Portugal/Andalusia Itinerary Advice

Oct 15th, 2017, 04:09 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Portugal/Andalusia Itinerary Advice

Hi all,

Looking for advice on this itinerary for late March (semana santa):

Day 1 (March 23): Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 3 p.m. (15-hour flight)

Day 2: Lisbon

Day 3: Lisbon to Malaga (via mid-day stopover flight)

Day 4: Malaga

Day 5: Malaga to Cordoba (via rental car)

Day 6: Cordoba to Seville (via rental car)

Day 7: Seville

Day 8: Seville

Day 9 (March 31): Depart from Seville via return flight around 3 p.m.

Should we add in Granada somewhere? Spend less/no time in Malaga/Lisbon? I hear Malaga is particularly neat during semana santa but have also heard great things about Granada. My only concern there is that Granada may be too cold. We are coming from the Midwest US so are used to cold but would like to have at least some reprieve from it during our vacation. We would prefer not to have to wear winter coats during the daytime.

I am booking flights with miles so have flexibility with regards to our original destination and stopovers. However, if we flew into Malaga or Seville on our original flight we would have to connect in Lisbon regardless, making the original flight longer and pushing our arrival into the late evening. This is the main reason why Lisbon is our first destination. However, we are certainly willing to make changes.

We are getting a rental car in Andalusia so that we can be flexible and don't have to rely on train/bus schedules. Luckily, most of the Andalusia destinations are within a 1-2 hour drive so travel time between those cities is less significant.

Neither of us have been to Spain or Portugal. We're both pretty active and enjoy good food, lively cultures, and exploring attractive cities. Open to any advice. Thank you in advance!
evergreen88 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 06:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,521
Why not fly into Malaga instead? After a 15 hour flight you will be so jetlagged that that one day in Lisbon is a waste.
cdnyul is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 07:30 AM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 4,038
Shouldn't think you'd have to go to Lisbon at all (unless you want to).

Yes, you should go to Granada to see the Alhambra. It won't be all that cold.

According to your itinerary above, you'll be in Seville for the main days of Semana Santa. Just realize that it will be VERY crowded and expensive. Make hotel reservations asap.
Bedar is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 08:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 128
I agree would pass on Lisbon -save it for another time. Better to get the travel over with even if you get in late to Malaga.
efarr99 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 08:32 AM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,703
I’m a great fan of Granada, but agree that you would have to skip Lisbon this time to fit it in. Here’s some climate data to help you decide:
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/...ranada/climate

I find trains and buses in Spain so very convenient and comfortable that I am delighted to use public transportation. YMMV. If you use a car, be sure you know where you will put it when in cities.
kja is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 10:41 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
The only reason we weren't originally flying into Malaga is because it would be a longer flight (connection through Lisbon is unavoidable in our case). With our flight, we basically have three options:


Option 1: US --> Lisbon (Day 1; 3 p.m.) --Layover--> Malaga (Day 1; 11:40 p.m.)

Our itinerary would look something like this then:

Day 1 (March 23): Arrive in Malaga at 11:40 p.m. (21-hour flight)

Day 2: Malaga

Day 3: Malaga to Granada

Day 4: Granada

Day 5: Granada to Cordoba

Day 6: Cordoba to Seville

Day 7: Seville

Day 8: Seville

Day 9 (March 31): Depart from Seville via return flight around 3 p.m.


Option 2: US --> Lisbon (3 p.m.) ..Stay in Lisbon.. --> Malaga (Day 2 @ 4 p.m.)

Our itinerary would look something like this then:

Day 1 (March 23): Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 3 p.m. (15-hour flight)

Day 2: Lisbon to Malaga (via free 4 p.m. stopover flight)

Day 3: Malaga

Day 4: Malaga to Granada

Day 5: Granada OR Granada to Cordoba

Day 6: Granada to Seville OR Cordoba to Seville

Day 7: Seville

Day 8: Seville

Day 9 (March 31): Depart from Seville via return flight around 3 p.m.


Option 3 (original): US --> Lisbon (Day 1 @ 3 p.m.) ..Stay in Lisbon.. --> Malaga (Day 3 @ 9 p.m.)

