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Critique my Road Trip Itinerary: The Long Way from Barcelona to Valencia

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After reading every single thread tagged for Spain posted in Fodor’s over the last two years, pondering over maps, scrutinizing the Michelin Green Guide and spending countless hours surfing the net, I have come up with an itinerary for the road-trip portion of our 3-week vacation.

A little background info: We have been on two 3-week trips to Spain. The first was mostly Andalucía and the second was through Northern Spain (wow!!!!). We have hit most of the biggies except for Barcelona which will be the focus of this trip, though closely followed by Valencia.

This is sort of a scouting trip as we are actually considering staying in Spain for extended periods in a few years (not sure if relocating is the right word here) and we will be keeping an eye out for places we might want to stay for a couple of months.

We love road trips and have done trips like this in the past. DH will do most of the driving (he loves mountain roads!) and I do the navigating (rather successfully). We don’t mind moving on every day as we have learned to barely unpack. I realize this type of trip is not for everyone but I still would love to have some feedback and critiques:

- September 14th Arrive in Barcelona and spend 6 nights. (See, it’s not just a mad dash from one place to the other!)

- September 21st - Drive the Michelin Green Guide Costa Brava route: Blanes ( Visit the Botanical Garden), Tossa del Mar, St Feliu de Guixols, Calella de Palafrugell, St Sebastia, Cap roig and Begur. Arrive at Girona in the early evening.

- September 22 - Sight see in Girona

- September 23 -Continue the Michelin Green Guide Costa Brava route: Empuries (visit ruins), Castelló d'Empúries, Roses and spend the night in Cadaqués

- September 24 - Finish the Michelin Green Guide Costa Brava route: Cap de Creus, Mon. St Pere de Rodes, Port de la Selva and Portbou. Turn back via Llança, perhaps visit Figueres (I appreciate Dalí but I’m not a diehard fan) and then spend the night either in Besalú (have not been able to find a decently priced hotel) or in Banyoles.

- September 25 - Do part of the Backroads of Spain Drive #8: Banyoles, Santa Pau, Olot, Castellfollit de la Roca, St Joan de les Abadesses, and spend the night in Ripoll.

- September 26 -This will be a long driving day! 3hrs from Ripoll to Monastir de Santes Creus (via Vic, via Manresa, via Igualada), then on to Monastir de Poblet, perhaps Montblanc, and head to Tarragona to spend the night. Route as per Back Roads of Spain Drive #9.

- September 27 - Sight see in Tarragona

- September 28 - Route is a combination of Penelpe Casas’ An Unusual Guide to Spain, the Back Roads of Spain Drive #9 and the Michelin Green Guide, Tortosa, perhaps Peñíscola, Valderrobles, Beceite and spend the night in Morella.

- September 29 - Route sort of as per Back Roads of Spain Drive #11; Morella, Iglesuela del Cid, Cantavieja, via Allepuz, Mora de Rubielos and spend the night in Teruel.

- September 30 -This will be another long drive as we go from Teruel to Xativa and spend the night. Not quite sure about this leg.

- October 1st - Follow parts of Back Roads of Spain Drive #10 as we go from Xativa, via Alcoy and Via Muro de Alcoy to Denia, where we will stay with friends.

- October 2nd- Denia

- October 3rd – Go from Denia through Gandía, El Palmar, La Albufera and into Valencia where we will drop off the car and stay for 4 nights.

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Are we missing something obvious with this itinerary? Any tweaks? I’m counting on Fodorite wisdom and experience to make this yet another awesome vacation.

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