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Five Cousins in Spain for 1st Time Need Help with Itinerary

Five Cousins in Spain for 1st Time Need Help with Itinerary

Jan 16th, 2010, 11:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4
Five Cousins in Spain for 1st Time Need Help with Itinerary

We are five cousins in our 50's traveling to Spain for first time (two couples & one single). What do you think of this itinerary? We are flying in and out of Madrid. Should we stay in Madrid, or opt for more charming towns like Toledo and Segovia? We like architecture, history, culture, the outdoors, good food & wine. Is this too many places?

Sleeping Summary:
Madrid (1)
Toledo (3)
Granada (3)
Ronda (1)
Seville (3)
Segovia (2)

1) Arrive & sleep in Madrid - Bullfight (a must see for one of us)
2) Tour Madrid, PM AVE to Toledo, Sleep Toledo - Day in Madrid to see Royal Palace, Prado, Thyssen, then spend three nights in apartment in Toledo (recommendations?)
3) Sleep Toledo - See Toledo architecture & twisting streets, El Greco House, Alcazar
4) Sleep Toledo - Daytrip via car to Cuenca (hanging houses)
5) Sleep Granada, car from Toledo to Granada, stop at Consuegra on the way (windmills) (recommendations for apartment?)
6) Sleep Granada - see Alhambra @ 8:30 AM & Alhambra hill sights
7) Sleep Granada - Royal Chapel, Cathedral
8) Sleep Ronda - car from Granada to Ronda...see Nerja Caves on way
9) Sleep Seville - car from Ronda through white hill towns
10) Sleep Seville - activities to include Flamenco, bullfight museum, cathedral
11) Sleep Seville - activities to include Giralda tower, cathedral, Barrio de Santa Cruz
12) Sleep Segovia - AVE to Cordoba to see Mezquita, then Segovia
13) Sleep Segovia - see Roman Aqueduct, Cathedral, Alcazar
14) AVE to Madrid to catch 1:10 PM flight home
Cousins is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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I'd say it's pretty well thought out. Good job.
JulieVikmanis is online now  
Jan 16th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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That first day in Madrid, when you are going to Toledo on AVE, seems awfully cramped to me. Why not stay 2 nts in Madrid instead? I have been to Toledo several times and although I have never stayed overnight I could see the advantage of staying one or at the most 2 nights. But 3 seem excessive.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Agree with cruiseluv - not much to do in Toledo after one day ( maybe one night).
Taking AVE from Seville to Cordoba, visiting Mezquita, taken AVE from Cordoba to Madrid, then changing train stations in Madrid to go Segovia could be a very long day.
You might wish to stay in Madrid after visiting Cordoba and make a day trip to Segovia.
Sleeping in six different locations takes a lot of packing, unpacking, checking in and out of hotels etc.
It is a very busy schedule IMO, but you know how well you all travel together .
danon is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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I would give Toledo one day and move all that time to Madrid (seriously nice city). I also think Rhonda is a waste to time and if I could I would add Cordoba. Most people would tell you I'm wrong but lets face it Rhonda is a bridge and not a great one at that
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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I think to drive for the day to Cuenca for Toledo is not that simple. To get into Cuenca you have to cross the city to get to the old town. I think you must stay in Cuenca and sleep there.
I do not think that it is such a good idea to stay in Toledo , coming in and out not worth the trouble. Move on.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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If this Madrid stop requires a bullfighting session.. beware there are not bullfights every day nor every week.

You are crisscrossing a bit with the cuenca trip..I think it would be best as circle trip...

all by car leaving airport directly for toledo.

madrid airport-toledo-consuegra-córdoba-sevilla-ronda-granada-cuenca-madrid.

or..go the other way

airport-alcalá de henares(sleep in this great little stork ridden town with tons of nice architecture and museums to visit) -cuenca-granada-sevilla/córdoba-ronda-toledo-madrid (get rid of car last days in madrid).

You may find staying in smaller towns nice along the way.. or some paradors.

Carmona outside Sevilla is lovely.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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oops! forgot segovia.. .

oh well. just throwing out some now invalid suggestions.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Many good suggestions here.

Madrid is always a good place from which to visit the worthwhile towns that surround it. And you must remember that you are always moving five adults and their luggage. If you use Madrid as a base (and you can also visit its world class museums), you minimize moving from hotel to hotel. From there you can visit Ceunca, Toledo, and Segovia.

