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A week or so in Spain with my college aged daughters this July.

A week or so in Spain with my college aged daughters this July.

Old Mar 12th, 2019, 07:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 17
A week or so in Spain with my college aged daughters this July.

Hi Fodors Friends!

I am looking for help planning a trip to Spain with my 22 and 19 year old daughters this summer. My 22 year old is taking a gap year before her graduate studies to be an au pair in Switzerland for a year. We will fly to Basel for a couple of nights to meet her host family and see a few sights and then fly to Spain for about a week (since she will have a full year to explore Switzerland). We have never been to Spain. I know we would like to go to Barcelona, but am looking for some insight into what to see and which cities to visit and how to get there (plane, train, etc) within this amount of time. We don't mind moving around and spending one or two days in one location and then on to the next. Any tips and suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Thank you!
mrsoconnor is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2019, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,865
You could easily spend your time in and around Barcelona -- Barcelona itself, Montserrat, Tarragona, Besalu, Girona, Figueres, a bit of the delightful and beautiful Costa Brava. In fact, you might find it difficult to see everything you want to see in that area in just a week -- and because of the different cultural influences that were exerted over these areas over the centuries, you might not even think you were in the same country!

I would strongly encourage you to get a good guidebook or two, perhaps the Rough Guide or Michelin Green Guide. In contrast, I would strongly DIScourage you from simply googling "what to do in place X in Y days" until you have an idea of how many days in any place might actually suit your interests -- and even then, realize that you are likely to end up with ideas that are run-of-the-mill and might not reflect any interests you and your daughters have.

If you haven't already seen it, you might get some useful information in my trip report:
Four Awesome Weeks in the North of Spain and Catalunya

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2019, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,287
It will be very hot in Andalucia ( Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada) so stay north. The Basque areas across to Barcelona would be much cooler. Costa Brava just north of Barcelona is a nice area with beaches as well as interesting towns, and museums such as the Museo Dali in Figueres.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2019, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 864
It would help if you mentioned interests and even where you're coming from. For example if you're coming from areas with great beaches you might not have any interest in more beach time.

Madrid has some world class museums. Train ride from Barcelona. Easy to fly out of the EU from. Between Barcelona and Madrid a week is already too short.

Valencia down the coast from Barcelona is interesting but you might find it hard flying home from. Same thing with Seville.
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2019, 07:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 17
Thank you so very much! I was wondering about Barcelona and Madrid. Both are easy to fly in and out of. We will be coming originally from Florida. I will get a guide book and look into it further. We actually didn't really know where we wanted to go. After Switzerland, we are free to travel anywhere for a week or so. I haven't been to Spain so I just picked that. lol

I will also have to look into Costa Brava. Even though we come from the beach, we would love the beauty of a beach in Spain...and perhaps some of the reprieve from the heat that would come with a beach area.

Thank you for the tips!
mrsoconnor is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2019, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,108
Of course, you can’t google what you can do in a particular city until you decide where you want to go in Spain. There are lots of choices. You can simply google something like “where to go in Spain” and just the first page will provide you more info and photos than you might need. That might be all you need to get started. The web probably has more information than all the guidebooks you can read. Some say they don’t know what to ask google, but many of us do. I am sure your daughters will know what to ask, and, having done many European trips with sons and a daughter, getting them involved in the “google” process might make it a more successful trip for all. Others are comfortable with guidebooks, and that’s certainly ok, since all information is a good thing.

There are no right or wrong answers. Any area you select will be wonderful. Then google “how to get there.” Websites like skyscanner.com provide helpful flight information. You can input just Spain in the destination box and get an idea of prices to fly to various points. EasyJet has very inexpensive flights from Basel to Barcelona, for example.
whitehall is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2019, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
with six days I'd do just Barcelona - fly there - train takes forever - and train to Madrid and fly out of there or just do easy day trips from Barcelona. If training to Madrid be sure to book tickets early for discounted fares - Renfe - Spanish Railways site - www.seat61.com has lots on that - general info trains -including Switzerland - BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
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