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candj83 Jan 24th, 2016 11:05 AM

Structuring Spain Itinerary
DH and I would like to visit Spain for an early April trip. It would be a first trip to Spain for both of us; 4th trip to Europe together and we're in our early 30s. Settled on an itinerary of Madrid with a day-trip to Segovia (3 nights), Granada (2 nights), Barcelona (4 nights).

Option 1: Fly directly into Granada, fly to Barcelona, train to Madrid, fly home from Madrid (get home 7pm).
Option 2: Fly directly into Madrid, train to Granada, fly to Barcelona, fly home from Barcelona (get home 10pm).

We have to work the next day, (Monday, UGH) so getting home a little earlier is attractive. Hoping to hear from experienced Spain travelers to see if there is anything that makes one itinerary make more sense than the other, or if they're both fairly equal. Granada will be busy as a first stop because I'd hoped to do both a night visit and a day visit to the Alhambra.

kja Jan 24th, 2016 01:30 PM

Two considerations come to mind: (1) Many things in Spain are closed on Mondays and part or all of Sundays -- will the things you want to see be open when you would be there? (2) Can you get tickets for the Alhambra?


Christina Jan 24th, 2016 01:44 PM

(1) is a lot easier logistically and saves time, so that's what I would do. There is no easy or quick train trip from Madrid to Granada, but I presume you know that. There are no direct trains, you have to transfer at least once. Probably will take you about 4.5 hours. The fastest trains take about 4 hrs(still need a transfer) but I don't think are at likely times for you to catch one after arriving from a flight. BUt the fast train from Barcelona to Madrid is direct and easy and only takes about 2.5 hours.

Robert2533 Jan 24th, 2016 01:52 PM

Flying into Granada is a good idea (Option 1), but that first day will be a long one, and depending on where you're flying in from, rather tiring since you will be connecting through Madrid or Barcelona.

As noted, the first thing you need to do is see if you can get tickets to the Alhambra on the day you want. Early April is not that far away and tickets sell out quickly. At least you'll miss the crowds during Holy Week.

candj83 Jan 24th, 2016 02:00 PM

Kja, good points for consideration! I had checked day times for Alhambra (those are available) but didn't think to look at night visits (rookie-mistake!). Night visits aren't available for Monday, making Option 1 a better choice for visiting. From what I've read, several sights are closed in Barcelona on Mondays, so that means we will have to carefully plan our days in Barcelona with Option 1.

Christina, good points on travel time savings! Yes, flying would be much faster than the train. I just compared flight arrival times and it is a difference of less than an hour to arrive Granada versus Madrid, so that would save us a few hours of travel time. And, we'd get back home at a better time at the end of our trip, so win-win.

Thank you both! Great, helpful replies.

candj83 Jan 24th, 2016 02:04 PM

Robert, thank you as well. I missed your reply while I was responding. I was surprised when comparing flight times that flying into Granada only adds a little less than an hour of time to our overall travel time for our first leg. Yes, we would connect through Madrid. We would have 1 hour 5 minute layover in Madrid to catch our flight to Granada, booking with AA but it looks like our flight into Madrid and then onto Granada would be Iberia. Hopefully that would be enough time? I have read that the Madrid airport is very large.

Robert2533 Jan 25th, 2016 07:57 AM

No problem if flying on one ticket (AA/Iberia). You will be able to make the connection, or AA/Iberia will make other arrangements should anything happen.

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