As of now have Best of Andalucia booked for October of 2023. Considering doing up to an additional two weeks solo in Spain. Interested in two, maybe three locations that would make great base locations for stays up to a week – with local sites and possible day trips. Would depend on public transportation – no car. Any that have first hand knowledge of this tour – please share. As an aside – also looking at a similar type option in England, but am leaning towards Spain. Interests include history, architecture, photography….. Food is not a priority – but I do eat. Should I book later – earlier? Thanks for all comments – appreciate the help.
Do you mean should you book earlier in the year? I think October should be great–not as hot as September.
I would suggest a week in Madrid because you have so many day trip options. For the other week, I would actually stay longer in Andalucia, as it has all you seek and the public transport is good.
Since you didn’t mention art, I wouldn’t recommend Madrid. It’s the least interesting city I’ve been to in Spain, and one of the least interesting capital cities in Europe. I’d start by flying into Madrid and going right to Toledo for 2-3 nights, then another night or possibly 2 in Cordoba before the tour. After the tour, I would spend 2-3 nights more in Sevilla, there’s so much to see and do that the tour can’t possibly cover. You can also day trip to Cadiz (about 1.5 hours on the train each way). Then I’d spend the rest of the time in Barcelona. There is so much to see and do there and a goodly number of fine day trips, that you could fill 2 weeks there. Fly open-jaw Madrid-Barcelona.
We’re also booked on the Andalucía tour in October, but haven’t yet decided what to do after the tour. We will probably go to Barcelona, one of my husband’s favorite places. Or the Netherlands.
By the time the tour ends, we will already have been in Europe for almost 6 weeks, so right now, we’re just tossing ideas around, not booking anything.
So much can happen between now and then.
My husband and I will be in Barcelona in October 2022. We are planning a day trip to Girona due to the suggestions by many on this forum.
We just returned from two weeks in England. Having been to both England recently and Andalucia in 2019, I can say that for us, the food in Spain was delightful and plentiful. Of course, there are many options in England, throughout. Spain was very cost-effective, to say the least.
We took the Andalucia tour in May of this year and then extended to San Sebastian. If you have two weeks, I would spend the first week in San Sebastian, where you can day trip to Bilbao if you’d like, or just hang there, as it is one of our favorite places. The beach meets the city and it’s all walkable. We rented an Airbnb and had a great time frequenting the pinxtos bars (tapas). We originally discovered San Sebastian on a RS tour and have been back there three times (yes we love it).
I would spend the second week in Madrid, it is very walkable in the city center, the metro is fantastic and you won’t run out of things to see and do–just follow the RS guidebook. We have been to Madrid numerous times and keep going back to Spain.
We go in and out of Madrid, it’s an easy international hub and for us, a non-stop flight. If this interests you, PM me and I will send you more ideas on restaurants, spots, etc.
Other ideas for you include Lisbon, where you’ll find lots of architecture, history, and great food & wine.