Spain Itinerary Help

Jun 6th, 2007, 11:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Spain Itinerary Help

Hi everyone,
Longtime lurker, first time poster. I'm trying to finalize my itinerary for an upcoming October trip to Spain (I say 'my' itinerary because just like in a previous post, I am also a trip tyrannt and must control the trip plans- my husband likes to enjoy the trip I planned for us.) I would like to start booking some hotels but wanted to get your opinion on my itinerary:

Day 1-2: Madrid
Day 3: Daytrip to Segovia via bus; Sleep in Madrid
Day 4: Toledo (visit and sleep; travel via train)
Day 5: Visit Cordoba's Mezquita on way to Sevilla (via train). Sleep in Sevilla
Day 6-7 Sevilla
Day 8: Rent car and travel to Ronda (seeing parts of andulacia along the way); sleep in Ronda
Day 9: Drive to Granada (visit and sleep)
Day 10: Granada in morning/afternoon; fly to Barcelona on 6:40 pm Iberia flight
Day 11-12: Barcelona
Day 13: Fly home

What would you change?

A couple more questions - is there a direct AVE train from Toledo to Cordoba without transferring in Madrid?
Is there another airline that flies direct from Granada to Barcelona? I could only find Iberia.
minnie74 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Just returned from a first time visit to Spain with my bride where we spent 4 glorious days in Barcelona...and we only scratched the surface. We stayed in Barceloneta, a perfect area and walkable to the highlights of the city. Highly recommend Con Ramonet for a meal (evening)...right across from the Mercat in Barceloneta. Is two days enough...????
drpeecho is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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- is there a direct AVE train from Toledo to Cordoba without transferring in Madrid

all the info i've seen says no - you have to go back to Atocha station in Madrid i believe.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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your itinerary sounds fine.

one comment to me Cordoba as a city was as nice as any on your list so i'd spend some time there exploring other than the fantastic old mosque.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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IMO you're trying to cover too much territory in too short a time. As much as I love Barcelona (just returned), I'd suggest you save it for another trip and spend more time in the places you have listed.
artlover is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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I agree with Artlover - it's too much.

I would drop Ronda, and instead, visit Cordoba on the way from Sevilla to Granada. One afternoon and one morning in Granada is not enough.

If you go to Cordoba on the way to Sevilla, you won't have any time to check it out...

I would stay one week in Madrid with day trips and then one week in Andalucia, or one week in Andulucia and then a week in Barcelona. You are going to be covering so much ground that all you'll see is the inside of train stations and airports.

Save Barcelona, or Andalucia, for another trip.
rialtogrl is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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I flew BCN-GRX using IBERIA using Much cheaper to buy one way ticket from IBERIA Spain site than buying together with US flight ticket.

Your itinerary is ok.

Do you really want to stay overnight in Toledo? I did it easily as a day trip from Madrid. While I would have like to have experienced early morning and late evening scenes in Toledo, I decided not to get hit with additional hotel check in and out hassles.

I spent 6 hrs in Cordoba between Sevilla and Madrid. Besides Mezquita I had a lunch at El Caballo Rojo and visited Alcazar - which is not mentioned often as a must see but I thought, despite its small size compared to Sevilla's, Cordoba's Alcazar garden was pretty.

Barcelona attractions are spread out. Allocate sufficient time to travel between sites. Trip times between Madrid's key attractions are very short. flies GRX to BCN once a day at 15:30. Iberia has more flight choices per day.
greg is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 12:56 AM
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Hi, may be you are covering too much. I would also leave out Ronda, I feel that some places have became a must only because people go there, and then others feel they also must go. I would stay longer in Sevilla anytime, this is a very nice city, the third in Spain, and one/two day seems too little time. It is too little time.
I guess it depends on each one of us.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 02:29 AM
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If this is your first visit to Spain cut the side trips, concentrate more in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona.
There is a loooot to see and do in this cities. Your many changes in a few days will make you for sure an expert in the spanish transport system but IMO it will reduce charm to your trip.
car is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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Do days 1-2 in Madrid include the day you arrive in Madrid (and are you coming from somewhere other than Europe)? If so, then you really have only a day in Madrid (which is not enough) and a couple of evenings. Now, evenings in Madrid are great because they go on forever (you can't even think of going out for dinner until 10 pm and you can keep going until the wee hours easily), but I think you're short changing Madrid a bit.

Also, whatever the internet-generated itineraries tell you in terms of the amount of time it takes to drive from A to B in Spain, you need to add at least 45 minutes to get lost on your way out of a city and 45 minutes to get lost trying to find your way into your destination and to find your hotel, plus another 30 minutes to figure out how to park the car and find your way back to the hotel. Then there's packing up and checking out time, and checking in and settling in time. So on any day when you've got a drive of more than about 90 minutes on the road, it's unlikely you'll have much time to see the sights in the next place you plan to visit (at least, not during opening hours; you'll have time to walk around in the evening).
Kate_W is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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Likewise, think about your Granada to Barcelona schedule. You'll need to drop off the rental car (at the airport or somewhere else), check in and deal with security. That means getting to the airport at least 2 hours in advance (maybe a little longer if you need to drop off the rental car - remember the part about getting lost? - maybe a little less if you can use business class check-in). So that means you're heading to the airport by 3:45-4 pm. That shortens your day considerably.

(Note 1: We once rented a car at Sants (sp?) Railway Station in Madrid. It took us an hour to find the car after we'd completed the paperwork! Note 2: I know two couples who broke up almost immediately after returning from a driving trip in Spain. At least one person in each couple said the road trip killed the relationship. Note 3: My husband and I drove in Spain on our honeymoon and survived, despite the hour-long search for the rental car in Barcelona.)
Kate_W is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Seville is not the third city in the 5th. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and then Sevilla
kenderina is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Thank you everyone for your replies! I appreciate it. Based on your responses, we'll decide on the sidetrip to Segovia as a spur of the moment thing. You're all correct in saying that 2 days (actually 1.5 days) is probably not enough for Madrid. We will also stay in Madrid and do a sidetrip to Toledo (not staying over)on Day 4 because there are no direct trains from Toledo to Cordoba. We will consider staying in Cordoba instead of stopping in; but we hear Sevilla is beautiful... We may consider dropping Ronda, but honestly, this was going to be our "breather" city to just relax and do nothing after a day of driving in the countryside.

We're not overly concern about driving- although we've had our moments of getting lost in Crete; but that's only because we had an English map and some road signs were in Greek. Speaking of Greece, we pretty much used every mode of transportation so Spain will seem like a breeze (minus any boats).

Also, when we visit a new country, we try to jam as much as possible because we never know when we will be back. We plan to see the world throughout our lives so return trips to a country may be difficult... Plus, we've already booked our flights to fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona.
minnie74 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Cordoba is a great city to walk around in, especially the old area. It is a big mistake to make it only a day trip on the way somewhere else.

I just did this 2 weeks ago. To add insult to injury I didn't find out till I got there that the Mezquita was closed because of a festival

if there is someplace to stay in the old city of Cordoba, I would do so far a day.
waynehazle is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 11:04 PM
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You are comfortable visiting many places, right? I think your itinerary is a piece of cake. I have done a similar trip and I don't like being rushed. I plan itinerary to eliminate unnecessary movements. It seems you know how to do this also.
greg is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 12:24 AM
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I agree that your itinerary is fine. I wouldn't skip Ronda. It's a logical stop en route to Granada if you're driving and is a nice overnight break.

In an ideal world, with a longer vacation, you'd want to spend a couple more days in each city. However, you'll get a taste of several great places and can always go back later if you find you want more.
Mary_Fran is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Kend, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain? Wow! I always thought it was a much smaller town.

Minnie74, consider clicking on my name for a report to most cities you plan to visit, unless you have already seen it.
Jun 11th, 2007, 12:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thank you everyone! ComfyShoes - Your post is what inspired me to add Ronda to our itinerary. You described your entire trip so eloquently that I wished we had more time to visit Jerez and other towns on your trip report.
minnie74 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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Ah.. Thank you, kind lady. You made my evening

Jun 12th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Also, be sure to check out Maribel's Guides (you can goggle them)--she used to be a regular here and her guides are a wealth of information.
artlover is offline  

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