Travel

Portugal - Spain Trip in September - critique itinerary (15 nights)

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 8th, 2019 12:59 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Apr 25, 2006
6558 posts
1455 upvotes

Portugal - Spain Trip in September - critique itinerary (15 nights)

Hey guys,

Just looking on some insight on some possible itineraries. A friend and I will be arriving in Porto on September 13, and we leave Barcelona on Sept 29th.

I know there are many smaller cities and possible hidden gems along the way between the two.

So far we know we want to visit Porto, Lisbon, Seville, Barcelona. Given the 16 days we have, hoping to make the most of it.

Any suggestions on routes, meals, cities and must sees are much appreciated!


EDIT: Itinerary we kind of settled for since we cannot drive anywhere:

Porto -> Lisbon -> Seville -> Madrid -> Valencia -> Barcelona

Nights in each city:
2 -> 3 -> 2 -> 3-> 2-> 3
Last edited by 1xTiMeR on Aug 13th, 2019 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If you make a mistake but then change your ways, it is like never having made a mistake at all" - Confucius
9 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2006
1972 posts
950 upvotes
How do you plan to get from each city? That’s a lot of ground to cover in 16 days. What’s you budget for meals, interests etc?
Newbie
Jun 8, 2019
40 posts
23 upvotes
Mississauga, Ontario
Given you have 2 weeks, which is plenty of time for those two countries, my recommendation would be to rent a car, if you and your friend are up for driving. Will give you a lot more flexibility in terms of places to see and accommodation choices. There are plenty of stops one could make along the portugal, southern spain corridor - consider Gibraltar, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, etc. etc. Really depends on what you and your friend are interested in - architecture? culture? natural beauty? water/beach? Would you be interested in a side-trip to Morocco (day trip is easily doable from the Spanish side). A bit more info on any specific interests would help. Last month, we spent 3 days in Barca and 2 days in Seville, 5 years ago we visited Granada, Cordoba and Malaga. Give us more insight on likes/dislikes and we can suggest accordingly.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2006
2394 posts
3255 upvotes
You may want to consider Faro as a stop along the way between Lisbon and Sevilla. Valencia and Cartegena would also be wonderful stops to make along the coast on the way to Barcelona.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2006
2394 posts
3255 upvotes
Also, renting a car in Portugal and dropping it off in Spain will be very expensive. You may want to consider dropping the car off before you leave Portugal and picking up a different car in Spain. You could do a bus, train, or even a cheap flight to get across the border.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2598 posts
1786 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
tman74 wrote: Given you have 2 weeks, which is plenty of time for those two countries, my recommendation would be to rent a car, if you and your friend are up for driving. Will give you a lot more flexibility in terms of places to see and accommodation choices. There are plenty of stops one could make along the portugal, southern spain corridor - consider Gibraltar, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, etc. etc. Really depends on what you and your friend are interested in - architecture? culture? natural beauty? water/beach? Would you be interested in a side-trip to Morocco (day trip is easily doable from the Spanish side). A bit more info on any specific interests would help. Last month, we spent 3 days in Barca and 2 days in Seville, 5 years ago we visited Granada, Cordoba and Malaga. Give us more insight on likes/dislikes and we can suggest accordingly.
^good post.... agree with this lots to see along the Med
13inches wrote: Also, renting a car in Portugal and dropping it off in Spain will be very expensive. You may want to consider dropping the car off before you leave Portugal and picking up a different car in Spain. You could do a bus, train, or even a cheap flight to get across the border.
^^+1
its really expensive to do one way drops even just over the border in Spain.

I would do Porto (pick up car after your city stay) if you want “real Portugal” the North (area north of Portugal) is the most rustic IMHO. Very inexpensive too.

Then drive south to Lisbon

From there I would either...
1. From Lisbon I would fly to Seville and pick up a car. You can drive over the border to southern Portugal (Algarve) it’s also very inexpensive and some great coastal towns with gorgeous coastlines. Perhaps price the cost to drop off in BCN.
OR
2. Continue the drive south to Algarve from Porto and stay in one or both (Algarve and Seville) then drive back up to Lisbon (drop car off and stay in Lisbon) and then fly to Malaga. Seville is over an hour from Albufeira (my recommendation on where to stay in Algarve). It’s an easy day trip too if you don’t want to stay.

From Malaga I would work my way down to coast to Barcelona. I’ve flown into Malaga before (rented a car) and spent a few days enjoying the region. Then either train or fly to Barcelona.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Apr 25, 2006
6558 posts
1455 upvotes
Awesome response guys. A general theme appears to be to travel by car. I would love to drive by car, however, i do not know how to drive manual. Really regret not learning now (or take 2 months to learn it before I go)! I just looked up the rates, and automatic cars are almost three times the cost, i.e. $250 versus $700. I suppose we will train to most destinations.

Our budget is about $2000, which needs to account for stays and meals. I suppose hostels are the way to go?

Our interest ranges, mainly want to hit up some beaches near the Mediterranean. Meals include anything cultural, open to try new things.
"If you make a mistake but then change your ways, it is like never having made a mistake at all" - Confucius
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 25, 2009
4328 posts
1338 upvotes
Moncton
You could do Porto, Santiago de Compostella, Bilbao, San Sebastián (epic beach on the Atlantic), Barcelona. Doing that would be skipping Castillan Spain, however.

Or you could do the southern route:
Porto, Lisbon, Lagos (beach), Faro, Seville, Granada, Alicante (beach), Barcelona.

I did all of the above by bus, staying in youth hostels or cheap rooms without bathrooms.

Madrid does have some spectacular art museums if you are passing through between Seville and Barcelona. They spent billions on their high speed train network, although flying is still an option.

The entire country is in Google Streetview, so don’t put too much importance on long scenic bus rides.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 2, 2006
3615 posts
511 upvotes
Search on this forum for Spain and you will find many more suggestions on places to visit.

If you like smaller towns, here are some of the places I went to that I can recommend:

Salamanca -- This is a university town somewhat half-way between Madrid and Porto. It can be out of the way if you decide to cross from Portugal to Spain through Andalusia (which I get the impression you were trying to do). It's a beautiful town with lots to see, and not many tourists. It is a university town and the demographics reflect that.

Coimbra -- This is another university town (this time in Portugal) that I can highly recommend. It is picturesque with lots to see as well. This is also where JK Rowling got the idea of Hogwarts students wearing capes. If you walk around the university (or even around town), you'll see students wearing just that (their uniform).

Cordoba -- This is sometimes overlooked by tourists in Andalusia who often skip this over its more famous neighbours - Seville and Granada. But, it's actually a lovely city whose main attraction is the Mezquita. Plus, the town is filled with charming streets and alleyways.

Sitges -- This is a beach town just south of Barcelona with good nightlife and good food. If you want a small break within your vacation (there isn't much sightseeing here) but still want somewhere that is authentic and not over-developed, then head here.


Also, there are several small towns around Madrid that are worth a visit:
heymikey wrote: One thing I love about Madrid are the numerous day trips you can do, such as:
Toledo, a well-preserved medieval town with a world-famous alcazar
Segovia, another well-preserved medieval town with a Roman aqueduct nearby and it's own famous alcazar and cathedral
Avila, another well-preserved medieval town and one of the few remaining towns in the world with an intact medieval city wall.
El Escorial, which has a monastery and the former residence of the royal family (I'm not sure if it is still being used as one). This is to Madrid what Versailles Palace is to Paris and what Windsor Castle (or Hampton Court Palace) is to London.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 26, 2010
845 posts
122 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Which car rental company did people use in Portugal?

Top