Notices

Portugal to Spain

Reply

Jun 13th, 2014, 10:24 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 91
Portugal to Spain

Hi all - I am traveling with a friend to Portugal in the fall. She can only go for about a week so I am considering adding another week on and seeing some of Spain as well while I am there. I will be leaving from Lisbon to make my way into Spain...since I will be alone I don't want to drive...my first choice of travel would be as much train as possible but I will consider bus and plane where it makes more sense. Here are my questions:

- For those of you who traveled in Spain or are familiar with it - if you could only go to one city in Spain (and day trips from there) where would you go ?

- If you had to get to that city from Lisbon how would you do it?

- Given the choice bw Madrid and Seville would you have a preference? I know from research I could take a night train from Lisbon to Madrid and I know I could fly home right from madrid...is it a nice city? I also know i could take a combination of a bus and a train or maybe all buses to Seville and I think I could fly home from there too...anyone done that? Worth the effort? Or should I look at Granada instead?

All thoughts welcomed
kellymp is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,530
I am not particularly fond of Madrid, but the only easy route by train from Portugal to Spain is the night train between Lisbon and Madrid. I would not go to only one city in Spain, as I would not want to miss the Alhambra in Granada, or Toledo, Seville, the white towns... There is no need to drive in Spain, the train network is extensive.

If you wanted to visit northern rather than southern Spain, perhaps based in San Sebastian/Donostia, it is possible to go by train from Porto to Santiago via Redondela but it is a pain.
thursdaysd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 11:32 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,301
To get between Northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain read about the options here.
Not such a pain as one would think ;-)
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...Transport.html
ribeirasacra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 12:30 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5,907
From Portugal to San Sebastian. No.
IMDonehere is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I wouldn't let myself be overly influenced by where other people think you should go. I happen to like a great many destinations in Spain, including the area just north of Portugal, but I don't much care for Sevilla or Barcelona. So what's that got to do with you? Not anything as fair as I can tell.

I highly recommend thinking about the things that make or break a trip for you as a solo travel, and choosing your destination based on what you are going to enjoy. I know for me, the idea of not having to worry one second about whether somebody else cared how long I spent crawling through imuseums in Madrid or visiting the Alhambra would be great! Solo travel for me is a wonderful opportunity to see one museum or historic after another and also spend unhurried time shopping. I almost never pick foodie destinations as a solo traveler. I prefer to share meals, not eat them alone.

But for other people, solo travel is only enjoyable if they don't feel so alone all the time. Barcelona and Sevilla or San Sebastian might be much more congenial for that, with their swirling tapas scenes.

I also wouldn't take a night train as a solo traveler. Just not something I personally would find relaxing! But maybe you just don't want to fly to your Spanish destination. Someone tried to rob me in Barcleona even when I wasn't alone, so returning to Barcelona as a solo traveler is not on my agenda ever. (I have gone back with friends).

Even though I like some Spanish destinations more than others, they are all very rewarding to visit and one learns a great deal about Spain. So think about your travel style as a solo traveler, rather than the way other people privately rate the cities of Spain.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,530
"I also wouldn't take a night train as a solo traveler"

Excessively cautious. I've taken a lot, and the Lisbon-Madrid train is nothing to worry about.
thursdaysd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 05:08 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,699
The best thing you can do is look up information of the different cities in Spain and decided what you like. I loved Madrid and stayed there for a week but I also like historic churches and visiting museums.

If you pick Seville or Madrid they are both fascinating cities and wondering to just stroll in the evening.
emily71 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2014, 11:54 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
thursdaysd,

What you wrote in response to what I wrote doesn't make any sense if you read what I wrote. In fact, what you wrote just doesn't make sense at all. First you want to insist there is an objective standard for travel for everybody, then you insist your personal experience is the proof. I didn't state my reasons for not taking a night train as a solo traveler. You don't know what they are.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 12:03 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
(Meant to write: I didn't state all my reasons. But like I said, if you read what I actually wrote to the OP, you can see it doesn't matter to her trip whatever my reasons are for not taking a night train as a solo traveler. It was an illustration of a larger point being made in the post. How one enjoys to travel is highly personal.)

But you have made me curious: How many times have you taken the night train from Lisbon to Madrid and how old were you and what gender are you?
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 12:12 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Never mind, thursdaysd. I looked up your trip report to Lisbon and apparently you have only been there once, 2 years ago, and you left to go to Morocco, not Madrid. So you have never taken that night train. Interesting that you began your report by commenting that you increasingly dislike air travel. An illustration of why I tell people not be overly influenced by social-media type travel advice in planning their own trip. You don't like to fly, so you'll be more relaxed taking the train. But that's not a basis for advising somebody else and pretending that's objective.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 03:49 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Girls, girls, you're both pretty! Be nice now!

Madrid seems to me a rather formal city, more like Montreal or NYC north of, say, the 50's. if you like art, the Prado will thrill you. The Royal Palace is well worth a visit, but I regret to say hat I have not been to the Reina Sofia, home to Picasso's Guernica.

It is a very easy day trip to Toledo, which is spectacular, an easy day trip to Cordoba, and a somewhat longer day trip to Sevilla. Both are wonderful.

But why would you take an overnight train from Lisbon to Madrid when you could fly?
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 05:34 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,530
"Apparently you have only been there once."

Quite wrong. I have been to Lisbon four times. I took the train to Madrid in 2004.

Everyone's travel advice is subjective, as the OP presumably realized when s/he asked which one city we would pick.

@Ackislander - taking the night train saves daylight sightseeing time and a night in a hotel. It can be faster than flying when you add in time to get to/from the airport, and getting there early to deal with security, although not in this case. Frequently train travel is more comfortable than flying.
thursdaysd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 12:41 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
I agree with everything you say about train travel especially in rural Spain, with its monoculture olive and cork groves offering about as much excitement as Korny Kansas in August.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 91
Hi all- thanks for the responses so far. Some excellent suggestions for me to clarify - I am less into art and more into beautiful views, cool architectural/ historical/ landmark buildings or areas. I realize this is subjective and have been doing my own research as well but I am inviting everyone's personal views and experiences.

As for the night train comments and traveling alone- I have been on night trains before - that doesn't really worry me. I am female but aside from taking some basic logical safety precautions I think I can manage fine. I just didn't want to have to drive and figure out routes and foreign road signs and language and all that by myself.

I welcome all further suggestions...thanks again
kellymp is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:05 AM.