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Spain.... 2.5 Weeks... Need Help!

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Dec 13th, 2017, 04:54 PM
  #1
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Spain.... 2.5 Weeks... Need Help!

Hi! I am planning to head to Spain from Feb 15-March 6, 2018... roughly 2.5 weeks... I just need some general guidance as the best way people have gotten to and fro... I'll be traveling from Denver, CO USA. I am a female, early 30s who will more then likely be traveling solo for this trip!

- Would 2.5 weeks be too much to squeeze in Portugal as well? I've been reading it probably is so more then likely I'll stick to Spain since it is so big!

- How do you recommend getting to and from? Buying one ways per se into Madrid, out of Barcelona? I am trying to avoid back tracking/spending a day traveling just to get back to fly out! Currently have found rt flights out of Denver for around 500-600$!! Pretty excited about that! I have heard the trains and even flights to get to and from places in Spain are pretty great/easy!

- I've researched Barcelona in the past, but haven't done much yet on the other places in Spain so any info on the must see's/do's will be helpful! Whenever I travel to a foreign country I try to take a cooking class so any recs are welcome! Since living in CO, I am pretty outdoorsy and like to hike and do anything adventurous (road biking, cliff jumping, bungee jumping, etc). I won't be bringing any camping gear but if there are any nice hikes to waterfalls, etc that would be welcomed! I of course also like to drink wine and try the local food! I can do a museum or two if they are absolute musts... but being solo... i can't do too many of them alone! I also love to sit in a park with wine, bread etc and take in the people and culture! I can be fast paced when I want but also dont mind relaxing on a beach or at a cute coffee shop with a book every now and again!

- Any safe hostel or hotels to stay at that are budget friendly, in a good safe area and easy to find also recommended! I typically can splurge on a night or two if there is a must stay hotel somewhere with either amazing views (beach, rainforests, etc). Also tips on restaurants are welcome!!

Hope that helps as far as what I am into! Let me know your thoughts please!! Happy Holidays!!
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Dec 13th, 2017, 05:58 PM
  #2
kja
 
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I’ve spent a total of 8 weeks in Spain (as a solo female) and have yet to visit at least 1/3 of the destinations I hope to see. I’ve researched trips to Portugal extensively, and believe that 2 or 2.5 weeks would be ideal for my interests. YMMV.

For flights, definitely consider open jaw (into one city, out of another). Whether that includes both Madrid and Barcelona depends on whether you plan to visit both of those cities on this trip – and I’m not sure that would be the best use of your time. (Read on….) Rememer that whatever the cost of airfare, you will spend time and money getting to any airport that isn’t part of your itinerary.

At that time of year, my first priority would be Andalusia for at least 1.5 to 2 weeks, maybe something like 4 nights in Sevilla, 2 in Cordoba, 3 in Granada, 1 in Ronda, 2 or more in Malaga. I wanted 5 nights for Barcelona and another 5 for time the area (including places like Montserrat, which many visit as a day trip from Barcelona). For Madrid and surrounds, I admit that I’d want a time that’s a bit warmer (for climate data, see timeanddate.com) and I’d want at least 1 to 1.5 weeks (for Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, maybe Cuenca or Avila, etc.)

Once you choose where you are going, we can recommend hotels / hostels, restaurants, etc.

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want, check opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar and map. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). And BTW, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.

Hope that helps!
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Dec 13th, 2017, 07:01 PM
  #3
 
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My son is going to Ronda in February to try their via ferratas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xayuXUo2oBk

For a book and glass of vine moment in a city that is essentially an open air museum, go to Merida.

Teruel is an interesting place with a young vibe and makes a great base to explore Albarracin; lots of great hiking, also popular with rock climbers.

The best way to explore and experience Spain in your own way is to have a car.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 08:27 PM
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Not one-way tickets! Look at multi-destination or multi-city.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 09:30 PM
  #5
 
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I spent 2 weeks in Spain traveling solo and I felt like I barely had time for just the 4 cities I selected (San Sebastian, Barcelona, Granada, and Seville). I took a train, flight, and bus to travel between cities. I think going to Portugal would be pushing it.

