2015 travel plans: There’s something about Europe

We know it’s only been a few months since we came back from our honeymoon in East Africa, but we’re already looking forward to our next trip abroad. What can I say, we got the bug.

A few weeks back, we asked you to help us decide where we should go next – Spain or Portugal – and here’s what some of you had to say:

  • W Sit Portugal is less touristic, beautiful mountains and beaches, fado clubs, food, port wines, etc. Lisbon is gorgeous, but the rest of the small towns are just breathtaking.
  • The Travelling Chilli They are both nice. I would choose Spain. The interior of Spain is still unknown to many tourists, who mainly know the beaches. So go and explore the culture, the castles, the food, the history and much more.
  • Stephanie S You know my pick is going to be Portugal. You need at least 3 weeks. So many villages to visit. If you have the time I would go longer so you could see main land & then a few islands.
  • Danielle A Portugal even though I love Spain too. It’s just cheaper, and because it’s smaller so much easier to travel around and see the variety of stuff they have to do. I loved Portugal.
  • Quinta da Condeca Portugal has a beautiful culture, beautiful music (fado), you eat fantasticly well there for very reasonable prices…

Neither of us were expecting the resounding votes for the road less traveled – Portugal. Of the four times we’ve visited Europe, Portugal never quite made it on our list. So you had us thinking, have we been missing out all this time? Thank you all who’ve commented. To be honest, we sort of had our minds made up before asking, but you gave us a lot to think and rethink about. Spain has always been high on our list considering we’ve only been to Barcelona and Ibiza. Portugal sounds divine, it really does. But I think we’re well overdue to get more reasons to fall in love with Spain. I guess that was a lengthy intro just to say..

We are heading to SPAIN!! (with a side trip to Portugal) 😉

We couldn’t help ourselves. We are thrilled to finally take in all of Spain but just could not resist making a side trip to Portugal. We’re so close, why not?! Here are the tentative plans:

Madrid

We’ll land in Madrid and settle into our vacation rental for a couple days. Not entirely sure what we are doing, but I know there is plenty to eat! Maybe check out a Real Madrid futbol game snack and visit a museum or two.

madrid-puerta-del-sol-city


San Sebastian

We’ve heard San Sebastian is the foodie capital of the world, so I’m considering this our foodie pilgrimage. We are looking forward to trying pintxos and maybe we’ll get fancy and dine at one of the many Michelin star restaurants.

San-Sebastian-1a-Pintxos-Bar

 

Granada

The two things on our agenda are enjoying free tapas and seeing the Alhambra in all its glory.

alhambra-granada-2


Cordoba

The former cultural and religious hub of Europe that put all other European cities to shame in terms of population. We’ll visit the Mezquita and hopefully make in time for the Festival of Patios in Cordoba.

cordoba-patio-festival

 

Seville

Can’t visit Spain without a stop at the cultural heart of Andalucia — Seville. No big plans as of yet but I do know a flamenco dance is in there somewhere.

sevilla-flamenco

 

Lisbon

And this, this is a last minute edition thanks to our Facebook fans! I know I will already regret having only a couple days in Lisbon but hey, a taste of Portugal is better than no Portugal. More reasons for us to return and stay longer next time.

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We’re taking tips and recommendations! Please share them in the comments.

 

Photo credits: MadridPintxosAlhambraCordobaSevillaLisbon

 

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  • BakoymaTravels

    This is awesome! I just did this on Facebook, asked my friends to vote for cities in the US and I promised to go to the city that got the most votes. Honolulu won, but I opted for ALL the cities! #USATour2015 :: 7 cities in 5 weeks 😉

    I love fun stuff like this and I commend you for choosing to go to Portugal too, I’ve never been and I’m looking forward to seeing your “reviews” of the place. Happy trails!

  • http://expatedna.com/ Edna

    Madrid: http://expatedna.com/2014/08/16/everything-loved-madrid/ and http://expatedna.com/2014/08/20/the-5-best-things-i-ate-in-madrid/

    Clearly, I’m a fan.

    Also, when are you going? Next year I plan to be in Italy, France, Scotland, Greece, and possibly Portugal…surely we have to cross somewhere?!

    • http://www.gqtrippin.com GQ

      Already was reading up on your posts before we booked the tickets. :) We’re planning on next May. Starting in Madrid and ending in Lisboa. Seriously we need to meet up already!

