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Help with Spain/Portugal itinerary 33 days

Help with Spain/Portugal itinerary 33 days

Old Aug 18th, 2017, 05:57 AM
  #1  
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Help with Spain/Portugal itinerary 33 days

We are planning a trip to Spain and Portugal.. We have two tennis events we are planning to attend and so are locked in somewhat to 2 of the days in Barcelona and Madrid.(days 3, 4 and 16,17) but are flexible on the rest. We tried to do what is most logical order. We are in our mid 60's early 70"s (H) in good health and active (for the moment We love architecture and beautiful scenery like some museums but not huge fans (I get bored after a few hrs) Live in NYC so don't want to feel like we never left home We did a multi city trip two years ago (Amsterdam, Bergen, Stockholm, Copenhagan, Bruges, Ghent) We loved Ghent and Bruge and Bergen and Stockholm.. AMsterdam although beautiful in some ways felt too hectic and too much like home and Stockholm except for the old town area we did not like) I feel Barcelona will be very different as well as Lisbon. Not sure about Madrid. All that said.. looking for feedback on number of days spending in each area.. too much to little? We had to cut out some places already as transport to from looked complicated and limited. We decided to just do some day trips from Lisbon so wont be spending all of our days in Lisbon. We are not driving unless we have to will fly when it makes the most sense and when we can train or bus. Considering the length of the trip we are trying to cut costs where we can but not at the expense of the stress level (so rather take one mode of transport if another requires three changes for example) Will stay at Airbnbs We have only just started to put this together and have not purchased any tickets yet.. any feedback would be appreciated. THanks!
Day 1 depart PM from NY
Day 2 Barcelona arrive AM
Day 3 Barcelona
Day 4 Barcelona
Day 5 Barcelona
Day 6 Barcelona
Day 7 Barcelona
Day 8 Barcelona to Majorca
Day 9 Majorca
Day 10 Majorca
Day 11 Maorca
Day 12 Majorca to Valencia
Day 13 valencia
Day 14 Valencia
Day 15 Valencia to Madrid
Day 16 Madrid
Day 17 Madrid
Day 18 Madrid
Day 19 Madrid
Day 20 Madrid to Toledo
Day 21 Toledo to Grenada
Day 22 Grenada
Day 23 Grenada to Cordoba
Day 24 Cordoba
Day 25 Cordoba to Seville
Day 26 Seville
Day 27 Seville
Day 28 Seville to Lisbon
Days 29-34 Lisbon
Day 35 return home
Barbara_Mckeon is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2017, 07:26 AM
  #2  
 
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Are yous taking trains as I suspect - if so you are taking so many that you may want to checkout the Spain Railpass which lets you chose which trains to take once there -any train anytime (but you do need to get a mandated seat reservation on most but regional trains- easy to do) - www.renfe.com is the Spanish Railways official site - compare prices to pass; good sources of info -www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

You have a great itinerary - Barcelona seems too much but there are several neat day trips to take from there if tire on a large busy city.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 07:44 AM
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How are you planning on getting from Sevilla to Lisbon? Bus, plane or private transfer?

I'd skip the Spain Rail Pass and just by the tickets you need. Discounted tickets are available at Renfe.com or through Petrabax.com, Renfe's official North American agent.

Airbnbs in Barcelona and other Spanish cities are coming under pressure from the government, as well as some local residents. There is a new law due out in September that will have a direct impact on all short term rentals, so be aware.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 08:57 AM
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I'd skip the Spain Rail Pass and just by the tickets you need.>

Don't skip investigating it - may be cheaper than available tickets - may not be. Pass is a better deal in first class than 2nd -about 40 euros per unlimited day of train travel (saverpass) plus 10 euros for seat reservations - and again a key is you do not have to book your trains in stone (discounted tickets I think are train-specific at a certain time on a certain date and to get must be booked weeks early often - non refundable, non-changeable I think).

Anyway not saying it will be good or not -but compare anyway and don't dismiss out of hand as some do. And again much depends on whether you want flexibility to chose trains once there or book in stone far in advance - which is fine for many.

As always I would recommend first class anyway -discounted tickets may not always be much more in first than 2nd.

Check pass prices at sites I give in first post)
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 09:03 AM
  #5  
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thank you both so much great information.. we plan on doing a mixture of plane and train and bus..depending upon where we are going what is the best in terms of time and convenience and cost.. I will look into the rail pass though to compare... As for how to go from seville to Lisbon we will fly .. as all else I have read about seems to be troublesome.. that is why we dropped Lagos and Faro
Barcelona may seem long but two of the days there we will be at the tennis open so actually four days to tour around the city. Is that still too much time. we figure first day will be adjustment day from the travel maybe hop on off bus to get a feel for the city and make it a stress free day.

