I am traveling with 2 friends and we are flying into Madrid and back out of Lisbon. We are interested in a lot of places (Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Faro, Porto, and Lisbon) but this sounds exhausting. Where are the must-see's and do's??? Top experiences? I'm getting stressed just thinking about all the details.
Aside from Porto (which is gorgeous and worth a trip), your destinations are all quite reasonable and make a nice roadtrip.
You will only need 1 full day in Toledo, but a second one to explore and relax would be nice. The old city is small and walkable. You'll see the old Jewish quarter and the only operating synagogue in Spain at the Synagogue of El Transito. There's a shop just across the street that does beautiful gold work. Artists carve metal plates, then melt thin gold onto them. The food and ambience here is amazing. Toledo is known for their distinctive gold jewlery and swords.
If you are renting a car, stop at Consuegra on your way south to see the old windmills made famous in Don Quijote. It just takes an hour of your time. This is where, during the right time of year, you'll see saffron flowers growing. Buy saffron here. It's cheaper than you'll find anywhere else.
From here, head south to Granada. If you only want to see the Alhambra, you only need a day, but if you can take 2 full days and leave on the third, it would be better. The Alhambra is a must and not something you want to rush, but the city is full of many other interesting places to explore. As with most old Spanish cities, I advise just walking and seeing as much as possible.
Cordoba (Spain) isn't on your list, but it's between Granada and Seville, so you really don't want to miss this place. Stop here and see the Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba. It's a UNESCO site and absolutely stunning. Spend a day here, in the nearby palace gardens, and exploring the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter. Try tapas at Bodega Mezquita. You need at least one full day here, but 2 is better. (http://10000windows.com/cordoba-spain-2/)
From here, it's a simple trip to Seville where you'll want to take at least three days to relax, explore and see the sites. There's a lot to do, see, eat, and explore here and it's just a beautiful city. If you want to see a flamenco show. This is the place to do that. (http://10000windows.com/sevilla-spain/)
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Hi, this sounds a great trip. You are right you could be attempting too much. You can easily spend a few days in Madrid and Lisbon at either end so that leaves about 8 to 10 days in the middle. I travel in Spain a lot. You didn't say if it was by car or train. Toledo is lovely and is only an hour from Madrid and could be done as a day trip or on the way south. From Toledo it is a good half days drive to Cordoba (Spain), a fantastically interesting City. From there it is a couple of hours to Seville, another worthwhile stop. From Seville there are many routes back to Lisbon either inland or via the coast in Portugal. If you stay longer in Madrid and don't want to go so far South another interesting area is Extremadura and the cities of Merida (Spain), Caceres and Trujillo. It might be pushing it squeezing in Granada but it is lovely. Have a good trip.
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