I wrote up a trip report with my itinerary, photos, recs, cost breakdown:
http://fanofblank.blogspot.com/2014/...-in-spain.html

Hope this helps you with trip planning.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 09:57 PM
  #6
 
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A SIL just moved to Madrid on her own. My wife and another sister walked the 500 mile Camino across northern Spain. There is very little violent crime in Spain.

I disagree with CDNY. We have been to Spain many times and a car can be nuisance, especially in the cities. The buses and trains are far better in Spain than in the US and can be relayed upon.

As far as doing anything adventurous, I would ask why you do something in Spain you can do back home? Unless it is unique expand what your interests and use your time for doing things that you can't do or see back home.

I for one, will not get into the you must see this game. We have had memorial experiences in all regions and for many different reasons. Read up on what may be of interest to you.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 12:56 AM
  #7
 
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"Would 2.5 weeks be too much to squeeze in Portugal as well?"

It's easy to travel between Spain and Portugal (trains, planes, buses). e

Choose first the places you want to see and then the way you will move between them.
It's clear than within 2 weeks you cannot visit all gems of the Iberian Peninsula (with or without Portugal).
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Dec 14th, 2017, 05:12 AM
  #8
 
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Two and a half weeks is enough for two regions of Spain, or one plus part of Portugal. So definitely need to narrow down the areas that most interest you.

Given the time of year I would say Andalucia is a no brainer. For one thing, it's a great area, one of the most interesting I think, in all of Spain. But the main reason I'd choose it if I were you is the weather. It will be relatively warm when in Feb/March so perfect time to go, when other parts of Spain could be quite cold. But also, assuming you will be back for trips in the future, going to Andalucia in the summer is too hot for most people (to enjoy sightseeing) so best to do it this trip.

I did one trip of 4 nights Seville, 2 Cordoba, 3 Granada which was a good amount of time. Another trip I did 3 Malaga, 2 Rhonda (and 2 Gilbrater). On those trips I felt I got in the highlights without rushing in that amount of time, but could have spent more time and not been bored.

From Andalucia, southern Portugal is close so you could go there (Algarve) and then up to Lisbon. Or go to Barcelona and surrounding regions.

I agree that you wouldn't really need a car. I have been happy having a car on several trips to Spain/Portugal but mostly for more rural areas and there are lots of places easily done by public transportation. Buses are really good in Spain. Try busbud.com Alsa is a company that buses all over Spain. I've used them extensively.

My photos of Spain - http://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f855477163

Oh, I also agree that while you may enjoy adventure sports, aren't those things you can do at home. Why spend time and money on a trip to Spain doing those types of things when there is so much to see that you can't do at home. One thing you could do in Spain that you can't do at home is walk the Camino but I don't think February is the best time of year for that.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 06:25 AM
  #9
 
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I've been to Spain many times and can still go a dozen more. Heading out there in mid-January as a matter of fact. Off the bat, let me just say that Barcelona is an amazingly beautiful city, but I would not stepped on it unless paid to (which my employer does!). Tourists are just prey in Barcelona and the local authorities turn a blind eye to keep crime away from the locals.

In Jan-Feb head South of Madrid and yes, fit Portugal in your plans, but truth is you will have plenty to see in Spain. Seville, Cadiz, Malaga, Granada, so much to see. If Hiking is your thing, have you heard of El Camino de Santiago? I have walked the Camino four times (French route) and it remains one of the best experiences of my life. The Camino from Seville is called Via de la Plata and it is one of the many Camino routes throughout Spain. I love the Route of the White Villages in the mountains, but Jan-Fen is not the time perhaps. Have fun!
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Dec 14th, 2017, 07:03 AM
  #10
 
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I will say only this:if you are foolish enough to skip Barcelona because somebody thinks tourists are just prey there but who would still go if somebody ELSE paid, you are out of your mind.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 07:55 AM
  #11
 
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Trains are great especially for solo travelers -for lots on trains check www.renfe.com- Spanish Railways site - book ahead and save money; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 08:51 AM
  #12
 
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With roughly 2-1/2 weeks, and your first very time in Spain, I'd stick with the major cities and use the train, and or bus, to get around.

