37(ish) Days in Spain - Itinerary Help!

Travel Forums Europe 37(ish) Days in Spain - Itinerary Help!

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1. Posted by baileypp (Budding Member 2 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

We are planning a trip to Spain from the end of August through the first week of October and I really need some help maximizing our itinerary!

It will just be my husband and I traveling, and we are pretty active travelers (it's a running joke that "vacation Bailey" is the early riser/excerciser/late night owl that "home Bailey" wishes she could be). We are also from Texas, so fairly used to driving long distances for a 1.5-3 day weekend. Unless a flight is indicated, we are planning on driving and will almost always get up and drive in the morning to be in our new destination before/by lunch. This will be our first month+ long trip together, but we have done 3 weeks in the Yucatan Peninsula and went basically non-stop every day.

We want to see as MUCH as possible, specifically focusing on food (at least 2 chef's tasting tables), wine (tours of multiple bodegas/wineries in rioja, penedes, ribera del duero, and the sherry region (jerez), seeing as many Game of Thrones (GoT) filming locations as possible (without driving too out of the way), and we'd like to go scuba diving at least twice, if not 3 times. We are also prioritizing when Mallorca falls on the trip, as we want to be there for the Festa des Vermar the 3rd Sunday of September.

My husband has been to spain for a week before, spent 3-4 days in Madrid and then did very fast one night stays or day trips to Toledo, Granada and Cordoba. He did not like Madrid and wants more time to really experience all of the other places he only saw briefly.

SO, with all of those details in mind, I present our itinerary:
First day land at 11PM after international flight
Barcelona - day trip to penedas wine region/cava bodega tour)
Barcelona - day trip to Figueres and Girona for Dali Museum and GoT filming locations)
Santiago (RyanAir Flight from Barcelona to Santiago lands at 8:30AM) - pick up rental car
Gijon - scuba?
San Sebastian
San Sebastian
Logrono (rioja wine region)
Aranda del Duero (riberia del duero wine region)
Aranda del Duero
Toledo (do we need 2 nights here?)
Valencia - Day trip to Montserrat
Valencia - Paella cooking class
Mallorca (RyanAir flight from Valencia to Mallorca lands at 9:55PM)
Mallorca - scuba?
Mallorca - Festa des Vermar!
Seville (RyanAir flight from Mallorca to Seville lands at 3:35PM)
Jerez (sherry wine region)
Tarifa - scuba?
Last day - Fly out of Malaga at 5PM

Looking forward to any suggestions/ideas/comments/tips/tricks/etc.

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3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 501 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

I'm not familiar enough with Spain to comment on your plan, but have you actually built in any time for 'jet lag/sickness or rest (It is a holiday)?

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

This would be a case of the kind of planning I don't enjoy on a trip that connects to a discussion elsewhere on this site.....That said, I'll wade in.
I enjoyed diving in Tarifa. There are some wrecks there. Nice little town. I also spent two night across in Morocco because t was just too enticing not to.

I didn't find Granada thrilling. But I had been road tripping for six weeks by that time.

You look like you have a solid plan. It's far too structured for me, but everyone's different. Spain is an awesome place to go and the driving there is surprisingly civil. Buen Viaje

5. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

When you say Montserrat do you mean the town or the monastery? Because if it is the monastery you would be better of doing a day trip from Barcelona. I know you said you drive non stop but I think there are a few stops that are worth it. If you go to Gijon take a trip to Oviedo, the view at Monumento Sagrado Corazon is spectactular plus you can visit the pre-Romanesque churches on the way up. On the way to Madrid, Segovia is a nice stop also the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial might be interesting along with Valley of the Fallen. To Cordoba, Rhonda is a pretty amazing site and since you will have a car at Granada I would recommend a drive around the Sierra Nevadas to Mirador Monte Ahí De Cara, it was definitely a highlight on my trip

6. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 831 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

When my husband was in Seville, he drove down to Rhonda - I wished I could go there. You will also be near Gibraltar -have you thought about going there?

Most of the time I spend in Madrid was going to the Prado. I'm guessing that you aren't museum people since you haven't mentioned it.

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

I liked the Prado. But having seen many other galleries, I was not overwhelmed. And I even got in for free because someone stuffed a return ticket in my hand as they left.

There are really so many paintings of St. John the Baptist's head on a plate before you call it a day. I think I may have seen sixty versions over the years.

Madrid really isn't the best city in Spain either. Barcelona is far cooler. I've never been to the North of Spain. I am weighing that for this years trips against Estonia to Lithuania + St. Petersburg.

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 831 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

Anytime I go to a museum, I look to see what that museums speciality is or what there is there that i want to see. So for the Prado, I concentrated on the Spanish painters El Greco (who was really a Greek), Velasquez, and Goya. And I also looked at the Bruegels because I like him. I basically ignored Rubens, Rembrandt, and Titian. I went to the Hermitage with my granddaughter and she was particularly interested in Van Gogh, so after we saw a bunch of old paintings, we just went and looked at the Van Goghs and then left. In London, I concentrated on Constable (because we were going to Salisbury Cathedral later), and Turner, and along the way we saw a huge horse painting by Stubbs. In Barcelona, I might look for paintings by Miro and Picasso.

9. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

Yeah. A friend of mine is a big Goya fan. I looked at that stuff for her. Van Gogh doesn't do it for me. Rembrandt is my hero. I am going to the Hermitage this year because I've heard it's the absolute best museum in the world. Everyone is different. Art Galleries are, on balance, not my reason to go anywhere, and I went to the Prado basically by accident( I literally was just walking by there and wondered at the lineup) but the Hermitage seems like a big deal.

The British Museum is my fave. I am aware that much of it is stolen and controversial, but I enjoy the shit out of it .

10. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

The British Museum is my fave. I am aware that much of it is stolen and controversial, but I enjoy the shit out of it .

To be fair it isn't the only museum in the world that has that issue Besides it is better than the stuff ending up in private collections where they are stored incorrectly and subsequently deteriorate