Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Spain: Need to cut sth of my itinerary plan: should it be Toledo or Granada?

Spain: Need to cut sth of my itinerary plan: should it be Toledo or Granada?

Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 58
Spain: Need to cut sth of my itinerary plan: should it be Toledo or Granada?

I'm travelling to Spain in October with my husband and 2 kids and I think we are trying to put too many destinations in our 11-day itinerary: 2 days in Madrid, 1 in Toledo, 1 in Cordoba, 1 in Granada, 1 and 1/2 in Sevilla and 4 in Barcelona. I've already bought tickets to Barcelona, so I cannot change the number of days we'll spend there. Some of those cities will be day trips from larger cities, such as Toledo from Madrid, so we plan to sleep in 3 to 4 cities, including Barcelona. What would you cut?

I'd love to hear your opinions on that.

Daniele
danielef is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:29 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 602
That's a busy schedule to be sure. I've been to all of the places mentioned except Barcelona. Personally, I would cut anything EXCEPT Toledo and Granada (by which I mean the Alhambra). The most obvious target, given that you can't reduce the time in Barcelona, would be to cut one (or both, frankly) of the days in Madrid.
FlyFish is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,476
You can do the major sights in Toledo in less than a day if you really want to. All depends on what you are interested in. Two days in Madrid for some woulnd't be enough!

Personally, I wouldn't cut out anything. What takes some three or four days may only take you two, etc. Just be prepared to move quickly if necessary.
TopMan is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:39 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 292
It seems too little time in Granada. Bear in mind also that Granada is not served by the high speed trains, so getting there and away might take a bit longer as well. Cut toledo in favor of Granada. or cut a day in Barcelona if possible
Wildfire is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
With only 11 days and traveling with 2 children, I'd definately slow down the pace.

Personally, since I'm not a big fan of Madrid (only my opinion), I'd spend a night or 2 in Toledo, then take the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla. Stop in Cordoba for a daytrip along the way. Spend 4 nights in Sevilla from where you could do daytrips to Carmona and perhaps even a white village like Arcos. Then spend 4 days in Barcelona since you already have the tickets. (If you didn't have the Barcelona tickets then I'd definately just cut out the Barcelona part and visit all of the other cities in your original itinerary).

CathyM is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,145
To me the highlights were Barcelona and Seville.

The Alcazar was just as impressive as the Alhambra.

I would consider dropping Cordoba or Madrid.

If you drop Madrid, Toledo will probably go also.

If you can, I'd drop one day from Barcelona.

As written above, Granada is a bit of a problem as there's no high speed train going there. It takes time to get around.

We took the train from Seville to Granada. Spent the evening in Granada. Visited the Alhambra the next day and flew to Barcelona in the evening. I'm not sure if you can do it much faster thanthat without running your whole trip.

In summary, I think I'd add a day in Seville and consider dropping either Granada, Cordoba or the Madrid/Toledo part.
Myer is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 04:38 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 14
Hi Daniele,

I was going to write you personally, but I thought this might be of value for others as well. We are doing a similar itinerary with a 1 year old.

Here is what we have decided:
Arrive Madrid around 8am on Tues, get rental car and immediately drive toward Seville via Merida.

We decided that we would skip Madrid and focus more on the smaller towns and also thought the drive toward Merida would be more interesting for us. I am sure Cordoba could be just as interesting and it is a little shorter.

Sightsee and spend the night there as that would probably be all the driving we could handle with the baby for the day after the flight.

The next day continue the drive to Seville hopefully arriving there in the early afternoon. Spend the next 3 (Wed-Fri) nights in Seville with a day trip to Jerez and Arcos on Thur.

Get up bright and early on Sat and get to Granada to see the Alhambra in the afternoon/evening (buy tickets in advance). Spend Sat night in Granada.

On Sun, fly to BCN and spend the next 4 nights (Sun-Wed) there.

We are also probably doing too much, but this is what we thought was the best compromise.

Good luck and I will write you more info this weekend! I hope this helps.
lb17 is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 04:49 PM
  #8  
Chatters
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
IMHO, nobody going to Spain for the first time, for 11 days, with two kids should do North and South; should be one or the other; bad idea to do both. Since you are committed to Barcelona, stay in Madrid and day trip from there and enjoyed Madrid (Parque del Retiro, Royal palace, , etc...), daytrips to Segovia, El Escorial, Toledo, Avila. I would stay in Madrid and Barcelona, cut Andalucia, leave for another trip.
 
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Agree to cut Madrid if anything. It is the least Spanish of any of those places - frankly it reminds me of Chicao more than anyplace else.

