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8 Days in Spain in February with Kids -- Help!

8 Days in Spain in February with Kids -- Help!

Jul 6th, 2016, 11:37 AM
  #1  
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8 Days in Spain in February with Kids -- Help!

Hi everyone,

We are planning a trip to Spain for February 2017 with our daughters aged 11 and 8. We only have 8 days and will be flying from NYC. This will be our first trip to Spain.

I'm looking for suggestions about an itinerary. Our main concerns:

1. The weather in February.
2. With such a short trip, we know we'll have to make some tough choices about where to go.

We were thinking of Barcelona and Seville, and possibly Granada. Is this doable in 8 days? Should we just do two cities instead? We are looking for castles, great architecture, and historical sights. And is it just silly to go to Spain in February? Should we consider somewhere else instead?

Any suggestions you can give us would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
brook33003 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2016, 02:16 PM
  #2  
 
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In February, south of Madrid is probably a safer bet weather wise.

Castles in Spain range from a pile of rocks you can have to all to yourself to full blown Disney like attractions with lineups and prices to match.

You know your kids better than we do, so decide what they enjoy better and take it from there.

IMO Seville, Granada or Barcelona are of more interest to adults.

The site I use to plan our castle hikes in Spain
is http://www.castillosnet.org/espana/index.php.

The site is somewhat challenging to navigate but it has a wealth of information.

With 8 days to play with and two young children I would base myself in Merida for three or four nights. Head further south for a couple more, perhaps Malaga or some other beach town.

Mark
cdnyul is online now  
Jul 6th, 2016, 05:36 PM
  #3  
 
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The weather in Spain will be about as warm as it gets in europe in Feb (that means comfortable for touring - NOT beach weather.

Can't comment on the castle question - we did not see a whole lot in Spain but we were primarily in Andalusia focusing on it's Moorish heritage.

However, Merida does have some great Roman ruins you might want to explore - just be sure the kids have enough background to know what they are looking at. (When we were there we encountered a couple of clueless tourists who did not realize that much of europe was Roman provinces - they thought Romans were only in - Rome.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 6th, 2016, 06:59 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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With only 8 days, young ones, and an interest in "castles, great architecture, and historical sights," you might want to consider Andalusia -- Sevilla and Cordoba in particular. Do some research to see if the climate in these cities -- and, of course, in Granada -- seems reasonable to you.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Jul 6th, 2016, 10:33 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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weather in February

No better place to base yourself than Málaga city by the Med, if palaces/fortresses and the world famous Mezquita in Córdoba and Alhambra in Granada are included in the category.

Within three hundred meters in the center of Málaga city itself (3000 year old Malaka), you'll find the newly excavated Roman theater, the 7-11th century Moorish Alcazaba (Palace fortress), and the huge 16th century cathedral. Great cafés, tapas bars, restaurants, shopping and all kinds of fabulous museums. Tons of things happening in Málaga in recent years, since long my favourite city in the South of Spain. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...pt-secret.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-culture-spain
http://www.malagaturismo.com/en

The Grand Hotel Miramar from 1926, with a dramatic and shifting history, reopens by the end of this year, an attraction in itself: http://www.granhotelmiramarmalaga.com/en/

The new marina in Málaga, Muelle Uno, cafés, restaurants, shopping and play (and the huge ferris wheel with spectacular views of the city and the sea): http://www.muelleuno.com/
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/mala...heel-noria.htm

The new gastro market: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...odie-traveller

Weather statistics for Málaga in February says average highs at 65F, 7 hours sun/day, and rainfall one in five/six days. As good as it gets in Europe in February, and warmer than inland Andalucía (Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada etc): http://www.wetteronline.de/klima-temperatur/malaga

Málaga is 50 mins away from Córdoba with the world famous Mezquita, the Mosque-cathedral (train): http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/mosque.htm

Málaga is 90 mins away from Granada with the spectacular Alhambra (bus): http://www.andalucia.com/cities/gran...hamhistory.htm
kimhe is offline  
Jul 7th, 2016, 05:54 AM
  #6  
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Thanks so much, everyone! I should clarify: I said we were interested in castles, but I should have said castles, ruins, old monasteries, Moorish architecture, natural wonders, cool old historical sites, etc.
brook33003 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2016, 06:43 AM
  #7  
 
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***but I should have said castles, ruins, old monasteries, Moorish architecture, natural wonders, cool old historical sites, etc.***
But just makes everything harder. Spain is full of such things.
http://www.spain.info/
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jul 7th, 2016, 09:48 AM
  #8  
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You're right, Ribeirasacra. It does make it hard!

What if we flew to Barcelona, spent four days there, and then took the fast train to Seville? From there, could we do a day trip to Granada? Am I even in the ballpark here? Thanks!
brook33003 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2016, 07:40 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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That's actually what I assumed you meant by your reference to castles, brook. I stand by my recommendation, but defer to kimhe, who has given you an option that is, IMO, awesome.

FWIW, if your interest in visiting Granada is to see the Alhambra -- which I take it would be your priority there -- then a day trip rarely works. Because of the time it takes to visit that extensive castle/palace/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, and the joys of seeing the Alhambra at night, and the time it takes to get to/from Granada, most people need at least one night there, if not two.

kimhe has already given you a great option for basing in Malaga.

