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Itinerary help...

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Apr 21st, 2017, 02:25 AM
  #1
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Itinerary help...

Hello

I need some help for my trip to Spain in July. Dont know how many nights I should be spending at each place. Ive got anywhere from 2-3 weeks in Spain before flying over to Greece. Flights to Greece havent been booked yet so I am flexible with dates.

I will be arriving in Seville on July 1st.
Seville - 3 nights
Cordoba - 2 nights
Madrid - 5 nights (with a day trip to Toledo)
Barcelona - 3 to 4 nights

Originally I was going to spend a week in Seville and then go to Madrid and then Barcelona. I have also been looking at Granada to visit the Alhambra but it seems like there will be too much travelling in between and not enough relax time.

I am more interested in walking the streets and checking out all the architecture. May visit a museum but its not high on the list.

So if anyone could advise if the above is ok or if I should drop a day and add it to somewhere else.

Thanks!
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Apr 21st, 2017, 03:03 AM
  #2
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Or the other option is to drop Barcelona and spend more time around the Seville and Madrid area. Maybe staying 2 nights in Toledo and/or Segovia?
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Apr 21st, 2017, 04:33 AM
  #3
 
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If you have the time and this is your first visit to Spain, it would be a shame to miss Granada. I would like to propose
3-4 nights Seville (if you need an extra day for jet lag)
3 hour Alsa Supra bus to Granada (leather seats, wifi, toilets, no stops)
2 or 3 nights Granada (depending on travel schedules)
2 nights Cordoba (which is enroute to Madrid anyway)
3 nights Madrid
2 nights Toledo
2 nights Segovia
3-4 nights Barcelona (or ditch Barcelona for another trip)
I know, a lot of cities, but travel between is 1-3 hours. I look at that as a scenic drive.
Alternatives is to do day trips instead of 2 night trips to Cordoba, Toledo and Segovia.
Only you can decide what appeals more - more time in the smaller cities which means more moves, or stay longer in larger cities and do day trips.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 05:07 AM
  #4
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Thank you so much for that. Yes its my first time. It seems anywhere I ask, everyone says that I must visit Granada.

So in your opinion, 3 nights in Madrid and Barcelona is enough? Im finding it hard to find a cheaper hotel in Barcelona without having to stay too far out as I will be on my own. For some reason rhe flights to Athens are a little more expensive than flying out from Madrid.

Im just worried that travelling from place to place every couple of days will become tiring.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 05:28 AM
  #5
 
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If you are not planning to do all the big museums in Madrid, 3 nights may suffice, but I tend to go with my gut of how many nights I am comfortable with - as everyone is different. Same goes with Barcelona. I also stay in short let apartments for 3 nights or more, and also local hostals for lesser nights. My personal budget is about $100 Cdn a night and my hostals are running about $45 Cdn. (I don't know where you are from)...but I also travel off season. I am in Barcelona in November and prefer to stay in an apartment near Sagrada Familia as I am going for the Modernista architecture. There are numerous good subway connections and is close to my airport connection. I might up my budget in Barcelona by $15 a night - well, because it is Barcelona.
You have a trade off, Barcelona and a higher Athens price, or defer Barcelona for a time you can see more surrounding areas. Trying to fit Barcelona into the schedule and ending in Madrid is more convoluted and includes added costs for internal travel from Granada to Barcelona.
Seville-Cordoba-Granada-Barcelona-Madrid+Segovia & Toledo.
As mentioned, you can decide to stay longer in bigger places and do day trips to Cordoba, Toledo and Segovia. Then it could look like this:
Sevilla 4-5 nights (day trip to Cordoba)
Granada 3 nights
Madrid 5- 6 nights (day trips to Segovia, Toledo and maybe even el Escorial)
Barcelona (as many as you want)
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Apr 21st, 2017, 08:09 AM
  #6
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Im from Australia, so my budget is around the $100 mark as well. Im doing 6 weeks through Europe and this is costing me more than I thought.

The more I look into everything, the more confused im getting lol.

I think I will only do a day trip to Toledo instead of staying 2 nights. Segovia at the moment is winning in my eyes. It looks so beautiful! The reason why I want to stay 2 nights in the smaller places is because I love when everything is lit up. I also like to take it all in and enjoy it rather than seeing the main attractions and leaving.

Is Renfe the only website for the train tickets? Its really confusing. Or can I purchase tickets when I am there?
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Apr 21st, 2017, 08:30 AM
  #7
 
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Segovia is a small town that you can visit and thoroughly explore in a day. It is a perfect day trip. But two nights there is entirely too long. Toledo is twice the size of Segovia and probably deserves an overnight, but not 2-3 nights.

