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Spain: 2 Week Itinerary -- Need Help!!

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Apr 23rd, 2013, 09:11 PM
  #1
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Spain: 2 Week Itinerary -- Need Help!!

I'm planning on taking a two week vacation in early September to visit Spain and Andorra and want to know what are your suggestions? I will be flying from Los Angeles on Sunday September 1st. Here are my plans so far:

Madrid -- 4 Days
Cordoba -- 1 Day
Granada -- 1 Day
Barcelona -- 5 Days with side trips to Figueres and Monserrat
Andorra -- 2 days
Barcelona --1 day (to fly back to LA)
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 11:40 PM
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Is there a particular reason why you want to visit Andorra? Is this our first trip to Spain? How do you plan to get around - you're covering alot of geography in a short time.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 02:15 AM
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Five places in two weeks in three different regions of a vast and varied country while initially suffering with some severe jetlag is pushing it IMO.

Depending on where you fly back from (are your Barcelona flights locked in?), I would cut Barcelona and Andorra and focus on Madrid and Andalucia. What are your interests? If you like the beach you could visit Cadiz for a few days, a great, atmospheric city. Andalucia also has some beautiful rural areas.

If you do fly back from Barcelona then cut Andalucia (as amazing as it is).

Basically I would recommend 4/5 days in Madrid and then 9/10 days in either Andalucia or Catalonia, but not both Andal and Catal.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I never been to Spain before and I don't know if I'll ever come back, so that's why I want to see as much of the country as possible. I mostly just want to see all the major landmarks and Madrid and Barcelona are the two cities I definitely want to visit. I will be flying into Madrid from LA and flying back from Barcelona. The only reason why I want to see Cordoba is to see the Mezquita and I want to see the Alhambra in Granada, but I'm willing to cut out Cordoba if that's what you recommend. Lastly, I want to visit Andorra just to say I've been there, which I know probably isn't a great reason but I don't know if I'll ever have a chance to visit it again.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:18 AM
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First of all you only have 13-14 nights (can't tell exactly from your itinerary). You're not going to see all of the major "landmarks" and Madrid and Barcelona. Spain is a huge country - you're going to have to focus on a select set of regions. I would certainly not recommend Andorra "just to say I've been there" as it's not IMHO a highlight of the area and is out of the way for such a limited time.

If you really want to visit Madrid and Barcelona then I'd recommend at least 4 nights each in both of these cities. With 4 nights you'd have time in Madrid to do at most 2 daytrips (I'd recommend Toledo and Segovia) and in Barcelona perhaps one daytrip. If you want to visit Barcelona and also do daytrips to Figueres and Montserrat you'll likely need 5 days. (Figueres and Montserrat would not be my top daytrips from Barcelona though - but everyone has their own tastes).

If you want to hit the highlights and must sees in Andalucia I'd visit Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada. You could take the train from Madrid to Sevilla and stop en route for a daytrip to Cordoba. Spend 4 nights in Sevilla. Then take the bus/train to Granada and spend 2 nights. I wouldn't even try to visit Cordoba and then Granada in 1 night each. It would equate to a 1/2 day in each place - unless you're in a mode of checking off places to say you've been there (but really don't get anything real or personal out of the experience).

Basically start in Madrid and spend 4 nights, then train to Sevilla w/a daytrip to Cordoba and spend 4 nights, bus/train to Granada for 2 nights then fly to Barcelona for 4 nights.

This is a fast visit to 3 regions and will give you an overview of these areas.

