Spain Itinerary

Old Dec 21st, 2018, 07:22 PM
  #1  
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Spain Itinerary

I am planning a 25th anniversary trip in June/July. Would love to have some input from "the professionals" on the draft of my itinerary. Would also love suggestions for great hotels, restaurants, sights and fun stops along our route. Thanks so much!

1. Barcelona – (morning arrival)

2. Barcelona

3. Barcelona

4. Get Car and Drive to Valencia (3 h 40 min) - Stop in Tarrogona (1h20m)

5. Valencia

6. Drive to Granada (5 h) – Stop in Murcia (2.5 h)

7. Granada - Alhambra

8. Drive to Ronda (2.5 h)

9. Drive to Seville (2 h) – Return Car

10.Seville

11.Seville

12.Train to Cordoba (45 min)

13.Rent a car and drive Toledo (4 h) – Quick stop at Windmills

14.Toledo

15.Drive to Madrid

16.Depart for home
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 07:34 PM
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kja
 
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Could be a great trip! That said, it would be WAY too rushed for my tastes. Are you sure you can see / do what you want in the limited time you will have in each of these delightful destinations? Your call entirely, of course.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 09:05 PM
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The drive from Toledo to Barajas Airport is only a bit more than an hour (plus car rental drop time and the time to get from drop to your terminal). No need to go to Madrid to depart from there. More time in Toledo, the better!
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 09:47 PM
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June/ July..the temps are usually 100 + F

something to keep in mind
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Old Dec 22nd, 2018, 01:24 AM
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Your whole trip could easily be done by public transport:
Barcelona - Tarragona, Tarragona - Valencia, Valencia - Murcia, Granada - Ronda, Sevilla - Cordoba, Cordoba - Madrid, Madrid - Toledo - Madrid by train; Murcia - Granada, Ronda - Sevilla by bus.
But if you prefer to drive, I don't see why you shouldn't keep your car on days 9-12 too.

BTW: Elche could be a nice stop. Cartagena is more interesting than Murcia. You could visit Malaga on your way from Granada to Ronda.

Temperatures: don't worry, 38 degrees centigrade/100 degrees Fahrenheit is usually the maximum at Cordoba and Sevilla. Other places are even cooler.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2018, 11:12 AM
  #6  
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Thanks so much for the suggestions... We have decided to stay in Toledo the last night instead of Madrid and will then go directly to the airport in the morning. This gives us the chance to stay an extra night in Cordoba! We are thinking of flying roundtrip to Madrid and taking the High Speed Train to Barcelona upon arrival. We have also added an extra night in Barcelona. I agree with the suggestion to just keep the rental car and we will do that saving time returning and renting again.

Now onto planning the hotels, sights and my favorite... Restaurants!!! Any input would be appreciated.

One more question... How necessary is it to have a tour guide with us in any of our locations? We would hire a private guide, but am not sure where it would be the most worthwhile. Or can we do everything on our own? Do most of the sights have docents to tell you about them?

Here is our revised itinerary... (still a work in progress)

1. 6/28 (Fri) –Arrive Madrid – Train to Barcelona – (morning arrival)

2. Barcelona

3. Barcelona

4. Barcelona

5. Rent Car and Drive to Valencia (3 h 40 min) - Stop in Tarrogona (1h20m)

6. Valencia

7. Drive to Granada (5 h) – Stop in Murcia (2.5 h)

8. Granada - Alhambra

9. Drive to Ronda (2.5 h)

10.Drive to Seville (2 h) – Return Car

11.Seville

12.Seville

13.Drive to Cordoba (45 min)

14.Cordoba

15.Rent a car and drive Toledo (4 h) – Quick stop at Windmills

16.Toledo

17.7/14/19 - Drive to airport in Madrid and Depart for home
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Old Dec 22nd, 2018, 11:51 AM
  #7  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by luna2018 View Post
How necessary is it to have a tour guide with us in any of our locations? We would hire a private guide, but am not sure where it would be the most worthwhile. Or can we do everything on our own? Do most of the sights have docents to tell you about them?
IMO, there is no need to hire a tour guide for any of the destinations you list with the possible exception of a few very specific sites in Barcelona (e.g., the Palau de la Música or Hospital de Sant Pau -- and you would, I think, need to book these visits in advance). You can get audio guides at many sites (e.g., the Alhambra, Mezquita) -- and when available, they are often quite good. Otherwise, a good guide book or two (perhaps the Rough Guide or Michelin Green) should give you all the information you need.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2018, 12:22 PM
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kja
 
