Spain Vacation

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krafty81
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Location: San Diego, CA

Spain Vacation

Post by krafty81 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:43 pm

Starting to plan for wife and I. Suggestions?

dpm321
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by dpm321 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:11 pm

Can you give us a few hints on what you are looking for? Spain has a huge variety of options.

Mickey7
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Mickey7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:29 pm

First determine what will be your A priorities that you must see in the time you have allotted for your trip.
Go out and buy the Rick Steves book on Spain.
Once you do this we can give you some more specific help.

Tribonian
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Tribonian » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:51 pm

Always ask about the menu del día in restaurants. It’s a fascist legacy based on the notion that everyone should be able to get a nutritionally balanced meal essentially at cost. Should include water, a glass of wine, a slice of bread, a first course, second meat or fish course, and a piece of fruit or other desert.

killjoy2012
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by killjoy2012 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:57 pm

1) Do it.
2) Use the user forum at Trip Advisor for ideas, input, questions, etc.
3) While the options are limitless, flying into Madrid is usually inexpensive and a good place to start. You can then work your way south to see Toledo, Sevilla, Granada, Malaga, etc. all by train. Big question is whether Barcelona is a must (since it's way out of way of everything else), and if you were planning to time the trip to other holidays and such, like running of the bulls in Pamplona. We flew into Madrid, home from Malaga, and trained it in between for both day trips and moving home base.
4) Don't skip Sevilla. I could see myself retiring there! We planned just an overnight and wound up staying 5 days.

As with any trip, your interests and priorities should largely determine the itinerary.
Last edited by killjoy2012 on Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thesaints
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Thesaints » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:58 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:43 pm
Starting to plan for wife and I. Suggestions?
I think you can write it off your taxes, if you post some pics on BH.

viewtopic.php?p=4409080#p4409080

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Redbeard the Pirate
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Redbeard the Pirate » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:01 pm

If this is your first trip, I'd suggest that you borrow or buy the latest edition of "Rick Steves' Spain" Guidebook. There's a lot of good information in there, not only about where to go and what to see, but also how to get around once you are there.

Madrid isn't necessarily my favorite city in Spain (though it grows on me a bit more with each visit), but it is a wonderful central location that serves as a transportation hub both for air and rail travel. If you fly into Madrid, you can spend a few days there becoming un-jettlagged, if need be, while taking in the big city and all that it has to offer, then go on some daytrips (Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, etc) , and finally start moving around the country to some of the other major cities if you have time. Barcelona also makes a nice starting point for a trip, heading to Madrid and then further out afterward.

I've been to Spain three times now, and I still have so much more that I want to see and do there. As with any trip to Europe, there is only so much that you can reasonably pack into given amount of time without wearing yourself out, and Spain is a big country.

Starfish
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Starfish » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:53 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:43 pm
Starting to plan for wife and I. Suggestions?
Yes.



PS: Some basic information like the duration of the trip, the season what do you like, would help.

btenny
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by btenny » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:55 pm

I only saw a little of Spain in Valencia and Barcelona on a quick 5 day trip. Both are wonderful places. I highly recommend both. We want to go back and see more.

We flew into Barcelona direct from England after a week visit there. We spent three days visiting the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona and the various fanciful Gaudi buildings and city scapes around town. Then we traveled out to the Montserrat mountain top church to see that and the Black Madonna. We also visited a Spanish winery and had great Spanish food. Then we traveled by high speed train to Valencia to see the science city and the Holy Grail. That city has all kinds of fancy futuristic buildings and ultra modern architecture. We bike toured the park and the buildings and the water features and bridges. Then we went to see the Holly Grail chalice at the Valencia Cathedral. Everything was great. See the links below......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_G ... _buildings
https://www.montserrat-tourist-guide.co ... spain.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cava_(Spanish_wine)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Arts_and_Sciences
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Chalice

Topic Author
krafty81
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Spain Vacation

Post by krafty81 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks - book ordered!

Details - one week trip in May.

We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.

rich126
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by rich126 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:17 pm

Personally I think the Rick Steve’s forum is a great place to get advice, more so than the other recs. I’m not really a follower of rick steves but the forum is very helpful.

I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Barcelona from friends.

Skiandswim
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Skiandswim » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:33 am

So much to see and do in Spain ... you will be overwhelmed with choices. You will find lots of information online as noted by other posts.

I would recommend some hiking, biking experiences near Barcelona that are wonderful. Cadaqués is small village north of Barcelona on coast, great food and views. Many hiking trails. A short distance away is Cap de Creus national park with beautiful coastal cliffs and coves. There are ways to get to Cadaqués by bus, but I would recommend a rental car for 2 hour drive.

http://www.visitcadaques.org/?lang=uk&sec=natura

Montserrat has been mentioned. There are a series of well marked hiking trails that start at the monastery and go you into the higher mountains. On clear days you can see to the ocean and also Pyrenees mountains. The trail and funicular to get to monastery are easy from Barcelona.

https://thewholeworldornothing.com/mont ... lona-hike/

Barcelona is a great city for biking. You can rent a bike and explore the city quickly. The downtown district has an extensive set of bike lanes. Bike theft is common so take precautions and discuss with bike rental shop. Road cycling and mountain biking outside the city in the mountains is popular but a bit more complicated.