I am not happy to hear about Airbnb thanks for that info though as using this service is what is making a trip this long affordable trying to average 100 US per night for lodging and having the ability to make a small breakfast and microwave some take out items at night keep our food costs down to 100 a day as well. Using hotels will make this much more difficult.. we may need to rethink this trip what will this law do? Does anyone know?
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 10:36 AM
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When is this trip ?
Bedar is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2017, 11:56 AM
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the customer is never liable for airbnb places that may techincally be in violating of some laws hotel groups want to push to continue their monoplies - feel comfy staying there without police rousting you at night.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 12:44 PM
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A few points:
1. If you have a Spain Rail Pass, you have to go to the station to pay to reserve your seat on all AVE and ALVIA trains. Not really a good option if you have to spend time standing in line. Also note that seats can sell out well in advance of the train's departure date, so you may not be able to travel on the day or train you want when you decide what to go somewhere. If using the Rail Pass, the cost of the reservation on the Madrid-Toledo would be as much as buying a ticket online a few days or weeks in advance.

2. Some agencies (such as Friendly Rentals) which deal with short term apartment rentals will not confirm a reservation until they see what the new rental law will be. Also, if the rental is in violation of the law, and the police come knocking at the door, some owners are telling their tenants not to answer. I don't know how good that advice is, but you can give it a try when you hear that light tapping on the door in the middle of the night, followed by "policía"!

3. You'll save money if you dine at restaurants offering a menu del día, which most restaurants, including a few with Michelin stars and Repsol suns, offer at lunch, and some in the evening. It also helps to share a starter and desert. Our least expensive lunch (formule du dejeuner) in Biarritz this past June was 17€/person at Bonheur. The price included an excellent bottle of summer ale (La Superbe) and water, and was outstanding. At Bascook in Bilbao we paid a little more, but splurged on a good bottle of Rioja from Bodegas Ostatu (18€).
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 12:47 PM
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As for how to go from seville to Lisbon we will fly .. as all else I have read about seems to be troublesome.. that is why we dropped Lagos and Faro>

Not really -direcd buses Seville to Faro (and trains and buses from there to nearby Lagos) take 4 hours - But except a few towns like Lagos IME the Algarve is mainly a modern high-rise beach resort so yes I'd fly to Lisbon.

Consider a day trip to Obidos and (separately) Evora from Lisbon if you find you want to get out of Lisbon - Sintra of course is a must if in Lisbon that long IMO.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 01:34 PM
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1. If you have a Spain Rail Pass, you have to go to the station to pay to reserve your seat on all AVE and ALVIA trains. Not really a good option if you have to spend time standing in line.>

You can do this all at your first station or even online maybe -then if you want to change and can you can without losing anything but the reservation fee (which maybe could be transferred?).

I'm pointing out possible benefits of a pass to some - Robert is pointing out the negatives - all is good for the discussion.

4-day Spain Railpass (Flexi) is about $220p.p. 2nd cl; $260 1st cl or $55 and $65/ day or about 44 euros and 52 euros a day + 10 euros (???not sure) seat reservation fee. Check www.renfe.com to see what fares you can get for your 4 long-distance train trips (including Granada - Cordoba which is easy by trains and trains are always more comfy than buses.

And again consider first class - more room for luggage - window and aisle seat both (just one seat in half the rows - two of these isolated seats can face each other with a table in between - no bothering others or being bothered by others to get in or out, etc.)
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 02:06 PM
  #11  
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hey there you guys are great.. I totally get.. and plan to look at all options with travel and rail.. we have not started to do that yet.. more importantly wanted to be sure we had the right amount of time in the places we are going.. we will really only have 4 full days of Barcelona to tour around and one of those days is the first day we arrive so will be slow to go as not sure how much sleep we will get on the plane and its an overnight trip. Barcelona looks beautiful and so unique .. for all the places we are staying we are looking to be in neighborhoods where it will not be noisy at night but convenient with public transit to get to the major sights. THis is true for all cities so if anyone can comment on any of them with regard to this that would be great..
Great info on the food and rails.. greatly appreciated!!
we are coming in April 25 starting in Barcelona and then return home May 28 if that helps any.. going to the tennis in Madrid and Barcelona.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 02:08 PM
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Here is the link to all of the different rail passes available through Renfe:
venta.renfe.com/vol/indiceAbonos.do
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 02:10 PM
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Oh btw we are going to just do Toledo as a day trip from Madrid and then go straight to Granada
also thanks for the day trips from Lisbon will check them out.. sintra is definitely on the list.
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 05:35 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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Should be a great trip! Just a few comments:

Although many people visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid, I was very glad to have spent 2 full days there, and could easily have used more time.

