2 wks in Spain

Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 06:54 PM
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2 wks in Spain

My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain for 2 wks in late March/April. We are flying in from Toronto and as he is not a fan of flying need a direct flight- no stops. We have spent time in Barcelona before so don't want to spend too much time there and likely will be renting a car to get around. Planning to fly into Madrid and really want to go to San Sebastien. We love food and architecture and don't want to be moving around everyday. Any suggestions on itineraries? Here is my challenge...he has seen almost all of Spain before, (25 years ago) so looking for new and interesting things to add in. We don't love the 'touristy' stuff but look for more authentic experiences.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 08:28 PM
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Madrid has so much to offer, much of which DH either didn’t get around to seeing 25 years ago, or that didn’t exist 25 years ago! After the long flight over, stay a few nights and make the most of it.

Decide which day trips he didn’t get to make back then - Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Escorial, Manzanares el Real, Cuenca etc., and plan on doing some of them.

San Sebastian (called Donostía in the local Basque language) is about 5 ½ hours by train - see www.renfe.es

Nearby is Bilbao with the Guggenheim that didn’t exist 25 years ago.
The entire region has a lot of character, from the coast to the mountains (Pamplona etc.) and elsewhere.

I think two weeks would suffice, split between Madrid and environs and the Basque country, to have a very interesting and relaxing trip.

Take an apartment in each location and have a home away from home (www.housetrip.com for example), unless you prefer to stay in hotels.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 08:39 PM
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Air Canada has direct flights to Barcelona and Madrid ( not every day)
You might need to do some research and consult a few guide books.
" authentic " experience is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 08:40 PM
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I think michelhuebeli has given you some great ideas. Personally, I think the area in and around Madrid easily worth a minimum of 10 days -- and I would add Salamanca to the list. And I must admit that while I enjoyed San Sebastian / Donostia, it is my least favorite city in Spain. Among other things, I found it a bit too touristy. Just my opinion, and I think an unusual perspective, as many people seem enamored of it. In contrast, I loved Bilbao.

When planning your itinerary, two specific things to keep in mind:

- If there is any chance that you will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage you to take public transportation for your first night or two. There is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit.

- Many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break. Plan accordingly.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 10:02 PM
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San Sebastian may not be st her best st that time of year. Check weather stats, it rains much more on the Atlantic coast than in Southern Spain.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 07:39 AM
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Thanks this is helpful. I know it is not the ideal time to go (re. weather in San Sebastian) but it is unfortunately the best time for us.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 09:20 AM
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The weather in San Sebastián-Donostia will be very similar to what you would experience in Vancouver/Seattle in late March, early April. You can expect a little rain, after-all, it is Green Spain.

Too bad your husband doesn't like flying. Air Canada has excellent flights in late March/early April from Toronto to Bilbao, connecting through Munich for under $1300 CA.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 06:57 PM
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Robert2016 fine enough for tapa bars and sightseeing but not so great for La Concha if that's what the OP had in mind. My comment did sound negative but was not meant to be; I love San Sebastián.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 10:25 PM
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Well, eating pintxos not tapas, that is...^^
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