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My first Spain trip

Mumbai, India
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My first Spain trip

Greetings everybody,

Thanks to this forum, I have learnt a great deal about trip planning, and below is my first attempt to chalk out a rough itinerary for my trip to Spain in September.

Firstly about us – We are a couple in early 30s. As much as we love travelling, we are not too much into museums and art. We love visiting small towns, beaches, beautiful landscapes, enjoy local food and wine.

While we try to keep things at a relaxed pace, we also want to see as much as possible…so here it goes…..

Day 1 – Arrive in Madrid in afternoon. Relax the rest of the day. Sleep in Madrid.

Day 2 – Madrid city tour (not much into museums, so don’t know if we want to visit the famous Prado museum) or just roam about the city. Sleep in Madrid.

Day 3 – Day trip to Toledo. Sleep in Madrid.

Day 4 – I’m keeping this day for Madrid as well. Might take a day trip to Segovia. Sleep in Madrid.

Day 5 – Take morning train to Cordoba. Store luggage in the lockers at the train station. Full day in Cordoba. Take evening train to Seville. Sleep in Seville.

Day 6 – Full day in Seville. Sleep in Seville.

Day 7 - Full day in Seville. Evening flamenco show. Sleep in Seville.

Day 8 – Bus or rent a car for a day trip to Ronda and/or Jerez de la Frontera. Sleep in Seville. Also want to visit Arcos but don’t know how to fit that in.

Day 9 – Morning train from Seville to Granada. Rest of the day in Granada. Sleep in Granada.

Day 10 – Day trip to Malaga or Marbella? Which beach town is better??? Sleep in Granada.

Day 11 – Visit the great Alhambra in Granada. Late evening flight to Barcelona. Sleep in Barcelona

Day 12 – Barcelona city tour.

Day 13 – Barcelona city tour.

Day 14 – Barcelona city tour. Day trip to Stiges or Girona??

Day 15 – Morning flight back home.

Questions – Which beach town is better to visit as a day trip? Stiges, Malaga, Marbella, Cadiz so that I can tweak my itinerary accordingly?

I would like to delete day 4 trip to segovio, and possible combine that day with the day in Ronda/Jerez/Arcos/Cadiz

Pls advice????

Edited: 24 May 2012, 12:32
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Spain
Spain
Europe
Madrid
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Seville
Seville
Province of Seville, Spain
Granada
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Province of Granada, Spain
Malaga
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Costa del Sol, Spain
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Costa del Sol, Spain
Barcelona
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Province of Barcelona, Spain
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Malaga, Spain
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1. Re: My first Spain trip

aayan:

There is much more to see in Malaga than Marbella.

You should see the Prado in Madrid as an educational experience.

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2. Re: My first Spain trip

On day 8 you plan returning to Sevilla after visiting Ronda. I would stay that night at Ronda so you are closer to Granada, rather than bakctrak to Sevilla

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3. Re: My first Spain trip

We just did a trip through Spain and Portugal last year. Feel free to contact me about anything, but below is some general advice:

Madrid: Plaza Santa Ana is very nice at night and has some nice bars and tapas places. The Royal Palace is worth touring, we really enjoyed it because it had furnishings (unlike a lot of European palaces). Retiro Park is a good place to visit on a nice day. We rented a row boat on the lake which was fun. Also, seek out fresh churros con chocolate while in Madrid (churros with a cup of a warm chocolate pudding for dipping). We had pretty good paella at a restaurant called El Caldero (also on tripadvisor) and great 2.50 Euro calamari sandwiches and papas bravas (potatos with a spicy sauce) at a little place on Plaza Mayor called Casa Rua. The Prado museum is free after 6pm, after 5pm on Sunday (open until 8pm, closed Monday). We got into a long line at about 5:45 to get in, and were in about 5 minutes after 6. Definitely worth saving some money--8 Euros each. Also, we covered the main things we wanted to here (the museum's map plan is very helpful with pointing out the most important works), and then headed over to the Reina Sofia for a glance at Picasso's Guernica. The Reina Sofia is free after 7pm (open until 9pm) on weekdays (closed Tues) and from 2:30pm to 9pm on Saturday, and from 10am until the 2:30pm closing time on Sunday (will save you another 6 Euros each). (You can find some of my favorite Madrid eateries--and pictures--here http://traveltalesandtips.com/reviews/spain-reviews/madrid-reviews/)

