Need help with itinerary please...

Jan 7th, 2009, 07:11 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
Need help with itinerary please...

Hi,

I'm planning to go to Spain for 13 nights and was wondering what would be the best use of that time...here's what I thought:

Barcelona 4 Nights
Madrid 5 Nights
Granada 3 Nights
Barcelona 1 Night

I was originally planning on stopping by Seville and Valencia for 1 night each but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea...

Also, what day trips would you recommend from Madrid...

Thank you for your help.






axfernand is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:29 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
What time of year are you going?

You've named 3 very, very different places, with very different attractions. So to get helpful answers to your questions, you should describe what you find most rewarding to do when you travel. Most people have strong pro and con reactions to Madrid, and a lot of people have a strong bias against lingering in places like Granada in favor of "hitting" a lot of tourist sights, but I think the Alhambra is one of the greatest destinations in Europe. Not many people on this board have been to Valencia, a lot believe that you should always go to Sevilla. So bear that in mind as you get answers!

Personally, I was extremely taken with my day trip to Toledo from Madrid and would readily return.

zeppole is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:31 PM
  #3  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
1) If possible, I would try for open-jaw plane tickets. Ie, fly into one city and out of another. That way, you don't have to back-track to Barcelona on your last day and waste the time/money on traveling.

What I did last year was:
Fly into barcelona
Fly Barcelona to Granada
Granada to SEville by bus
seville to Madrid by AVE train
Fly home from Madrid

2) 5 nights in Madrid is a lot, unless you're taking several day trips. Typical daytrips from madrid include Segovia, Toledo, El Escorial (each will take up one whole day)

3) 3 nights in Granada is a bit much. Perhaps 1 night/1.5 days in Granada, and 2 nights/1.5 days in Seville?
yk is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:53 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks for the quick response My trip is from January 11-January 25th and unfortunately it was kind of a last minute thing. I booked my flight already so I'm stuck with looping back to Barcelona.

I'm interested in looking at the museums, the castles, the parks, and the art during the day and wouldn't mind experiencing the night life on off days. I'm pretty much into everything and anything...I'm taking my girlfriend and I would like to look at some romantic sites as well. We're celebrating my birthday on Tuesday and would like to go to a very nice dinner that night in Barcelona. Know of any good restaurants there?

I guess I could cut back on Madrid and Granada and do the following.

Barcelona 4 Nights
Granada 2 Nights
Sevilla 2 Nights
Madrid 4 nights
Barcelona 1 night


axfernand is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:18 PM
  #5  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Like France and Italy, Spain is twelve different "countries" - - and in each of them, there is almost surely good reason to see the "countryside" and cityscape(s).

Choose no more than two of Spain's wonderful regions - - you've planned just city-city-city...

I'd eliminate 3 out of 4 of these cities (or keep Granada-Sevilla as a pair, maybe) and add one or more small towns... and use those out-of-city stays to explore the town itself, and the rural environs which make up the region.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:11 AM
  #6  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
1) Try calling your airline and see how much more it'll cost you if you choose to fly out of Madrid. I suppose it may be $$$ at this last minute, you'll never know. Compare the cost vs the cost of getting back to Barcelona.

2) Your revised itin looks fine, but beware that it is rather hectic. If that's what you and your gf want (ie, on the go every day), that's fine. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation and just lounge around and not moving hotel every few days, then you should follow rex's advice of just focusing on one area of Spain.

I did a similar trip last year and covered all the places you listed in 12 days. It was exhausting but that's the way I travel. I wanted to see different parts of Spain in ONE trip as sort of an overview... and in the future, I'll plan trips to specific areas of Spain.

Here's a link to my trip report in case you're interested:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35111933

3) As for Barcelona restaurants, do a search here (type Barcelona restaurants into the search box above). There are plenty of suggestions.

4) Lastly, for future reference, it'll be more helpful if you include the country in your title. So instead of "Need help w/itin please", "Need help w/Spain itin please" will mostly likely get you more responses.
yk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:32 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I think it all depends on what your idea of romance is (especially romance in January). And what your girlfriend's idea of romance is just as importantly!

To me, the Alhambra is very, very romantic, but since part of its romantic charm is its gardens, 2 nights there makes sense. Be sure to visit the Alhambra at night, not just in the day. You will have to buy a separate ticket to do it, but it is very much worth it.

I also find the late nights in Madrid extremely romantic, especially since Madrid has a number of bars and restaurants that have outdoor heaters or else very cozy interiors. Plus it has lots of museums I love.

However, Madrid is definitely more a 20th century city than Sevilla, and colder, so you might prefer devoting more of your time to the tile-work and alleyways and nightlife there, with a day trip to Cordoba.

I'm less keen on Barcelona, but mainly because I don't care for gaudi or picasso much, and would rather go to the beach elsewhere, especially in winter, but many people adore the place, and I'm sure you can find some uptodate restaurant recommendations, but you should give your budget.
zeppole is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:52 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,513
Call me crazy, but Barcelona never seems to fit with any itinerary in Spain. To me it is not really in Spain and fits better with the south of France. If it were my trip I would spend 4 nites in Madrid with day trips to Segovia and Toledo, and the rest of my time in Seville and Granada.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 09:43 AM
  #9  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
Hi, axfernand -

yk wrote: "5 nights in Madrid is a lot, unless you're taking several day trips. . . . 3 nights in Granada is a bit much." I think that really depends on what you want to see and experience. If you really like art, 5 nights in Madrid is not unreasonable, even without day trips. And 2 full days in Granada is not unreasonable, either. But cutting back to 4 nights in Madrid and 2 nights in Granada to make room for 2 nights in Sevilla is also not unreasonable.

One question you might want to think about is whether you want to try to fit all these places into one trip that would have you skip many wonderful places in and around Madrid (e.g., Segovia) and in Andalucia (e.g., Cordoba) or whether it would be better to limit this trip to 2 of the 3 major areas you now plan to visit.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:30 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,160
I had 5 nights in Madrid & loved it.
There is still plenty I have not seen.




amsdon is offline  

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