Sitges is a coastal town about 40 min by train south of Barcelona. Quaint town with nice food, beaches, walking, sites, etc. Easy day trip or overnight.

Enjoy!

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Bogle7
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Catalunya

Post by Bogle7 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:09 am

Fly into BCN. Take the R2 Sud from the airport (35 min) to --

Sitges for your beach town. The eating is very good.
Stay in the old part of this small (28K pop) city.
After 3 days, take the R2 Sud (45 min) to Barcelona Sants and taxi to your abode.

Barcelona for your big city.
We did 3 in Sitges and 8 in Barcelona as part of our trip last Fall.
Last edited by Bogle7 on Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kiter
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Kiter » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:37 am

The Alhambra

atreat600
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by atreat600 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:55 am

San Senastian (Donostia) is my favorite place on the planet. Wonderful food city located on three small beaches. Still fairly quiet tourist wise all things considered. Barcelona was “ok” but was ready to leave after 3 days IMO

Starfish
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Starfish » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:37 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm
Thanks - book ordered!

Details - one week trip in May.

We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.
That is short enough to require almost o planning. Just go to Barcelona and maybe see something around.

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Rocco Sampler
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Rocco Sampler » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm

Lots of choices. Here are some suggestions.

Madrid: Museums Prado (classic art - pay for a guide - they are experts, worth every penny) and Reina Sofia (modern art); Casa de Sorolla is the home of the artist Sorolla, day trip to Toledo.
Cordoba: The ancient Mezquita (mosque). If you're going in May check out a tour of home patios that are spectacularly decorated with flowers.
Buñol (near Valencia the third Wednesday of August) for la Tomatina, the world's largest tomato fight if interested.
Seville: great city. The Fair (or feria) held May 4-11th. The Alcazar, the Catherdral, the Santa Cruz neighborhood, Flamenco at Tablao Flamenco or El Arenal. Eat dinner at an outdoor restaurant in the Santa Cruz district one night. It's a great city to walk around in day or night.
Ronda: beautiful city in southern Spain built on both sides of a deep river gorge.
Granada: The Alhambra palace.
Santiago de Compostela: the Cathedra where St. James is entombed and many "pilgrims" trek to from France each years.
Stay in a Parador, which is an old castle or historic building converted into a hotel ( https://www.parador.es/en?gclid=EAIaIQo ... lsrc=aw.ds ).
Ride the AVE bullet train for fast comfortable travel between selected cities

Personally, I think Barcelona takes a back seat to the rest of Spain, but that's just one man's opinion. You'll have fun whatever you choose to do.

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Rocco Sampler
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Rocco Sampler » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:03 pm


UpperNwGuy
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:15 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm
Thanks - book ordered!

Details - one week trip in May.

We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.
If you seriously plan to bike, hike, and go to the beach, all within one week, then you need to pick one coastal city with some beautiful sites (Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, or Cadiz) and use that as your base of operations. I've done 10-day, 12-day, 16-day, and 21-day trips to Spain, and I have learned that there is only so much you can do in a short trip. I visited 6 Spanish cities in 16 days last year, and it was too much. This year I'll visit just 2 Spanish cities in 16 days.

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Watty
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:52 pm

See the Rick Steves book for which attractions you will need to get tickets for in advance.

Probably Sagrada Familia(also book a tower tour) in Barcelona, Alcarzar in Sevelle, Alhambra in Granada, and some others.

May will be a busy time in Spain since a lot of people go there before it gets too hot in the summer so check the Rick Steves books for suggestions on how to get into some of the popular attractions if it is already too late to buy your tickets online. There is usually a way.

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm
Details - one week trip in May.

We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.
Probably Barcelona and some day or overnight trips from there.

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Peter Foley
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by Peter Foley » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:53 pm

I've been to Spain a number of times having both studied there and taught there.

OP wrote:
We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.
With a one week travel plan these are more easily done with Barcelona as a base camp than Madrid. Madrid and key surrounding cities are great for art and history. Barcelona with a couple side trips will give you more of what you mention above.

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blaugranamd
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Re: Spain Vacation

Post by blaugranamd » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:57 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05 pm
Thanks - book ordered!

Details - one week trip in May.

We like biking, hiking, wine, good food, beautiful sites, beaches.
Sounds like San Sebastian in Basque country is for you.
-- Don't mistake more funds for more diversity: Total Int'l + Total Market = 7k to 10k stocks -- | -- Market return does NOT = average nor 50th percentile, rather 80-90th percentile long term ---

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