9 days in Spain & Portugal

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Aug 19th, 2010, 06:38 AM
  #1
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9 days in Spain & Portugal

I've planned a trip for me & my wife, arriving on Nov 12th in Madrid, and leaving from Barcelona on Nov 21st morning.

Arrival Madrid is Fri Nov 12th @ 9.30am
Departure Barcelona is Sun Nov 21st @ 9.55am

I'm planning the following...would like to spend time in Madrid, go to Lisbon/Sintra, and Barcelona for sure, and if possible en route spend a night etc. maybe in Sevilla, San Sebastian, etc.

Recommendations...please? fyi, we're a couple in our early thirties, leaving our 2 kids with grand parents for a week...

Thanks, Sourbh
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Aug 19th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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Look at map. This is completely unreasonable and uninformed.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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What Aduchamp1 means is that you are being HUGELY over ambitious. You have 9 days, Spain is a BIG country. You can not see all of it unless you never want to have the time to sit down and relax.

You say Madrid and Barcelona are the for sures. Stick to these two places and leave Andalusia out. I don't know where Lisbon could possibly fit in in nine days either. I am assuming you are flying in from the US - i.e. you will be jet lagged the first day.

You could do:

12th - 16th - Madrid

16th-21st - Barcelona
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Aug 19th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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You need to skip Portugal this time out, that is a week on its own and is way out of the way of both Barcelona and Madrid. Sam86 gave you a good itinerary to split your days. You can always add a day trip from Madrid or Barcelona if you feel the need to get in another destination, but it sounds like you want to be in the city anyhow.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Is this doable...

12th - 14th Madrid
14th night train to Lisbon
15th - 17th in Lisbon
18th afternoon flight to Barcelona arr at 5pm
19th - 20th in Barcelona

Wondering? If not, then is this alternative doable where we stop in San Sebastian on the way to Barcelona from Madrid?

Thanks, Sourbh
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Aug 19th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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9 days in Spain (and one jetlagged), arriving in Madrid and departing from Barcelona - this is what you have....

Madrid really needs 4 days at a minimum. This gives you time to see a little of Madrid and daytrips to Segovia & Toledo. Barcelona really needs at least 4 days and more if you plan any daytrips (Montserrat is very popular and Girona is my personal favorite).

I'd budget 4 days Madrid and 5 days Barcelona. This will be barely enough to just visit these 2 places.

I don't see how you could squeeze in any more unless you just want to say you visited somewhere but really don't have time to experience it or enjoy, much less relax.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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It is doable of course. It's just hectic and doesn't give you a lot of time in any of those places. Which is fine if that is what you would like to do.

Geographically speaking, San Sebastian and Lisbon are in the opposite direction to Barcelona from Madrid. Is there a flight/train from Madrid to San Sebastian and then San Sebastian to Barcelona for the dates and times you want?
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Aug 19th, 2010, 09:33 AM
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Almost anything is doable but I'd think the OP would want a little relaxation for vacation after dropping off the kids with grandparents.

Otherwise why not just try to throw in Andalucia too - Sevilla and Granada could be "done" in a day
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Aug 19th, 2010, 10:16 AM
  #9
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Thanks Sam86 & CathyM.

I don't believe that I'll go to Lisbon in the future, especially since it is so out of the way from any other place within Europe, hence the urge to go there to see the city along with Sintra.

I could potentially with 9 days, do 3 days in each city, i.e. Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona...and fly between the cities.

The train between Madrid & Lisbon is an overnight one but what value if I have to pay over a 100 Euros per person and sleep...might as well take Easy Jet. Same thing to Barcelona.

For the 3 days within Madrid, I was thinking 2 days there with a day trip to Toledo. While in Barcelona, 2 days there with a day trip to Montserrat.

More thoughts? Thanks everyone.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 10:22 AM
  #10
 
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So,

12 - arrive Madrid in the morning
13 - Toledo
14 - Madrid

15 - Lisbon
16 - Sintra
17 - Lisbon

18 - Barcelona
19 - Montserrat
20 - Barcelona

21 - leave in the am.

