The title itself is a misnomer. It is not possible to see all of Spain in 10 days. However, if that is all the time you have, then this Spain itinerary will ensure you at least manage to see some of the best the country has to offer.
10 day Spain itinerary:
3 nights Barcelona
4 nights Andalucia
3 nights Madrid
I would have liked to spend more time exploring Andalucia, maybe a day more in Barcelona. But 10 days was the best I could do with limited vacation time. Also, at that time I did not know I was going to fall in love with Andalucia!
Day 1-3: Barcelona
We flew Mumbai – Barcelona with Qatar Airways and spent our first 3 days in Spain exploring this beautiful Catalan city. We walked down La Ramblas, cycled in the narrow streets of Barri Gotic, gawked at Gaudi’s Park Guell and Sagrada Familia and spent a few hours on the Barceloneta beach.
1. Visit the Sagrada Familia and marvel as Gaudi’s yet-to-complete masterpiece
2. Stroll down Las Ramblas
3. Walking tour of Barri Gotic. This is a great one.
Day 4-5: Andalucian countryside and towns
Then, we took a flight to Malaga and rented a car through Sixt to begin our Andalucian road trip. We chose Cortijo Sabila in the white village of Villanueva del Rosario as our base since it was an hour away from both Malaga and Granada. Read more about our experience here.
We spent the next couple of days hiking the limestone rock formations of El Torcal , exploring the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada and relaxing in the comforts of our hotel.
- Visit the Alhambra in Granada. Pre-book your tickets to Nasrid Palace as otherwise you WILL NOT be able to see them.
- Drive around the beautiful countryside and stop at any white village for a spot of food. Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra are highly recommended.
Day 6-7: Ronda and Seville
En-route to Seville , we stopped at Ronda for lunch. This is a small, beautiful town that is built dramatically on top of a river gorge.
Seville is the biggest city in Andalucia and is famous for bullfighting and the Flamenco dance. It was terribly hot even in May so we spent noon time within the confines of our cool apartment. We saw the Seville Cathedral, the largest in Spain and third largest in the world. We also enjoyed a very authentic flamenco performance at the Casa de la flamenco.
- Sevile Cathedral
- Watch a flamenco performance. Avoid the touristy ones ( the dinner with dance ones)
- Wander around the narrow alleys and get lost!
Day 8-10: Madrid
Our last stop was Madrid, the capital city. The royal palace is a major attraction and right next door is the Almudena Cathedral, where Crown Prince Felipe and princess Letizia were married. The Retiro park is an oasis in the middle of the bustling city and I could have spent a whole day there, with a book and a bottle of wine!
We spent hours looking at the amazing collection of paintings in Prado museum – there was also an exhibition of Picasso’s works there at the time, which we saw but could not relate to ( I think we are more into Renaissance art than modern art!). Evenings were spent sipping sangria and watching the world go by.
- Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral
- Retiro park
- Prado museum
10 days is just enough time to get a flavour of this Mediterranean country. This itinerary for Spain takes you to 2 beautiful cities and some stunning countryside. It also avoids the beach resorts of the Costa del Sol which suffer from overtourism and ugly developments. If you have a few more days, add on day trips from Barcelona or Madrid. Or just spend more time in Andalucia. That’s what I would do!
Have you been to Spain? Tell me what you loved!