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Spain, 6 cities, 2.5 weeks - feedback, suggestions?

katied

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Tags: valencia, spain, sevilla, madrid, itinerary, granada, cordoba, barcelona
  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
i'm hoping to meet up with a friend in Spain for just over 2 weeks mid-April. She wants to meet in Madrid, then go to: ->Sevilla
->Cordoba
->Granada
->Valencia
->end in Barcelona.

I guess that works out to 2-3 days in each place. Do you think this is doable? If you had to drop any of these places, which would you drop and why? I don't want to feel like we're rushing a huge lot and just 'consuming' the place through super touristy things, if that makes sense.

Neither of us are huge party animals; she's into art history and I love architecture and nature. And we're both veg (we know that might be a challenge). Any suggestions for things to do in these places, and any safety cautions specific to this place, for two women travelling together?

Thanks!
--
UPDATE: i'm going! i booked the flight! woohoo! Smile

anniebanannie

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
Funny, you are describing pretty close to my upcoming trip.

My understanding is you only need a day in Cordoba. And that there is an overnight bus from Cordoba to Valencia.

You are covering a lot of ground in a little bit of time (I assume you're taking the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla). I think you may want to chose between Cordoba and Granada, because those are different directions from Sevilla. I think you are definitely going to feel like you are rushing if you try to hit all six places. Madrid deserves a few days, as does Sevilla...and Barca, well, you could spend at least a week there and not have gotten out of the city center. Unfortunately, these three cities are far apart!

If you love art history/architecture...Barca is your place. I don't think you are going to get a lot of nature in any of those areas...but Barca has the beach. I have a recent thread on here about Valencia, but I've never been there so can't speak to it much.

I can tell you from planning my upcoming trip...I arrive into Lisbon, then head to Sevilla for 3 days. Then I will probably do a day trip to Cordoba and leave that night for Valencia. And that's it. Because the country is so spread out, you end up spending too much time in travel (unless you're flying from place to place, but even then the airport is a huge timesuck).

As for being veg...when I lived in Spain, I was pretty much veg (I ate some chicken, but no red meat or fish or pork). I did a-ok. It isn't the most diverse menu, but it isn't difficult to eat that way.

krisk

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
Hi Katied,

Sounds like a great trip. I actually did Madrid with a side tour to Sevilla, Cordoba, and Granada (using Viator) with two days in each city one year and then Barcelona last year for a week. Haven't been to Valencia...but couldn't really recommend dropping any of the locations - they are all great for different reasons, although I did prefer Barcelona over Madrid. I really loved to walk along Las Ramblas and people watch-there was plenty to see. I think there is a thread on here somewhere about Madrid vs. Barcelona as well. Smile You will find plenty of art, history, and architecture in each place. And with regards to safety, be as careful as you would in any city...keep your passport and bag close. I traveled solo and had NO issues. Have a great time.
Kristen
http://blogs.BootsnAll.com/kris/

katied

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
thanks for the feedback you guys, i appreciate it! Smile

to give an idea of the cities we're thinking of in order, here it is in google maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=140800613...0.544434&ie=UTF8&z=6
(note of course that we won't be driving a car, we'll be taking train/bus, so i don't know if the route would look the same)

i can see that it would be more streamlined if we took out either Sevilla or Granada. Good to know that we only need a day in Cordoba and not as much time in Madrid as Barcelona.

so much planning to do, so little time!

anniebanannie

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
Remember to take into account travel times. Other than the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla or Cordoba, the places are kind of spread apart. It is about a 9 hour train ride from Cordoba to Valencia, and I think a bit longer from Granada to Valencia. Spain is big, it takes a while to get aroundSmile

I am biased towards Sevilla since I lived there. I think it is great.

And, you may want to wait until you get there, then go where the wind takes you. That is always fun, too.

katied

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
yes, i'm definitely a bit worried about the travel times. and my worst nightmare would be that we would end up rushing between cities because we have to get to barcelona by a certain date because i would have to catch my flight home. that would be stressful for both of us and i think it would ruin my friend's great adventure! i wish i were travelling with her for her entire 4 month trip (wouldn't that be great!) but alas, i have to get back to work by a certain date so i couldn't be a leaf in the wind as much as i would like.

so i'm hoping we can figure out a way to be flexible while still staying on task enough that i don't have nightmares about missing my plane and getting fired the whole time :P

this is all weird to plan because she's leaving for the first leg of her trip in two days, and i still have to ask my bosses if i can go in 2 weeks to meet her, so we'll be really planning this thing on the fly! oh well, you only live once!

WT

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
Wow, that is a lot for the time you have. I would drop Valencia. We have been to all of the places that you have mentioned and have spent more time in Spain than anywhere on our 20 months of travel ( this is our second winter in Andaulucia).

I would take the Ave from Madrid to Seville as Annie mentions and you can also take it to Cordoba from Seville for a day trip. I would stay in the Santa Cruz area of Seville.

Then go to Granada and take a cheap flight from Granada to Barcelona. If you can, get an open jaw flight so you can fly home from Barcelona.

If you like nature, you should plan some day trips into the countryside as the cities can get intense, especially Madrid and Barcelona. Seville seems more like a small town but gorgeous architecture and don't miss the flamenco and tapas there. The small white villages in Andalucia are very special and there is beautiful countryside to hike in or ride the awesome Andalucian horses.


You can read our blog for ideas that might help you. I am pretty good at finding the special places. I put a good tour together when our family visited and had a limited time last march. Keep an eye out for the festivals too as they are very special in Spain ( they are listed online).

Valencia was our least favorite place in Spain.

You do need to be very aware of pickpockets everywhere in Europe. Wear a good moneybelt and you do not have to worry. Purses and stolen constantly for the unaware tourist.

It will really help if you know Spanish and you should be fine as a vegan. We are pretty much vegans.

We have grown VERY fond of Spain. Enjoy!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

WT

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Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2008
Google Maribles guides...they are great and free!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: March 31st, 2008
Oh, one more thing. Buy your train tickets FROM Paris, even to paris, in advance, as trains can fill fast. Do so at the ticket counter, not through internet. A counter person told me the internet sale sites often issue duplicate tickets, which could be embarrasing.

frhlo

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  • Added on: March 31st, 2008
Hey just a few quick notes:

Madrid : If you are into Art and the architecture
depending on what style you prefer, more contemporary or more classic, then the museums are quite good too.

I personally loved the Reina Sofia and the B-Thyssen museums because they have more contemporary pieces

but the Prado is good for 15th, 16h century Italian and Spanish artists.

Barcelona - Of course, need I say it, but the Picasso museum is a must see.

For vegetarian food restaurants (which is harder) one of my absolute favs is MAOZ - you can find one in Sol in Madrid and right off of Las Ramblas in Barca. They have the most amazing falafel pitas EVER......

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: April 1st, 2008
Barcelona-- Must sees not mentioned.
The work of Antonio Gaudi, reserve half a day for the Parque Guell alone.

Figueroas-Salavador Dali Museum.



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