And as presently constituted, and even though I love Cuenca, that is quite a schlep for one day.

By the way Ronda des not "h"elp.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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no you miss the bilboburgl(e)r point
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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I highly recommend you to visit the fabulous Reina Sofia museum in Madrid on 20th Century art: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/index_en.html

For flamenco in Sevilla, Casa de la Memória close to the cathedral is a good option. Upcoming artists and great and intimate setting. The following site also list theater performences in Sevilla (and elsewhere) of the world's finest flamenco artists:

About flamenco in Casa de la Memória:
kimhe is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Day 2: I think you have too much crammed in; to see the Prado, Royal Palace, and Thyssen in one day would not be feasible, unless you are not very interested in the art. Also, I would sneak a quick peek in at the Reina Sofia just to see Picasso's Guernica. You can get a museum pass that covers all 3 museums - just ask for it. Unless you really like modern art, the Picasso, is the only draw here and you can see it in an hour or less.

I don't think you need a whole day in Granada for the Royal Chapel and Cathedral, but you can also enjoy a walk around the Albaycin, the Moorish section, for great views of the Alhambra. A whole day in the Alhambra will be great.

In Sevilla, if you get a chance to see the Alcazar, it's worth it, but if you're pressed for time, the architecture is much the same in the Alhambra.
MECindylou is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:22 PM
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Advice you did not ask for

Make sure everyone knows that they need not do everything together. People may want to something the majority does not. And it will not always be easy to find a restaurant that will seat 11. Some might get tired.

Make sure everyone agrees how the money will be handled whether individually or collectively.

And make sure it is agreed upon, how drinks will be paid for. There is always one person who drinks more than others and you do not want any resentment.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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I would take nights off Toledo and add to Madrid. It is a really great city and a lot of fun at night, they say Toledo is very quiet at night. Granada is one of my favorite places but you could get by with 2 nights. I would get bored spending a night in Ronda but many would disagree with me. The important thing is to spend at least 3 nights in Seville. You could even add a night to Cadiz or Malaga. Of course your original itinerary is fine too.
Egbert is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Wow, thanks everyone for all your helpful advice. We have decided to change our itinerary to:
3 nights in Madrid in an apartment on the East side of town
3 nights in Granada ... looking for apartment
1 night in Ronda in Hotel Ronda (even though Ronda got some negative comments we'll take our chances..we read on a trip report that Hotel Ronda was "the best place we stayed in during our entire trip. It is more like a bed and breakfast."
3 nights in Sevilla ... found a house, but not confirmed
3 nights in Madrid in an apartment on the West side of town

Due to logistics, we will likely eliminate the day trip to Cuenca , but keep day trips to Toledo and Segovia.

The suggestion for flamenco in Sevilla, Casa de la Memória sounds great!

Carmona outside Sevilla sounds like somewhere to check out.

The "advice we did not ask for" is very right. We had a trip to Italy with 15 friends & family in 2005 and the money part was a challenge.

If you have more tips, we are open to suggestion. Thanks again to everyone for responding to our post.
Cousins is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 06:53 AM
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I think the key pieces of advice for first timers to Spain is to realise that supper does not start until 11pm (yes really) and siesta in high summer is not a quaint habit but vital. If you come towards high summer you will find yourself looking out for fountains and the shadyside of the street. Bring a hat. Note that old cities in Europe were not planned for cars so central Madrid and Seville are really walking areas with roads cut through so public transport and walking is the real thing
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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If you are looking for apt in Madrid , we stay at
Spain Select. Most of their apt. are rented per month but they have 3 nights min rentals ( first page of the site) I am not sure if any of the the apt. are for five people.

We stayed in Granada for 3 nights and found it a bit long. If you can, see Alhambra at night as well. Book tickets ahead of time.
Day trips to most towns around Madrid are easily done by train
Toledo 1/2 hour, Segovia 1/2 hour, Escorial - one hour by bus, etc.

"supper does not start until 11pm (yes really)"

One can have a meal at 9:00 PM no problem.
danon is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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yes you can but not really with the locals
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 03:22 AM
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Madrid is the logical base for trips to Toledo, Segovia and Cuenca (1 day each).
Revulgo is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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Not only can you get a meal at 9 but be sure to have a tapa or two between 5 and 7. And for many Spaniards the main meal is lunch. And in places like Madrid there will restaurants opened all day to accomodate visitors.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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