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2-3 month family Spain experience - suggestions and advice?

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Hello there,

My family would like to embark on a longer term trip to Spain and France and perhaps elsewhere. I am looking for any suggestions and advice for the Spain portion of our plans.
We would like to spend 2-3 months in a warm part of Spain starting this September. My children are aged 12 and 15 and one of them will have one year of high school Spanish under her belt. I can speak Spanish although it is a bit rusty. Ideally here’s what we would like:

A smallish town with enough amenities to keep us active and allow for opportunities to meet local families and have an authentic experience. We don’t want to be in a tourist town and we don’t need to be on the coast.
We would like to do lots of hiking and biking - my 15 year old son and my husband are avid mountain bikers and my daughter and I would like to do some less arduous rides around the countryside, visiting little towns etc.
I would love for my daughter to be able to attend a local school for a couple of months. She will be homeschooled in her core subjects for coming back to Canada but I would like her to meet other kids and put her Spanish to good use.
Also, we are going on to France (both kids speak French) and then some of Italy as well as Prague.

So on our list of wants is : nice friendly town with easy access to walks/runs/hikes and bikes
A nice market as we will be on a budget and cooking at home a lot.
Spanish rather than Catalan speaking - I think this would make sense as that is the language we can use (?) (We are going to meet up family in Barcelona in October for a few days)
Other community amenities such as a gym, pool, library, horseback riding place, youth centre would be a bonus.
Some volunteer opportunities would be great. I would love for my 15 year old to perhaps read with kids in a school, volunteer with handicapped kids/teens, volunteer in a bike shop etc. He is also passionate about filming and editing and we hope he can work on some projects while there.
- a chance of finding detached 3 bedroom accommodation with garden/patio space in quiet area.

And here’s the hardest part – we will be bringing our small well behaved dog with us as we don’t feel we can leave him for the 7-8 months we will be gone.

I’m sure the travel experts on this forum will have some suggestions and I thank you in advance!

kp in vancouver, Canada

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