Sounds to me like a bit more research might serve you well....

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Jul 16th, 2016, 05:02 AM
  #10  
 
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We were in Seville and Madrid last February with our 12 year old and 15 year old daughters. We flew to Madrid and took the train to Seville (train tickets booked in advance). Seville was a great first stop because it's a very walkable city and although there is plenty to see, we didn't feel like we had a huge list of "must-sees" so we were able to take it easy our first few days when everyone was jet-lagged.
Stayed there for 4 nights then took the train to Madrid for another 4 nights. I loved Madrid. We stayed in a vacation apartment through Spain Select (apartment Lope de Vega II) and it was a great apartment for a family and fantastic central location; highly recommend! We all enjoyed Madrid - the food markets, Segway tour, Prado, Royal Palace tour, etc.

Yes it was cold in Febraury. I was concerned about the weather too. It was high 50s/60s in Seville but mostly sunny. In Seville it was perfect sightseeing weather, with a light jacket. In Madrid it was slightly cooler and there were a few days that we wore scarves and layers. I would've preferred it slightly warmer. But in both places almost all restaurants had outdoor seating with heaters if you wanted to be outside. The orange trees are blooming in Feb in Seville but the trees are bare in Madrid. You do miss a bit of the beauty by visiting in the winter but on the other hand, crowds are thinner and it's still Spain! I think spring or fall would be an ideal time to visit but we could only go in February and it was still fantastic!
cmm6797 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2016, 05:14 AM
  #11  
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Hi cmm6797. Thanks for you reply! It looks like we will be making our trip in April now, instead of February. It sounds like your trip was fantastic. Did you go to Barcelona? And where did you stay in Seville?

I'll take any other tips you have.

Thanks!
brook33003 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 01:10 AM
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April is about the best time of year to go to Andalucía, the spring blossom is here but the summer heat is some weeks away. Tons of Phoenician, Roman, Jewish, Christian, Moslem and Gitano history and culture, the past and present hand in hand everywhere. http://www.andalucia.com/
kimhe is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 01:20 AM
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And you should know that Semana Santa/Holy Week is as late as April 9-16 next year. Big celebrations in all of Spain, but in Andalucía it's massive. Fiesta and devotion almost 24/7 for the whole week. Could be an experience for life, but be prepared: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/easter/home.htm
https://www.andalucia.org/en/easter-week/
http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/festi...-week-seville/

About Semana Santa in Spain in general: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Week_in_Spain
kimhe is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 06:51 AM
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Oh no. Our trip would definitely coincide with Semana Santa. Can't decide if that's an insane time to go there or a great time. Will be crowded and expensive, right?
brook33003 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 08:56 AM
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Extremely crowded in the big cities in Andalucía, and higher prices, etc, but it could be an awsome experience if you are prepared.

But if you hesitate, I recommend to go to Barcelona and Valencia, two fabulous cities with all you can wish for regarding castles, fabulous architecture and historical sights. And very little Semana Santa compared to the South. When I lived in San Sebastián in the North some twenty years ago, I didn't even notice before Holy Week was over, and that is also more or less doable in Barcelona and Valencia.

Barcelona: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/
Architecture: http://www.barcelonarchitecturewalks.com/
The Castell on top of Montjuic (Jewish mountain) right in the city center: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...-montjuic.html
See the ruins of more than 2000 years old Roman Barcino under Placa del Rei where Ferdinand and Isabella (the so called catholic kings) are believed to have welcomed Columbus after the "discovery" of America in 1492.
http://museuhistoria.bcn.cat/en/node/647
The Gothic quarter: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...-quarter.html?
Stories and legends of the Gothic quarter: http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/...arter.html?o=h

Could go on for ages about Barcelona...

Valencia, both cutting edge and medieval, and in other ways than in Barcelona: http://www.visitvalencia.com/en/home
kimhe is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 09:07 AM
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What PP said
To avoid SS in Seville ( I would ), Barcelona and Valencia would be perfect ...
danon is online now  
Jul 18th, 2016, 10:45 AM
  #17  
 
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And a little more to the point presentation of Valencia: http://www.valencia-tourist-guide.com/
kimhe is offline  
Jul 21st, 2016, 05:32 AM
  #18  
 
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When we were in Seville we stayed in a vacation apartment on Mateos Gago. The location was very central - just down the street from the Cathedral - but that also made it very loud. Even in February diners were outside until 2-3 am and we could hear the church bells ringing all night.

Since we were there in February we ran into some nightly processions during Lent and the streets were mobbed. I agree with others who have suggested that you avoid Seville during Semana Santa - locals told us people begin to line up in the morning to get a good spot to watch the procession. And, remember the streets are very narrow to begin with.

Honestly we enjoyed Seville but I wouldn't say it's a "must see." I'm sure others will say otherwise. It was busy even in February, which is supposedly low season. Streets/ sidewalks were crowded. Not sure how old your kids are but mine (young teenagers) preferred Madrid over Seville.
cmm6797 is offline  
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