28 days in Barcelona, Madrid & Costa del Sol Itinerary

28 days in Barcelona, Madrid & Costa del Sol Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in Barcelona, Madrid & Costa del Sol Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  9​h
1
Barcelona
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Madrid
— 4 nights
train + bus:  4​h 15​min
3
Estepona
— 2 nights
bus:  30​min
4
Marbella
— 3 nights
Drive:  45​min
5
Torremolinos
— 3 nights
Drive:  15​min
6
Fuengirola
— 3 nights
Drive:  45​min
7
Malaga
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
8
Antequera
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
9
Nerja
— 2 nights
+3
bus + train + shuttle + Fly:  17​h 45​min
End: Toronto

2
nights
Barcelona

Barcelona ©
Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Basilica of the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Cathedral. Museum-lovers will appreciate Museu Maritim de Barcelona and Frederic Mares Museum (Museu Frederic Mares). Next up on the itinerary: shop like a local with La Boqueria, don't miss a visit to Casa Mila - La Pedrera, contemplate the long history of Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, and admire the landmark architecture of Casa Batllo.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Barcelona trip planner .

Toronto, Canada to Barcelona is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You'll lose 6 hours traveling from Toronto to Barcelona due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Toronto in September; daily highs in Barcelona reach 30°C and lows reach 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to take a train to Madrid.

Things to do in Barcelona

Historic Sites Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
La Boqueria ©
La Boqueria
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia ©
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
Barcelona Cathedral ©
Barcelona Cathedral

4
nights
Madrid

Madrid ©
Madrid is known for its cultural and artistic heritage, lively nightlife, and a dynamic culinary scene.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Museo Sorolla and Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande. For shopping fun, head to Mercado San Miguel or Mercado la Cebada. Change things up with these side-trips from Madrid: Toledo (Museo de Santa Cruz, Alcazar - Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha, & more) and Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (in San Lorenzo de El Escorial). And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Royal Palace of Madrid, take an in-depth tour of Museo de America, explore the striking landscape at The Cares Gorge, and see the interesting displays at Lope de Vega Museum.

To find more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Madrid holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Barcelona to Madrid takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Barcelona in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Madrid, with lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) to allow time to travel to Estepona.

Things to do in Madrid

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Toledo, Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, The Cares Gorge
Highlights from your plan
Royal Palace of Madrid ©
Royal Palace of Madrid
Plaza Mayor ©
Plaza Mayor

2
nights
Estepona

Estepona ©
Estepona is a town and municipality in the comarca of the Costa del Sol, southern Spain. On the 22nd (Tue), look for gifts at Jamones Popi, examine the collection at Museo Arqueologico de Estepona, then look for gifts at Mercado Municipal de Abastos, then look for gifts at La Tienda de Las Llaves, and finally see the interesting displays at Palaeontology Museum of Estepona. On your second day here, take a memorable tour with Turismo Marinero Costa del Sol, then stroll through Del Cristo Beach, and then don't miss a visit to Castillo de San Luis de Estepona.

To find maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Estepona trip planner.

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Madrid to Estepona takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Madrid in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Estepona, with lows of 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Marbella.

Things to do in Estepona

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Del Cristo Beach ©
Del Cristo Beach
Palaeontology Museum of Estepona ©
Palaeontology Museum of Estepona
Museo Arqueologico de Estepona ©
Museo Arqueologico de Estepona

3
nights
Marbella

Marbella ©
Once a village of humble fishermen, Marbella is now one of the most cosmopolitan beach resorts on Spain’s world-famous Costa del Sol, boasting swanky nightclubs, classy hotels, and expensive restaurants.
Head to Vintage Deja Vu and Cuisine Paradisofor plenty of shopping. Get in touch with nature at Diving Life and NaluSur. The adventure continues: take a stroll through Marbella Old Town, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion, get outside with Beach Fit Marbella, and kick back and relax at Cabopino Beach.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Marbella online trip builder .

Marbella is very close to Estepona. September in Marbella sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Torremolinos.