I don’t believe you can take public transportation directly from Toledo to Granada – I think you need to go back through Madrid. That shouldn’t take particularly long, but do plan for it.

IMO, two nights in Granada is JUST enough for the Alhambra, which can take all or most of a day. If you want to see any of Granada’s other delights, you might want to plan on another (third) night there. And BTW, book your tickets for the Alhambra well in advance!

IMO, 2 full days in Sevilla is on the short side.

Of course, it all depends on what YOU want to see and do!
I, personally, would skip Majorca to free up one more day each for Toledo, Granada, and Sevilla, but that's JMO.

You don’t need to use AirBnB to have a kitchen – some hotels have them. You can search for lodging with kitchen facilitites on booking.com
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Old Aug 18th, 2017, 06:06 PM
  #15  
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ok thanks I will research all suggested and decide... we cannot add on to the end unfortunately as we are locked into days for the tennis in Madrid and Barcelona--so that is why we added Majorca:}
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 06:39 AM
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Plenty of great value, central and basic hotel standard places (private bath, AC, tv, 24h desk, wifi etc) all around your route that will fit your budget. Have stayed in all off these places, except the one in Granada.

Take a look at Banys Orientals and Orleans in Barcelona:
http://www.hotelbanysorientals.com/en/
https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hos...ans.en-gb.html

Persal in Madrid: http://www.hostalpersal.com/en/

Córdoba Centro in Córdoba: http://www.hotel-cordobacentro.es/

Hostal Museo in Sevilla: http://www.hostalmuseosevilla.com/

And Rodri might be just what you're looking for in Granada:
http://www.hostalrodri.com/?lang=en https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hos...dri.en-gb.html

And the two of you can live like kings on 100 US/day. Do as Robert says and most locals do, have your main meal at lunchtime, the Menu del dia (Today's menu) is usually a bargain: Three course meal (normally you can choose between three starters, three-four mains and a couple of desserts) with wine/beer included are some 8-14 € in most restaurants where the locals go, also in the city center (very often around 10-11€).
http://www.totallyspaintravel.com/20...-dia-in-spain/
http://catavino.net/the-menu-of-the-...for-your-euro/

And fabulous food markets all around that invite you to make the occasional picnic in one of the many fine city parks all along your route.

And a few tapas at night with some glasses of whatever seldom sets you back more than 15€ pr. person. And going for the Menu del dia for lunch and some tapas in the evening/night, then you will be very close on the daily, local life.

Here's an example of a tapas round in Sevilla.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mFE9k0E-2Y&t=5s
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 07:13 AM
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thanks Kimhe! the links and suggestions are great..we are not big eaters so yes eat a main meal mid day as we are always out and about and then could bring some tapas home or do with a light tapas dinner out. you are correct! I cannot drink (two sips and I am gone sad but true and if we are walking around ok for my H to drink but if we have to drive then he won't drink either.. so that saves us some $$ LOL seriously this is a big trip so wherever we can save we will..will check out all your links.. we want to stay in apartments--so the reason for Airbnb as we like the privacy not sure would get that in the hostels but know some can be very nice so will check out.
We are now thinking to skip Valencia altogether and maybe add those days on to Andalucia and Portugal and then go to Porto for three days and keep Lisbon to 5 nights (with a day trip to Sintra in there and maybe somewhere else) and then 3 in Porto and then maybe three in Saville and three in Granada(instead of the initial two in each) Life is choices!! no complaints
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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Many say Toledo is neat to stay in after tourist hoards have gone and the city's ancient facades take on a surrealistically sublime look at night but moving bases for one night means a big hassle-yes day trip and not spend half a day relocating.
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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kja
 
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One reason to see Toledo in the evening is because it is much more atmospheric after day trippers left. But as I mentioned above, my biggest argument for doing so is that it has such a wealth of wonderful sites that one can easily spend two full days there and not see everything one might want to see -- so spending two or even three nights there is, IMO, worth considering. It depends on what people want to see and experience.
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Old Aug 20th, 2017, 04:40 AM
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thank you both..as my DH says to me all the time life is choices..there are just toooo many wonderful places to see and even with all the time we have we still cannot fit in everything.. we are now thinking to drop Valencia and add on Porto.. and more time in Andalucia we can still do an overnight in Toledo...someone pointed out that it does not take long to get back to Madrid and will take us time anyway leaving Madrid so just the day relocating is what we would have to deal with.. mmm will think on that one. I think now we need to look at each city and read thoroughly to decide some of this..Thanks again for all your wonderful advice it has been so helpful .
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