11 nights in Northern Spain

Mar 24th, 2015, 07:14 AM
  #1  
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11 nights in Northern Spain

My family (myself, husband and two grown children, ages 21 and 19) are planning a trip to Spain this May. Yes, soon!

I know I want to visit Barcelona and the Salvador Dali sites north of there and eventually make our way over to the west coast to see San Sebastian and the Basque region. I'm considering making our way west via the French side of the Pyrenees mountains. Would love anyone's input on hikes and/or places to stay along the way. My brother in law tells me that Foix has some great castle ruins to explore and my husband LOVES castles. Any ideas on the best (prettiest, not necessarily the quickest) route to drive to get from east to west? Suggestions for places to stay along the way?

Also, is early May (the 5th thru the 15th) super busy? I know there are a lot of festivals going on, but wasn't sure if it would be necessary to lock down accommodations ahead of time. Part of me likes the peace of mind of having a reservation, but I also like the flexibility of setting our own pace once we get there.

This is my first time on the Fodor forum so I really appreciate any and all help!!!
ccoliver is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 07:47 AM
  #2  
 
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While you await responses, you many want to plug the trip into viamichelin's website to get an idea of routes.
Helpful to know: are you flying roundtrip to Barcelona, or can you fly home from SS or Bilbao?
I imagine Barcelona has a good deal more accommodation than SS. I would consider booking in San Sebastian as there is just not as much on offer and the best books up early.
yorkshire is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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Aragon has some interesting castles worth visiting; El Castillo de Loarre (www.castillodeloarre.es), the castle in the historic village of Alquézar, the Monzón Castle. The Château de Foix, dating from the middle ages, is impressive.
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 04:39 AM
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5-15 May is not super busy in Barcelona, and even less so in San Sebastian. No major festivals in neither city. Great time of year to go to both places, spring is here and the huge numbers of summer visitors are still some weeks away.

I highly recommend the Miró foundation exhibition in Barcelona, had a very memorable visit here a few weeks ago. http://www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org/?idioma=2
Also possible to do interesting walks up here in Montjuic (Jewish mountain) with all the cultural institutions, Olympic arenas, green areas and the Castle on the top. Spectacular views of both the city and the sea from up here: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/Engl...SJpH1t4T6vJumh

A couple of restaurant/tapas bar tips based on recent visits.
Barcelona:
Excellent tapas at Tapeo in the medieval and bustling Born district: http://www.tapeoborn.cat/home-page.html
Traditional catalan food in small and family-owned Ca 'l'Estevet: http://www.restaurantestevet.com/wpre/
Mind-blowing old school and rock'n roll at Xemei: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lvcjtoh0tU

San Sebastian:
You can't do much wrong in food crazy San Sebastian, but Urola has been my favourite "normal" restaurant in town since the late 80's: http://www.casaurolajatetxea.es/es/portada/

Good info about going for the famous pintxos, with suggested routes etc (but half the fun is playing by the ear, and go where the lunch or evening hours take you): http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en
kimhe is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 05:55 AM
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...and here's the correct Montjuic page: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/Parc...docdW4LHetpKP8
kimhe is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 12:30 PM
  #6  
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Thank you all for your responses and info. Sorry I didn't respond sooner. Got sidetracked with work at home, but I'm back into planning mode once more! Getting very excited about our trip!

Yorkshire, unfortunately we have to fly in and out of Barcelona or Madrid, but since we're exploring the northern side of Spain this time, most likely Barcelona. So, while I'm looking for suggestions on how to break up the drive west via France, any suggestions on stops heading back east to Barcelona from the San Sebastian area are also welcome!

Robert2533, I will definitely look into Aragon and Alquézar and their castles. Any suggestions for a one night stay in those areas and do you know of any good hikes? I know my kids and husband would love to get into nature, especially after all those museums in Barcelona!

And kimhe, thank you for all the wonderful links. Am starting to delve into them now. I'm glad to hear it won't be too busy. I think the weather will be beautiful as well.

Thank you again!!
ccoliver is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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You can check out the Hotel Villa de Alquézar (www.villadealquezar.com/en) or at the Boutique Hotel Maribel (www.grupogervasio.com/en/). Both are located in the village.
Robert2533 is offline  

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