Things to do in Marbella

Outdoors Tours Parks
Highlights from your plan
NaluSur ©
NaluSur
Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion ©
Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion
Vintage Deja Vu ©
Vintage Deja Vu

3
nights
Torremolinos

Torremolinos ©
Torremolinos is a municipality on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, immediately to the west of the city of Málaga, in the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. Explore hidden gems such as Playa El Bajondillo and Church of San Miguel. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa La Carihuela and Carvajal Beach. Go for a jaunt from Torremolinos to Gaucin to see Castillo del Aguila about 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Malapesquera Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa de Benalnatura, hike along Picos de Mijas, and step into the grandiose world of Castillo de Bil Bil.

To find where to stay, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Torremolinos trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Marbella to Torremolinos in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to drive to Fuengirola.

Things to do in Torremolinos

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Benalmadena, Picos de Mijas, Castillo del Aguila
Highlights from your plan
Playa La Carihuela ©
Playa La Carihuela
Playa El Bajondillo ©
Playa El Bajondillo
Castillo de Bil Bil ©
Castillo de Bil Bil

3
nights
Fuengirola

Fuengirola ©
An enchanting mix of tranquil beaches and urban atmosphere, the metropolis of Fuengirola remains one of the Costa del Sol’s most visited cities.
Discover out-of-the-way places like El Tajo de Ronda and Bioparc. We've included these beaches for you: Playa de Calahonda and La Perla Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Fuengirola side-trips: Museo Lara (in Ronda) and Cueva de la Pileta (in Benaojan). And it doesn't end there: get some thrills out on the water with Pirate Parasailing & Watersports, fly like a bird with Smile High Parasailing & Watersports, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Fuengirola Street Market.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Fuengirola planning tool .

Fuengirola is just a short distance from Torremolinos. In September, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can drive to Malaga.

Things to do in Fuengirola

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Ronda, Playa de Calahonda, Cueva de la Pileta, La Perla Beach
Highlights from your plan
El Tajo de Ronda ©
El Tajo de Ronda
Playa de Calahonda ©
Playa de Calahonda
Cueva de la Pileta ©
Cueva de la Pileta

3
nights
Malaga

Malaga ©
Modern yet historic, Málaga is a lively city famous for being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
Get some historical perspective at Castillo de Gibralfaro and Malaga Cathedral. Explore hidden gems such as Mercado Central de Atarazanas and The Smile Bank. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Malaga: Mijas Magic (in Mijas) and Parque De La Paloma (in Benalmadena). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Malaga, kick back and relax at Playa de La Malagueta, take an in-depth tour of Alcazaba, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Malaga road trip app .

Traveling by car from Fuengirola to Malaga takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In October, daytime highs in Malaga are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Antequera.

Things to do in Malaga

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Mijas, Parque De La Paloma
Highlights from your plan
Mercado Central de Atarazanas ©
Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Castillo de Gibralfaro ©
Castillo de Gibralfaro
Malaga Cathedral ©
Malaga Cathedral

3
nights
Antequera

Antequera ©
You'll explore and learn at Archive Saint John of God Museum and Museo de las Descalzas. Step off the beaten path and head to El Caminito Del Rey, El Chorro and El Torcal de Antequera. Go for a jaunt from Antequera to Granada to see La Qarmita Bookshop-Cafe about 1h 25 min away.

Planning Antequera trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Getting from Malaga to Antequera by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In October in Antequera, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to Nerja.

Things to do in Antequera

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Granada, Caminito Del Re, El Caminito Del Rey, El Chorro
Highlights from your plan
El Caminito Del Rey, El Chorro ©
El Caminito Del Rey, El Chorro
El Torcal de Antequera ©
El Torcal de Antequera
Dolmen de Menga ©
Dolmen de Menga

2
nights
Nerja

Nerja ©
Nerja is a municipality on the Costa del Sol in the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. On the 9th (Fri), step into the grandiose world of Alhambra. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Burriana Beach, then Head underground at Fundación Cueva de Nerja, and then don't miss a visit to Balcon de Europa.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Nerja online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Antequera to Nerja by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Antequera in October, expect little chillier with lows of 14°C in Nerja. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Nerja

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trip

Alhambra
Highlights from your plan
Alhambra ©
Alhambra
Fundación Cueva de Nerja ©
Fundación Cueva de Nerja
Burriana Beach ©
Burriana Beach

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