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Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 Week Vacation Help

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May 23rd, 2013, 11:44 AM
  #1
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Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 Week Vacation Help

Hi,

I really could use some advice on my Travel itinerary that I created. This is my first time visiting these 2 countries. We arrive in Barcelona and depart from Lisbon. Can you give advice if the time I have planned is sufficient. I wrote at the bottom how long we have in each city. We are flying from Barcelona to Madrid, but the rest we are taking buses since I noticed its a lot cheaper and the travel time is not much difference. Thanks for any input to this thread. Also should I be buying my train tickets in advance?

Arrive in Barcelona
June 16 Morning

Arrive in Madrid by Plane
June 19 9:25AM

Arrive in Granada by Bus
June 21 3:30PM

Arrive in Cordoba by Bus ( Day Trip)
June 23 11:30AM

Arrive in Seville by Bus
June 23 8:40PM

Arrive In Algarve by Bus (Day Trip)
June 25 10:AM

Arrive in Lisbon by Bus
June 25 9:05PM

Depart back home to Canada on June 30th Morning.

Here is the break down for the amount of days and nights we stay in each city from the itinerary that I created.

Total Time in Each City
Barcelona 3 Nights (3 days)
Madrid-Toledo 2 Nights (2 days)
Granada 2 Nights (1.5 days)
Cordoba 7 hours
Seville 2 nights (1.1 day)
Algarve 5 hours or 7 hours
Lisbon-Sintra 5 Nights (4 Full days)
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May 23rd, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Why only 5 hours in the Algarve? And where in the Algarve? If you're only going to be there for a few hours, then I'd skip the Algarve altogether and just head for Lisbon. If you do go to somewhere in the Algarve, then I consider taking the train from Faro to Lisbon (www.cp.pt).

Also, why are you planning on flying from Barcelona to Madrid? I know the flights are cheap, but the train is much more comfortable (can be less expensive) and takes less time then going to and from the airport(s).
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May 23rd, 2013, 01:20 PM
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If you do the 5 hours in the Algarve then I guess that is in Faro, which will take you about 5 hours, (a museum, a walk by the marina, a bit of shopping and a meal).

I might pull a night from Lisbon (do visit the Arsenale) and give it to Faro or even a few hours in Tavira as well.
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May 23rd, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Why do you ask about buying train tickets in advance, and then say you're taking the bus? And train tickets are definitely cheaper if bought in advance. The train is usually more confortable than a bus, although you'll have to take a bus if you're headed to the Algarve. (I agree with skipping the Algarve if you'll only be there a few hours, it's a beach destination.)
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May 23rd, 2013, 03:25 PM
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You are trying to do WAY too much in 14 days - the pace is crazy fast. 14 days would be just enough to see Madrid,Barcelona, Sevilla (4 days for each) and Granada. You're going to have to cut something or it will be way too much IMHO. It will be very hot in Andalucia and Madrid during this time. You'll likely need to take a break mid-day from the heat which will also take away from sightseeing.
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May 23rd, 2013, 03:49 PM
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More like one full day in Madrid. (June 20th) the day before and after are travel days getting to the station early, arriving, then to the hotel, unpacking etc. It's simply too much for 14 days. You can still make a nice little trip out of this with the following: Barcelona>Madrid>Lisbon. You can insert a day trip or two but that would be considered a busy itinerary. Your plans as they stand now would be exhausting unless you're very comfortable with this style of travel. Please don't underestimate the time wasted (ie: not sightseeing) when you relocate
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May 24th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for the input. We decided to take Algarve out, and instead of going from Granada to Cordoba, we are going from Granada to Seville, stay there 2 nights then take the 45 train in and out for a day trip to Cordoba. Also instead of flying from Barcelona to Madrid, we are going to take the train.

