For our one year anniversary, Tim and I travelled to Spain. Leveraging two weekends, one of which was MDW, we only took 7 days off work. Not to shabby! Additionally, by transferring Chase Sapphire points to Iberia (by way of British Airways), our all-in flight costs were $150 (fuel surcharge & taxes). Round of applause for the Mister.
Although we did this trip in 12 days, this itinerary is designed for a full week. You can adapt it to your timeframe and interests. We're happy to provide some alternate recommendations - just ask!
As I already mentioned, we flew Iberia Airlines from Boston to Madrid. This route is direct and feels like a very quick 7 hours. From there, we designed our itinerary as follows:
first stop: Madrid
We started our trip in the country's capital. What was intended to be three nights and three days ended up as four (more on that later). Three days provide plenty of time to see the sights and leave enough room to meander and tapas your way around town, but two could be enough to hit the highlights. You can certainly spend more time in Madrid and take some day trips to Toledo or Salamanca. Note that we also came back to Madrid for a day at the tail end of our trip as our flight was early in the morning.
numero dos: Seville
A lack of planning kept us from spending our first day in this beautiful city. Yes, believe it or not, even us expert planners mess up sometimes! The Copa del Rey brought Barcelona and Sevilla FC fans to town and all trains were completely sold out for the day. Sadly, we didn't book ours in advance and were unable to get a seat. After exploring every possible option, we ended up booking a same day flight to Seville using points. This not only helped us save money and time, but also kept us from losing a night of a prepaid hotel,
However, despite saving ourselves from having to get an extra hotel room, we missed the entire day in Seville that we had planned. We recommend spending at least two full days exploring this Andalusian paradise, but certainly more if time allows! We plan to come back and spend at least 2-3 more days exploring Seville.
third stop: Ronda
Never heard of Ronda? We'll trust us when we tell you it's absolutely incredible. The town itself brings many a daytripper and tour group. However, just outside the town is a treasure trove of small hotels and vineyards. You'll certainly need a car to get around, but plan to spend at least two nights here. It's a short ride - just 1.5 hours from Seville! You can easily rent an automatic at the airport. We even got an upgrade with an English-speaking GPS.
last stop: Valencia
Before returning to Madrid to fly home, we met Tim's parents in Valencia for 3 days. Valencia can very easily be swapped for Barcelona. We had both traveled to Barca during our study abroad, so we opted for a new city to explore. Each of these cities is easily accessible via short flight from Seville. This was a very leisurely stop for us at three days. We could've easily done two days in Valencia.
We'll be posting in-depth posts on each of these Spanish locations, so stay tuned for more goodness! Until then, happy planning!