Our itinerary would look something like this then:

Day 1 (March 23): Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 3 p.m. (15-hour flight)

Day 2: Lisbon

Day 3: Lisbon to Malaga (via 9 p.m. stopover flight [originally thought this was mid-day])

Day 4: Malaga

Day 5: Malaga to Cordoba

Day 6: Cordoba to Seville

Day 7: Seville

Day 8: Seville

Day 9 (March 31): Depart from Seville via return flight around 3 p.m.


What do you guys think? We are young and seem to be able to handle jetlag relatively well. I am leaning towards option 1; maybe option 2. If it weren't for the long layover and late arrival that is necessary to get to Malaga on Day 1, I would choose it without a doubt. I just wonder if a night in Lisbon with a 4 p.m. stopover flight the following day would be better, as we would be able to (1) get more rest and (2) at least see some of Lisbon (I know it and the surrounding areas deserve more time). Any input is appreciated.
evergreen88 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 11:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,521
In this case, I would just add a night in Lisbon, taking away a night in Spain.
cdnyul is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 11:54 AM
  #8  
 
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Those seem like super long flights from the mid-west US to Spain. Yes, I know you are spending miles for the flights, but in actuality, it may be costing you a lot because you are also using up (IMHO, wasting) a lot of vacation time.

I didn't look carefully at all your flights, but consider this. Yes, your flight to Lisbon may be "only" 15 hours, but you still have to fly to someplace in Spain, so for calculating travel time, you have to add them together. Getting to/from hotels from airports or train stations eats up time. To get that one day in Lisbon, you will have also had to go from airport to hotel. When you depart from Lisbon, you have to add in travel time back to the airport and time waiting for the flight. How much is that? Then, another trip to check into the hotel in Malaga. That flight also eats up time that could be used for sightseeing or walking around town.

There has to be a better way for you to do this trip.

First, day 1 is arrival day and day 9 is departure day, so you have 7 days on the ground for sight seeing.

The real question. What do you actually want to see most? Figure that out. Then cut everything else and make it work, and give time to the places you want.
What is on the list?
Seville?
Malaga?
Córdoba?
Granada?
Lisbon?

Try your best to land in and depart from places you actually want to see. Allow travel time between places, plus time checking into and out of hotels.
In your case, make Córdoba a day trip from Seville. You will use some travel time, but save time by not changing hotels, just getting up and heading out, not packing, etc.

One example itinerary (just for looking at a layout, and based on having to arrive in Malaga)
Day 1, Arrive Malaga
Day 2, Malaga (because you are landing there and could use a day to recoup, also nice sightseeing)
Day 3, Travel to Granada by bus, afternoon and evening, Granada old city area
Day 4, Granada - Alhambra, day and evening tours
Day 5, Travel to Seville by bus, afternoon and evening in Seville
Day 6, Seville
Day 7, Day trip to Córdoba (whole day)
Day 8, Seville
Day 9, Depart Seville


I would definitely not do this, because it makes for two 1 nighters, which I hate, an extra hotel check in and out and you would not have time for the old city area of Granada, but you could squeeze out a bit of time a different way. Just showing you planning options.
Day 3, Travel very early to Granada, tour Alhambra afternoon and evening.
Day 4, Travel early to Córdoba, tour and do an overnight there.
Day 5, Travel to Seville
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 01:07 PM
  #9  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,703
If you want to see the Alhambra, you really need at least 2 nights in Granada, and more if you want to see any of Granada’s other treasures, so I don’t think Option 2 very realistic.

I believe that Sassafrass is raising a very important question about the true costs of your flight.

Personally, I wouldn’t like the itinerary Sassafrass proposes, but agree that you really need to figure out what you most want to see.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 01:35 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Thanks for the insight. Sounds like the consensus is to fly into Malaga despite the late arrival time; that's what I was leaning towards. The flight is long due to the layover in Lisbon but that is our only option (rigid schedule; unable to change dates of trip). We would rather see Malaga, Cordoba, Seville, and Granada vs. Lisbon.
evergreen88 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 03:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,038
OK, now you're making sense, but why do you have to fly thru Lisbon ? Are you using TAP ff miles ?
Bedar is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 03:35 PM
  #12  
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Using UR points through Krisflyer which is a partner of TAP.
evergreen88 is offline  

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