Spain or Portugal and Spain

Feb 15th, 2006, 05:05 PM
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Posts: 11
Spain or Portugal and Spain

We are having a slight problem in choosing a 16 day Spain tour or a 14 day tour of Spain and Portugal. Our itinerary for Spain would be: Madrid - Toledo
Burgos - Santander
Bilbao - San Sebastian
Pamplona - Zaragoza
Barcelona - Peniscola
Valencia - Granada
Torremolinos - Gibraltar
Seville - Cordoba
Would you advise seeing just one country, a little of 2 or less of 3 (Morocco)? Does the Spain itinerary contain good choices or would it be wiser to skip some locations? If so, which would be not worthwhile visiting? Which should not be missed? Cordoba is a given, as that is my Father-in-law's birthplace. Would the 16 day tour be too hectic? These would all be escorted tours. Sorry for all the questions, but we are so undecided. Would certainly appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Corryn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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In my opinion, you should keep the focus in Spain
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I agree with the above poster. Not enough time to experience both.
artlover is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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With all you are going to see (and that is a lot of places), Portugal is a stretch and Morocco even moreso. Stick to Spain and enjoy the whirlwind. Good for you for hitting Zaragoza! I love it there!

laclaire is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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If you plan your trip logically, you should be able to cover a lot of what you want during a 14 to 16 day tour, but as already pointed out, it's best to concentrate on a smaller portion of Spain. Portugal should be saved for another adventure.

You don't indicate when you will be traveling, but if it is during the summer months, and you are arriving in Madrid, then I would stick with northern Spain, Madrid and Toledo, then on to Burgos, Logroño/Laguardia, Pamplona, San Sebastian-Donostia, Bilbao, Santander, La Coruña and Santiago.

Save Barcelona, Valencia and the Costa del Sol for another trip during the spring or fall when you have a little more time to enjoy the area.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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Thanks, all, for the advice. For further info, we will be traveling during October. Is this a desirable time? We are not hot weather fans, so I thought this would be in our best interest. However, will we hit the rainy season? One more question, please...........could you give me some help in regard to gratuities? What is a proper percentage in this beautiful country? Once more, I say thank you.
Corryn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 10:54 PM
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For October, I'd head south to Andalucia, but inland Spain (Madrid, La Rioja and Extremadura) is also very nice.

Gratuities! Tipping is Spain is pretty straightforward. Do what the locals do. You can leave an extra 2, 3 or up to 5 euros for an excellent dinner, but no more. A doorman, taxi driver, concierge, 1 to 2 euros tops.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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I'm not a fan of 'escorted' tours: I spent enough time in the Military to dislike being awakened by some 'Duty Sergeant-type' to go for breakfast and GET ON THE BUS! I have seen groups on escorted tours in Spain and other countries of Europe and they are just too regimented for me.

High season is ended in October. One can get some real bargain Hotel stays then. So, why an escorted tour? And why one that skips Galicia completely?

We have had the Concierge at more than one 4-or-5 Star hotel arrange tickets and (travel) reservations to our next destination and even (in 1-case) pick up our tix.

Skip Morocco! Skip Portugal! Try to find a tour that includes Galicia (and specifically Santiago de Compostela).

Thumbs down: Torremolinos & Gibraltar

NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 03:35 AM
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Is this a single-booking with the escorted tour or multiple little tours.

Why Santander? I would rather go to Leon, or even better to Santiago de Compostela.

On such a tight schedule I would skip Gibraltar. IMO, the view of The Rock from the Spanish coast is a lot nicer than Gibraltar itself. If the jagged coast line is what you are seeking the Basque coast has a lot more stunning views to offer. Again, these are my personal preferences.
marigross is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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Torremolinos and Gibraltar are pretty decrepid. When I went to Gibraltar I was just happy to have access to cheap Cadbury chocolate. Other than that, it is a bust. In fact, we went up the rock and toured it, and on the way down a monkey attacked me and stole my chocolate (cheeky monkey!). Torremolinos has a beach and that is it. No partcularly good food, and though the nighlife is awesome, it gets old.

I would get rid of that plan and give myself the extra days so that when you say "I love Barcelona" you won't have to turn around and leave.

Stay a while!

laclaire is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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Oh! You are going in October. . . prepare for layers because it will be chilly in Burgos and still nice down in Valencia and south.

My favorite month in Spain is November. No one is on vacation and it takes on a new character. October is a little like that. . .
laclaire is offline  
Feb 16th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Hi Corryn,

I cant really speak much about northern spain, of which im sure its beautiful, but I live on the Costa de la Luz which is not visited as often as a lot of the other Costas and therefore is very unspoilt with long white sandy beaches and very few people. Sevilla is a great city with lots of historical buildings and some good shopping. so from Granada, drive straight to Sevilla then from there head down the motorway and go to Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe (allegedly). Cadiz isnt a big city but if u r in the region dont miss it. From Cadiz head down the coast road and drive to Vejer de la Frontera on the hilltop (a white town with stunning views). If you then continue down the coast you could pop into Tarifa (the southern most town in Europe & surfers paradise) and then if u wanted to and u had time you could do Gibraltar and Torremolinos afterwards. A day trip to Morocco (Tangiers) is fine but a word of warning, its a loooong day and Tangiers isnt the prettiest looking town in the world, although just for a change of culture its quite fun. Valencia is great city as is Granada, dont know about the others. hope this helps.

CostaLuzSpain is offline  
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