Starting in Denver on 15 Feb, you can fly to Barcelona (via London), returning from Madrid (via Chicago) for just under $1300 USD on British Airways, or on American Airlines for just under $1400 USD (this is the quickest flight both ways). TAP also has a flight listed at under $1000, but it makes two stops.

I wouldn't push it too much, but you can make several day trips from both Barcelona and Madrid that will allow you the time to enjoy your adventure in Iberia.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 09:02 AM
  #13
 
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Dukey-- Read & Comprehension is priceless. I am there on business, not as tourist. I am obviously smarter than you....
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Dec 14th, 2017, 09:36 AM
  #14
 
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In fact, 2.5 wks is very little time. Stick to Spain. You certainly won't see everything but will get a general overview.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 12:53 PM
  #15
 
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2.5 weeks

I'd do:

Barcelona - 4 nights
Madrid- 4 nights inc one day trip to Toledo (awesome)
Train to Granada - 2 nights - Alhambra is reason only for going
Seville - 4 nights - one day trip to Cordoba and another to Jerez-de-la-Frontera
Bus to Faro and train to Lisbon or fly
Lisbon - 3-4 nights
Fly out of Lisbon

Can't see Portugal but could squueze in cool Lisbon. Or forget Portugal and spread days out amongst other places. Maybe another day trip from Madrid like to Segovia or Avila.

Well a sample of what is possible - all by train - look into Spain Railpass (20% off if bought by end of year in U.S. at least).
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Dec 14th, 2017, 04:01 PM
  #16
 
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Good grief, I leave for a day, come back and find out that two people disagree with me on an internet forum. I guess I will have recover in my safe space.

It seems every time someone wants to something in Spain outside the usual boilerplate the train, Madrid, Seville, Granada, Barcelona crowd assembles.

You guys are worse than the Mafia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

@ the OP.
Spain is big, varied, and fascinating. You will not see all of it in two weeks, two months, or even two years.

Put up a map, throw a dart, take a chance.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 06:19 PM
  #17
kja
 
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I, for one, am glad that people have different opinions -- IMO, the world would be incredibly boring (and very crowded) if we all decided to do the same things.

Personally, I only rent a car when absolutely necessary to meet my goals, and for a first visit to Spain, I think the advantages, convenience, and comfort of using public transportation -- not to mention the potential social aspects of the experience -- well worth considering, particularly for a solo traveler. JMO.

And IMO, it is perfectly legitimate to plan a trip to include whatever one wants, whether adventure sports or not and whether one can do them "at home" or not. I can hike at home; the hikes I've undertaken abroad take me through different terrain with different local fauna, etc. -- and that matters to me. I can visit art museums at home; the museums I've visited abroad include different works of art -- and that matters to me. I've engaged in air sports at home and abroad, and the scenery has differed in ways that matter to me. To each his / her own!
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Dec 14th, 2017, 07:38 PM
  #18
 
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You guys are worse than the Mafia.
__________

Apparently you have your Italians mixed up, as you think you are the Pope and are infallible. (I know Pope Frank is from Argentina.)
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Dec 15th, 2017, 05:03 PM
  #19
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Thank you everyone for the responses! I realize I can't see Spain and really many countries fully with only 2.5 weeks! I like the map and dart idea as I do fly by the seat of my pants when I want! I am hoping to hit up Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla... It will be a lot of traveling but now thinking of flying into Barcelona and out of Seville or vice versa to avoid the back tracking aspect and give me another "day." And I agree with Kja... of course I can do a lot of adventures back home, but if there is some cool bike path/tour to take in Spain somewhere or some out of this world waterfall I can hike too... then yes... I would go do that in a heart beat regardless of being able to do it here in CO. But thanks all for the advice! Happy Holidays!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 05:27 PM
  #20
 
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Go on YouTube and search for Camino del Rey.

We did the river hike and the wall hike in Albarracin recently, not very challenging even for a sixty year old like myself, but oh the scenery..

Then there is Cascada de San Pedro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD2sHrMcIGg
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