Spain Travel

Hi! My friends & I are planning a 2-week trip to Spain late Sep/early Oct (will be flying in & out of Barcelona) and would like any advice/suggestions on the itinerary below (i.e. too much? If so, which should we skip/cut back…our interests lie mainly in the history & architecture of Spain and indulging in the local culture & food). We plan to either drive or take trains where possible. Our plan as follows :
Day 1-2 Barcelona (take earliest train on Day 3 to Valencia)
Day 3-4 Valencia (travel to Granada late afternoon/evening of Day 4 or morning of Day 5)
Day 5-6 – Granada (travel to Malaga late afternoon/evening of Day 6)
Day 7 Malaga (travel to Seville on morning of Day 8)
Day 8-9 Seville (with optional side trip to Cordoba. Travel to Madrid late afternoon/evening of Day 9.)
Day 10-11 Madrid (the optional side trips to Toledo, Avila & Segovia or Escorial & Valley of the Fallen – if possible. Leave Madrid morning of Day 12)
Day 12-13 Cuenca/Teruel/Alcaniz or Cuenca/Zarazoga (Appreciate any comments on which route is more worthwhile and their differences)
Day 14 Barcelona (end of trip)

Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions!

nightowl22 23/05/14    Spain Link Report

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I haven’t travelled a lot in Spain, but I do know that my weekend in Barcelona felt like much too short a time! We spent half a day around the Sagrada Familia, and the Barri Gòtic deserves at least as long. That said, I’m sure if you’re reasonably organised about your time / are happy to just get a general flavour of each place rather than getting to know it in depth, two or three days in each place could be doable.

Rebecca Hallett 23/05/14    Link Report

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Thanks for your tips. Wish we could spend more time in Spain and explore more but time’s limited. Will have to breeze through this time and hopefully go more in depth on the next trip. But I just want to make sure that this schedule is not super crazy! :-P

nightowl22 23/05/14    Link Report

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  • Hello! I am from Spain and I know quite well those cities you are planning to go. If I were you I’d rent a car so you can make more stops not just in big well-known cities also in small and beautiful towns.
    In any case, you could travel easily by train/bus. From Barcelona to Valencia you have a train that goes all the way down the coast to Valencia, I took this years ago (around 10), it was cheap and nice. The problem here comes to connect Valencia with Granada, I’m not sure which connection would be better, look at fights maybe to Málaga. If you drive you could make a stop in Albacete which has good and cheap restaurants. Málaga (nice town-beach called Nerja, avoid Marbella), Granada, Córdoba and Sevilla are well connected by train (AVE, speed train that goes to Madrid). If you could go to Cádiz that would be fantastic buy perhaps too much as this is southwest (fantastic beaches and seafood, hippie town of Caños de Meca). I’d definitely stay more days in Granada and make a stop in Córdoba would be great, as this is a beautiful city, perhaps not as known as Sevilla but definitely worthy. In Madrid I’d say to have to spend at least two days, you could go to Toledo or Segovia as a day trip but perhaps this is pushing too much as there is a lot to see in Madrid. Cuenca is beautiful but I’d say it’s easier to stop in Zaragoza as either you have the road or again the speed train AVE that goes direct in 1:30h. There is a small town called Calatayud where you can stop for lunch/dinner on your way to Zaragoza, it has a beautiful promenade, nice restaurants and bars (all very cheap). Zaragoza is very beautiful too (famous “El Pilar’ party the 12th October, the city would be busy but lovely at the same time). Teruel has great gastronomy but that is more out of the itinerary to Barcelona. Then you have the same road A2 from Zaragoza or the train AVE that goes to Barcelona. I’d spend 2 days at least to explore Barcelona.

    Marta Bescos 27/05/14    Link Report

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    Thanks, Marta! Will take into account your suggestions as a local. Do you know if it will be easy to find Chinese speaking guides in Spain? There are a few in our Group who would prefer to have one, so any info. will be appreciated.

    nightowl22 28/05/14    Link Report

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    I’m not sure if that would be easy, yo could try ‘La Casa del Libro’ (Madrid), ‘FNAC’ or ‘Altaïr’ (Barcelona) bookshops. If you are base here in the UK I’d suggest to try it first. Online would be another option.

    Marta Bescos 30/05/14    Link Report

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