Granada has two attractions - the Alhambra and the Capilla Real. Other than that, it's a fairly industrial city nowhere near as interesting as Barcelona or Seville. Giving two nights to it seems a stretch; giving it three nights is excessive. Cordoba is far more interesting, smaller, and historically more important.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 08:51 AM
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Thanks Big Russ! Very helpful!

Ive decided to skip Grenada and stick to Cordoba. May even spend an extra night in Seville.

So I will do day trips to Segovia and Toledo...

Would this be better:

3 or 4 nights in Seville
2 nights Cordoba
4 or 5? nights in Madrid
3 nights in Barcelona or should I do 4 nights?

What is a decent area to stay in Barcelona that is centrally located? I will be walking everywhere and not using the trains and if need be, I will catch a taxi. I have been looking at the Gothic Quarter but I cannot find anything in my price range. Seems to be more in Eixample. Is this worth looking at?
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:25 PM
  #9
kja
 
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I must admit that I cannot imagine visiting Andalusia and NOT visiting the Alhambra – particularly if you have an interest in architecture! It is, IMO, one of the world’s true gems. Just my opinion….

And while many people visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid, I thought it worth at least 2 full nights – I was happily very busy for more than 48 hours there.

You might want to consider skipping Barcelona this trip. I loved Barcelona, and thought it easily worth at least 4 or 5 days – not counting day trips (and there are several worth considering, IMO). Note that getting to Barcelona is relatively easy, as it has an international airport, so deferring it to another time could make more sense than skipping or deferring places that take time and energy to reach (such as Andalusia). Or you might consider skipping Greece this trip. Just some things to conisder…

Oh, just saw your second post! Yes, yes!!!

As to your last post, no no NO! (JMO)

BTW, if I understand correctly, quiltingmama hasn't actually been to Spain yet, while BigRuss and I have been to the destinations you are considering. You might want to keep our different experiences in mind as you plan.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:33 PM
  #10
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And OOPS! I just noticed that, unfortunately, BigRuss and I disagree about both Toledo (as noted, I found more than enough to keep me happy for more than 48 hours) and Granada (which I felt hard-pressed to see with 3 nights). To each his/her own! To my way of thinking, these differences underscore the need to plan your trip based on YOUR interests.

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library) and plot your wish list on a calendar. Each time you propose to change locations, 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.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 08:37 PM
  #11
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Thank you for that. So I wont do Toledo as a day trip and stay there instead? Thats what I was going to do ans then I changed it. I have been researching for about a month and originally I was going to spend 7 nights in Seville, 4 nights Madrid, 2 in Toledo and then 5 nights in Barcelona....but then I kept researching and its confused me lol and I keep changing my mind ��

Grenada - The Alhambra does look amazing from what im seeing online but I just feel that travelling all that way for 1 or 2 nights would be too rushed and tiring.

I really have been considering skipping Barcelona recently. Its becoming too expensive and unable to find decent accommodation in the centre.

I will only be in Greece for 10 days only to see family and my return flight back home is from Athens.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 08:53 PM
  #12
kja
 
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Again, IMO, Granada merits 3 nights, so you have one day for the extraordinary Alhambra and one day for the rest of Granada's incredible treasures. And it's in Andalusia, so traveling there isn't going to add substantially to your travel time -- it's just breaking up your travel in a different way. (In contrast, Barcelona IS out of your way, and so visiting there WILL add to your time in transit.)

But to each his/her own, and viva la difference!
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Apr 21st, 2017, 11:42 PM
  #13
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I guess you're right. Barcelona probably is out of the way....

So in your opinion, do you prefer Granada or Barcelona? What I mean is if you could only go to one place which would it be? Or is that a silly question lol
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Apr 21st, 2017, 11:53 PM
  #14
kja
 
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I, personally, can't state a preference between Granada and Barcelona -- it would be like asking whether I prefer apples or books, they are that different. And they call for different commitments: The highlights of Granada can be seen in 2 days (3 nights). Barcelona is a major city with lots of worthy destinations in the city and multiple options for wonderful day trips, and so can easily take at least 5 or 6 days for the city itself and another 2 to 6 days (if not more) for day trips or other short stops in the area. Granada is hard to reach if you aren't already in Andalusia (as you plan to be); Barcelona is easily reached from many locations. Granada is Andalusian; Barcelona is Catalan. Etc., etc. Seriously, they couldn't be more different if they were in different countries....

