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branderson925 Nov 12th, 2015 08:44 PM

Early Itinerary for Spain - 2+ Weeks
Hi there, Fodorites!
I've been away from the boards for a bit basically dreaming of my return to Europe with emphasis on Spain. Such a beautiful country and I've only had the chance to see Valencia and Barcelona. I would be looking to go at a time most convenient for my work to allow me to be on vacation. The cheapest way so far I've found to get to Europe from Boston at this time of the year is to take advantage of Wow Airlines. Looking at it, a round trip from Boston to Paris is $360 US and then additional flights via Ryan Air would be around $70. Not too bad and this may be the best bet because I will get a night in Paris to visit a museum or just get a nice dinner before I return home.
On to the important pieces...SPAIN! Ah it makes me so excited just typing this loose framework of a plan.
Arrive in Madrid before noon February 16
Madrid + Toledo Day Trip Feb 16- Feb 19
Toledo > Cordoba Feb 20 - Feb 21
Cordoba > Sevilla Feb 22 - Feb 24
Jerez & Sanlucar (Vineyard traveling) Feb 25 - Feb 27
Ronda Feb 28 - Feb 29
Granada March 1 - 2
Granada back to Paris March 3
Fly Home to Boston March 4

Note, I am a 25 year old who loves a mixed approach to travel. I love doing a ton of walking, hiking, museums, exploring, eating, drinking, photography. I do not mind a quick approach as long as I get to see some major sites in each place. Madrid I will certainly be seeing at least 2 of the big 3 museums. I will definitely plan a trip to the Alhambra ahead of time. I am a sommelier who will have some connections in the Sherry Triangle so I should be able to either get accomodation or at least tours.
Does this look rushed? I know that is super hard to evaluate since I see so many diversely paced trips and we all have different ideas of needs and interests. I think there are plenty of opportunities to just take it easy as most of these destinations have places to just chill and breathe everything in.
Also anywhere on the list you might add time to or perhaps take out? Anywhere you might think might be of interest to me. Note, I'm a big history buff, love food, wine, architecture but also meeting people.

Sorry if I'm a little all over the place but if you need some clarification, please let me know and I will do my best.
Thanks as always People of Fodors

kimhe Nov 12th, 2015 11:30 PM

<Jerez & Sanlucar (Vineyard traveling) Feb 25 - Feb 27>

The best flamenco festival in the world goes on in Jerez from February 19 to March 5. This years program is completely out of this world (just released the other day).

On Feb 25, plain fantastic Joaquin Grilo in intimate Sala Compañia:

Feb 26: My favourite dancer on the planet Rocio Molina with her latest Bosque Ardora in Teatro Villamarta. Nominated for the British National Dance Award 2015, both as best female dancer and best modern dancer:

Feb 27: Flamenco queen Sara Baras with her "Voces" in Teatro Villamarta. From New York in March:

bilboburgler Nov 13th, 2015 12:23 AM

Make a point of trying Palamino grape once in the south (available in most bars as a straight wine). It will stand you in good stead for the Jerez/Sanlucar visit when the same grape is made "interesting" by all the mucking about. Do a bit of research and you'll also find sherry-like wines made in close by ACs where no booze is added.

Trip looks fast but you know that.

kimhe Nov 13th, 2015 01:03 AM

And look out for the Montilla-Moriles wines in Cordoba:
"...sherry's secret cousin":

"Cordoba - life and spirit" will get you in the Cordoba mood:

kja Nov 13th, 2015 06:52 PM

"Does this look rushed? "

For my tastes, absolutely! FWIW, I spent 4 full days in Madrid, 2 full days in Toledo, 2 full days in Cordoba, 3 full days in Sevilla, 1 day in Ronda, and 3 days in Granada. I travel hard, and was there at a time when days were long.

But my opinion, and what I did, aren't necessarily relevant. What matters is whether you can do and see what YOU want to do and see in the time you have. And for that, I think you would do well to plot your desired destinations out on a calendar: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Note that many things in Spain are closed all day on Monday, part or all of Sunday, and for a very long lunch interval. Pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). And then see how things fit together.

If you are coming from the US, then it might be worth noting that Madrid may be far easier to reach than most of the other places you are considering. If so, you might consider "shortchanging" Madrid before shortchanging other locations, on the theory that it is more likely that you will return there than anywhere that would require you to travel through Madrid on the next trip. Just a thought, from someone who adored Madrid.

branderson925 Nov 15th, 2015 04:16 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I will be cutting one destination out. Ah that pains me as each spot seems special enough but I guess I will just have to come back to Andalusia soon! It's tough to tell myself this though with conviction since this will be my first time back in Europe since 6 months in 2012 when I studied in Italy. I know I am young but it makes me think it'll be a long long long time where I'm willing to spend a trip or part of a trip in a particular region I've already been when I could be spending it in another much anticipated region (Sicily and Southern Italy, Hungary/Poland, Alsace/Western Germany, Norway/Western Sweden, Scotland/England) Well life is long and I know I will want to keep traveling my whole life.

kimhe, thanks for the Flamenco pointers. I definitely planned on taking part in some way and this is an ideal time to be in Jerez!

kimhe Nov 16th, 2015 12:20 AM

Molina's Bosque Ardora played three days in Barbican theater in London last fall, and all London daily newspapers and dance magazines gave her 4 or 5 out of five stars. Some of the reviews:

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