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P.S. The tour guides I mentioned would not be individually hired private guides -- I was referring to a few places where you might want to make advance arrangements to join a guided tour.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2018, 04:00 AM
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I agree that summertime in Spain -especially inland ie Andalusia and Madrid/Toledo - would be excruciatingly hot. I'd suggest either travelling elsewhere in Europe in summer or sticking to the coast and possibly visiting the cool north coast. I'd look into San Sebastian, Astiruas, and Galicia- they are absolutely beautiful and mostly off the beaten track.

You could also drive up the coast from Barcelona to the Costa Brava which has several beautiful coastal towns and should be a bit cooler than the south and not so far north as Asturias and Galicia are.

If you do visit Andalusia and Toledo/Madrid anyway I'd suggest adding Avila or Segovia which are perfectly preserved medieval towns in the middle of Spain. Segovia has the delicious local specialty of roast lamb/pork. Avila has a mysterious medieval wall around it.

Also, a little bit further north of Segovia you would reach the Ribera del Duero wine region famous for delicious red wine and you could stay overnight in a winery with a spa if you'd like. It was one of the highlights of my stay in Spain.

Last edited by chillout; Dec 23rd, 2018 at 04:02 AM.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2018, 06:09 AM
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I am not terribly familiar with the Spanish venues you are visiting, but I am frighteningly familiar with not being in the place one needs to be in to take a departing flight. Be there the night before.

Re: tourguides. I hardly ever see the need for them, though I'll admit to having loved them when I used them.

I do agree the whole trip sounds hectic and rushed, but I'm an old lady who lives in Europe and doesn't have to zoom around to get the best out of venues - there's always wonderful stuff around every corner. It's a different perspective from someone who's spending a lot of money for a taste of a different world.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2018, 01:24 PM
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Always always yes be very close to your departure airport - in the city or by the airport as things like train strikes, road blocks by yellow vests type people, etc. can come up at the worst time.
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Old Dec 24th, 2018, 08:21 PM
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I often stay an hour or so away from my departure airport and drive there with my rental car which, obviously, needs to be returned. I have never experienced any issues. I wouldn't pay attention to those nervous Nellies. But, just my opinion. Do what you are comfortable with.
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Old Dec 24th, 2018, 08:47 PM
  #13  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by joannyc View Post
I wouldn't pay attention to those nervous Nellies.
Maybe some of those "nervous Nellies" don't realize that Toledo is only about an hour from Madrid?
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Old Dec 24th, 2018, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Maybe some of those "nervous Nellies" don't realize that Toledo is only about an hour from Madrid?
You are absolutely correct, kja.

Posters here comment on locales they are not familiar with or, in many cases, have never even visited. How many times have any posters here ran into issues getting to the airport on-time because of protesters, road or car issues, etc.??? Most issues are caused because they didn't leave enough time, lousy planning on their part due to rush hours, etc.

i will never rush back to my origin city, where I got over jet lag upon arrival, just to be within 45 minutes of my departing airport! Just plain stupid when I can experience somewhere else in the nearby vicinity.
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Old Dec 24th, 2018, 09:44 PM
  #15  
kja
 
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Well, I admit that I think the advice is generally good -- as a rule, I think it is wise to be in the city of one's departure the night before an international flight. As usual, though, the "devil is in the details" -- and in this case, the "details" include the fact that Toledo is quite close to Barajas Int'l Airport. JMO.
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Old Dec 25th, 2018, 12:43 AM
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I agree and have successfully made it on time for afternoon flights from cities within an hour's drive/ train ride.
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Old Dec 25th, 2018, 12:44 PM
  #17  
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Merry Christmas!!!! Thank you, I totally agree. I think an hour is not too far to drive to the airport. We are not going to change our plans to stay in Toledo the night before we leave. (unless we are unable to get a reasonable late morning, early afternoon flight)

I think the itinerary part of our planning is ok, now to plan the details of where to stay, eat and what to visit! Would love any tips, advice or recommendations. What did you love and what can we miss?
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