Spain Itinerary

Dec 13th, 2009, 12:19 PM
  #1  
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Spain Itinerary

My sister and I are making our first trip to Spain the week before Easter, we will have 9 days in all. Due to Semanta Santa (and the escalating hotel prices during the holiday week), we plan to start our trip in Seville be heading to Madrid on Palm Sunday.

Does anyone know if there is an AVE high speed train from Seville to Toledo? If not, we'll stay in Madrid Sunday and take a day trip to Toledo on Monday.

Following is our entire tentative itinerary, any feedback specifically regarding inexpensive hotels (<80 euro per night for a double) and must see destinations, would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, March 26 - depart Newark, NJ arrive in Madrid, Malaga or Grenada (depending on pricing), take train to Seville and spend remainder of day there
Saturday, March 27 - day in Seville
Sunday, March 28 - day in Seville, train to either Toledo or Madrid
Monday, March 29 - day in Toledo or train to Toledo for day
Tuesday, March 30 - day in Madrid
Wednesday, March 31 - day in Madrid
Thursday, April 1 - Madrid to Barcelona
Friday, April 2 - day in Barcelona
Saturday, April 3 - day in Barcelona
Sunday, April 4 - fly back to NJ

Thanks in advance!
mjcass5 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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yk
 
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No, there's no AVE between Seville & Toledo. You have to go thru Madrid.

I've stayed at Hotel Plaza Major in Madrid. My cousin stayed there before and she recommended it to me. I stayed there last year and I recommended it to my friends who stayed there last month. It should fit your budget. http://www.h-plazamayor.com/index.english.html

Assuming budget is an issue, I suggest you buy your AVE tickets as soon as it is possible on Renfe's website so you can take advantage of the Web fares.
yk is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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On the one hand you want to avoid the high prices of Semana Santa but you are in Spain in the week before the Semana Santa. It occurs in 2010 between the 1st and 2nd April. Most accommodation prices will beset at a high season rate, will be set between the 29th March until about the 9th or 10th April (depending on the establishment).
But some folks say paying the high price and having the crowds will be worth it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Week
ribeirasacra is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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Did you allow for the time change when arriving in Spain, or are you not doing a redeye flight. Do you actually arrive in Spain on the 26th or 27th? Just don't want your plans to go awry.

Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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I had the same question as JulieAgain: Do you have 8 nights or 9 nights? Assuming you have nine nights I'm counting your itinerary as Seville (2 nights), Madrid (4 nights) & Barcelona (3 nights). Is this correct?

I'd allow for 3 nights minimum in Seville. This would mean probably taking a day from Madrid. Honestly, with only 8 or 9 nights I'd stick with just 2 base cities and do daytrips from them. This will save time with packing/unpacking and a less hectic pace. With more time in each city I'd consider these daytrips: Seville (Cordoba, Jerez, Carmona), Madrid (Toledo, Segovia), Barcelona (Girona, Figueres, Tarragona).

I second yk's recommendation of the Hotel Plaza Mayor. The rates are reasonable and I love the location.
CathyM is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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If you fly into Madrid, I would check the airline fares between MAD and Sevila. The AVE can be expensive, unless you are able to get a Web fare. Also, if you can find reasonable airfare you avoid having to transfer from the airport to Atocha train station.

Are you locked in flying out of BCN? If not, I would follow Cathy's suggestion and keep it at two base cities . I would do Sevilla and Madrid. From Madrid you can visit as day trips Segovia, Toledo and Avila. You can also do El Escorial.
cruiseluv is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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mj

if you only have 2-3 days in Barcelona, buy the Tourismo Bus pass for 2 days ... BCN is a big city .. we just came back last week from Spain .. we bought the tickets as we boarded the bus and hopped on and off as many times as we wanted. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a bus and the open air buses are a great way to see the city. Enjoy. I wish I was back there now.
alexislovesspain is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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" With more time in each city I'd consider these daytrips: Seville (Cordoba, Jerez, Carmona), Madrid (Toledo, Segovia), Barcelona (Girona, Figueres, Tarragona). "

Do people who go to Madrid , Barcelona and Seville wish to actually SEE those cities and what they offer ( art, museums, churches, palaces, architecture etc) , or just drop their bags and do day trips?
danon is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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You will spend most of your time on trains. For my taste, your itinerary includes too many destinations and too few time at each destination.

