The city is cosmopolitan, proudly Catalan and lively with some of the most impressive and unique sights in Spain. We didn’t do fly back to back though. Stay: 1 days, 1 night to see the highlights, a 2nd day if you want to see the exotic mansions like Montserrate Mansion that are farther from the town square. April to May and September to October are the best time to visit Spain as the weather is mild and the crowds are moderate. Sorry! Good weather, less crowds. super helpful blog post!!! Most visitors tend to visit Spain and Portugal during the summer months, but late Spring is a wonderful time to plan a trip there as well. We are a relaxed family (2 adults, 2 teens 13-15) who like to soak it all in and enjoy nights out exploring the town etc. […] Evening: Grab one last bite of tapas and pack up to depart Granada for the next stop on your tour. Either what I have found it extremely expensive or seemingly too inexpensive for what is being offered. We decided to do a Spain getaway at the last minute and then added on Portugal at even later minute and found it helpful to read Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, forums and blogs to ultimately decide which cities to linger in and which to skip altogether. But in Seville? This is a beautiful and helpful guide. Ah, thank you for the nice comment! Plus, since these times are the off-season, accommodation will typically be cheaper, you’ll have a much easier time getting a dinner reservation, and you won’t have to spend half of your day waiting in lin… Including staying at the same hotels. Thanks for sharing x. The tapas bars were my favorite – they have some very authentic “stand at the bar and order” type of tapas bars and more modern, fancier tapas restaurants so you could easily spend the full 2 days eating! Hi Sher! I was wondering if you could help me plan a better itinerary for a trip my husband and I are planning. Thank you so much. I am looking for a week of being in one spot to unwind and be near a beach. If you’re hoping to catch some of Spain’s famous music festivals during your visit, then spring time and early summer is without a doubt the best time to come. The country is located in Western Europe, and due to this, it has Mediterranean climatic conditions. Average temperatures range from 77°F (25°C) in summer to about 58°F (14°C) in winter. We will be traveling to Spain for 5 days before heading to Portugal for a group trip. I took a bit of, cleaning up my phone and found some photos from la. Don't Miss: the gardens in the Alcázar are breathtaking – you might recognize them as ‘Dorne' from Game of Thrones! I see what you mean. Spain does have its own train website, but its in Spanish and meant for local Spanish citizens to book. In general train is easier :). Happy to help. Book a room at Hotel Alfonso XIII, a luxurious property featuring gorgeous Moorish architecture and every comfort imaginable. If spring/summer I would recommend you finalize your itinerary and buy the tickets online before you go. Our itinerary goes something like this at this stage: i am planning for a trip on the end of January(16 days).First i will be with prepaid guided tour France-Switzerland-Italy(6 days) and back to Paris, but instead of going back to Paris i was thinking of traveling from Avignon to Barcelona. Hm, I had a different opinion. Personally, I enjoyed Barcelona more and think you could even spend a week just there! Hi Stephanie – glad you found my article helpful! Citing $300 a night hotels as ‘affordable’ is not something most people would consider a reasonable statement. Hi Sher your blog was really insightful! Thanks! Looking forward to your advice. Which month did you visit and as per you which would be the ideal time to travel to these places? so we wont be dragging our luggage behind. :-). You can check out the whole photo series by exploring the hashtag #shershegoes_spain, Or save this article to read later by pinning it ⇟. They’re MUCH more convenient and often cheaper. For the Alhambra you absolutely need to buy a ticket ahead of time (I have a whole post on that). I have printed it for the trip to Spain in next two years. I appreciate your help. First up, Cordoba! Sónar, Primavera Sound, Bilbao BBK Live and MadCool Festival all take place between the months of June and July before the weather gets too hot. In the highlights there, I would add the palace of the Catalan Music – one of my favourite places with the Sagrada Familia – and la Boqueria, the market on the Ramblas. Thanks for a great article. Patio means inner courtyard in Spanish, and it's a really pretty time to visit because the entire town comes alive, locals are happy to show off their homes and everywhere you look there are stunning flowers are in bloom. Hi Lorna – this is just the itinerary