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Roundtrip Iberia

Suggestet route on a roundtrip to Spain and Portugal

I have shosen to make this pake in adition to the page Destination Spain and Destination Portugal pages. The main difference is that you may use Destination Spain as a reference to Spanish culture and cities while this page contains recomandations on travel routes if you have planned to travel entire Spain in one go. I'm not going to provide as much detailed information about every stop I write about in this proposal. For more information about the places I write about here I recommend Wikipedia and Wikitravel so you can read more about these places. When it comes to places to stay so I would recommend hostels. Hostelworld.com is one of the largest sites for booking hostels and this site can definitely be recommended. If you book the hostel that is between 15 and 20 Euro night so do you live in places that have pretty good security, they are neat, clean, etc.

Let's say the first stop is Barcelona. If you want to see averything i Barcelona you should spend between a week and a week and a half in the city. As far as I remember it costs a little under 5 euros with coach from the airport to the center. Placa Catalunya is the main square of the city and a hub for public transport. Picasso Museum, La Sagra Familia, Old Town, Montjuïc, Park Güel, La Rambla, the old Cathedral (not La Sagra familia but the cathedral in the old town), the harbor and the aquarium are places you should visit. Montjuic is a hill just over the city and using at least one day in this place. You will find the Olympic facility from 1992, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and a castle that in the old days were used to defend the city.

While staying in Barcelona you can also take a day trip to Andorra. Andorra is said to be tax-free heaven but it is not so cheap that people claims it to be. When I was there I looked for a Dior aftershave which turned out to be as expensive as in Spain. It was actually 20 euros cheaper at the airport in Lisbon than in Andorra. Depending on which departure you choose, the bus from Barcelona take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours so check in advance before you decide when you want to go there. The nature in and around Andorra is one of the nicest I've been in and can be highly recommended.

After you have been to Andorra and Barcelona, you can travel down the coast to Valencia. The trip takes about 4 hours by bus. Wwhen I lived there I lived in Hôme Backpackers which is one of the best hostels in Europe. In The heart of the city is within walking distance to everything. You are going to love the beach in Valencia, I will however recommend that you take the metro or tram to get there. Staying in Valencia, I would recommend the City of Arts and Sciences, old town, and bullfighting arena. Through the city a river named Turia used to flow. After a flood, the city moved the river and built a crazy huge park area where the river bed used to be. City of Arts and Science is built at the in the end of the riverbed. The dish Paella is from Valencia so it's a must to eat when you're in town. Ff you eat it in other parts of Spain it is quite possible it's made in Valencia, frozen and shipped by truck. The city is known for its nightlife which of course must be experienced.

From Valencia, you can either go to Madrid or further along the coast. I recommend along the coast to Alicante. It takes roughly 3.5 hours by bus from Valencia to Alicante. Although I didnt think Alicante was so that exciting but you could spend a day or two there and have a look. Alicante is most famous for its beaches but there are a few other places worth visiting. I will at least advise you to see the Castle of Santa Barbara. On top of this fortress, you have really good view of the inland and miles of coastline in both directions (perhaps no wonder they built it there in the first place). When I crawled up there I walked on a 3 meter wide wall and it was pretty steep on both sides. I had planned to use the same road down but I discovered that the road was actually closed. No wonder I have not met anyone else on the way up.

Moving on from Alicante I did not find anything particularly interesting until Granada. Slightly depending on the departure the bus trip takes just under 5 hours and 6 hours. When I visited Alicante there where 3 dayly departures from Alicante to Granada. Moors considered Granada to be close to heaven, and after spending five days there I cant agree more. Granada is like heaven on earth. The Alhambra, the old town, the cathedral (where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella is resting in the crypt) and the caves are mandatory to visit. caves dug into a hillside and there is a lot of those are pretty good standard. there is a separate cave museum in the city. when I was in Granada, I stayed at the Oasis which is an amazing place. Oasis is a chain of hostels which are also located in Seville and Lisbon and all of these are strongly recommended. You should get full benefit from Granada, I definitely recommend that you are there at least 5 days. Granada is located in the mountains so it's pretty nice scenery around the city.

From Granada you should travel to Córrdoba. The bus ride from Granada to Cordoba takes about 2.5 hours. Cordoba is a very old town with lots of cultural buildings and interesting history. Once upon the time Córdoba was one of the largest and most important cities in western Europe. I recomend you see the Great Mosque of Córdoba is unlike all other religious buildings you'll ever seen. You should also visit Alcázar of the Christian Kings, which is a pretty nice park. Also check out the Jewish quarter.

