Spain, Portugal in April

Sep 8th, 2019, 12:35 PM
  #1  
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Spain, Portugal in April

Husband and I (mid-70's) planning to fly to Barcelona, rent a car, meander toward Toledo(granddaughter there) and Madrid, fly from Madrid to Lisbon, then rent car and make a circle including Obidos and unnamed picturesque villages, fly out of Lisbon. We have 3 weeks, give or take. Our priority, outside of the 3 major cities mentioned, is beautiful, small villages, lovely lodgings, friendly people, good food. Did I mention beautiful small villages? Would like to perch in a particularly nice spot for 3-4 days. Thanks for help finding villages and lodgings.
gardngrl is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 12:48 PM
  #2  
 
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We too, are planning a visit to Portugal and Spain, and currently overwhelmed with possibilities, so count me along for the ride.
Melnq8 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 01:48 PM
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I would fly from Barcelona to Madrid and use Madrid as a home base to visit the many nearby towns by train or bus. The buses and trains are nothing like the states and are comfortable, modern, and reliable. A car is often a liability in old towns that were meant for cars and trucks.

I also think that visiting more than one or two pueblos blancos is over rated. Look for other attractions in those towns.

Remember you will pay a stiff drop off fee when you rent in Spain and drop in Portugal. You will probably pay a drop off fee within Spain.

Whatever you do, do not rent a car until you leave Toledo. A beautiful hilly town that is not kind to cars.
IMDonehere is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 03:23 PM
  #4  
 
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From Barcelona meander towards Lleida and Alcaniz, spend the night at the Alcaniz parador.
After that head to Teruel, stay two or three nights at the parador. Take the towers tour, read about the Lovers of Teruel.

Daytrip to nearby Albarracin, explore Albarracin Cultural Park and its rock paintings discovered in the 19th century.

Head to Zaragoza, a wonderful town with a beautiful cathedral and plaza, spend a couple of nights at the Catalonia el Pilar hotel.
Day trip to Huesca and Loarre Castle.

After that, a night at the Siguenza parador. Find out when is the Cathedral tour, (usually a hand written sign) and enjoy its fantastic art collection.
Hike in the Hoz de Pelegrina area, a few kilometers from Siguenza.

If you are interested in history, google "Battle of Samossiera"

Good luck doing that with a bus.

FYI, that hill that Toledo is standing on,i s a giant underground parking lot, you exit right at the escalators which bring you into the heart of the city.
cdnyul is online now  
Sep 8th, 2019, 04:24 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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Barcelona itself can easily take 5 full days, particularly if you are jet-lagged upon arrival, and you have multiple options for day trips (Montserrat, Tarragona, Figueres, Girona....) to add on to that. Depending on when you go, parts of the Costa Brava might meet your interests, and that, too, warrants multiple days. Madrid itself can easily take 4 full days, not counting day trips, and although many people visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid, I'm glad I had 2 very full days there, so 3 or even 4 nights is not unreasonable. Salamanca isn't small, though the core is quite walkable, so it might meet your interest in a place to perch. Sorry, but I haven't been to Portugal yet.

If you don't already have it, I strongly recommend the Michelin Green Guides -- they provide the kind of information that it sounds like you are seeking.
kja is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 05:40 PM
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cdnyul

Yes, if you chose selected places places, car would be advantageous as opposed to the other places she is visiting.
IMDonehere is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 12:29 PM
  #7  
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What is the best way to take day trips from Barcelona? We don't want to have a car there. Train? Bus? tour? private driver?
gardngrl is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 01:41 PM
  #9  
 
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Here's link to our Montserrat half-day trip by train.

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/cha...rrat-montjuic/
maitaitom is online now  
Sep 9th, 2019, 01:56 PM
  #10  
 
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We took a train from Barcelona to Girona, Sitges and Tarragona
Easy .

danon is online now  
Sep 9th, 2019, 06:04 PM
  #11  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by gardngrl View Post
What is the best way to take day trips from Barcelona? We don't want to have a car there. Train? Bus? tour? private driver?
You can identify your public transportation options on rome2rio.com -- just be sure to click through to the underlying links, as the main web page is not sensitive to seasonal variation in schedules.

For wonderfully detailed instructions on getting to Montserrat from Barcelona, see
https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide....ontserrat.html
kja is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 10:21 PM
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by gardngrl View Post
What is the best way to take day trips from Barcelona? We don't want to have a car there. Train? Bus? tour? private driver?

Which one? There is no universal answer.

I'm not sure why flying to Madrid was mentioned. It's a three hour train ride. You'll need to be at the airport two hours in advance. Plus the time to and from the airport. Flying will tend to be longer.
Traveler_Nick is online now  
Sep 10th, 2019, 05:01 PM
  #13  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
There is no universal answer.
Except, perhaps, to check rome2rio.com
kja is offline  
Sep 11th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #14  
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Spain , Portugal

Thanks much for your generous responses.
gardngrl is offline  
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