I'm a 40 yr old male travelling solo to Spain from India in mid October for 12-14 days. My tentative schedule is landing at Madrid stay there for 3-4 days then Barcelona 3 days ,seville 3days and mallorca isles 4 days..However lately I'm considering to include algarve and lisbon and skip seville and mallorca. It's my first europe holiday and I want to have a mix of everything like history;nightlife; good food ,beaches and nice walking streets..give suggestions and help me with the itinerary and means of transportation etc..thanx
I see your planned agenda is all over the map with no obvious planning. If you're landing in Madrid, Barcelona is one direction while Portugal and Andalucia are in the other. If you were planning to hire a car, you will spend a lot of time driving and will come to know very well the auto-vias of Spain. I would recommend skipping Mallorca (and Barcelona too) as that involves a ferry or a plane to get there.
I suggest the following:
1. Arrival Madrid, 3 nights maximum - museums, nightlife, good food, historic centre.
2. Take the high speed train, the AVE, a RENFE service from Madrid Atocha to Cordoba, 1.5 hours trajectory. 1 night - historic centre, fbulous streets for walking, great food.
3. AVE to Sevilla, 1 hour - 2-3 nights - historic centre, fantastic food, nightlife, walking town.
4. Hire car (I recommend Auto Europe, a German intermediary offering car hire services across Europe, http://www.autoeurope.eu/ ) - Head to Cadiz coast for white sand, beautiful beaches. Destination could be Cadiz City, Chiclana de la Frontera, Conil de la Frontera or Puerto de Santa Maria. 3 days maximum.
Here, you can also explore the world of sherry wines and Spanish coñacs in the bodegas that make them. In the triangle between the towns of Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez de la Frontera and Puerto de Santa Maria is where they grow the grapes for the bodegas that produce these wines and coñac.
Good fish on offer on this region as well.
5. In your car, head to Portugal's Algarve, there you can see Faro and the beaches of south Portugal spending the last days of your holiday before heading back to Sevilla.
6. In Sevilla, drop off car rental (you can collect and drop off rental cars at the RENFE station (RENFE Sevilla Santa Justa) and take the AVE back to Madrid for your return flight home.
That is my recommendation on your itinerary for 12-14 days, first time in Spain. If you have any doubts or questions, am happy to provide more assistance.
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Do visit Andalusia - I really loved Granada and Seville.
I am sure Algarve coast is amazing. Its possible to go to Algarve after seeing Andalucía....then up to Lisbon. I can recommend Portugal - found it beautiful! Especially the artistic buildings! Porto I loved more than Lisbon, though.