From Córdoba, I recommend that you go to Málaga. The train between those cities takes approximately 1.5 hours if I do not remember all wrong. In Málaga, I recommend that you catch the Alcazaba which is located on a hill in the city. There is a walkway on the waterfront to the top of this. It is a struggle to reach the top but it's a struggle I would recommend you to endure. From Málaga you have a couple options that you can consider. You can either go through the Ronda to Seville or through Tarifa and Cadiz to Seville. Take the latter trip, I recommend you anyway to go back Ronda. Tarifa is the southernmost point in continental Europe and for this reason it is a good place to visit. Overnight in Tarifa you can also go to Gibraltar which is about a half hour bus ride. Tarifa has not that much to offer culturally but it is said to be one of the best places to surf and kite in Europe so it's pretty cool people who live there. Visiting Tarifa I stayed at The Melting pot hostel that I would recommend you to stay. After you have been a few nights in Tarifa and been on day trips to Gibraltar, take a bus to Cadíz, which is a very nice city. Moreover, this city has very nice beaches as it is lovely to relax on. In Cádiz there are many forts and other historic buildings to look at. This was the city where the gold from the Americas arrived so it where plunderes several times and have been an important place in Spanish history.

From Cadiz, you can move on to Seville which is also a very nice city. If you skipped Ronda on the way to Seville, you can visit the city from here. If you want to see everything there is to see in Seville, you should probably be here a week. The cathedral (which is the third largest church in the world), the church tower, the Alcázar of Seville, the Torre del Oro, the Bull fighting Museum and Plaza de España are all places that are recommended in this city. In sevillasleep at Oasis backpackers hostels Seville.

From Seville, you should go up to Madrid. In Madrid, I stayed in Musas Residence and it is a place I would recommend. It is centrally located in La Latina, one of the hottest areas of Madrid and within walking distance to everything. You should at least use one and a half weeks in Madrid to catch up on everything. I dont bother to list all places you should see in Madrid on this page. Instead I recomend you to read my page Destination Spain. Staying in Madrid, I would recommend day trips to Toledo, Salamanca and Segovia. It takes no more than an hour to Segovia and Toledo while Salamanca is 2.5 hours away by coach.

From Madrid head to Pamplona. It is a long busride but I enjoyed myself in Pamplona and it is one of the cities a "must" visit in Spain. In Pamplona, I stayed in the Hostel Hemingway that I liked. In this city, is obligatory to visit the old town, bull fighting arena and the route that follows the run of the bulls. The run of the bull is in a festival every Juli and if you have planned to attend you should book well in advance. After a few days in Pamplona, you can move on to San Sebastián. This is one of my favorite cities in Spain and is strongly recommended. Here, I stayed at the Hostel Enjoy San Sebastián. It is a bit worn down but it is located in the old town within walking distance to everything. Here you should add a visit to the beach, shopping area, top of the mountain, old town and at the aquarium.

After San Sebastián you can move on to Bilbao. It really isnt that much to see but the Guggenheim museum an dthe old town in Bilbao but it is a city that you should add a visit. Staying in Bilbao i stayed at Bilbao Akelarre Hostel. From Bilbao, you should go for Vítoria is the capital of the Basque Country. This city also offers a lot of charm with various interesting places to visit. After Vitoria, you should go to Léon. From Léon, you should go to Santiago de Compostela. This city is the end of one of the most famous pilgrim voyages and one of the most important cities in the Catholic world. John the Baptist (or is claimed to be his remains) is located in the crypt of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The old town and the area around the cathedral are the sites that are worth visiting. Right next to the cathedral is a hotel that where build by King and Queen Isabella Ferdinan with the money they got when they reconquered Granada from the Moors.

From Santiago de Compostela can continue to Portugal and Porto. Porto is one of the cities I've been in that I've liked the most. When I was in Porto, I lived in Rivoli Cinema Hostel is pretty cool. They have themes from different movies in each room. The bathroom on the floor I lived in had, of course, Psyco-theme. I would recommend that you go on day trips to Vila Real and Chaves. It is not so much to see in these towns and it is stunning nature in this area. There is a boat from Vila Real to Porto and it is recommended that you take. From Porto, I recommend that the tour goes on to Lisbon, which is also a nice place. Here, I stayed at Oasis backpackers Mansion, which is a villa located in the city center. In Lisbon it is very much to see and I would recommend you to read on my website, Wikipedia and Wikitravel what is worth seeing.

In Spain is the general English skills are pretty bad. If you got the time I recommend you to learn some basic Spanish before you go or bring a dictionary so you can easily make yourself understood. People in Spain are quite different depending on where you travel. In Galicia (northwest) they got a sadness to them I havent seen anywhere else. In other parts of Spain they seems like a very proud people. In the Basque partof Spain I experienced them alot much more helpful than in other parts of the country. Spaniards in general are quite helpfull but in the north they had the litle extra. The atmosphere in northern Spain is much more laid back and relaxed than it is in the south and east of the country. Madrid is all very hectic but it problaby is like that because it is such a large city. Andalusia (which is the southernmost region of Spain) is one of the two hottest spots in Europe so it can get quite hot there in the middle of summer. In the Spanish highlands are warm during the day and quite cold at night. On the last trip I had I brought my gloves and hat that I slept with to avoid to wake up in the middle of the night because I was cold. On most of the hostels I've been too you'll only get a sheet to have over you at night so there is a chance you are going to get cold. I would recommend that you ask for extra sheets and/or blanket. In the north it is quite green nature of is quite different than itis in other parts of the country. They have used quite a few billions to build roads and hight speed trains so it's very easy to get around in Spain, both with coach, train and car.

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