Spain in 12 - 14 days

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Aug 7th, 2018, 08:21 AM
  #1
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Spain in 12 - 14 days

I'm planning a trip for my daughters college graduation gift! My husband, myself and my two daughters 24 and 26 will be going! We have never been before so I"m looking for suggestions. This trip is for all of us but especially my daughters. If they are having a great time... we will have a great time! We will have 12 - 14 days including travel time, and we could fly into one city and out of another if that is advised. We are looking to go during April 2019. We may fly into Madrid, go to Sevilla and fly home from Barcelona with day trips or tours in-between. We are open to private or small group tours. Suggestions for first timers! Thanks so much!
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Aug 7th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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I just went to Spain last summer with my (then) 17 year old daughter. We went around the entire country in about 10 days' time (July 23-Aug 1), starting in Madrid and ending in Barcelona. We had a wonderful time and really liked it. Check out my trip report for recommendations in each of the cities we visited, there are many free museums days as well as discounts for students so perhaps your 24 year old could still take advantage of that if she has her college ID with her! Have a great time!
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Aug 7th, 2018, 02:25 PM
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Consider flying into Barcelona - take high-speed train to Madrid and then to Seville - 3 bases - do a day trip from each maybe - like awesome Toledo from Madrid - Cordoba from Seville and Montserrat from Barcelona for example. Fly home from Seville or Madrid only about 2 hours by train from Seville. Book train tickets early to snatch limited discounted tickets - Renfe official site of Spanish Railways - www.seat61.com has loads on booking own tickets online - general info on trains www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts. Seville during Easter week is awesome with parades, etc.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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Before giving many suggestions, do you mean you have not been to Europe before or just not Spain? Any other international travel? Are you going from the US? What city? Any particular interests?
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Aug 7th, 2018, 04:32 PM
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When in April? With Easter on April 21st, Holy Week (Semena Santa) May impact your trip, especially in Andalucia. For some, this would be a welcome opportunity. For others, it would be in no-go. Think big crowds, more expensive hotels/apartments, and some closures. That issue aside, I think 12-14 days is a perfect amount of time to spend in Andalucia with perhaps a few nights in Madrid or Barcelona. We did that last year and had a fantastic time.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 04:49 PM
  #6
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We have only gone to Italy. Spent 18 days there and loved it!! I planned it on my own and this time I just need some help getting started. I'd love hotel ideas, tour ideas (private and small group), even some off the path suggestions if warranted for our first visit. Thanks
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Aug 7th, 2018, 04:50 PM
  #7
kja
 
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It really depends on your interests, but Spain is enormous, and choosing how to spend your time in a trip of 12 to 14 days can be a bit tricky! IMO, reasonable itineraries could include –
  • Andalusia (Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada) and maybe just a few days in Madrid or Barcelona (the two cities with major international airports)
  • Madrid, Toledo, and nearby areas (Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Cuenca, etc.) and maybe just a few days in Barcelona.
  • Barcelona and Madrid, with just a day trip or two from each.
Unfortunately NONE of us can tell you what to prioritize! I would urge you to ask each of the people who are traveling to do some research (preferably at your local library with good guidebooks) to identify which regions of Spain appeal most. Selecting one region, with perhaps a few days in one of the cities with a major international airport, will let you minimize the amount of time you spend in transit while maximizing the amount of time you have to actually see and experience the places you select. Be sure to consider climate (consult the "when to go" section of any guidebook or any good climate website), holidays and special events, and the fact that many things in Spain are closed for long mid-day siestas, on Mondays, and often parts of Sundays.

Spain is wonderful -- enjoy!

Last edited by kja; Aug 7th, 2018 at 04:53 PM.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 04:51 PM
  #8
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No we do not like big crowds so we would move everything to middle of April if that's better. Can you elaborate on your trip... mostly things to do.. tour suggestions?
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Aug 7th, 2018, 04:56 PM
  #9
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kja, Do you suggest tour (private or small group works for us). I know we can do some on our own but would be great to have some help while there.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 08:47 PM
  #10
kja
 
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One does not need to join a tour, private or otherwise, to visit Spain unless that's your preference -- it is a fascinating country with excellent public transportation, and all but some obscure corners (not likely to be on your itinerary) are very easily accessible by Westerners, even those who don't know how to say gracias. (But please learn to do so!)

