Itinerary Help Portugal & Spain

May 21st, 2012, 02:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Itinerary Help Portugal & Spain

I am trying to plan an itinerary for a portugal & spain trip. we are going to be out there for 16 days and would love to try and see as much as possible. as of right now we are flying into lisbon and flying back to the us from barcelona.
Currently idea for the itinerary is:
Costa del Sol (Morocco Day Trip)
Madrid (Toledo Day Trip)
Barcelona (Figueres Day Trip)

Any suggestions on must see places, food, and transportation between these cities would be much appreciated!!
irenef is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
What time of year is your trip?
You will have to travel at a fast pace to cover all of these places. Personally I wouldn't waste a day of my trip on a daytrip to Tangiers.
CathyM is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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No to the Morocco day trip from the CdS - that trip would be to Tangier, which is the equivalent of visiting the US for a day in Detroit.

If 16 days means 15 nights, you're doing 3 nights at each stop? That would short Barcelona a bit much for my taste. The way the trip is set up you will basically have two days at each stop (or three if you take a day from the CdS and give it to another destination, and that means 10 days on the ground, one day arrival in Lisbon (that day is shot with jet lag), one day departure from BCN, and four days to travel between destinations. Not good. All those day trips make it worse.

Would consider cutting something.
BigRuss is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 04:50 PM
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You are trying to cover way too much territory in too little time. You should either do Mardid and North or Mdrid and South - yuo do;t really have the time to do both. And going to Tangiers makes no sense at all.

It looks like you are trying to copy a guided tour - and it's really not possible for a group of individuals to cover so much territory so fast since:

1) you have to do the driving as well as hte sightseeing - versus napping on the bus while the driver (who knows the rout like the back o fhis hand) handles driving

2) you have to find hotels, figure out where to put your car and then find restaurants (IMHO all part of the fun - but it does take time)

3) you will want to see more places and spend more time at them than is allowed by tour groups (if you look at their itinerary a lot of places are listed as "view" - seeing a sight out of the moving bus window and "stop" a 5-minute photo op in front, versus a "visit" which is the only time you go inside a sight)

IMHO you will enoy the trip a lot more if you relax a little more versus so much bouncing around.
nytraveler is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 10:04 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 369
You have enough time to plan for 4 solid locations and then explore them decently, rather than tick-marking many in a hurry without soaking in the culture and rhythm of Spain.

I am planning similar trip with same number of days. I got valuable feedback from others. Click on my profile and check out the post & people's responses.
rtwin80days is offline  
May 27th, 2012, 06:32 AM
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Advertising is not allowed on Fodor's. And SpanishSabores has advertising.

If you wish to give advice, it should be in the form of a private citizen.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 27th, 2012, 06:50 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 651
Are you locked into the Barcelona return? If not I would eliminate Morocco, add Granada (personal favorite), then end trip in Madrid. If you are locked into Barcelona then I would eliminate Madrid.

My husband and I did a trip to Portugal and southern Spain about 5 years ago and at that time I found the easiest way to get around was rental car. However we did a round trip rental out of Lisbon. There is a bus that can take you from Lisbon to Seville, but as I recall the train was more difficult. You will not need a car in any of the cities, but we opted for one to be able to stop in between.

Whatever you choose, it is a great part of the world to explore. Enjoy!
Barblab is offline  
May 27th, 2012, 07:18 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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I was just in Spain a year ago with 3 teenagers. They planned it as part of a school trip, so we covered a lot of territory: Barcelona (their favorite), Granada (I agree with the last post - don't miss this), Sevilla (we left early - I'd substitute Granada for this in a heartbeat), and Madrid (loved it). If you are going to the Costa del Sol, then consider making Granada your day trip rather than the Detroit of Morocco.
As far as transportation, we used the high speed trains when available, then the regular trains after that. Within the cities we used cabs because there were 4 of us and it made more sense than the metros.
Barcelona - stay in the old town, but be aware of muggers around the ATMs. Stayed at a little hotel off the Placeta de Pis, loved it, plenty of places to eat, but breakfast at the Bouqueria was our favorite - fresh fruit, pastry and juice that we brought back to our balcony to enjoy. Stuff we loved: architectural walking tour (free), Park Guell, Spanish guitar performance in an ancient cathedral nave. In Madrid take a bicycle tour of the city. Granada- spend a day at the Alhambra. They also have a really good science museum there - we were lucky and caught an amazing Escher exhibit, which gave some extra depth to the Alhambra. Sevilla had charm, but the town was run down.
Suzanne_Lichter is offline  
May 27th, 2012, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"Sevilla had charm, but the town was run down"

I've visited Sevilla every Spring for the last 10 years and don't find it run down at all. But it is one of the.most charming cities in Spain.

With just 16 days in think you'll need to cut a destination - Lisbon would be the easiest. I suggest at the minimum 4 days each for Barcelona, Madrid and Sevilla. You could easily spend a week in each of these cities as they have many attractions but several easy daytrip possibilities. I'd add a couple of days in Granada and that's about all you'll have time to see. This will be at a somewhat fast paced just for these locations. If you want to see more of Andalucia (ie. White villages, costa del sol) then you'd need to just visit Andalucia and Barcelona OR Madrid.
CathyM is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 554
Please, please, please, do yourself a favor and avoid Lisbon like the plague! It's filthy,smelly,and the only place that I and other members of my tour group felt unsafe on our trip two weeks ago. Spend the extra time in Spain instead, it's much more worth your precious vacation time and money. Barcelona is really too far north from the rest of what you want to see to be a practical stop for you on this trip, so concentrate on Madrid and Andalucia this time, and save northern Spain for another time. Madrid is a great city with lots to do and yummy food. So, fly in to Madrid instead of Lisbon. Toledo is not that far from Madrid and it's so charming that it's actually worth more than just a day trip. I would spend a couple of days there. I would also suggest staying in Cordoba too, it's lovely. Torremolinos is a good base for your stay on the Costa del Sol because you can take easy days trips from there. Just an hour each way by bus is a beautiful town up in the mountains called Mijas. Spend the day there and have a nice meal overlooking the ocean. The bus fare is only 1.50 each way, best 3 euros I've ever spent! Malaga is right next door to Torremolinos and it's worth a visit too. The members of my tour group who went to Morocco hated it. It's filthy and all of the hucksters cling to you trying to sell you things. They said it was very unpleasant, plus they had to endure additional security questioning at the airport when we flew home because they had been in a Muslim country. Sevilla is fun to explore. Make sure to try the mojito flavored ice cream there. You should be able to fly home from Sevilla.
PamEwing is offline  

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