So what do you think?
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May 24th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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Still way too much to try to visit Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Granada and Lisbon in 14 days. If you cut out Lisbon you could fly into Madrid and return home from Barcelona, heading to Sevilla after Madrid by train and then fly from Granada to Barcelona. You just don't have time to do all of this - you're not factoring in travel time from place to place.
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May 24th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I agree you are trying to do way too much traveling while on there.
But don't cut Lisbon! It is wonderful!
Cut some Spain-- like Madrid or Barcelona?
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May 24th, 2013, 04:53 PM
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I think I am suggesting something like CathyM. Fly into Barcelona and home from Madrid.

1. Barcelona [4 nights] Some very good day trips.

2. Fly to Granada [1 1/2 hour flight]

3. Granada [2 nights]

4. Train/bus to Seville.

5. Seville [4 nights] Day trip to Cordoba

6. Train to Madrid.

7. Madrid [4 nights] Very good day trips from Madrid. Toleda, Segovia or Avilla.

For info www.maribelsguides.com
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May 24th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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iris1745-
This is exactly what I was suggesting except in reverse. Either way it works. Lisbon is a great destination but logistically this flows better and something has to be cut.
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May 24th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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I agree to drop Lisbon - yuo are just trying to get to too many places and won;t see them all.

We did a road trip starting in Lisbon, headed down to Andalusia and then up to Madrid to return home - but it was 3 weeks - and there were still a ton of thing we wanted to see and didn;t.

Also you need to understand that Spain is HOT. In late April we had temps in the upper 80s in the south and 99 by the time we got to Madrid. Make sure your hotels have pools and good AC - and don;t plan on touring in the middle of the day. Also carry water to be sure you stay hydrated.
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May 24th, 2013, 08:36 PM
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There are some very good prices right now for the Pousadas..Take a look it is worth while.. pousadas.pt..also pestana group..I was really surprised at the rates when I saw them. Dn't kow if the timing is right for you but as i said..take a look.
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May 24th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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I agree with Iris and Cathy. Even if the pousadas are wonderful baragin, it is too much for this trip.
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May 25th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Don't know the budget so maybe pousadas aren't too much.. Never know..Still a good idea to check them out!!
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May 25th, 2013, 06:38 AM
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I'll be the outlier here and say that your 14 day trip wouldn't be too much for me. I'd be bored with 4 nights in Sevilla. I see no point in hanging out an extra day in Barcelona to do day trips. If you are not a museum-lover or shopper, seeing the highlights of Madrid doesn't take a lot of time. I wouldn't give up those days in Lisbon for all the tea in China. It is a wonderful destination, and blessedly cheap.

I highly recommend a night visit to the Alhambra as well as a morning visit to see the gardens. Flying to Granada might make sense. Devil is in the details.

I assume you already know a 14 day trip is a 14 day trip, and that even if you had 40 days, you still wouldn't have enough days to "do" Spain. If you would like to see these places you've mentioned, I don't think your pace is unreasonable if you are fit and enjoy being active. If you are dreaming of days wandering and cafe lounging and shopping, then you are moving too fast.
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May 25th, 2013, 06:50 AM
  #17
 
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By the way, if "you'll likely need to take a break mid-day from the heat which will also take away from sightseeing," then parking yourself for extended stays in Spanish cities and doing daytrips will force you into towns to sightsee right at the worst time of the day -- when it is maximally hot and a great many things are closed, and you can't get back to your hotel.

Some people have a hard time switching hotels, some people feel they should remain in cities until they see all the guidebook sights, and some people are ok with moving on and spending nights in new places once they've seen what they came to see. We always wish we had more time to travel, but not everybody needs 4 days in Barcelona or 4 days in Sevilla or 4 days in Madrid. With so much information on the internet, it is really possible to look at some of these places in advance and figure out a more personal itinerary.

I'm not saying don't listen to people who offer different advice. But what is "crazy" is not a 14 day trip as outline, but the notion that this is some kind of "crazy" itinerary for fit people. People confuse their travel preferences with some kind of dogma or religion about travel for everybody, and act as if a baby steps list of places to visit you are guaranteed to complete with time to spare is the only sane choice. Now that's crazy.
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