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Spain / Portugal advice

Old Jan 6th, 2018, 10:43 AM
  #21  
kja
 
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@ Masterphil: Are you sure you can see what you want in Spain in the time you have? For example, visiting the magnificent Alhambra takes the better part of a day, so you really need 2 nights there, 3 if you want to see any of Granada’s other treasures. And are you sure you want a car for your time in Spain? It won’t be much help in the cities and you have some wonderful public transportation options. Too, you will likely pay an arm and a leg to rent a car in Spain and return in Portugal.
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Old Jan 6th, 2018, 11:02 AM
  #22  
 
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kja....I was waiting for your response! (you always tell me (rightfully so) that I am not spending enough time in a city)

Once we retire to Portugal, I will have all of the time in the world to spend the amount of time you spend on your vacations.

My thought was...If I go to Portugal and don't go to Spain. Somewhere down the road something unexpected happens and I never get to Spain. Am I better off at least seeing those cities if even for just 1 night or am I better off not seeing them?

Thanks for your help with Krakow! That was a wonderful city! Didn't get to see "The Lady." We shall return however!

All the best!
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Old Jan 6th, 2018, 11:19 AM
  #23  
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@ Masterphil: The question of whether it is better to have a glimpse or not is, IMO, a very personal one. I'm very fortunate to be able to travel as I do, but I haven't always been able to do so and I know, very well, the dilemmas posed by the thought that I might not return. That idea makes me want to maximize the time I have to actually see and experience the places that I choose to see, while minimizing the time spent traveling between places. As a result, I choose to skip some places entirely, even if I am sure I would enjoy them. I’ve also realized that if I can return to a region, the LAST thing that I am likely to want to do is spend my time re-tracing all that extra travel time so that I can go back and finally see the things I skipped the first time. In fact, I might end up not returning specifically because it would mean wasting so much time going from place to place! But that's JMO. No right or wrong answers -- just different preferences. And thanks for letting me know that my comments about Krakow proved useful -- I agree that it is a wonderful city.

@ millie2112: I hope you don't mind the digression!
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Old Jan 6th, 2018, 12:23 PM
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Thanks, kja! I always value your opinions!

You provide wonderful advice to all on this forum!
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Old Jan 6th, 2018, 02:14 PM
  #25  
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@ Masterphil: That’s kind of you – thanks! I’ve received so much helpful advice here on Fodor’s over the years that its nice to be able to give back a bit.
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 01:51 AM
  #26  
 
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We went on a 25 day trip to Spain (Andalucia), Morocco and Portugal last Sept.
Granada 3 nights (train)
Cordoba 2 nights (train)
Ronda 1 night (train to Algeciras, shuttle bus to Tarifa, Ferry to Tangier)
Tangier, Morocco 3 nights (ferry back to Tarifa, bus to Cadiz)
Cadiz 1 night (train)
Sevilla 4 nights (Flight to Porto via Lisbon)
Porto 2 nights (bus)
Fatima 3 nights (bus)
Lisbon 4 nights (visited Sintra and Cascais)
Fly home

We went on a pilgrimage at Fatima, so that can be substituted with Coimbra or other cities.
You can also substitute Morocco for more nights in Cadiz and add Jerez.

This itinerary really worked for us. Just enough time for most places. I would have added another night in Porto though. It’s beautiful there.

We didn’t include Barcelona or Madrid on the trip because we plan to return and visit it with the northern cities. We wanted to explore Andalucia first since it’s closer to Portugal.

Hope this helps
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 04:13 AM
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Bookmarking. Thanks for all the tips!
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 04:17 AM
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One night stands certainly do work - but not a string of them, especially not in larger cities. I've had many trips that included one night visits - in fact the trip I'm planning for this summer includes a few. It's nice to see a town in the evening as well as the day, if it's a very popular place then it's nice to be there when the day trippers have left, and it can save excess driving.

The original itinerary posted by millie looks OK to me, I would do that one. There are several longer stays between the one nighters, and the one night stays are in small towns (we loved Marvão and one night was perfect there - arrived mid afternoon, explored, nice dinner, another walk in the morning and left). The Seville-Cordoba-Grananda portion is a bit rushed but not crazy, and the rest looks fine.

The itinerary posted by masterphil though does not look reasonable to me. There are too many one nighters, some of them are in cities (much more to see than small villages, plus takes longer to get and out of them, etc.), and the distances between places are rather far apart so lots more driving than in the first itinerary. A total of three nights for Seville, Cordoba and Granada is crazy. I'm frequently considered a 'fast' traveler compared to many people yet I spent 8 nights between those three cities and could have spent more. Seville and Marvão are not equal. One makes a good one night stop, the other absolutely not.
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Old Jan 8th, 2018, 09:42 AM
  #29  
 
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Changed my itinerary and created a new post! In retrospect, I guess my plans were a little too aggressive.

I cut out Granada and Cordoba completely and will drive direct to Seville from Malaga and stay 2 nights.

Determining whether driving through Ronda would be better than the direct route from Malaga to Seville.

Thanks everyone!
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Old Jan 8th, 2018, 12:57 PM
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via Ronda would be sweet as from Seville the main way goes right thru those iconic white villages (which are nice to see en route but many think there is not much there there in the actual towns). I took bus Seville-Ronda and was happy to see them from the bus which stopped briefly in a few.
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Old Jan 8th, 2018, 01:36 PM
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Thanks PalenQ! I think it is about a one hour longer drive from Malaga to Seville via Ronda.

Maybe I will stay in Marbella the first night instead of Malaga just to get closer to Ronda.
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Old Jan 8th, 2018, 04:47 PM
  #32  
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@ Masterphil: You are doing it again – trying to add in and add in and add int, even though you have very limited time in Spain. If you must see Ronda, do so, but consider skipping Marbella.... I'm about to respond to your new post.

@ Millie: Again, sorry that your thread has been hijacked. Please let us know if you want further information from us.
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