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7 Days in Spain -- Where to go? Need to make a decision quickly.

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Jul 12th, 2009, 08:40 PM
  #1
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7 Days in Spain -- Where to go? Need to make a decision quickly.

So we'll have a 7 day precursor to our trip to Paris with our folks next May.

There's availability on our reward ticket to fly to Madrid from London on our arrival--which would give us 7 whole days on the ground before heading back to Paris.

I've been to Europe many, many times--but never Spain and or Portugal...so I don't even know where to begin.

We have precious little time to book our flights (on hold for 24hrs) so I need to make and on-the-fly decision on our first destination.

We're not big city folks to begin with and would prefer a quaint seaside setting full of culture, amazing food and beautiful scenery. If we start in Madrid--what would recommend for our limited amount time we have? My partner really wants to go to Portugal...but there's no flight options for us to head there immediately.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 08:56 PM
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I would highly recommend Sevilla. It's not too large and it is a beautiful city. The cathedral is outstanding. As is the flamenco scene. I would also not miss a chance to see Grenada or to go to Valencia. What I would avoid is the Gold Coast (Torremolinos, etc - I'm off on the spelling here, but it's early morning.) It is truly awful. Condos, hotels and too many British pubs. I don't quite get it - turning a beautiful country into another's - oh wait - that's colonisation!And, then there's Barcelona! You can find many quaint seaside settings nearby (google - NYTimes Travel Article Archives)and the food in Spain - well, you are in for a treat. Wherever you are, try to head to the local market. For example, the one in central Valencia and Barcelona (off La Ramblas) is worth the trip in and of itself. Enjoy your travels to a truly incredible country. You cannot go wrong, whichever direction you take!
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Jul 12th, 2009, 09:01 PM
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I would stay in Madrid, go to the museums and make day trip or two to nearby towns such as Toledo and Segovia.

Although you are not city folks there is much to enjoy and you will not spend your week traveling.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 09:25 PM
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7 days?
Yes you can do Madrid with day trips to Segovia/Avila and some of the smaller towns in that area.
Or Madrid/Sevilla & Cordoba but not much more.

Check out some itineraries here on trip reposts.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 09:56 PM
  #5
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We have the option to fly into either Barcelona or Madrid--seems like my partner is big on Sevilla/Andulusia. If that's the case, would you recommend flying into Barcelona over Madrid?

Sorry to sound so daft here--I will do the proper research once we book our tix, but unfortunately the mileage hold clock is ticking
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Jul 13th, 2009, 12:17 AM
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No, if you want to go to Sevilla, you fly into Madrid and take the high speed train down to Sevilla.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 02:39 AM
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May is San Isidro in Madrid, probably the best month to visit. That said, I agree with Aduchamp1's comments.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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Or on arrival take a connecting flight by Iberia from Madrid to Seville (avoiding airport-train station transfer; some cheap fares available when booked in advance at www.iberia.es), and leave Madrid sightseeing towards the end of the week (return to Madrid by AVE train), when you fly back.
Using Seville as a base, you can easily visit Córdoba, Ronda, Cádiz, Jerez etc.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 03:21 AM
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Sevilla is a good call but as you say you wan scenery seaside and culture you need to hire a car and head south and south west. costa de la luz (cadiz, jerez, sanlucar de barrameda, dozens of great beaches - all deserted at that time of year during the week) is ideal for you, along with the white villages inland. also you could head an hour NE of Sevilla into the Sierra de Norte de Sevilla - a beautiful, little-visited area; stunning countryside, pretty little towns full of history, some very good hotels and accom options. Or go NW into the Sierra de Morena, ham country; again very pretty.
I would combine some of all of that (maybe without S de Morena) and have a couple of nights in Sevilla too - it's really unmissable. If you're visiting in May you could well coincide with feria in Jerez - the fabulous horse fair. orth the effort but book accom early if you do
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Jul 13th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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Seville or Barcelona would be my suggestions - lots to do, nice cities, great food. I'd head directly from Madrid via the AVE train. Neither are exactly 'beachside - Barce is on the water with a lovely beach and harbor. If you want quaint, try southern Portugal. Costa del Sol in spain reminded a great deal of miami beach with the condos, traffic, etc.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Thanks, everyone for your recommendations so far, they are much appreciated!

Okay, with a few more hours of research (and only a few hrs left to book our tix) I think I've narrowed down that we'd prefer to fly into Barcelona.

The friends I've spoken with seem to think it's much more our speed...being a smaller city (if it helps: for a vacation, we'd much prefer time in San Francisco over New York.)

Keep in mind that this week a precursor to over a week in Paris and I want to make sure that we don't do the Madrid AND Barcelona thing (plus Paris) and end up with big city overload.

So I figure 3 days in Barcelona perhaps...which leaves us 4 extra days to find another destination. What are you recommendations? A flight to Portugal for a stop there? A flight down south for a visit there? Someone recommended San Sebastian (but I don't know if that's our speed or not.)

This is all so overwhelming.

Lots of time to figure out the "other" places to visit...just making sure that we're heading into the right point-of-entry.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 06:36 PM
  #12
 
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"We're not big city folks to begin with and would prefer a quaint seaside setting full of culture, amazing food and beautiful scenery.'
Barcelona is everything you mentioned except "quaint" - it is a large city with much to see.
There are number of day trips possible by public transit. ( Sitges, Girona, Montserat etc).
San Sebastian might be more what you are looking for. Vueling has cheap flights to Granada ( if you wish to see Alhambra) and Bilbao (bus to SS).
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Jul 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
  #13
 
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ok, go to Barcelona for 3 nights and then drive to Begur on the Costa Brava for 4 nights. Stay at the Aiguaclara in Begur. Don't spend all your time in airports.
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