It s a big, mostly modern city with lots of skyscrapers, that is very loud, hot and dirty. It's a great place if you're 20 something and into clubbing the night away - but having all those people shrieking in the streets from 3 to 5 am is not really the most conducive if you have other goals. We got out as soon as possible (and I have never said that about anyplace else in europe).
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:11 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
I don't understand why you're driving to Seville when it would be so much faster to either take a train (or fly)--both are around the same price. With only 11 days, I think you'd be best off flying and picking the car up when you leave Seville (having a car there would be a headache.)
artlover is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:23 PM
  #11  
cmt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,793
Do NOT eliminate Granada! It could be the highlight of this trip, and will probably impress your children, too. If you need to limit the trip, why not focus on Andalucia and eliminate the rest?

I don't know Spain well at all, and was there only once, quite long ago. I've never been to Barcelona. Of the other places you listed, I liked Madrid the least.
cmt is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:22 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,038
Your trip is fine as is !! Too many days in Barcelona, but you can't change that. Go for it !
Bedar is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 06:42 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Dear Spain Traveler,

We did Spain in 1999, 2 days in Madrid, drove and spent 1 day in Cordoba, then down to Costa Del Sol, 2 days in Granada and 2 last days back in Madrid. I would definitely see Granada and the Alhambra. Have fun and enjoy.
Poopaohoh is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 07:01 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 797
If I cut out one place it would be Cordoba. However, as others said you can stop for an afternoon there between Mardid & Sevilla. Toledo is a nice day trip from Madrid; not essential, but it's quite enjoyable. With 2 kids you probably won't hit more than 1 of the 'big 3' museums in Madrid (maybe zero), so I still think you'd find time for a day trip to Toledo. I wouldn't cut out Granada, that's for sure.
alan64 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 07:46 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,300
I agree that Granada is worth more than a day. Since Toledo is so close to Madrid, maybe you'll one to go there and save Granada for another trip.
martytravels is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 10:16 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
Danielef - the pace is not bad for me, but I was a single female traveling. However, I have a question, since I can't figure out your order.

Where are you flying to Barcelona FROM? Sevilla? If that's the case, I might, as much as I loved it, suggest skipping Granada.

Granada should be on the way to Barcelona, otherwise you are backtracking.

So:

Madrid for 3 days, including a day trip to Toledo (3 nights in Madrid).

Train to Sevilla, with a 1/2 day stop in Cordoba on the way (2 nights in Sevilla).

Drive to Granada from Sevilla, visit Alhambra and stay overnight (2 nights if you have it).

Fly to Barcelona from Granada the following night.

If you are going to Barcelona from Sevilla instead; I'd do 3 nights in Madrid with Toledo day trip (or 4 nights adding in a Segovia day trip), and 3 or 4 nights in Sevilla - using it as a base for your day trips.

Just some thoughts.

Karen
kaudrey is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 05:19 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 58
Hi, everyone!

I loved everyone's postings! I know most people feel that travelling with children is a major hassle, but we are used to do it in our family in the "backpacking" style.

We had a setback in our plans when we realized we were leaving Madrid on a Sunday, heading to Sevilla, and that Cordoba's Mezquita would be closed (it opens at 14 or 15:30h - varies according to where you find info), which practically rules Cordoba out of our itinerary. We may do it as a half-day trip from Sevilla, but we'll leave that as an option.

We decided to spend 2 nights in Madrid and visit 2 of Madrid's museums (Prado and Reina Sofia) because my 6-year-old girl loves art museums. We'll probably visit them rather fast, because most likely our 2-year-old won't share his sister's taste for art.

Then, on Sunday morning, we'll take the AVE train to Sevilla, where we'll spend 4 nights and maybe take a suicidal (OK, I know it's suicidal, I'll say it before you do it) day trip to Granada. Kids will probably fall asleep on our way back anyway. We believe that it will be less disturbing than moving all our luggage, sleeping over Granada and then heading back to Sevilla, where we'll catch a plane to Barcelona.

Finally, we'll spend 4 nights in Barcelona and fly back home. I haven't planned my stay in Barcelona yet, that's my next step.

Thank you very much for your info. It really made it clear to us that Granada was worth the trip and that sometimes "slow travelling" is best (as Bob the Navigator says).

Daniele
danielef is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2004, 06:23 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,181
danielef,

We plan to arrive in Cordoba on a Monday as well,but everything I see says the Mosque is open daily. Frommer's says, for example, that it's open from 10:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. daily in October, when we'll be visiting.

Where are you finding contrary information?
Mary_Fran is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2004, 06:36 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
Mary - she's going on Sunday, not Monday, and there are services on Sunday mornings, so the visiting hours start at 1400 on Sundays.

See http://www.spain.info/TourSpain/Arte...ba?language=EN

Karen
kaudrey is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2004, 06:54 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 797
I ws only able to do a day trip to Granada from Sevilla (I did it by train). Although staying over would have been better, a day trip to see the Alhambra was better than skipping it completely.

I'm VERY glad I went, even though it was a lot of traveling for a day trip. I think going by car would be a bit easier since you don't have a train schedule's time table to stick to. Be SURE to get advance tickets to the Alhambra. I picked mine up at a BBBV (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria)in Sevilla.
alan64 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO