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Toledo, Segovia, San Sebastian - route planning advice?

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Jul 12th, 2004, 08:24 AM
  #1
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Toledo, Segovia, San Sebastian - route planning advice?

Hello,

We'd like to go to the following cities (starting out from Madrid):

Toledo
Segovia
Salamanca
San Sebastian
and maybe even Santander

What route do you suggest? Should we rent a car or take trains and buses? Can we fit all of this into 4-5 days? (I know it's not ideal, but this will be after an 11-day tour, and 4-5 days is all we've got afer).

My plan is to go to Toledo by bus (sleep there), then go to Segovia (train or bus), and then rent a car in Segovia and take 2 or 3 days to go to San Sebastian and return to Madrid. I've never been to Spain, so I don't know if this is feasible or too rushed. Also maybe the train would be better to San Sebastian??

Any advice appreciated.
By the way, this will be in early October. We won't have any reservations, so we'll be completely flexible.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Since you only have 4-5 days, I recommend you either stick with Toledo/Segovia/Salamanca or you take the hour flight from Madrid to San Sebastian. Selecting between the two options depends on what you like to do. If food is important, San Sebastian has no equal. From San Sebastian it's an easy day trip to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim. We spent 6 nights in San Sebastian and can't wait to return. Toledo, Segovia and Salamanca are historic cities with lots to see and four days would just give you a taste. Given your time constraints consider one or the other, but not both!
Marija is online now  
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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I agree--that is too much. I would stay in centro Spain. I spent 8 days in just Madrid, Segovia, Avila, and Salamanca. I would drive after Madrid.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Deep down I knew that the time is not enough for what I want to see, but it's so hard to chose between chic and sophisticated and romantic/historic.

Is it true that it's cheaper to rent a car from North America? Can't you haggle once you get there considering that it won't be high season?

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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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I would book in advance from here. I always use Autoeurope, but this one time I did use Easycar.com and saved about $150. Salmanca was the highlight to me--we had done Toledo before.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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I don't know what 4-5 days means: Does it mean you will be flying out day five or maybe it means day one will only be a partial day??

If you want to go to the north coast from Madrid, Bilbao has more flights than San Sebastian or Santander. You can rent a car in Bilbao and drive to San Sebastian or Santander.

Buses and trains are almost out of the question if you want to try to visit all the places you list in 4-days. So you might also consider a car rental for Segovia and Toledo. Of course Tour Operators in Madrid offer daytrips to both Segovia and Toledo, but in October they might not operate every day.

In summary: I think you're trying to fit too much in too short a period of time. You should concentrate either on the North Coast or on the Madrid area. That's just one man's opinion but I've been to all the places you list (been there; done that).
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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I dont have a map in front of me,but we did Toledo,Salamanca and then Segovia..Avila was in there too. Rented a car.It was very easy once you got out of the city,but I will admit that was very difficult..We used Hertz that time ,AutoEurope this time,which covered our car 'crunch'..
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Jul 14th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

how about this itinerary:
Madrid
Segovia
Avila
Salamanca
(maybe Caceres)
Toledo
back to Madrid.

I'd like to take buses and trains, but my travel partner wants to drive (rent a car). He is a very experienced driver, and actually would like to rent a motorbike or scooter for the entire trip. I don't know about that...
Any suggestions? Is parking difficult and expensive in these cities in October?

lindi
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Jul 14th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Hi, Haven't read every reply carefully, but will tell you my experience and 2 cents worth of advice. In late March we spent 2 days in Madrid, rented a car when we left, drove to Toledo for 2 days and then to Segovia for 2 days spending a few hours in Avila and El Escorial on the way. So it was only an evening and full day in Segovia, but it was enough. Drove with no map or Spanish speaking skills. Asked how to get to Highways and from there the road signs were good enough to get us to exactly where we needed to be.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 10:15 AM
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sounds good. Segovia yes one day and evening. The gardens at the palace just down the road should not be missed. The fountains are incredible!!

Avila just a day ,to even just have lunch at and walk around would be enough I think.
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Jul 16th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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lindilindi writes: "We'd like to go to the following cities ... Can we fit all of this into 4-5 days?

I've never been to Spain, so I don't know if this is feasible or too rushed. Any advice appreciated.... "

What you are describing is a 'if it's Tuesday this must be Belgium' type of tour.

You may pass thru all the cities you have listed; you may even have time to take some fotos, mark the city names off on your checklist as places in Spain you have visited and tell your friends and neighbors about them when you get back home. But that last claim would not really be honest.

It is my personal opinion that one can not 'rush' cities like San Sebastian or Salamanca or even moreso, Madrid. You must stop and smell the roses! Listen to the local music (San Sebastian: Basque) and sample the local cuisine. Spend a day or two in the smaller cities to get their flavor. I consider Madrid a 3-day minimum city with a full day added for Toledo and another for Segovia. You must eat the suckling pig or lamb at el Meson del Duque and learn about the Queimada Gallega.

Madrid's weather is nice in October. Unless you go to Santiago de Compostela for the Jubilee Year that ends in November, my advice would be to forget about the north coast for this trip. Visit the Palacio Real, the Museo del Prado, the Centro de Arte de la Reina Sofia and the Thyssen collection. If you have a Sunday AM free, visit el Parque del Buen Retiro see the Mimes and listen to the Music. Spend some time in Madrid de los Austrias (old Madrid) and enjoy without rushing about. You should also be able to fit in some shopping at el Corte Ingles (Puerta del Sol)

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Jul 28th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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NEDSIRELAND: I was just overtaken by the "kid in the candy-shop" syndrome.

Now I have my sight on beautiful Costa Brava, but I know it would be next to impossible to explore the area in 4-5 days. I wish I had more time.
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