Toledo: We took the high speed train to Toledo while in Madrid for 1/2 a day (33 mins each way) and enjoyed that a lot. If you go there, be sure to have your taxi at the train station take you out to El Mirador (the viewpoint over the city) first (make sure they wait, you will not find a taxi out here) , take a few pictures, see the view, and then have him take you into town--he also took a nice picture of the two of us for us from up there (Plaza Zocodover is probably a good drop-off point). I think there is a bus that also goes out this way, but we didn't look into it as we had a limited amount of time in Toledo and wanted to be able to be on our own schedule. The Cathedral in Toledo is the main must-see sight, but the town has several other sights, as well (the entire place has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sight).

Cordoba: I found Cordoba itself to be ok, not worth more than a day on a trip through Spain sight wise (so you have that right). The medieval walled city is pretty, but VERY touristy (touristy shops and a lot of tourist trap restaurants. The main sight (the Mezquita) is worth about an hour and a half, wandering the city maybe another 2--walk out over the bridge for a good view back to the Mezquita and Cathedral. People also seemed to enjoy the Alcazar and its gardens. The floodlit city at night was very pretty, though. You can find a lot of helpful info on Cordoba here: traveltalesandtips.com/2012/… (This site is something I've been building for helpful travel tips over the last few months. Only a tiny portion of it is done, but Cordoba is one of the completed cities.)

Sevilla: We did a tour of the Bull Ring which was interesting (I wasn't interested in seeing a bull fight). The Cathedral is definitely worth visiting--we climbed the bell tower, as well. Tour the Alcazar, too. Sevilla's nice because it has a college-town feel with cheap tapas places and beer and lots of little restaurants. It felt lively and was a welcome break. We did a lot of wandering here (everything was walking distance).

Granada: The Cathedral is a must see--it has the tombs of Isabel and Ferdinand. The mini-bus in the city is very handy for getting up to the Alhambra and the San Nicolas Viewpoint (great right before sunset for beautiful views of the Alhambra). If you want to see the Alhambra, I strongly recommend booking well ahead (online); you can then pick the tickets up right at the Alhambra. If you don't book ahead, you may very well not be able to get into the best parts of it. We got a great, cheap lunch at a little kebab place (ate falafel pitas) called Kebab King right on Calle Reyes Catolicos. The city also seemed to have some great, lively tapas places. We bought cookies from the cloistered nuns there which was fun, as well. I have a description of where and how to do that on the bottom of here: traveltalesandtips.com/reviews/…

Barcelona: This should give you a LOT of info on Barcelona (it's another city I've finished): traveltalesandtips.com/2012/…

We didn't do the other cities you have mentioned. We did go to Gibraltar (interesting mostly because it was very different--but so not worth all of the traffic we had to fight through to get there). We also did Tarifa (southern point of Spain) for the night. They actually appeared to have some nice beaches (lots of kite sailers), but we were only passing through for the night so that we were there in the morning to take the boat to Morocco for a day trip (best experience EVER--highly recommend--if you do decide to do that, I can give you a great guide's name--I would not suggest doing it without having a guide to meet you on that end at the boat to take you around). We stayed the night in Tarifa, went to Morocco, and then drove to Sevilla from there when we got back to sleep there that night.

Hope some of this was helpful!

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4. Re: My first Spain trip

aayan2006 : I think your itinerary is very well balanced and everything sounds just right to me (timing, places to visit, etc). I wouldn't change a thing! (sometimes trying to squeeze too much into your itinerary can be counter-effective!)

5. Re: My first Spain trip

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