But don't take MY word for it -- do some research! Look at maps, check transportation routes, consult some guidebooks....
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 05:42 AM
  #15
 
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Voula, I have been to Barcelona, and I am going to Madrid and Andalusia this September. So, even though I haven't actually been to Andalusia yet, I think it makes more sense to go to Granada to see the Alhambra, and delete Barcelona from this trip if you don't think you can do both. As KJA says, you will already be in Andalusia, so it makes sense to see the Alhambra when you are in Andalusia. As KJA also says, Granada is hard to reach if you aren't already in Andalusia. Will you be returning to Andalusia some other time just to see the Alhambra? That's an important question to consider, I think.

Hope this helps. i know it's confusing because you can't see everything, so you have to decide what is important to you. And also decide if you will return to Andalusia some day. This forum and many guidebooks helped me plan my trip for this September.

BTW, we are spending one night in Toledo because we love seeing cities lit up at night, and it is also quieter and less crowded at night after the day trippers have gone. We did this in 2 cities in Czech Republic (Cesky Krumlov and Karlovy Vary). These are places where many people go for a day trip from Prague, but we love staying overnight, seeing the castle in CK lit up, having a drink outdoors when it was peaceful and less crowded.

If you do decide to visit Barcelona, we stayed in Eixample and loved it. VEry convenient, pretty, and safe.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 06:35 AM
  #16
 
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kja, you are correct, I haven't been to Spain yet, but I see your and my suggestions do have commonalities. Being continually immersed in research and on various forums, there get to be common recommendations. I made suggestions based on OPs interests and gave options in case she wants a choice. I don't think any one person can define THE perfect itinerary for another. My first post included multiple nights in cities she was interested it, then options (compromises in my book) to reduce moving fatigue. I see no harm in talking plans out as long as they are not totally incorrect or out in left field.
And we both agree that Barcelona often does not fit into a tidy two week plan.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 06:58 AM
  #17
 
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Voula, as kja mentioned, sometimes plotting dates, days of the week and locations on a grid can give it some perspective. I have done this on an Excel spreadsheet and when my mind starts to rattle in my head, I start to decide on practicality and efficiency. No point traveling somewhere on days it will be closed. Are there any important national holidays when you are traveling, or feast days that might mean chathedrals are closed? If you read MaitaiTom's trip report, you will see that happened to him. I am having to work around Oct31 and Nov1 which can mean more people traveling, so I know to buy train tickets ahead of time and I booked an trip to la Donana one day so I don't have to guess what is or is not open.
Multiple cities can mean losing a half day getting from one to another place, but efficient packing and planning logistics can minimize the pain. If you want to do them anyway, even a day trip eats up time...and in a day trip, then in both directions.
Researching and deciding the perfect itinerary for you is the hardest part, in my opinion. But one does have to factor in budget and practicality. Sadly we rarely can do it all.
Ultimately, Granada is your decision. I have never read or heard of anyone sorry they went (for at least the Alhambra). Others vary their opinion on number of days the city is worth. But I have certainly seen mixed feelings about day vs multiple days in Cordoba and Toledo....so none of us can decide for you.
You might find that plotting your days and considering the Mondays and Sundays may help you weigh your options and help you decide.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 07:13 AM
  #18
 
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If it matters at all, here is my itinerary:
4 nights Granada (as first city, jet lag will come into play, so extra days)
5 nights Seville (one day trip to la Donana National Park)
2 nights Cordoba
2 nights Toledo
4 nights Madrid (strictly for the museums and perhaps one day in Segovia)
3 nights Barcelona (strictly for Modernista architecture)
I know I won't see a lot of the last two cities, but that is my choice. Andalusia is my reason for going and I almost dropped Barcelona altogether. I put the big cities last so I can do as little or as much as I want. I can live without walking the shopping streets, or visiting what others consider 'must sees'but there is enough time to see my primary interests.
Perhaps it allows you to consider what is important to you and decide from there.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 07:37 AM
  #19
 
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Voula - You are travelling all the way from Oz, visiting Andalucia, but skipping Granada ??? That is a crime ! Skip Barcelona, Segovia, or Toledo, but do NOT skip Granada !!!!
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 08:12 PM
  #20
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I already know I will fall in love with Spain and will definitely go back again. I've decided to drop Barcelona and focus more on the other areas.

What worries me is all the travelling and short stays. Prior to Spain I will be in Paris and Portugal (12 days) I just hope I dont burn out. Especially with the heat.

Like KarenWoo said, I also love seeing cities lit up at night.

I'll keep researching and playing around with dates and see what suits and what is easier.

Thank you so much everyone for all your responses!!
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