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Spain 2 weeks June/July 2020


100+ Posts
As a slow traveler for 20 years, I'm embarased to be asking for advice that is a little less than slow.

It would take too long to explain, however our original schedule/plans have been turned inside out. We will be taking a Uniworld cruise on the Duoro from 30th July to 9th August. We vowed some time ago, never to take a cruise and then resume a land based holiday. It's what you do to end a holiday.

We will be in Southampton on the 18th July for our sons wedding. Originally they were planning on south-west France and that would have then lead into three weeks in Spain prior to the Portuguese cruise.

Now we find we'll have to make it two weeks in Spain at the beginning of a 7 week holiday, then fly to Southampton from 11th to 25th July, then back to Portugal (Lisbon) 25th.

So ... Is it practical to Fly in to Barceona and in the course of two weeks, travel Barcelona to Valencia to Granada to Seville and perhaps then up to Madrid (Toledo) before flying to Southampton? I know they are all linked by train in that sequence and is that the best option or is there a good bus/coach service?

We have spent a week in Madrid previously, so only consider Madrid in order to get to Toledo.

With regard to Portugal, should we allow 5 additional days to Lisbon prior to our cruise and how many additional days in Porto at the end of the cruise?


10+ Posts
I am responding to your question about Portugal. 5 days in Lisbon is about right to me. There are 2-3 day trips from Lisbon that are easy and worth your time. Namely, Sintra and Evora. But, my first time to Lisbon, I was here for 5 days and made zero day trips. There is a lovely ambiance to Lisbon that invites long lunches in scenic places. However, I will caution you (something you likely already know), Lisbon has become very crowded in the summer.
Regarding Porto - if you are doing a Douro Cruise, I would say three nights before your cruise. That would give you time to see Porto, do a bit of wine and port tasting in Gaia and make a trip out to Matosinhos for grilled fish.


100+ Posts
Your itinerary in Spain seems particularly ambitious for a 2 week visit. However you are a seasoned traveller and know best how to make the most of your time. Regarding coach travel, the times we have taken buses in Spain they have always been on time and safe. Our biggest hassles were deciphering competing schedules among multiple carriers and last minute changes in departure bays.

Both Lisbon and Porto are fine cities. Porto may be considered the "grittier" of the two but I prefer it - and northern Portugal in general. Day trips to Braga, Ponte de Lima and Guimaraes are easily done on public transportation. For me I would switch the number of days: 3 in Lisbon and 5 in Porto. But that's just me. Also if you are travelling the Lisbon-Porto corridor, an overnight in Coimbra would be worthwhile.

Best wishes to you and your family.


100+ Posts
Long distance bus services in Spain are excellent and can often be more convenient than trains, as well as being cheaper. Have a look at alsa.es.

I would probably skip Granada in your itinerary and spend more time in Seville, but that's because I love Seville and am not that keen on Granada.


100+ Posts
Thanks Katherine, Dennis and Veronica
We have taken all advice and extended our time following the cruise so as to have more time in Porto and are considering train as well as coach.
Unfortunately we can't do anything about the timing, as the entire trip is built around the wedding in Southampton. We guessed it might be expensive in Spain around this time however we'll have to put up with the crowds which are even more of a problem.

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