First Spain Trip 7-9 days

Old Feb 17th, 2017, 11:42 AM
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First Spain Trip 7-9 days

Hi, I need some advice on our upcoming trip to Spain in March (I know, its right around the corner!).

We are a family of 4 including 2 kids (16 and 11). I was thinking we can fly into Mardrid from New York, spend 2 nights there, drive to Malaga (5 hours), spend the night there, drive along the coast, spend a night, maybe at Valencia (6 hours), drive to Barcelona, spend 2 nights there, and return back. Or we could do the reverse? Does this make any sense at all? I have honestly not done any research yet, and this is one of those last minute plans that I need to work out.

Thanks, as always, for your feedback.

Best,
winniethepooh is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2017, 12:17 PM
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You ask "Does this make any sense at all?"

Only you can answer that. To many, this would not make sense, constantly on the move, never in one place long enough to actually get to know it. More like a traveling salesman who signs a contract and moves on, rather than a vacation...

But others like to rush from place to place, buy a souvenir, take a selfie, and move on, amassing an impressive-sounding list of drive-bys in record time.

So ask yourselves - how have you traveled in the past? What were the best moments, best memories?

It’s imminent and booked, so surely you know if it is seven days or nine days?
Assuming it is nine days, as I read your plan, is it this?

Day 1 fly out
Day 2 arrive Madrid, sleep in Madrid.
Day 3 explore Madrid, sleep in Madrid.
Day 4 get rental car, drive to Malaga. Sleep in Malaga.
Day 5 drive to Valencia, sleep in Valencia.
Day 6 drive to Barcelona, sleep in Barcelona.
Day 7 explore Barcelona. sleep in Barcelona.
Day 8 explore Barcelona, sleep in Barcelona.
Day 9 fly home from Barcelona.

If the above is correct, you have exactly one full day in Madrid, a few hours to explore Malaga, a few hours to explore Valencia, and two full days in Barcelona.

If you fly back from Madrid and have to return you car there, then Day 8 will have to be a travel day, so you’ll only have one day to explore Barcelona.

The few hours upon arriving in Malaga and in Valencia don’t count - by the time you get there, find your lodgings, try to find something to eat in the afternoon hours where everything closes due to the siesta custom, and head on out, most of the day is gone
.
‘Nuff said.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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This trip sounds unpleasantly rushed to me, but it doesn't really matter what I think. michelhuebli has laid the issues out well.

I recommend that you 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 their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

BTW, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 17th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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All personal, of course, but you won't get much of the feeling for the culture of Spain from a car window. Do you really want to spend more time in a car in Spain than time experiencing Spain? You will be very close to some of the most beautiful and exciting places in Spain, yet you are skipping right by them to spend time in your car.

Toledo is only 25 minutes by local train from Madrid. Read about this glorious old city in a magnificent setting with a wonderful cathedral and great art.

Seville is romantic old world Spain with a beautiful cathedral.

Córdoba, an hour from Seville has one of the best sights in Spain, the Mezquita.

With seven days, if you did just those places, that would be plenty.

Then, read about the Alhambra in Granada.

You could visit Barcelona and nearby area, Madrid and the Andalusia area, just the Andalusia area, or a combo of Barcelona and Madrid. Often advice is given to see the things that are less easy to get to and save major places with good flight connections for other trips. You could always add Madrid or Barcelona to another trip, but not Córdoba, Granada, etc.
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Old Feb 18th, 2017, 01:17 AM
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Thank you all. We surely do not like rushing from place to place, which I why this looked extremely rushed to me. I agree that we should stick to just Madrid and surroundings, or Barcelona and surroundings. I agree with Sassafraaa.

I have not made any flight reservations yet, which is why I said 7-9 days.

If I fly to Madrid, and have say 6 nights, what would be your recommendation? How many nights in Madrid? Should I spend a night in Toledo, Cordoba, Granada?

Sorry about the vagueness of the questions. I just haven't had the time to do any research, so really have no idea. We needed to get away, and flights are available to Spain within our budget at that time. So even if am able to chalk out the bigger details, that will be fine, and I can plan out the detailed sightseeing later.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Feb 18th, 2017, 05:06 AM
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Hello.

My teenage son and I visited Madrid for a week a few years ago and we found there was enough to see and do there for that amount of time. We don't like to pack our days with sightseeing so we usually see one sight per day and then wander around different neighborhoods. Madrid offers the museums, the Royal Palace (if open) and several good day trips. El Escorial, Toledo and Avila are all easily accessible via train. We did not make it to Segovia, but I think it is an easy trip as well. Personally, I don't like changing hotels often so I would opt for a day trip to Toledo, but if you don't mind moving then you could spend the night there. IMHO Cordoba and Granada are too far to travel for just one night.

If you had closer to 9 days, you could make Seville your base. We recently spent 9 nights in Seville with kids (21, 17, 7) and didn't run out of things to do. There are several day trips you can do from there. Even Cordoba can be done as a day trip. You could also divide your time between Seville and Granada (we found 3 nights and 2 full days to be enough in Granada). At this point I would make sure I could still get tickets for the Alhambra before I booked Granada. You wouldn't want to be in Granada and not see the Alhambra!

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 18th, 2017, 05:59 AM
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With 7 to 9 days:

(a) 4 nights in Madrid. 1 to 2 nights in Toledo. 2 nights in Salamanca. 1 nights in Segovia / Avila, or add that night to Madrid and visit Segovia and/or Avila from there.

OR

(b) 3 - 4 nights in Sevilla. 2 - 3 nights in Granada. 1 - 2 nights in Cordoba.
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Old Feb 18th, 2017, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think we are finally settling down on this. I realized that we are not ones to constantly move around (I would probably do that if I was travelling solo). Husband wants to be by the coast, kids want city, so our plan:

Day 1: Depart NY
Day 2: Arrive Barcelona, take flight to Majorca
Day 3: Majorca
Day 4: Majorca
Day 5: Majorca
Day 6: Depart to Barcelona
Day 7: Barcelona
Day 8: Barcelona
Day 9: Barcelona
Day 10: Depart Barcelona

Does this look better?
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Old Feb 18th, 2017, 02:48 PM
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That's not much time for Barcelona, IMO, but it's a far better plan that your first one!
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