If you are flying into Malaga or Granada, you should visit the Alhambra in Granada - this is an absolute must-see. You need half a day for a visit - reserve tickets in advance via internet.

Think about skipping Sevilla - it is somewhat out of the way and IMO you find better places in Spain, e.g. Cordoba, which is closer to your itinerary.

I would also skip Toledo and use the time for Madrid and Barcelona.
Echnaton is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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I would second the suggestion of dropping Barcelona from this itinerary - seems like quite a lengthy detour given the duration of the entire stay in Spain. In addition, while the Semana Santa hotel rates are really high in Sevilla, they also are a bargain in Madrid, due to very low demand at that same time. Ending the trip in Madrid around then would make a lot of sense, economically speaking.

kanadajin
kanadajin is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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danon-
I did NOT mean to imply taking ALL these daytrips, just these would be potential daytrips to "consider" IF more time was added to only two base cities. For example, in my opinion 3 days is a good amount of time to visit Seville itself. However, if you added an additional day to Sevilla and stayed for 4 nights this would give you the opportunity to visit Cordoba, which as you know has the incredible Mezquita. I feel comfortable with 4 days to see Barcelona itself so if an additional day was added it would be interesting to see the medieval center of Girona. Same idea with Madrid.

Hopefully this is clearer to you now....
CathyM is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 07:27 AM
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You are really trying to see too much in 8 or 9 days. We were in Spain for 3 weeks and only did Sevilla, Granada, Ronda, Malaga and Barcelona, and still could have used more time. As for travel by train, I'd suggest choosing Spanair and fly. It is quicker and with your limited time you don't want to spend it all on trains. Also the airfares are much lower. If you fly into Malaga be sure to see the new Picasso museum. It was just opened this past spring by the Picasso family and contains pieces not seen before.In Sevilla be sure to take in a flamenco show at one of the flamenco schools and not a cafe. They do a much better job. If you find the time to include Granada in your itinerary, definitely go to the El Hambra. Enjoy the country and people and eat some olives for me.
Ohioactor1 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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If you don't go to Granada for the Alhambra, you might as well not go to Spain. It is greatest sight in Spain, if not All of Europe.
Aard is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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totally disagree with PP.
Spain is a fantastic country with much to see ..
I find a number of European sights more exciting and relevant than Alhambra.
danon is online now  
Dec 15th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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I agree with Danon. I have been to the Alhambra and appreciated it , but it is by no means my most cherished memory of Spain.
cruiseluv is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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I agree with danon and cruiseluv. This almost implies that there are no other sights worth seeing in Spain other than the Alhambra. I also appreciated and am fascinated by the Alhambra. But there's many other reasons to visit Spain. Is it not worth visiting France if you don't go to Notre Dame (or the Tour Eiffel or Versailles)? Is it not worth going to Italy if you don't visit the Colloseum (or St Peters or St Mark's square)? (The answer is obviously no)
CathyM is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2009, 06:40 AM
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MJ

In reviewing your itinerary again .. I assumeyou are flying into Madrid and out of BCN .. correct?

I think your schedule is "doable" It is much like my family travels through Spain, with kids and grandma in tow.

We jump from city to city to see as much as we can .. yes, we do log a lot of Kilometers .. but we enjoy it that way.

If I were you, I would consider renting a car, instead of using the train .. we have had some of our best experiences and food in little towns on our way from point A to point B .. you would miss this zooming by in a train .. also, if you are tired of on place .. then you are on your own schedule to leave and see something else.

Spain is really easy to drive in, as long as you can get used to the Round-abouts .. enjoy
alexislovesspain is offline  

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