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Itinerary help: Madrid, Barcelona and maybe Valencia?

Itinerary help: Madrid, Barcelona and maybe Valencia?

Jun 22nd, 2014, 04:48 AM
  #1  
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Itinerary help: Madrid, Barcelona and maybe Valencia?

We are planning a trip to Spain in early October. We have spent time in Andalusia but my husband has not been to Madrid or Barcelona, (i was there in 1965 --Franco Barcelona was, I am told, very different from modern Barcelona!) We will be using public transportation and not driving.

We will probably fly into Barcelona and home from Madrid, although this can be reversed. I would like suggestions regarding how to distribute our time. Should we overnight in Toledo from Madrid or just do a day trip? Other possible day trips we have thought of are Salamanca and Segovia. Any thoughts on this? Or other suggestions? What day trips are suggested from Barcelona, other than Montserrat? While we would love to explore Catalonia and even Basque country we assume that is not doable without a car. Or, is it?

How accessible is Valencia by public transportation from Barcelona. Or is the effort more than the reward?

A bit about us: We are a very active retired couple. We love wandering cities, eating well but not high end (with locals, not tourists), spending time people watching, enjoy museums, architecture, street life and love Spanish wine.

We look forward to all suggestions. Thanks.
zaksgrandma is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 05:18 AM
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Barcelona - Valencia on Euromed is about 3 hours and I think the rewards are numerous. This is a ver manageable city that is full of museums and historic and modern architecture, a huge historic area with one of Europe's most amazing food markets.

The Valencia- Madrid is 1 hour 38 minutes or so. Or Valencia - Sevilla is not quite 4 hours also on the famous AVE high speed train.

If you have time and are interested in the interior of the numerous buildings to visit in Toledo, an overnight will not seem like too much time. For many, a well-organized long day trip is enough. I love Toledo, have been several times and always find something new to see.


Salamanca, on the other hand, is too long for a day trip IMHO. Segovia another easy day trip with the AVE. Cuenca is also a stop on the way to /from Valencia to /from Madrid if you so desire, also with the AVE. Be sure to cross the iron bridge to the National Parador ( previously a convent) for the view and enjoy the interior of this unique hotel.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 05:26 AM
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Hi zaksgrandma,

we just spent a lovely few days in Valencia [thanks in no short measure to Lin who gave us loads of useful tips] and really liked it - more than Barcelona really which IME has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of tourists. It has a lovely old town, a great beach, a most interesting Arts and Science area, and terrific food. And it's not that expensive. So if it fits into your trip, I would have no hesitation in recommending going there, either staying there perhaps by getting the train from Barcelona, or even as a day trip from Madrid.

What you don't say is how long your trip is altogether - i would recommend at least 3 nights in Valencia, preferably 4, to be able to enjoy it to the full.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 05:35 AM
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Another vote for a few days in Valencia!
Both, Tarragona and Girona are very interesting day trips from Barcelona.
danon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 06:31 AM
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we did a great day trip to Sagunto from Valencia, and it looked as if there were many other options too. We could easily have spent a week there and not got bored.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 06:40 AM
  #6  
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We will have between 10 - 14 days in early October. I am thinking of flying into Barcelona and spending 4 days (is that enough?) then maybe train to Valencia (1 or 2 or 3 nights) then train to Madrid for 4 nights. Lin, were you recommending an overnight in Cuenca? Where would we fit an over night in Toledo? Before or after Madrid? Is one night enough there?

Thanks so much for all your responses.
zaksgrandma is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 06:52 AM
  #7  
 
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If you come early and leave late, spending the day in Cuenca should be enough for a first visit.

If you are at ALL interested in the Volvo Ocean Race, it leaves from Alicante ( 1.5 hours south of Valencia) on October 11th.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Zaksgranda - if you could stretch to the whole 14 days [13 nights?] you could have 5 nights in Barcelona, 3 in Valencia, one in Cuenca, and 4 in Madrid.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:56 AM
  #9  
 
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< eating well but not high end (with locals, not tourists)>

Then you'll like these places in Barcelona:

La Perla at the foot of wonderful Montjuic (Jewish mountain) and at the outskirts of vibrant and very non-touristy Poble Sec. Lunch only and as genuine as it gets: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

Small and family-owned Ca l'Estevet, one of those timeless places: http://www.restaurantestevet.com/wpre/

And in Madrid:
Casa Manolo in C/ Jovellanos, 7, close to the parliament: http://11870.com/pro/casa-manolo/media
http://11870.com/pro/casa-manolo/media?t=videos

Casa Granada, on the sixth floor of an apartment building just off local feel Plaza Tirso de Molina. Hard to find and an excellent terrace: http://www.tripfilms.com/Travel_Vide...ada-Video.html
kimhe is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:30 AM
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I would not spend a night in Cuenca
, five nights in Madrid , five in Barcelona and three in Valencia sounds good.
danon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:13 AM
  #11  
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The guide books recommend an overnight in Toledo rather than a day trip and it is a place I think I want to visit. (We are especially interested in the Jewish history there.) Would people suggest taking a day off Madrid or only two in Valencia?
zaksgrandma is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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if you have only 2 nights in Valencia, you get only one day, which IMO is not really long enough to get an idea of the place. We spent 2 days looking around, seeing museums, galleries, the beach etc. and one day's day trip, so 3 nights would let you have a good look at the city which is well worth looking at.
annhig is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2014, 12:29 PM
  #13  
 
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If you wish spend a night in Toledo, you can still return to Madrid before noon... the train takes only
thirty minutes. The Jewish history sites don't take a lot of time to visit.
danon is offline  
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