As pgriffen mentions, if you cut one of the geographies (Madrid/Barcelona/Andalucia) it would give you more in depth in the remaining locations.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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Cut out Andorra, Montserrat, and Figueres. Add Seville. Do day trips to Segovia and Toledo from Madrid. Whatever. You'll have a good trip and will probably return.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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I agree with Cathy and Bedar totally. You're original itinerary isn't good. Madrid, Seville, w/ a daytrip to Cordoba and Granada are a "must see".
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:11 PM
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Thank you so much guys. I am not the original poser of the question but your posts are really helping me chalk my 15-day Spain itinerary out. TravelMan89 I'm sorry to be hijacking your thread but I had a few questions to ask.
I will be travelling with my husband, 1 year old baby and my 4 month pregnant self in the last week of May or early June. I plan to do Andalucia and Catalonia and Madrid as well. So on to the questions.
1. I heard Cuenca and Ronda are nice small towns for day trips from Madrid and Barcelona respt, what do you think? And would you choose Toledo over Cuenca?
2. We would like to visit a beach that's not crazy touristy also. There's Barcelona for that, I guess. My options are: cadaques, malaga, nerja, cadiz. What do you guys think?
3. I have heard such wonderful things about Salamanca. But as of now it isnt in. Should it really be?
My itinerary looks mostly like what CathyM suggested, but I have saved 2(or 3) days in the end for Portugal. Any suggestions or ideas about that? Basically Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, Portugal, with day trips in between to Segovia, Cuenca/Toledo, maybe Ronda and a beach from one of the above in Q2.
Thank you so much.
Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:15 PM
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Sorry I realize Ronda is a trip from Seville not Barcelona, that was a mistake.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:36 PM
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CathyM pointed out what you really need to do to plan a trip like this: delineate where you will spend each night. After that, figure out how many days will get eaten up by simply travelling from place to place. After that, figure out what is feasible each day for actual sightseeing.

The best way to do that is to make a big grid with 16 or so big boxes. Put in when you will arrive to Madrid, then at the bottom of each box put where your hotel will be that night. Start filling in essential travel points from the front, and ALSO from the back starting from where you will need to sleep those nights. Then start filling in from both directions - - including paying close attention to all the necessary travel times, which will include checking into hotels and adjustment time. That way you can start to piece together what is reasonably doable within your time frame.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 11:28 PM
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I agree with CathyM about Andorra - missable.

On a recent trip to 4 night trip to Madrid, we loved exploring the city, plus trips to the beautiful Aranquez palace & very interesting El Escorial monastery.

Avee - unsure where you want to go in Portugal but we loved Sintra, using it as our base near Lisbon. So many palaces and castles to see. Wonderful area
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Apr 25th, 2013, 06:51 AM
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I am in complete agreement with those who say to skip Andorra and to do day trips from Madrid. While of course you could find things to do in Madrid for four days total, I would spend two days in Madrid and the other two in Toledo and Segovia -- or at least one of these two cities, and my vote would be for Segovia (others will disagree).

It will still be quite hot in Andalucia. I went as far south as Toledo at the end of September, and my skin was crawling at the end of the day from the hot, dry air.

Another option is just to do Cordoba as a day trip from Madrid so that you can see the Mezquita and save a further tour of the region for another time.

In this scenario, you could do six in Madrid, alternating day trips with days in the city, and then seven in Barcelona -- or five in Barcelona, plus two out somewhere else.

If it were me, I would do the five days in Barcelona, and then spend two nights in Cadaques: see the Dali Museum in Figueres and then continue on to Cadaques for both the scenery and to tour his house there. If you do go to Cadaques, be sure to book your tour of the Dali house ahead of time online: it sells out!

Personally, I would either do:
Andalucia and Barcelona / Cadaques (via Figueres)
or Madrid (with two or three day trips) and Barcelona / Cadaques (via Figueres)

You will need a car to get to Cadaques.

We spent either four or five days in Barcelona (can't remember which) and still didn't have enough time to get to see all we wanted. I did not feel that way at all about Madrid. The sites in Barcelona are unique -- Gaudi! Gaudi! Gaudi! -- and the entire center (from the Eixample down) is just gorgeous.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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avee - I suggest you start your own thread.

"Basically Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, Portugal, with day trips in between to Segovia, Cuenca/Toledo, maybe Ronda and a beach from one of the above in Q2"

Honestly I think you need to rethink the feasibility of trying to do this in 15 days given you are traveling with your husband, a 1 year old and you are going to be 4 months pregnant. Realistically for Madrid (4), Sevilla (4), Granada (2) and Barcelona (4) I'd budget a minimum of 14 days. You could visit Cordoba en route from Madrid to Sevilla. Toledo and Segovia (oro Cuenca) from Madrid - but this may be a little tight doing 2 daytrips with 4 days and traveling with an infant. I suppose you could add a day to Sevilla and visit Ronda as a daytrip or rent a car (for 2 days) and stop for a night en route from Sevilla to Granada. You could visit a beach from Sevilla or Barcelona. If so, then I'd add the extra day in Sevilla/Barcelona. I don't know how you'd squeeze in Portugal or anything else really.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 07:57 PM
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Thank you so much CathyM and SusannahT. I guess my itinerary needs an overhaul! I'll ask my next question in a new thread
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