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should we cancel the last leg from madrid to lisbon?

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Feb 10th, 2004, 01:07 PM
  #1
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should we cancel the last leg from madrid to lisbon?

My wife are planning to go to Spain and Portugal from 3/26 to 4/10. As you can see our trip is pretty tightly packed. My question is: should we cancel the last leg - Madrid to Lisbon, and fly directly back to US from Madrid and spread out the days in Spain for a more relaxed trip? The main criteria for us is whether Lisbon and Sintra would be so dramatically different from everything else we will see on the trip that warrants a visit, despite trying to get an international air ticket from Spain to Portugal? WOuld also appreciate for any suggestion regarding our itinenary.

Our itinenary:
1: Arrive in Bilbao in early morning
2. Bilbao and San Sebastian day trip
3. fly from Bilbao to Barcelona in early afternoon(able to get a cheap iberia flight)
4,5. Barcelona
6. early morning flight to Granada
7,8. from Granada to Seville
9. Cordoba.
10. AVE train to Madrid
11. toledo
12. Madrid, evening flight to lisbon
13. Lisbon
14. Sintra
15. early morning flight to US
zeroch is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2004, 01:13 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804
Zeroch:

It really depends on what you want to do in Madrid.
I see minimal time there.

Lisboa and Sintra are very different from what you have outlined.
Maybe scratch the train and pick up a car to Madrid.
I love trains but do not know if that matters to you.


What you have looks great!
My husband joked me and asked where were you when I "made" him do Spain for 2.5 months...

Happy Travels,

Oaktown Traveler
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Feb 10th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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Posts: 348
I would leave Portugal for your next trip and spread out your time in Spain. I loved this trip. How many nights in Granada and Seville? Seville is fabulous.
Perhaps skip Cordoba and add another day in Seville. You can easily take the AVE from Seville to Madrid. I would also give yourself at least a full day in Madrid, The sights and the restaurants are great.
June
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Feb 10th, 2004, 03:15 PM
  #4
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thanks Oaktowntraveller and JunAnn. I know our trip is very tight but chances are that next time we take a vacation, we will go to somewhere else and not visit Iberia again. There are just too many places we want to go. We will stay in Granada for one night and Seville for two. We will only spend a day and a half in Madrid because I have been there once by myself and didn't enjoy it as much as I did for Barcelona. At this time I am leaning towards taking a night train from Madrid to Lisbon. The new Lusitania Trainhotel offers private cabin for two so hopefully that trip won't be too tough (especially for my wife, who would not be able to sleep if there is another stranger in the cabin)

We should be able to catch the first two days of the holy week in andalusia region. I have been contemplating renting a car just for the 3 days we will be in andalusia so we could travel between all those white villages fairly easily. What do you think?
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Feb 11th, 2004, 09:57 AM
  #5
 
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Love the night train idea to Lisboa.
I think you may have a gem in the rough and I want to hear all about it!

I fully endorse the car rental for the Andalusia region.

Sounds great!

Oaktown Traveler
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Feb 12th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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I would definately scrap the Portugal part of the trip and stay longer in Sevilla. Do you realize that your trip is in the middle of Holy Week (Semana Santa)? It's the most incredible time of the year and the center of the activity is in Sevilla! It is extremely emotional and the pagentry is played out in full force. Even without Holy Week Sevilla and this entire area really needs to be savored...a night or 2 doesn't really do it justice. I just returned from a trip to Lisbon and Sintra and they are also wonderful. But 2 days to visit both of these cities is just not enough. Sintra is a full day and Belem is at least a half day...that only leaves a half day for the rest of Lisbon...not enough time. Besides, if you're looking for things dramatically different Bilbao to Barcelona is a big change and then Andalucia is a totally different world in itself!
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Feb 12th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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Forget the train between Lisbon and Madrid!! It is all narrow gauge qnd the ride is very rough. In the spring of the year, it also is very very crowded. Don't even consider it without a first-class sleeper.
'
As for Holy Week in Seville, I spent Holy Week in Guimaraes, in northern Portugal.Not nearly so crowded and packed with tradition -- all the nightly procissas and the hooded bearers of the statues, etc. Wonderful! Great place to stay -- the state run posada, elegant accommodations at unbelievable prices.
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Feb 13th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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I think you should cancel the last leg from madrid to lisbon.
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Feb 13th, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #9
JonJon
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If I didn't know better I'd say the only reason you are even bothering to go to Madrid is so you can then get somewhere else. If you are going to see Spain then I think you owe it to yourself to see some of Madrid which has a great deal to offer in and of itself. I'd save Portugal for another day and time.
 
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Feb 13th, 2004, 07:26 AM
  #10
 
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The night train from Madrid to Lisboa is a good option. It is not "narrow gauge" as someone suggested: the Spanish and Portuguese railways actually have a wider gauge than most of Europe. The technicalities do not matter, but the overnight trains in Spain and Portugal are a good option, provided you can book a two-berth sleeping compartment. In every case when travelling overnight, try to book something like you would book if you were staying in a hotel.
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