Flying would be best since you are so short of time.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 10:27 AM
  #11
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Exactly as you've stated, I would love to take trains but not enough time to do so thru the days...let's see.

Other thoughts?
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Aug 19th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Be careful about luggage measurements and stuff on EasyJet. Make sure you time things accurately for your flights. Since you have so little time in each place, find hotels in the city centres. And if there are any sights that you want to see that require booking, book them in advance

Enjoy your trip! = )
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Aug 19th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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You could do it. Doesn't sound fun at all to me.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Hi Egbert, I know it's a tough one. In your honest opinion and experience, what would your itinerary be given the 2 constraints of arr in Madrid on Nov 12th AM and leaving Barcelona on Nov 21st AM. Thanks, Sourbh
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Aug 19th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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As has already been said, 5 days in Madrid and 4 days in BCN, or vice versa, with day trips.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Why can't you go to Lisbon in the future?

That you could back with Madrid or Barcelona and fly into one and out the other, or Portugal alone for another week-long or 9 day trip:
Fly to Lisbon 3 days
Sintra 1 day
Porto 3 Days
Fly out of Porto

Alternately, you could spend a week in Lisbon (though I do think it is a waste to skip Porto), spend some time in Sintra, perhaps go to the coast or inland to Evora (not my favorite place, but others here seem to like it more than me) and that is a fairly packed week trip in Portugal.

I guess I am confused. Yes, you could throw Lisbon in via taking a flight or overnight train, but Madrid and Barcelona alone are easily worth at least a week, or in the case of your trip, 4-5 days each. You also lose time by travelling, even if on an overnight train. You still have to waste time packing 2 extra times to add in Lisbon to your trip.

If you are hot for Lisbon, can you change your ticket and drop MAD or BCN?
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Aug 19th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #17
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I'm thinking about it, and from what Cherrybomb said...makes sense. I could, if ever, do a Portugal trip.

OK in that case, thoughts for the following:

Madrid Nov 12th, 13th, 14th and take the 15th afternoon 4pm train to San Sebastian, get in around 9pm. Spend the night, the next day Nov 16th and the following day half day and take the 4pm San Sebastian to Barcelona arriving Nov 17th 9pm. Stay the next Nov 18th, 19th, 20th in Barcelona.

That way I'm not criss crossing through Europe.
I get to see a bit of San Sebastian which I've heard a lot about. Basque Country.
Day trips from Madrid to Toledo and day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.

Is this better than Lisbon in the middle? I see everyone is proposing the only 2 place idea, so I'm running more by so as to get the best version...I don't know much about this part of the world and your feedback is only solidifying my itinerary and helping me.

Thank you every one...Sourbh
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Aug 19th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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If you want to go to San Sebastian, I would skip the day trips as a plan, if you get bored (which I doubt), do the day trips on the fly. Then again, maybe I am less ambitious when I travel?

Your plan is better, but I'd still skip San Sebastian this time around and back it with a concentrated vacation of Basque country - either all northern Spain or a mix of Basque Spain and SW France. Skipping gives you more time to to those day trips and see some other cities much quicker and easier.

Just an opinion.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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"I see everyone is proposing the only 2 place idea, so I'm running more by so as to get the best version"

Isn't this 3 places? Madrid, San Sebastian & Barcelona?

9 days is just enough to see Madrid and Barcelona. Adding a third in is only taking away from the limited time you aleady have in Madrid & Barcelona and rushing through another place.

I'd think if you have 2 kids at home you'd want to relax a little on your vacation.
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Aug 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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I agree with cherrybomb on this. Stick to Madrid and Barcelona. You would not be doing any of the places justice if you included San Sebastian.

Here's my suggestion:

Think about it a bit, do some research on Madrid and Barcelona. If, after doing that, if you think 9 days in these two places is too much, by all means include San Sebastian.
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