we took, not a tour. What I find helpful is to get a guidebook first, like Rick Steves or Fodors for europe, scan it through to get a general outline and then read blogs and forums for the details. Here's a summary of the Spain and Portugal itinerary that we did. The city deserves 1 full day – unless you're in town for the Cordoba Patio Festival when you won't be able to get enough with even two or three days! Main Attractions: Royal Palace, Museo del Prado, Retiro Park. We got lucky and timed our visit for their spring festival, the Patio Festival! Hi ZD! But, we also are the kind of people that like to do a lot on vacation :) You can use our itinerary above as a starting point and adjust depending on your time frame! Maybe you can extend your trip for 2 weeks?? what do you suggest?! We are planning a 2 weeks trip to Spain and Portugal in early July 2020. Spain has a pretty great train network so it’s fast, convenient and affordable. Your photos are stunning! My other question are: Hi Tim – The hotels I mentioned are recommendations based on my trip. I’m not sure of the route you’re taking but flying to Portugal from Spain usually involves flights out of Barcelona, so you would go Barca > Andalusia > back to Barca just to get to Lisbon, which adds extra time. Thanks for reading my comment . When is the best time to visit Northern Spain? From Madrid, I took the high speed train down to Cordoba and then again the train from Cordoba to Seville. I recommend flying to Madrid or Barcelona and starting my Essential Spain itinerary. Hi Ann – glad you found the posts helpful! I love trip planning and planned the entire trip listed in my post but I understand not everyone likes to do the same. I would be travelling from Bombay and would like to ask which place should be the starting point – Portugal or Spain and am considering around May. Spain has hot, dry summers and wet, cold winters. Here are some highlights you absolutely shouldn't miss in Spain and Portugal! Granada has an airport as well, which might be convenient if you haven’t already booked your flights. There's so much to see in Barcelona (and the city makes a great base for nearby day trips in Catalonia) so budget at least 3 full days! Where to go, how long to stay, should I do this city or that one. Best time to visit Spain and Portugal. We have no specific itinerary for Portugal yet except to be in Fatima by Oct 11-14 for the Fatima Centennial events. Flight is easiest. Sher, bus to explore Granada, once the Moorish stronghold of the west. I am planning an 8 day trip to Europe in April and am torn between two different itineraries: I’m sooooo happy to chance upon it! Did you feel you got adequate time everywhere or were you just concerned with the planning and packing process to get to the next place? I want to do some shopping as well. In the beginning it was really hard and there wasn’t much info out there so I started writing these posts to help other people who like to plan their own trips too! It was an amazing trip, I hope you have a great summer! Would it be better to start at Madrid to the little towns in the south then over to Portugal and then head up to barcelona? The beaches are also much quieter. This is WONDERFUL! What about between just Granada and Seville? What was your rough cost of the trip. With only a week, I suggest doing either Portugal focusing on the Lisbon area or Madrid and the area. In general the high speed train runs pretty frequently, you just might not the time or seat you want if you buy the day of. Feast of Saint John the Baptist, or Festa de São João, (23–24th June): celebrated across Portugal, especially in Porto, the day is marked with fireworks, concerts, dancing and the interesting tradition of hitting each other with garlic or plastic hammers. Hi Sher, I am so pleased to have found your blog! If you want old school tapas bars = Madrid. I know what you mean, it takes a loooong time to plan because I like to customize my itinerary to things I like to do, plan the transportation myself and also keep things within budget! Thank you so much!! Thanks. I’ve been to Madrid and Toledo already, so I am OK missing these. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). Hi Tara – either itinerary would be amazing, it really depends on what you’re looking to do on your trip? But we’re talking a $1000 price difference here! :). Or would it better to start Barcelona, then over to Portugal and then to Mardrid and fly home from there? I can see that you went there because of the picture of the famous Pasteis de Belem :D. Yes! Spain has a perfect season for everyone. I see you only visited Lisbon with day trip to Sintra, where else in Portugal do you recommend? Thanks for the kind words about my itinerary :) Zara is AMAZING in Spain (at least compared to the US), plus they have Zara Home stores that I love because we don’t get them in New York! Hotels, restaurants, flights, sights etc – it just depends how luxury or budget you go :) You can get an idea upfront by booking your flights and hotels first. Your photos are absolutely stunning! Hi Sher, Spain. I’ll be moving to Spain in the fall and will definitely refer back to this. Hi Faye – You’ll have a great time! Im already thinking of flying to Madrid from Singapore(where i come from) and do the same itinerary as yours then go back to Singapore either from Barcelona or Lisbon( I cant decide yet). I’m so glad I spotted your travel blog. My friend and I want to spend 14 days in Spain and Portugal end of the year. 4. Or is it too ambitious? 1st, From Barcelona – I will avail the “Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra and Spain” Cities near the Atlantic like Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Santander, and San Sebastian experience their best weather and least amount of rainfall during these months. Let me know any questions in the comments below! I desperately want to go back and go down to Granada to see the Alhambra! So, we did Madrid, train south, flight to Barcelona, flight to Lisbon. Hi Faye – I’ve shared my itinerary and included lots of options for how to customize it to fit your trip length and interests. 2 – trying to decide whether to train to Cordoba, Malaga or Grenada. However, the temperature mostly varies from the north to the south of Spain. Hope that helps! Don't Miss: a visit in Spring, when this beautiful town comes alive with flowers. I love everything you posted here, especially the itinerary and the photos. Explore the 3 best vacation spots in Portugal with in-depth travel guides. Love this itinerary! You could definitely do that! Spain gets quite crowded as early as May and certain popular places will sell out. We did a mix of flights and trains – you can see the specific breakdown in my individual spain posts! September to October and March to May is the best time to visit Spain. What routes are better traveled by train and those by plane? For me, I had limited time (2 weeks) and the main cities are easily connected via train/flights so that’s what we did. Lisbon is very hilly (kind of like San Francisco if you have been there?) And if there are cheaper hotel options. Thanks Julian! My questions, I have many. Any thoughts or recommendations if we did that? Where to include Marrakesh in the 14 days itnerary. I’m planning a trip for 4 adults in February. Very much enjoyed your posts and experiences…but I desire to chat with someone and help me set up. so, you could either go from madrid down to cordoba and explore the city, then continue onwards to seville, or you can go from madrid to granada and double back on a day trip to cordoba. If you have less time, say 10 days, then concentrate on Madrid and Barcelona in Spain! Ideally, I’d do 4-5 days in Barcelona, then 2 days in each of Granada, Seville, and Lisbon (with the Sintra day trip). Thank you for sharing your wonderful itinerary. My trip report after visiting Spain and Portugal for the first time. Barcelona was by far one of the highlights of my trip – I enjoyed it a lot more than Madrid! I’d appreciate any/all suggestions – thanks! I’m planning a trip there for my 25th wedding anniversary. It's the largest distributor for European train tickets and accepts international credit cards. Check rates: Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia. From Granada, there are a couple ways to get to Barcelona including via car, high speed rail or plane. Only other point is with your assertion that the Pena Palace inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle. I have a question. The summer months of July and August are the best to visit northern Spain. For some reason I thought […], I am absolutely in love with Spain and Portugal but haven’t visited all of these places you’ve listed. We would recommend at least 2 weeks if you want to visit both Spain and Portugal. Hi Sher. I always appreciate a post catering to first timers, as that is quite often what I am, myself! Lisbon has some amazing seafood spots and charm, but also a sad air of neglect to the magnificent tiled apartment buildings. Then January - February is probably the best time for you to visit Spain. Would you not recommend driving? 1. I love this post and am largely basing my trip to Spain off it, so thanks for a great article! Have a great trip to Spain / Portugal! Here's some information to help you in your decision: 1. The joy of getting back to travel: three recent... Carnival (February): Brazil’s Carnival celebrations can be traced back to Portugal; various cities celebrate slightly differently, but the festivities nearly always include vibrant costumes and elaborate parades. Spring and fall offer the best combination of good weather, light crowds, long days, and plenty of tourist and cultural activities. I’m planning a trip now hoping to hit most of these places, but I only have about 14 days. