Itinerary Help - 10 nights in Spain

May 16th, 2011, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
Itinerary Help - 10 nights in Spain

My husband and I are excited about our first trip to Spain. Although we are very much tempted by Andalucia, given the amount of time we have to spend we have narrowed our options down to the two below. We are flying in and out of Madrid with a budget, not including airfare, of about $2500 USD. We are very adventurous, love art/culture, the outdoors, and good food. We prefer not to rush around from one thing to the next and enjoy getting a little off the beaten path. Any tips on what to do/where to stay would be appreciated!

Option #1
Madrid (daytrips to Segovia and Toledo) nights 1-2, 9-10
Salamanca nights 3-4
Santander/Bilbao nights 5-8

Option #2
Madrid (daytrips to Toledo and Segovia) nights1-2, 9-10
Zaragoza nights 3-4
Barcelona (daytrips to Tarragona and Monteserrat) nights 5-8

Thank you!
sdroche is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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With only ten (10) days and a first-timer to Spain I think it is a huge mistake trying to fit North-South-West-East. Spain is a hugely diverse country and just to get from one point to another you will consume the day pretty much. Slow down, pick a region (North if June-September; South if October-May).

Go back to the Draft Booard.
Viajero2 is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have to agree with Viajero2 especially because you describe yourself as not wanting to rush around.

With a first trip to Spain and just 10 days I'd pick at the most 2 bases. Madrid & Barcelona for example (too bad you couldn't book one leg out of Barcelona and not have to backtrack). Alternatively you could do Madrid & Bilbao (or San Sebastian). For a taste of Andalucia you could visit Madrid (4 nghts), Seville (4 nights) and Granada (2) - just a little taste of the South. I think alot depends on the time of year for your trip.
CathyM is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies.

I can see how the first trip might take a little extra time to get around - it appears that Madrid to Salamanca will take 2.5 hours and Salamanca to Santander about 6 (which could be done overnight potentially). However, from what I'm reading the train from Madrid to Barcelona only takes 2.5 hours with Zaragoza an easy stop on the same line.

When I say we don't want to rush around I mean that we don't want a chartered bus trip where you see 7 cities in 7 days with stops just long enough to eat lunch and snap a photo. But I would think between 2-4 days would be a good amount of time to hit the highlights and explore the city a little as well. We plan to carry only backpacks so luggage shouldn't hold us up at all.

I understand that there's plenty to do in any one city to occupy us for the entire trip, but since we may not get back to Spain again anytime soon I was hoping to see a few different locales.

sdroche is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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When you say 2 days, it's not really 2 days in a given locale. If you use the helpful rule of thumb that you lose 1/2 day each time you change locales (between packing, unpacking, getting to transportation, take transportation, from transportation to hotel, etc.), your itinerary looks much more crowded.

With 10 nights (and that includes your arrival day, I assume), I'd visit 3 places at the most, or 2 place if you plan to take day trips.

If you haven't already booked your flights, seriously consider flying open jaws. That way, you could book your Madrid time at one end of the trip, rather than breaking it up. If you could in/out of a different city, you wouldn't lose time in traveling back to Madrid, either.

Tips on what to do depends on your interest. We like art and history, so when we visited Barcelona, the only part of Spain I've been to so far, we visited lots of museums - not everyone's first choice.
Lexma90 is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Option 2 is a nice compact trip along the Madrid to Barcelona axis. I would spend nights 1 and 2 in Toledo rather than Madrid; it is a lovely hill town filled with history and culture. It is filled with tourist prowling the trinket shops during the day, but at night is is a different place.

In addition to exploring the cathedral and other historical and cultural sights, we enjoyed running on the path along the river, just outside the walls, each morning.

We had a lovely apartment on a pedestrian street close to the center, very reasonably priced, at Casa de los Mozarabes.
enzian is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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Regarding Option 2:

Personally I wouldn't forego a great deal of time in Madrid & Barcelona for Zaragoza. I spent 2 nights in Zaragoza and could easily have spent a day - and I'm a slow traveler.

I also enjoy spending a couple of nights in Toledo but some prefer as a daytrip - same with Segovia (and Girona from Barcelona). It all depends on interests.
CathyM is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I agree with Cathy but if I were to do this trip I would spend 3 nights in Sevilla, two in Granada, one in Malaga and 4 in Madrid w/ a daytrip to Toledo. If it were in the months of June, July or August I would spend 3 nights in Madrid and 7 in San Sebastian.
Egbert is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. It looks like a little more research is in order. I'll try to update when we've made a decision.
sdroche is offline  

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