  • Stephanie Sales

    Lisbon is another BIG city – it’s beautiful but I would recommend you take yourself to the coast & visit Sintra (a fairytale city). Depending on how much you want to spend on your lodging I do have a recommendation for a place that is run like a B&B & the people are very nice. Cascais is also a great place to visit if you are going to Sintra. Obidos is near as well. Enjoy the big city for a day but go to the smaller ones – you’ll get a better taste of Portugal. And when you go back you need to visit Evora – AMAZING!!! About 4 hours from Lisbon if my memory is correct. Enjoy your travels!

  • Hang Schuemmer

    We loved the Alhambra – have a great time!
    If you ever come to Duesseldorf, pls pay us a visit!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Chi Hang, you’d be the first to know if I’m in or near town. 😀

  • Share Traveler

    Use Blablacar to get around. Ridesharing is an amazing way to save money and meet locals! (some stories on my use of it at sharetraveler.com if you want to read more about why i love Blablacar).

    • http://www.gqtrippin.com GQ

      Agreed I heard about blablacar on the radio and stumbled upon it doing research on Spain. Apparently it’s very popular in Europe! We’d love to use blablacar, hopefully some drives will match up to our dates. :)

  • Vanesa Carro

    I’ve been in all places you’ve mentioned and I could give you some advice 😉 I was working at the travel industry for more than 8 years so I can help you a lot. Could you pls give an e-mail? 😉

    • http://www.gqtrippin.com GQ

      That’d be awesome! We could use all the tips we can get. G will shoot you a message.

  • Vanesa Carro

    Or you could write me back to: carromartinez@gmail.com

  • http://www.loveantoinette.com/ Antoinette B.

    I’ve been dying to go back to Madrid since I really preferred it so much more than Barcelona (I know people will beg to differ!) Ate almost every day at the Mercado de San Miguel, I was sooo hooked on that place! Lived in Granada for 2 months learning Spanish – loved it but it’s a smaller town – Seville offers almost the same. Celebrated my 30th bday in San Sebastian – absolutely fell in love with that place, the food especially! And Lisbon was simply amazing! I’m sure you guys will enjoy your Spain/Portugal trip!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Oh wow — tell us more!! Any recs on where to eat?? Favorite restaurants? What’s a not to miss, must-do? :)

  • Space Bags

    If you want to go Western in 2015, Europe is the place to be. It offer you everything and it is something you will never forget in your entire traveling hobby. http://amzn.to/1zt9vrm

  • DanniTwoPeasinaPack

    Hey Danielle A- That’s me :) I feel famous.

    You guys are doing exactly everything I did this summer. I have so many recommends if y’all are interested:

    Sevilla-
    La Carboniera for a fun night of flamenco and low key bar
    Puratasca for amazing food in the Triana district
    Some tapas place called ‘duo’ something for tapas in a square with tons of people relaxing and enjoying life
    Cathedral was interesting.
    Real Alcazar was beautiful
    Go up the ‘Las Setas’ Structure and have you included wine over looking the city.
    Restaurant Eslava for more elevated tapas amazing. Be sure to get the thing with the egg.

    Granada-
    The Alhambra is a dream
    Climb up through the old Arabic neighborhood Albaycin to get a good view of the Alhambra
    Bar Poe- Buy drink get some free yummy food not necessarily Spanish food, but so so fun.
    We have our pics here: http://twopeasinapack.blogspot.ae/2014/11/photo-diary-sevilla-and-grenada.html

    San Sebastian-
    Restaurants:
    Cuchara del San Telmo – their foie gras and octopus are dreamy
    Bar Nestor
    Borda Berri
    La vina for their amazing cheesecake
    Take a hike up the hills to get a view of the beach

    Lisbon-
    Go to the Alfama district and walk around too gorgeous.
    Our pics from Alfama http://twopeasinapack.blogspot.ae/2014/08/pictures-from-portugal-day-in-alfama.html
    In Alfama eat at Cruzes Credo and get the pork and clams if they still have it. We went twice.
    Belem for Pastel de Belem
    Sintra if you have time.
    There are endless museums

    These are just off the top of my head. Sorry for the lack of grammar – We are running out the door but I just had to share. I loved every second of it. I can’t wait to see what you guys think.

    • http://www.gqtrippin.com GQ

      OMG you’re so awesome! Thanks so much for the recs. You know the way to our hearts is through our stomachs haha! I look forward to all of these, but mostly that foie and octopus sounds divine.. and “the thing with the egg” too LOL!

  • Krissie Bacho

    No way! I think Dan and I are going to Madrid in March (I’ve never been and he’s only been to Barcelona). I am overwhelmed by all the things there are to do/see, but am getting increasingly excited about it. :)

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