Spain small group tour or go on our own

Dec 19th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Would appreciate any final comments you may have on the following itinerary:

Fly into Barcelona. Train from Barcelona to Valencia then train to Sevilla > Cordoba > Madrid May try to work in Toledo if we have the time.

Not sure how much time we would spend in each area - would like to be flexable. However, how easy is it to make train reservations when you are there and from each city a day or two ahead??? If we buy tickets on-line and have them sent to us here in the USA we would be locked into a specific time frame. Will check out the sites recommended by some of you to see how often trains run from each of these cities.

Will leave Portugal for another trip.

How does 4-23 June 2013 sound for Weather and time to really experience these cities??
Anyplace we have left out that you all say "If you go to Spain you must see................"??
Howell is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
There are only two trains from Valencia to Sevilla. You'll have to be up early to catch the AVE hight speed train that only runs in the morning, but it puts you in Seville before lunch. But if you want to visit Cordoba for a day, then you might just want to buy a ticket to Cordoba and take the train into Sevilla the next day. Then you can take the AVE directly to Madrid when you're ready to depart Sevilla.

You're best off either booking the discount tickets on each train as soon as they become available, or possibly purchase the new Renfe Spain Pass. If you buy your tickets online, through, they can be printed off at anytime.

You need to be aware that it will be very warm in Sevilla by mid June, but as far as leaving out anyplace you should see? Yes, the list is nearly endless.
Robert2533 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,295
If you REALLY want to go to Portugal you can easily FLY between Madrid and Lisbon on a budget flight on Easyjet and those prices are often matched on that route by Iberia.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
I second my earlier suggestion. Add in Granada as it would be a shame to miss this gem in Andalucia. You could take an overnight train from Valencia to Granada. Then take the bus or train from Granada to Sevilla. You could visit Cordoba as a daytrip from Sevilla or instead of backtracking visit en route from Sevilla to Madrid and put your luggage in a storage locker.
CathyM is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 05:35 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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>>I second my earlier suggestion.<<

Advice so nice she gave it twice. Heck, give yourself a third vote, too!
Aramis is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
Aramis -

So, I should have said "reiterate".

Let me expand, if you will, if it were me and I had to choose I'd drop Valencia and add Granada. It fits better logistically. But I think with 19 days and the locations listed there should be enough room to add Granada and have a moderate paced trip. If the trip is in the beginning of May Granada has the May crosses festival, a wonderful time to visit.
CathyM is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,302
To expand on what CathyM wrote:
To miss the Alhambra in Granada would be like skipping the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It is simply the greatest Moorish Palace in the world. It is a world class, "Don't miss" sight.
Allow at least two nights in Granada so you can visit the palace at night as well as in the day.

The cathedral in Toledo is the same. It is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world. If you are not stopped dead in your tracks when you look up into the transparente, I would be stunned. It is another, world class, "don't miss" place. I like Toledo at night, but the easy (short train ride from Madrid) will at least let you see the cathedral and a bit of the city as a day trip.

Cordoba is interesting, but IMHO, not nearly as interesting as Toledo or Segovia and a day trip from Seville works fine to see the mosque.

Cars are a pain in all the cities. Cities are all easy to get around. Trains are great from place to place. The only place I enjoy a car is for little towns on the coast south of Seville. These towns are fun at night when everything is open very, very late and people are out enjoying the night. Be prepared. Dinner is very late. 8:00 PM is early.
Sassafrass is offline  

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