fortunate enough to see, and under-appreciated Cordoba easily has enough to occupy someone whose interests include museums and history for at least a day, if not two.

Too, you might consider adding another day to your time in Toledo, given your interest in museums and history.

I'm one of the rare Fodorites who has no objection to a lot of one-night stays, as long as one has thought through what it means for him/her/them. And while I would urge people to rethink plans that involve two or more overnight trains in a row, I've had some wonderful experiences with overnight trains and would definitely give them serious consideration.

And definitely consider making reservations for the Alhambra for both the day and evening visits. If you haven't already done so, search this board for more info about them.

Hope this helps!
kja is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
I'd also do Santiago over Orense. You can easily do a day trip along the northern coast from there, visiting Finisterre to Muxia. Gorgeous views, along costa da morte.

In Tuscany, San Gimignano is gorgeous and relaxing.
Amalia_F is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 95
Thanks all for the replies.

Robert, thanks for the advice. I am a real barebones traveler so I dont think a couple of overnight buses/trains will kill me. I'm a 22 year old male who thinks hostels and RyanAir are comfortable enough. I take night buses from Boston to Philly
(~7 hours) frequently to get back home. But towards the end of my trip I think more comfortable travel will be in order.
I am not too informed about Galicia but heard good things about Santiago. I'd love to do some reading up on the region before I plan where I'd like to see.

Kja, I've thought about Cordoba as well and left it up in the air considering my Italy plan. Alright so my thing with Italy is that I studied there last winter/spring and fell in love. I feel if I do something like this expansive trip to Europe when I dont know when I'll be back (if ever!) I want to just see one new place in Italy where I can soak it in for 5 days with a bit of relaxation involved. Something like 2-3 Days in the Tuscan countryside with a couple of day trips to explore. Also thanks for the tip about Alhambra reservations. I've heard about that a lot so I'll be sure.
Also thanks, Amalia. I went to San G as a day trip when I studied in Florence. Awesome little town but on the tourist-heavy side now. Can you fill me in more about the northern coast of Spain? Sounds like a cool idea that I'd be open to revising my itinerary for. This trip is a lot about seeing glimpses of Spain most tourists don't think about. I mean, yes I want to see Madrid and Sevilla fully but I want to explore smaller places as well.
branderson925 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,271
Add another night to San Sebastian.
Egbert is offline  

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