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the planning. I’ve never actually flown from one European city to another and am curious about the pain of checking in/out of airports and going through security multiple times. Spain's Hidden Gem: The Quaint Town of Cordoba, Don't Miss Cordoba's Patio Festival! I noticed that you don’t have separate posts for Madrid and Barcelona unlike the 3 Andalusia cities which you discussed very thoroughly (you even included day to day itineraries!). Hi Jessica, Hm I don’t remember exactly what we spent but what I usually do is book the flights, hotels & transportation first – those are usually the bulk of the trip cost. There is a desert near Alentejo and the country lacks any large natural lakes. Main Attractions: São Jorge Castle, Alfama walk (medieval district) and Baixa walk (downtown with major squares). Hi Sheena, aw thank you! She found Portugal better than Spain with the exclamation most the places look the same in Spain. We settled in for a couple days of sightseeing, healthy doses of tapas, rioja wine and laid back nights that ended with churros con chocolate. I am traveling to Barcelona solo for nine days in mid October. Hi! Hi Milli – glad the post is helpful! Ticket prices will get more expensive with time, so book in advance to save. Don't Miss: a relaxing retreat at the Arabian baths, or Hammam Al Andalus. What Not to Miss Wow, so much information & this is so detailed! Today the city retains much of its North African flavor and is an absolute must see on any southern trip through Spain. Awesome trip! What I usually do is price out the cost of flights + hotels and that’s usually the two most expensive things. Geographically, Portugal is defined by its long coastline, making it abound with beaches. Your entire vacation is designed around your requirements, Select your preferred style of accommodations, Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists, All our specialists have traveled extensively or lived in their specialist regions, The same specialist will handle your trip from start to finish, Make the difference between a good trip and an outstanding one, Hand picked by us or our local partners as the best available, Offering more than just dates and names, they strive to offer real insight into their country. Check rates: Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia. What can you suggest? There are a number of different pools at different temperatures as well as some fun massage options. Hotel Alfonso is located in a prime spot next to Seville's Real Alcazar. Royal Ramblas is a great hotel to stay in, as it's located right on the main shopping and pedestrian road, Las Ramblas. Jenni. After a major earthquake and tsunami hit Lisbon in 1755, Portuguese royalty permanently left the city in favor of this mountain retreat. The only catch? At these times the weather is perfect with sunny days and warn temperatures for swimming. granada is a bit farther. That’s extremely helpful. Hi Jennifer – thanks for the kind words! Madrid is older, more historic, government buildings and classic museums. Glad you like it :) I took about 2 weeks so it sounds like you have plenty of time. I didn’t take the bus but you can check the Spain bus website if you prefer to take the bus. Thank you. The best time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October, because the weather is still warm, hotel rates are cheaper and there are fewer crowds than in summer. I guess you could compare Barcelona to NYC and Madrid to Washington DC? 2.How about BUS from Cordoba to Seville? Hi Charmaine – No problem! She even advised me considering either of Barcelona or Madrid as they both are very similar. These months are not considered hot and will have more manageable and comfortable weather to walk around in. and you mostly have to walk around for sights and such but there’s also the trolley to take which is fun. Also within an easy day trip from the city are Girona, a walkable old city famous for its historic Jewish quarter of narrow cobblestone streets, and Figueres, where Salvador Dali built his museum and personal shrine. For information on positions and how to apply, please visit our travel careers website. Wowwww I’m just in love with Sintra because of your photos <3 I have a thing for colorful cities. Don't Miss: a full day dedicated to Gaudi's works: the modernist mansion Casa Batlló and the still under construction Sagrada Familia church.
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