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Mother Daughter Trip to Spain - please advise

Mother Daughter Trip to Spain - please advise

Old May 4th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Mother Daughter Trip to Spain - please advise

My sister, mom and I are heading to Spain late July. We have 9 days to do it, and here is a rough itinerary based on the places I would like to go:

Sat, travel
Sun, arrive Barcelona
Mon, Barcelona
Tues, Madrid
Wed, Madrid
Thurs, Granada or Cordoba
Fri, Seville
Sat, Seville
Sun, travel home

Any opinions? And once we are there, how easy is it to travel around and what are the timed distances between these places?
madamepetunia is offline  
Old May 4th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Last summer, we met a mother and daughter in Barcelona travelling around...about 50+ for the mother and 25 daughter. They had a wonderful time together. Definitely try the hop on hop off bus in Barcelona. It is great for getting a feel for the city!
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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You can't "do" Spain in 9 days! It doesn't appear that you've factored in travel time to get from point to point. You'll arrive in Barcelona on Sunday and be jet-lagged, so you'll basically have just one day (Monday) for Barcelona. Then it's a long way from Barcelona to Madrid. Are you flying? Taking the train? Either way (unless there's a night train you're planning to take), you'll get to Madrid mid-day and have a day and a half there. It's also quite a ways to either Granada or Cordoba, so by the time you get there on Thursday you have a few hours in the afternoon/evening before heading off the next morning for Seville. I think you're trying to do way too much in too short a time. Your trip would be doable if you cut Barcelona and did something like this:
- Sun, arrive Madrid
- Mon, Madrid
- Tue, Madrid
- Wed, Granada
- Thur, Granada
- Fri, Sevilla
- Sat, Sevilla
- Sun, travel home (flying from Sevilla back to Madrid for flight home?)
Even that is rushed, but would allow you SOME time to catch your breath and actually see places. If you happen to get bored in Madrid, you could use one of those days for a daytrip to Segovia or Toledo. Both are wonderful. Also, the Alhambra in Granada is, in my view, one of the top sites in all of Spain (at least the top one we saw!). It is amazing and definitely worth seeing. I've not been to Cordoba, but have heard it's also impressive, although not in the same category as the Alhambra.
If Barcelona is a must-see, suggest cutting something else from your itinerary. I don't see how you can possibly do all those places in such a short time (and I am a whirlwind traveler myself!).
Good luck! Spain is fabulous - you'll have a wonderful time.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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I would skip Madrid and go to Toledo or Cuenca instead
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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If we did cut Madrid, how would that help our travel time? We figured we would travel by train.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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I am going in November for 2 weeks and I think the hardest thing for me is to pick where I most want to visit. We are skipping Madrid all together and focusing on Barelona & Seville. I think we might stop in Valencia and Cuenca or Granada. In all of my research, Barcelona seemed much more appealing to me than Madrid did. I would definately keep your trip to maybe 3 cities to factor in travel time and to be able to get a feel for the area rather than be rushing from place to place.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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we had 9 days in spain last week and it worked out fine for us (although we're a pretty active late-20s couple who didn't give ourselves much breathing time), and we visited all of the cities you're looking at...

in fact we had a similar schedule to you at the beginning of our planning, but it made more sense for us to fly into madrid than barcelona (or rather, our frequent flyer mile redemption made us fly into madrid)--i don't think people can assume you'll be jetlagged on the first day, because it really depends on the individual--i've never been jetlagged in europe (i live on the US eastern coast) and we always arrive around 7am...

a day and a half in barcelona will be pretty tight, especially if you're into gaudi--but we only had 2 full days there and we sufficed (although our schedule was pretty deadly: DAY 1: barri gotic, cathedral, santa maria del mar, museu picasso, stroll on las ramblas, failed trip to palau guell [closed for renovations for 2 years], MNAC, fundacio miro, dinner around eixample; DAY 2: casa battlo, sagrada familia, park guell, roaming around the streets of northern barcelona, casa mila, dinner in barceloneta)

we planned 3 days in madrid but we were actually only there for one full one (and we're big museum people; we only went to the big 3) since we planned small excursions to toledo and segovia--we enjoyed both immensely...

as for your thursday option, cordoba makes more sense because you'll go through the city on the AVE on the way to seville--and if you leave madrid relatively early in the day (before 9 or so), you should have plenty of time to see the sights...granada is quite a distance from either cordoba or seville (and of course madrid)...

didn't spend much time in seville though, so i'd leave it to a more qualified person...
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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I don't know if you've purchased tickets yet. Where ever you're going home to, will it be from Seville?

