Spain in 2 weeks (flight and road trip)

Sep 19th, 2016, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Spain in 2 weeks (flight and road trip)

Hello travelers,

My husband and I are planing to visit Spain for 2 weeks in September 2017. We are flying to Madrid (3 days) and take the train to Barcelona (spend 1 day)

Rent a car for a road trip: Barcelona to Gibraltar

This is our first time in Spain and would love to enjoy/see as much as we can in those 2 weeks.

Based on experience: Is 3 days enough time to spend in Madrid? (I was also suggested to visit Toledo or Segovia) and was wondering if the 3 days were enough to accomplish that.

After Madrid, we will be taking the train to go to Barcelona. We were planing 2 days in Barcelona. Is 2 days enough?

After our stay in Barcelona, we will be renting a car: Barcelona - Gibraltar. In this road trip we plan to stop in as many cities/towns as possible but due to time (7 days left) would appreciate recommendations on what destinations definitely not to miss.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Thank you,
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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**CORRECTION in the first sentence I meant to type:2 days in Barcelona.
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2016, 07:56 PM
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Hi, Liz, and welcome to Fodor’s!

Planning time in any city is always a very personal decision, based on what YOU want to see and experience. Nonetheless, I think you might be shortchanging some of your destinations. For example, I wanted 4 full days in Madrid, not counting any side trips, and 5 full days in Barcelona, again not counting any side trips. These are cities with a wealth of things that many of us think well worth seeing or experiencing.

Please remember that seeing many different places can actually mean seeing LESS – every minute you spend in transit is a minute NOT spent seeing or doing…. And each time you change hotels, you need to get to/from transportation, check in/out, pack/unpack, get oriented, etc…. it adds up!

Spain is enormous and has a diverse set of regions that are each, IMO, well worth exploring in some depth, so I strongly urge you to consult some good guidebooks – you might start with your local library so you can not only learn a bit about Spain, but also learn which guidebooks suit your needs best.

Here are some rough guidelines based on my experiences; YMMV:
- About 10 days for Andalusia (Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, etc.)
- About 10 days for Madrid and surrounds (Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, etc.)
- About 8 days for Barcelona and surrounds, …

Just some ideas to get you started….
kja is offline  
Sep 19th, 2016, 08:22 PM
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Give Barcelona at least one more day, high speed train to Madrid, stay three or four days with a day trip to Toledo,high speed train to Seville, stay aeveral days, rent car, stay in Cordoba, stay in Granada, fly to connecting internarional flight, most likely Madrid. Skip Gibraltar
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 01:55 AM
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Is your OH also asking the same?
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 06:16 AM
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@ribeirasacra: No, thats not my OH. Since it was a related topic from 2013, I decided to asked for additional details and recommendations. But another traveler exhorted me to start my own thread.
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 06:24 AM
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@kja, thank you for your comments/ideas! Your notes are very helpful.
Since I have about a year of planning, I will definitely search articles/books related to Spain. With all we want to cover in our trip I think 2 weeks wont be enough time. D

we will be traveling light to avoid spending much time in packing/unpacking.
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 07:19 AM
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Are the flights booked?
yorkshire is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 07:40 AM
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@yorkshire: Since is for September 2017, this month is not available yet. It will be in about a month or so. Same for the accommodations.
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 07:48 AM
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Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose the road trip? You must have identified some places already that you wanted to see. I think knowing why Gibraltar, etc., would help us give advice.
yorkshire is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 08:34 AM
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We were rather tickled by your mentioning the Alboran Sea in the other thread. Are you interested in plate tectonics or what ? If so, it starts at Cabo de Gata just outside Almeria and continues to the Straits of Gibraltar.
Bedar is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Liz thanks for your explanation. I was getting totally confused as it is almost the same question.
Maybe you have work in Gib. But I do not see the attraction of going there otherwise. If you want the Uk That island is more authentic!
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 02:14 PM
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Only 7 days from Barcelona to Gibraltar.

Day one - Drive to Valencia and spend a couple of days

Day three - Go to Granada and spend another couple of days

Day five go to Malaga, Antequera or Ronda

Day seven you are in Gibraltar.
alvamo is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 04:56 PM
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After I encouraged you to start your own thread, alvamo outlined a very detailed option on the thread you had joined as a tag-along; I think you'll want to take a look!
kja is offline  
Sep 21st, 2016, 06:06 AM
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THANK YOU @kja, @alvamo and everyone else for your recommendations and suggested itineraries.

I appreciate the detailed info. We have gathered sufficient ideas to start drafting our itinerary.
Liz8086 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2016, 07:07 AM
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Madrid deserves more than 3 days - especially if you are considering day trips to Toledo and or Segovia. I have been going to Madrid for 5 to 7 days almost every year since 2000, and I still find a lot of new sites to visit and new activities to engage in. Also, Barcelona, if you include any day trips merits 4 or 5 days minimum just to cover the "absolutely must sees". Slow down and enjoy the places you visit - don't rush off to try to see more and more places.
jack333 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Agree with jack333, slow down and give more time to the fabulous cities along your route.

A good alternative could be to start in Barcelona with some three days.

Then the high speed AVE Train to Madrid ((2h 30 min) for another three days

Then the high speed AVE train to Córdoba (1 h 40 mins) - once the most advanced city in Europe - rent a car and start your driving tour of Andalucía.

Drive from Córdoba to Granada with the world famous Alhambra.

Drive from Granada down to the Med through the scenic A 4050 road known as the Moor's Sigh. The name of the road comes from the legenedary sigh of Boabdil, the last emir of Granada, when he at the mountain pass known as Puerto del Suspiro del Moro (The Moor's sigh pass), in 1492 for a last time had a look back upon the city now lost to the so called Catholic Monarchs. His mother shall then have said: "You cry like a woman over a city you couldn't defend like a man". Images from the road:

Down at the coast, perhaps stop in beautiful Nerja among the cliffs on your way to Málaga city.

For a relaxing night or two in Nerja, with fabulous views of both the sea and the inland Almijara mountains, I recommend either Hotel Carabeo or the Parador de Nerja. Both are on the seaside edge of the charming and local atmosphere old town.
Hotel Carabeo:
Parador de Nerja:

Then drive on to fabulous Málaga city, spend the rest of your time here in "Spain's new creative heart", "the province's city of culture with its so-called 'mile of art' being compared to Madrid, and its dynamism and fine dining to Barcelona" (or go to Gibraltar, if that's an absolute must).

Fly out of the huge international airport in Malaga, or take the high speed Ave train to Madrid in 2h 30 mins.
kimhe is offline  

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