How Should I Spend My Time in Spain?
Ask Rolf: Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel
08.21.08 | 12:48 PM ET
I will be traveling to southern Spain and possibly Morocco. What is the best way to travel if we have five days for Seville, Tarifa, Tangiers and Granada? How would you distribute your time?
This might not be the answer you were looking for, but my advice would be to pick one town and spend all five days there. Better to have the relaxed, deliberate experience of one place than a rushed taste of four. Which place you choose is up to your own tastes (I’d personally go with Tangiers, since I’d reckon Morocco is grittier than the Spanish towns—but that’s just my own preference).
In general, whether traveling to Spain or Suriname or Syria—for five days or five months or five years—it’s best not to be overambitious with your itinerary. This can be hard to do sometimes, since the world is huge and you naturally want to see as much as possible during your allotted travel time.
The fact is, however, that you actually see less when you schedule many sights into a short amount of time. Trying to see Seville, Tarifa, Tangiers and Granada in five days is the perfect way to see almost nothing of any one destination—since most of your time will be spent in taxis, buses, ferries and hotel lobbies, rushing from one location to another. And even in one location, it’s hard to truly acclimate to a place in a single afternoon. That’s why the best way to see Spain is not to shuttle through several destinations in five days, but savor a single place for five days. Both your experience and your memories will be richer as a result.