Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Spain and Portugal 20 day Trip Itinerary Help

Spain and Portugal 20 day Trip Itinerary Help

Old Jan 8th, 2017, 02:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Spain and Portugal 20 day Trip Itinerary Help

Hello all - My husband and I are planning our trip to Spain and Portugal and are hoping for some advice on our tentative itinerary from those who have traveled there before. We have already purchased our airfare, we fly into Barcelona on May 15th and depart from Madrid on June 3rd. We are also looking for suggestions of cities and sites to stop and see along the way, for example Sintra, on our way to Porto.

Any and all advice appreciated!

Barcelona 3 nights
Fly to Granada 3 nights
Drive to Seville 2 nights
Drive to Tavira 2 nights
Drive to Lisbon 3 nights
Drive to Porto 3 nights
Fly to Madrid 2 nights
Trish42 is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check driving routes on viamichelin.com. To this add inter-city driving. These 2-night stays only yield a day. I would find this way to rushed. Flights on skyscanner.com. Hotels on booking.com.
RonZ is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 329
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please note that there will be an expensive drop off fee if you rent a car in Spain and drop it off in Portugal. In 2015, we had a wonderful trip to Spain and Portugal, but discovered, in the planning stage, that traveling between these two countries can be somewhat difficult. We ended up traveling by train from Madrid to Córdoba, then to Granada, Rhonda, and Seville. We considered renting a car in Spain but decided a train might be a better option for accessing these cities. We loved Spain and the cities we visited, although we wished we had eliminated Rhonda to spend more time in Seville, which was wonderful. From Seville, we took a bus to Faro, Portugal, where we spent the night before renting a car at the airport there. Inexplicably, there are few trains between Spain and Portugal. Anyway, we drove from Faro to the little town of Estremoz in the Alentejo region where we rented an apartment for 5 days and explored the region. We dropped the car off at the Lisbon airport. We had 3 days in Lisbon before we flew back to Madrid for a few days before flying home. Portugal is a great place to visit also. We liked it so much we went back in 2016. Don't miss Sintra and try to stay there overnight.
Candace is online now  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We've done pretty much the same thing. Since you are locked in to flights, why not just stay in Spain? Barcelona to Granada you would need to fly. But if you end up in Granada after being down south, the train to Madrid [one change] only takes four and half hours. Also Madrid deserves more time. The city is magnificent, and there are day trips you can take.
RonZ is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2 nights for Sevilla is not enough. It is quintessential Spain-castanets, sherry, ladies in those lacy black hats, orange trees, etc. Granted, I was there for Semana Santa in 2015 and gave it 5 nights, but 2 nights is not enough. I would add at least one night, so that you have 2 full days on the ground there, plus whatever time you arrive in from your drive from Granada.
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,034
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While you might see some wonderful things with this plan, I wonder if this plan will actually let you see and experience what you want. For example:

IMO, 3 nights is VERY little for Barcelona, particularly if there is any chance that you will be jet lagged when you get there. (For the sake of comparison, I thought 5 full days in Barcelona very rushed -- and that doesn't include day trips from that city.)

IMO, 2 nights is VERY little for Sevilla – and is unlikely to give you sufficient time to see Cordoba’s Mezquita, which is, IMO (along with Granada’s Alhambra) one of the world’s great treasures. (Again, for the sake of comparison, I thought 3 full days in Sevilla very rushed, and I also had 2 other full days in Cordoba.)

IMO, 2 nights in VERY little for Madrid – and is unlikely to give you any time for Toledo. (I thought 4 full days in Madrid inadequate, and I also had 2 full days in Toledo, a day in Segovia, a day in Avila, etc.)

If you haven’t already done so, I strongly encourage you to consult some good guide books and plot the things you want to see and experience on a calendar. Be sure to block out a chunk of time each time you change locations (to check in/out, un/pack, travel between your hotel and the train/bus station, arriving at the station in advance, the actual transit time, and a bit of time to get oriented / lost). And when planning, note that many things are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 542
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree you should decide on mainly Spain or Portugal. We decided on Portugal and loved it. From Seville we bused to Faro and picked up a car to drive for 2 weeks up to Lisbon and every day was wonderful. So much less crowded than Spain with excellent roads . If you like places less spoiled , Portugal is the place. Coimbra and Lisbon are highlights but small castle towns are frequent and lovely.
Tommmo is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2017, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
[Nights] City [Train Time]

[5] Barcelona
[3] Sevilla [5.5]
[2] Cordoba [:45]
[3] Granada [2.5]
[5] Madrid [4.5]

Day trips from Barcelona and Madrid.
RonZ is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 17th, 2015 05:17 PM
Feb 13th, 2011 09:42 AM
Jan 24th, 2005 06:21 AM
Feb 27th, 2003 05:01 AM
Feb 25th, 2003 04:02 PM

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

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -