Spain- Need Help w/ itinerary

Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Spain- Need Help w/ itinerary

Hello Friends,

I am planning a trip to Spain from April 10 to April 18 (8 days to be exact). I wanted to see what places do you recommend we should visit. People recommended three other places besides Madrid and Barcelona, and those places are Seville, Granada, and Valencia.

Any recommendations? I love spanish culture and want to see some touristy places, and see some culture up close.

After planning on what places to go to, I am sure I will have other questions.

Please help...
Thank you
wparmar is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:45 PM
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8 days is not a long time to see much of Spain - a large country with different regions and cultures.
If you are looking for what is touristy called "real" Spain, you might consider Andalucia : Seville. Cordoba, Granada, or split you time between Madrid ( with visits to Toledo or Segovia) and a city with a different culture than Madrid : Barcelona.
danon is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:48 PM
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Spain is a pretty big country. Eight days isn't very long. I think you could visit Barcelona and Madrid (with day trip to Toledo), or Madrid, Seville and Granada, but do you have eight full days on the ground?
If Granada isn't a must see, you could visit Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Seville, perhaps even Cordoba.
How many in your group? Are you renting a car? Are you flying into Madrid and out of ?
Sassafrass is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
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oh-oh. Don't tell them in Barcelona you love "spanish culture". Or maybe anywhere outside Madrid.

Spain is very regional. You know, there was a civil war and then a crushing dictatorship to force these people be be one country, and terrorism even today against the main government. In Catalan country around Barcelona and Valencia, and in the Basque country up around Bilbao and San Sebastian, people are touchy about this. Other places you might feel it less, but underneath it's there.

How about Madrid for 3-4 days with a day trip to Toledo, Segovia or some other place that appeals to you from guidebooks (Franco's shrine, LOL!)

And then take the fast train to Sevilla, with a day trip to Cordoba, then get yourself to Granada and back to Madrid.
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 04:49 PM
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For 8 days you''re going to have to make some choices. We've been to Andalusia twice - once for 10 days and once for 12 - and still have more to see. Of you could do Madrid and Barcelona (but skimping on each when you conisider days trips). In 8 days there's no way would do more than 2 hotels - otherwise you spend half your time checking in/out, finiding hotels, making your way to and fro train stations and airports - or just looking out of transit windows.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:17 PM
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Thanks you all for a quick response. I know that we only have 8 days and that is not enough to see the whole country but I thought I will take guidance for you all, the experts.
It will be just me and my husband (30 year old)
Fly from JFK on April 9 to MAdrid, we will reach Madrid on April 10 around 8:00 am. We might stay at Hilton hotel (becoz of points). We will leave Madrid on April 18 morning.
We could rent a car or take trains. What would be the best way?
Also, what would you prefer to see beautiful Spain- Seville OR Granada OR Valencia?

Just for your reference what we like- Last year we went to Greece and we saw history and culture in Athens and then beautiful views at Mykonos and Santorini (all in 8-9 days). Museums are low on the list, we can see the top rated one. But this trip is more about enjoying the sights, history, culture, people and not to forget FOOD!

Please keep writing your thoughts...
Also, please recommend any websites to plan...
Thank you!!!!!
wparmar is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:27 PM
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I'd choose Sevilla over both Granada and Valencia. April would be a great time to visit the south weather-wise. You could spend 4 nights in Madrid (with daytrips to Segovia & Toledo), 3 in Sevilla then head back to Madrid for your final night. All of this could be done via train (or bus).

However, you throw a curve ball in when you mention (very enthusiastically) food.....If food is a focus I'd had north to San Sebastian for arguably some of the best food choices in the world.

Sevilla and San Sebastian are very different - but two of my favorite cities in all of Spain.
CathyM is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:45 PM
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At the top of this page is a box that reads view by country. Put in Spain. Read some previous thoughts, so you can narrow down what you may like, then specific advice can be given.

Everyone has there favorite places but limit yourself to two areas max.

And with so little time either fly or take trains depending on final plans.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:09 PM
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don't necessarily think only in terms of cities. in small towns lies real life.
jubilada is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:19 PM
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If museums are "low on your list", skip Madrid. It has got several of the greatest museums in Europe, and not much else, except it does have FOOD. I think outside of San Sebastian and the rest of that coast, Madrid has got Spain's best food.

Have you looked into staying at the Parador in the Alhambra in Granada? (FOOD there isn't bad.) I've never thought much of the food in Andulucia, but the cultural treasure is amazing. Do you like gardens at all.

Consider 3 nights in Madrid to eat, head to Sevilla, get to the Alhambra in Granada. Get back to Madrid for on last meal and go home.

Or figure out a way to see both San Sebastian and Cordoba and the Alhambra. Probably hard, but a whopper combo of great food (SS) and great sights (Cordoba and Alhambra).
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:52 PM
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don't necessarily think only in terms of cities. in small towns lies real life.

This type of comment drives me crazy. I live in NYC and my life is real. People who live in Madrid and Barcelona lead real lives and so do people who live in a five house town.

They are all real, they just differ.

The Parador in the Alhambra is one of the hardest to secure a room.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:10 PM
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"The Parador in the Alhambra is one of the hardest to secure a room."

But it's always worth trying. I agree, Aduchamp, about our comment that some tiny towns are more real than big cities. Exceptions are places completely overwhelmed by tourism. That's not real, LOL!
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:10 PM
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Since you have to be back in Madrid the evening of the 17th for departure on the 18th, I suggest you head straight to Seville the day you arrive and do all your time in Madrid at the end of your trip, so you don't have to check into hotels twice in Madrid.
Just a rough start:
April 10, 11, 12 (Nights in Seville)
Leave Seville late in the day on the 13th, just in time to get to Granada for diner. That way, you have two days total in Seville.
13 & 14 Nights in Granada
Leave Granada early as possible on the 15th, so you have the afternoon/evening in Madrid
15, 16, 17, Nights in Madrid with day trip to Toledo or Segovia or both.
Depart 18th.

From this, you can think more about what you really want, and then perhaps say, OK, forget Madrid. Let's extend time in Andalucia and also see Cordoba.

On the other hand, you wouldn't go wrong spending it half in Madrid and half in Barcelona. If I were doing that, I would go ahead and fly on to Barcelona on day one.

Honestly, you can't go wrong. Spain is such a lovely country, and you are going at a nice time of year.
Sassafrass is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 08:21 PM
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The Feria in Sevilla is from April 20-25, will they get caught in the high prices and no rooms?

Real Life

Our cousins have a small dairy farm in Galicia and there live is too real. It is a brutal life tied to the needs of the cows and the work is endless. It is any thing but quaint.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:35 AM
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Given you only have 8 days I would just divide it between two bases, Madrid and Sevilla. Frankly, The south is not my preferred area of Spain, I would much rather recommend the north. But given time of year you are going, that is a good time weather wise to see some of the South. Maybe go to Sevilla first (train or connect so you don't run into problems with the Feria. You could be 4 days in Sevilla, with day trip to Cordoba. 4 days in Madrid, from where you could do day trips to Toledo, Segovia, Avila (not all of them).

I wouldn't stay in the Hilton by the airport, unless you can't find accommodations in Madrid proper that fit your budget.It will take time away from your enjoyment of the city.
cruiseluv is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:53 AM
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My comment about real life meant this: when people travel , especially to Europe , they often go from city to city, tourist site to tourist site. I didn't mean to exclude cities ( I grew up in
New York) but not to exclude small towns where one does not see so many other tourists and can get a feel for that part of a country's life, and where there is often GREAT food and wine at a reasonable price. I have felt more connected to local people travelling in small towns, they are not burnt out on tourists and may take the time to chat. And I didn't say anything about quaint. But I am sorry to have offended.
jubilada is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:42 AM
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It is just that I often see that sentiment suggested.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:46 AM
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wparmar, what you need to do is read about these places and select those that YOU would most like to see. Then ask fodorites for help putting them together.
You seem to be interested in Andalucia, so I suggest combining Madrid with Sevilla and Granada, but do some research into the feria, as that may make Sevilla problematic.
With 8 days, I think 3 places is the max you should visit, and no need for a rental car--all are well connected by train and bus.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 08:28 AM
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I like Sassafras' itinerary best. 3 nights in Seville, 2 in Granada and 2 in Madrid is the perfect first trip to Spain (although not long enough). If you can stay at the Parador in Granada that would be good. If not, try to stay in a hotel/hostal that is a classic Andalucian house with indoor patio/garden/fountains. Muy Andaluz!
Egbert is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 05:20 PM
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WOW! Thanks for so any recommendations....I feel I am getting somewhere.
One person recommended Barcelona...and the rest recommended to stay in Madrid, Seville and Granada... Any reasons why?

Can you help us choose between these two options

Option 1- Madrid 2 days + day trip to Toledo (fast train) + day trip to Seville (fast train) + 3 days in Barcelona, back to Madrid --- either fly to madrid first or fly to barcelona first.

Option 2- Madrid (2 days), Seville (3 days), Granada (3 days), back to Madrid...

What will you choose? It seems we might have to come back again....

ALso, we would like to know if we need 6 days to see Seville and Granada? Or should we be spending more time somewhere else.

Thanks again for ALL YOUR HELP!!!!!
wparmar is offline  

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