3 weeks (actually 20 nights!) in Spain

Nov 21st, 2014, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 20
I would spend 4-5 nights in Madrid

Then there would be 2-3 more for Andalucia.

I think the 6-7 for Barcelona are enough.

I personally would not spend 5 nights in Sevilla, but would proceed further to Cadiz, Gibraltar and Malaga, Ronda, Antquera, Granada.
BlueDragon is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 03:07 PM
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Posts: 36
Our itinerary is finalised (at last) and I know many of you will not approve! but I just couldn't bear to leave out San Sebastian.
Day 1 Madrid airport by train to Cordoba (a little closer than Sevilla)(3n)
Day 4 Cordoba - Granada (2n)
Day 6 Granada - Sevilla (3n)
Day 9 Sevilla - Madrid (3n)
Day 12 Madrid - via Bilbao - San Sebastian(2n)
Day 14 SS - Barcelona (7n)with son and partner(who live in Sweden and whom we only see once a year - for those who've not trawled through the whole long story above!)
Day 21 Depart for Australia

I am considering a chauffeured car to collect us from Bilbao train station, care for our luggage for ~one hour whilst we look at the design and architecture of the Guggenheim, then take us to San Sebastian. Quotes range from EUR165 (Suital) to $215 (Autos Eladio). I'd be very interested to hear comments about either service or other similar ones. The other possibility is a taxi from the train station to the bus station, store our luggage in the lockers, visit Guggenheim and then return to bus station to travel to SS. My husband is iffy about leaving our stuff in a locker. If we take the bus option, we'd have to wait until 5.30 for an Alsa bus but the Pesa buses go every half hour. As always I find the feedback from this forum incredibly helpful, and would love to hear your comments re buses, lockers and taxis!
Thank you.
MRM49 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 916
I am very interested to read this thread, as we are now in the early planning stages of a trip to Madrid and Andalusia. So many informed opinions here! It looks like you have a nice itinerary worked out. Have a wonderful trip!
cybertraveler is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Sounds like a great plan. I would have done the taxi, locker, bus station option in Bilbao. The Pesa buses are excellent and punctual, I've done this trip some 50 + times over the years and only once arrived 5 minutes late. Glad to hear that you stayed with San Sebastian. http://www.euskoguide.com/places-bas...stian-tourism/

Casa Urola is my favourite "normal" restaurant in town, always have my first night dinner here: http://www.casaurolajatetxea.es/es/portada/

In Barcelona you should have either lunch or dinner in 7 Portes from 1836, and institution in town and tons of history in the walls. The best traditional Catalan food, great atmosphere and quite affordable. I never leave Barcelona without having had the delicious seafood Arroz caldo here. http://www.foodspotting.com/places/1...73-arroz-caldo
7 Portes, reservation is a must: http://www.7portes.com/angles/

A major Barcelona event when 7 Portes celebrated its 175 anniversary in 2011. Sunday lunch here is a highlight of the week for many locals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujDIsGzDO38

And enjoy wonderful Cordoba: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfGdpF55Uk
kimhe is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:42 AM
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Thanks kimhe - I'm printing off a heap of your suggestions before we leave! So the lockers at the bus station are quite secure? That's my husband's only concern. The bus gives us the flexibility to take as much or as little time as we want at the Guggenheim and of course is also a lot cheaper! However, if we want this flexibility, we have to buy bus tickets when we get there. Any chance the bus might be full with people who pre-booked? (as we usually do!)
Re the restaurant suggestions. Mugaritz has also been recommended but I imagine it's terribly expensive. 24 courses too, which seems a lot, however small they are!
Kimhe, because of all the wonderful things you wrote earlier about San Sebastian, I've been agonising over whether to make one last change and reduce Madrid to 2 nights and increase SS to 3 nights. It would be a real faff to do it now as I've long since booked all the accommodation, but I'm still thinking about it........!
MRM49 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 09:04 AM
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If you want to eat at Mugaritz (or Arzak, or Akelare), you will have to take your time: count at least 3 hours! Mugaritz' tasting menu starts at 185 euro, excl. drinks.
MyriamC is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 02:01 PM
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Thanks MyriamC. I knew it was expensive but hadn't realised it was quite that much. We may have to find somewhere else for our San Sebastian foodie experience!!
MRM49 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Don't worry about the buses, PESA leaves every 30 mins and I've never pre-booked anything. Kokotxa, in the Old town of San Sebastian, would be a much more affordable Michelin star experience than Arzak; Akelarre etc. 5 or 7 courses menu is 60 or 90 €. http://restaurantekokotxa.com/en/

Haven't had to test the bus staion lockers, but everything else up here works like a clock.
kimhe is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 05:54 PM
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@MRM49, I'm so glad you left in SS also. I haven't been there yet ( I go in June) but it seems like such a different experience than Andalusia ( which I love!) I did not go over the moon for Madrid however ( and I love a great city my two cents is take the night from there and add it to SS, Bilbao. You are in Barcelona many nights and that' will give you the big city fix.....
@kimhe again thank you for your guidance I learn something from you every post!!!!!!
heart2travel is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 06:14 PM
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NettyB2 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 10:33 PM
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Posts: 36
heart2travel, yes I'm very tempted to do just that despite the messing around! In fact earlier on I wrote that I'd considered skipping Madrid altogether, but friends convinced me it was well worth a visit and it somehow didn't seem right to totally ignore the capital........
kimhe, Kokotxa looks perfect - but they're closed from 2-9 June!!!
MRM49 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 10:40 PM
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Lunches are usually more affordable than dinners in Michelin starred restaurants. But it really doesn't have to be a Michelin starred restaurant to be good or excellent. Some of my own Michelin experiences in Belgium and the Netherlands have been rather disappointing ...
MyriamC is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 11:05 PM
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You shouldn't have any problems finding fabulous "normal" restaurants in San Sebastian. Had an excellent tasting menu in Muralla a couple of years ago. Five courses menu with dinks included for 35€ (week) -45€ (week-end): http://www.restaurantelamuralla.com/es/

Casa Urola is my favourite restaurant in town for some 30 years: http://www.casaurolajatetxea.es/es/portada/

Other fabulous and quite affordable (about 50€ for a tasting menu/menu degustacion) places would be
Bodegon Alejandro: http://www.bodegonalejandro.com/
Ni Neu: http://www.restaurantenineu.com/
And somewhat moe expensive Mirador de Ulia (90€ for a tasting menu): http://www.miradordeulia.es/
kimhe is offline  
Apr 24th, 2015, 04:15 AM
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I've booked Casa Urola for one of our two nights!
MRM49 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2015, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Great idea, I wish you an excellent meal! Casa Urola was voted best restaurant in San Sebastián in the category of vegetables in 2012: http://www.casaurolajatetxea.es/es/b...-de-mas_5.html

Urola's Pablo Loureiro is considered among the very best grill chefs in all of Euskadi/ Basque Country. http://www.lomejordelagastronomia.co...tes/casa-urola
kimhe is offline  
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