9 Days in Spain

Jan 26th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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9 Days in Spain

This is our first time to Spain and will be spending 9 days there arriving from Paris on the overnight train. The only time that we could go was the end of July. I understand that Sevilla is very hot during this time and was wondering if it would be too unbearable and uncomfortable. We used to live in south Florida and know what that heat was like during this time period. Would Sevilla be similar? Here is our anticipated itinerary. Any thoughts? July 23 Arrive Madrid; taxi from one train station to the other; AVE to Sevilla; July 24 Sevilla; July 25 Sevilla Italica(maybe); July 26 Train to Cordoba; AVE to Madrid; July 27 Madrid; July 28 Segovia; July 29 Toledo?; July 30 Madrid Retiro Park; July 31 Madrid; Fly home.
vcrew is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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If I was going in that time frame there is no way I would go to Sevilla. The only advantage over the Florida weather is that it isn't humid. I went to Sevilla 3 years ago in June and the weather was extremly hot already.

Why don't you go towards the north: Bilbao, San Sebastian or go to Galicia.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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I'm thinking the same as cruiseluv. Never been to northern Spain, but that time of year, coupled with the heat? I think I would opt for "green Spain" instead of "brown Spain." More comfortable temperature and gorgeous scenery to boot. Unless you have some reason for wanting to go to Seville?
Chele60 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I am very sorry, but I am afraid that all places on your itinery will be very hot, however not humid. Be prepared that many places including hotels, restaurants, museums do NOT have air condition (at least, check if your hotels have a/c). Northern Spain will be not so hot as Sevilla and Madrid, but still very warm. I personally would not suggest to travel southern Europe at that time of the year. From Paris, you can travel Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, England - these are northern countries which will be nice and warm by end of July. But going to Andalucia is like visiting Death Valley in summer.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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We really want to visit Spain and our flight leaves out of Madrid, so that is the reason that we are going there. As far as why Sevilla, we want to visit the cathedral and the alcazar. Also take in some flamenco. The site of the roman ruins in Italica sounds amazing. Especially considering the size and age. And since we would be traveling back to Madrid, we would want to stop in Cordoba to see the Mezquita along the way. Anyway, those are the reasons that we were going to venture to southern Spain. Hmm, Death Valley in summer might disuade me.
vcrew is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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The cathedral and alcazar in Seville are certainly something to see. I was personally underwhelmed by Seville, but I'm in the minority.

Actually, one can see the cathedral and the alcazar in one day - we did. Neither one takes very long. The only important things to keep in mind is that the cathedra is NOT air conditioned, is usually packed with people, so can become very warm. We were there at the end of September and, with the exception of one day of very bad humidity (who says Seville never gets humid!?!?) and next being slightly humid, it wasn't bad. July will be very hot - temps get into 90s or over 100.

The alcazar is a combination of inside buildings and outside in gardens, so it depends on individuals how uncomfortable one might get. One thing to keep in mind is that most places do stay open later in the day, which does help in areas where the heat gets overwhelming.

I'm not at all familar with Italica, but if it is all outdoors, I might recheck that.

I loved Spain and would recommend it if you feel hardy enough to conquer the heat. But I would strongly suggest you do things either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon and take the rest of the time easy. Take advantage of siesta - the natives use for a reason! I think if you steel yourself for the weather and do this intelligently, you'll be fine.

Cordoba gets as hot as Seville, so that is something to keep in mind as well.

Do keep in mind that Madrid also gets very hot as well. Perhaps slightly cooler than Seville, but it is still very hot. Again, most places are open late, but do make certain of times, especially with museums. Not sure about Segovia, but Toledo will be hot as well.

I don't mean to dissuade you from going to Spain, because it is an amazing country, but you need to be made aware of what you are asking for. It might help to check the climate for the areas you want to visit and see what the averages are. For the most part, Spain is not humid and that makes things more comfortable. (Except for Seville, but perhaps we just hit some sort of weird weather pattern when we were there!)
Chele60 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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The last several summers' weather has been very hot, not just in Andalucia but most of the southern two thirds of the Peninsula.

We spent several days in Sevilla during the summer a few years ago. It's miserable but manageable. We got up early to go sightseeing, dined at about 2:00 PM and headed back to the Hotel (air conditioned w/swimming pool). We would take a swim & siesta and come back out around sunset when the city comes back to life.

Take Cork-soled sandals! The pavement gets so hot it can burn the soles of your feet through thin soles.

Having written that: I also think you should head north for Santiago & Santa Ana (25th & 26th of July). There are some big happenings around Santiago de Compostela when those two Saints' days are celebrated.

Of course if you decide on northern Spain, you would probably take a train Paris-Hendaye or Irun and a bus from there to San Sebastian, Bilbao or Santander. Come down to Madrid 27 Jul and maybe do an overnight to Sevilla. I think tat's how I would do it.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. It looks like there are a lot of options.
vcrew is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Are you traveling with kids? It is certainly something to consider as well, so please clarify that.

I grew up in Puerto Rico and I wouldn't go on a sightseeing vacation to Andalucia in July...unless my home base was by the ocean and/or I had a pool to come home every day. That said, the reasons you stated for wanting to visit Andalucia are right on.

I'll suggest to travel to Madrid and train down to to Seville for a 2-3 days, to include a day trip to Italica (bus tour with A/C highly recommended). Return to Madrid and use the remaining days to head out North; Leon, Burgos, Santiago.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Barcelona would also be somewhat cooler and more comfortable than Sevilla. You could fly from Madrid to Barcelona (it could be cheaper to buy the ticket separately from your regular ticket; check out iberia.com).

I was in Sevilla and the region in early June a few years ago, and it was about 35C.
Kate_W is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Hola Viajero,

I also grew up in PR and agree with you. NOTHING I ever experienced in PR prepared me for the heat in Sevilla . It was debilitating.


One option would be to do Sevilla as a day trip out of Madrid . I know it sounds crazy but my parents did it last summer as they didn't want to stay in Sevilla because of the heat. They were lucky that Madrid wasnt that hot when they were there.

Nedsireland is right on about the last 2 summers in the north of Spain as I was there as well and experienced very warm weather ( for that area of the country). However, IMO even when it's warm, the North is never as stifling as the South.

You could fly from Madrid to Santiago or Bilbao for very reasonable fares in Spanair or Air Europa( even Iberia has good rates sometimes). There are several daily flights between Madrid and Santiago or Bilbao. On the return you could connect from of these airports and the airport in Madrid as they have flights very early in the AM.

Good luck!
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Andalucia will be hot as hell then. (I remember an exhibit in a museum about one year when it had been over 120 degrees for some ridiculous number of days in a row.)

On the other hand I think Florida in the summer is unbearable too - and would never do that either. The difference is that everything in FL has AC.

If this is the only time you can go - do it. But plan carefully and be aware of the very real concerns about heat stroke. Make sure your hotels have strong AC and a pool. Make sure your transit has AC. (Be aware that a lot of places in Spain DO NOT have any AC.) And assume you will spend the afternoon either resting or traveling in AC comfort - you need to be active only in the morning and the evening. (There is a reason Spaniards have dinner at 10pm.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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cruiseluv-- you made me feel better, I thought I was such a wuss . Seriously, Sevilla is where I draw the line for vacationing in hot weather....heard too many horror stories.
Viajero2 is offline  

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