We were in Spain end of May and first part of June last year. The higlights were Barcelona and Seville.

Assuming the two ends are Barcelona and Seville, check airlines for cheap flights. We paid 55E for two from Granada to Barcelona. I planned a short trip for some friends and they got very low priced plane tickets for Barcelona to Seville.

Check Iberia for several days and different hours. Price could change dramatically from one departure to the next.

Depending upon what you find plan accordingly.

The Alhambra is definitely worth seeing. But expectations are a problem. We were more impressed with the Alcazar in Seville.

Including the day of arrival, I would plan on 3 days min (no side trips) for Barcelona and 4 days (including flying time) for Seville.

If you get an evening or early morning flight from Barcelona to Granada, book appropriate time for the Alhambra and take the train to Seville. You would do that only if you can get a good flight and train connection so as to use only one day.

In that case Seville would be 3 days.

Unless you have your heart set on the Madrid museums ans Las Meninas in the Prado, I'd skip Madrid.

Check again. You only have 7 days (not 9) including arrival day.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Hi Madame,

Although I would likely plan something like this, I might suggest a little tamer itinerary. Assuming you are flying into Barcelona and out of Sevilla, I would also probably skip Madrid this time. Maybe this:

Sat, travel
Sun - Tues Barcelona
Tues - fly to Granada
Wed - bus to Sevilla
Thurs - day trip to Cordoba, stay in Sevilla
Friday and Sat - Sevilla (if you want to venture more, day trip to the white towns one of these days, Ronda was my favorite)
Sun - travel home

This is still pretty busy, but Barcelona has a lot to see so I'd definitely suggest more time there. This way you are seeing everything you listed except Madrid.

kaudrey is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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I agree with the above posters about reducing the number of places to visit on this trip. As much as I love Madrid, I also agree that that would be the easiest to cut if you were going to fly, but would be worth a stop if you are big art people -- check out AVE (high speed train) service along your route.

You need to talk with your travel partners about what kind of pace you want to have. Fastnbulbous saw A LOT in a couple days in Barcelona. Everyone has their own pace -- if you want to window shop and sit in sidewalk cafes people watching at all, I don't think you can expect to get to as much as s/he did. Also factor in "transition" time (travel time and "just getting adjusted and finding a place to eat lunch" time) you will have less time to actually see things than it appears from this end of the trip.

Just a word of warning about being in Barcelona Sun-Tues. You will have to plan VERY well to see the sights you want. We were in Barcelona last year from about mid-day Sunday to mid-day Tuesday. I should have know this, but I didn't take into consideration that many of the major sites in Barcelona (and many other cities) are closed on Mondays. Not all, but many. Some are closed on Sundays! We took the Bus Turistic and still laugh about "To your left you will see X, unfortunately today is Monday and X is closed."

You will do yourselves a big favor by looking at opening times before you travel so that you can plan accordingly. Some things that were open on Monday that we did get to enjoy were ALL of the Gaudi sites (Parc Guell included). The museum on the top floor of Casa Batllo was my favorite.

If you haven't already done so, I would recommend downloading the Barcelona and Seville city guides from www.maribelsguides.com. They are comprehensive and compact at the same time and are a wonderful source of very portable information.

One more quick thought: Seville will be very warm -- okay HOT -- in late July.

All that said -- have a wonderful time! Take time to smell the cafe con leche and enjoy your trip.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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Whoops -- wrong Gaudi building!

The museum is on the top floor of CASA MILA (also called La Pedrera), not Casa Batllo. The facade and roof of Casa Batllo are amazing, but the wonderful Gaudi museum (by all means rent the audioguide) is on the top floor of the Casa Mila.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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The Lonely Planet guide to Spain gives journey times by rail as Madrid to Barca 6.5 to 9.5 hours, Madrid to Granada 6 hrs, Barca to Granada 11 - 12 hrs. This is a big big country. Having been to Madrid, Barca and Granada I would say Madrid is the one to skip - nothing against Madrid but Barcelona is unique, and the Alhambra in Granada is unmissable. Haven't ben to either Sevilla or Cordoba but I know they both have their loyal supporters. Any guide book you read will warn about the heat in Sevilla in mid summer - our guide for a day trip from the south coast to Granada was a native of Sevilla and she complained that it got too hot.
Even allowing for my preference to take it easy on holidays, I think your original itinerary could become one very hot, busy, bad tempered nightmare with no margin for error or delays. You could end up spending most of your time on trains. You can sit for hours in a train nearer home - take time out to do something different on holiday.
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