Just get some good guidebooks, do your homework, and consult Fodor's when you have some more specific questions -- I think you'll find any number of people who are happy to provide their insights once you nail down your options a bit.

What kind of help to you envision needing while there?
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Aug 8th, 2018, 12:36 AM
  #11
 
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We recently returned from a visit to Spain, spending most of our time in Andalusia (Seville, Granada, Malaga, Córdoba). In 2016, we spent 14 days split between Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid. You can see my trip reports by clicking on my name. As kja suggests, you don’t need to do an organised tour. Spain is a very easy destination to travel around (we traveled by train between places for both trips). When you have worked out what region/s you want to visit, you can then determine which sights you want to see. Some sights, such as the Alhambra in Granada, or Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, do require advanced booking, but this is easy to do online, and you can print your tickets at home. As others have suggested, getting a guidebook or looking online for places to visit in Spain and working out what appeals to you and your family is a good place to start.
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Aug 8th, 2018, 07:59 AM
  #12
twk
 
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How are you planning to travel (are you open to a car rental, or will it be public transportation only)?

You could certainly do Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona in two weeks--not seeing everything, but seeing a lot. Now, for me, using DFW as a departing airport which has direct flights to Madrid, that kind of skewed my planning a bit (along with some other factors), but it's possible to use Seville and Barcelona as bookends (flying in to one, and out of the other) and connect them with Madrid in the middle, doing all the intermediate travel by train. That won't let you see all of Spain by any stretch, but it would provide you a pretty good cross section.
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Aug 8th, 2018, 09:40 AM
  #13
 
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I think the route twk suggests makes sense. I don't know how easy it is to get from Seville to Barcelona. But it makes sense to, for example, fly into Barcelona, then take the train to Madrid, then another train to Seville, and then fly home from Seville if that works for where you live. or vice versa, but keep Madrid in the middle.

Another suggestion is to visit Madrid and Andalucia, depending on how many nights you end up having. How many nights will you have on the ground? I suggest Andalucia because you are going in April which will be a perfect time to visit since the weather will be cooler. It is EXTREMELY HOT during the summer in Andalucia. You can click on my name if you wish to read my trip report from last September to Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and Seville. We had 15 nights. If you don't have that many nights, then perhaps just visit Andalucia.

However, if you have your heart set on Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville, that will be a nice trip for the number of days you have. And they are three very different cities to experience.
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Aug 8th, 2018, 10:22 AM
  #14
 
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What kind of tour you talking about? All-inclusive everything or tours once in cities or private drivers -what? Young people will probably not feel good on all-inclusive bus tours as they attract mainly older folks. Easy to do on own even though that may seem daunting. Book all you trains and hotels and maybe take taxis from stations to hotels (though public transit is great too but with luggage, etc taxis make it much easier) and get a guidebook and take local tours in places - always possible - but what kind of tours are you talking about?
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Aug 10th, 2018, 06:45 AM
  #15
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Yes, we were thinking about more of a private tour of Spain. We are not very good planners and seem to waste a lot of time! If we did an organized tour of Spain, I think we would be much more relaxed and see much more! I know it would cost more but it might be worth it?? Do you know of any reputable tour guides or companies?
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Aug 10th, 2018, 01:13 PM
  #16
 
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I know it would cost more but it might be worth it??>

Not necessarily cost more. And you should make a separate post about this as old threads often don't get much play and your quest will be lost. And make it clear you have decided on organized tour with two young adults.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 08:41 AM
  #17
 
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Maybe something like this would work for you:
https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/spa...l/my-way-spain

I haven't done any of the My Way tours, but have done a number of the regular tours. These tours might give you just enough help on the ground to make you comfortable.
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Aug 11th, 2018, 09:24 AM
  #18
 
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What age groups do Steves' tours attract - think a bit younger than traditional bus tours?
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