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Anyone been to Italy, Spain and Portugal?

Anyone been to Italy, Spain and Portugal?

Old Apr 11th, 2015, 06:31 AM
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I am really surprised that anyone would say the food in Andalucia is not good??? As for tapas, I thought the tapas in Andalucia were as good, if not better than Barcelona with more unique tapas being offered. I found this website very helpful for tapas bars in Seville. There is a listing of bars by barrio with ratings and pictures.

http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/

Personally, I think some combination, not necessarily all, of the following destinations would make a great trip - Madrid ( day trips to Segovia and Toledo), Seville, Cordoba ( we enjoyed a couple of days in this small city), Granada and Malaga. All easily done by public transportation.

We also considered splitting an upcoming trip between Madrid and Porto/Duoro Valley area of Portugal - with great Port and I was looking forward to trying the wines of the region. Flights between Madrid and Porto were very reasonable. We made another choice, but I think this would have been a nice trip as well.

We would also love to visit San Sebastián but we often travel in the October timeframe and the weather also worries me.

Since you mentioned you honeymooned last year, I'm making an assumption that you will have time to make many great trips yet, but that assumption may be incorrect. I think whatever you choose you will enjoy!
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 06:32 AM
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You can visit a lot of Portugal by train and/or bus, not just Lisbon and Porto. For a first visit I would base in Lisbon for up to a week, and then take the train to north, certainly to Coimbra on the way to Porto. Connecting Spain and Portugal is not as easy as you might think, due to centuries of enmity. There is a night train between Madrid and Lisbon, and inconvenient rail links from Santiago to Porto, but in the south you'll need to take buses.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 06:50 AM
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debinthepeg,

I'm not the only one who says that, but for what it's worth, I also like the tapas in Andalucia better than Barcelona. But for me, Basque cuisine is tops (and after that, I like Galicia, then Madrid, so Andalucia comes in after that).

I have easily flown in and out of Lisbon and Porto airports to other parts of Spain. The airports are close to the cities, cheap to get to, and the flights are short. Likewise many regional Spanish airports, like Sevilla or Bilbao. If you want to go to both Spain and Portugal, it can be comfortably done.

(nytraveler and palenq, moot points since they aren't returning to Italy. And to nytraveler: Never said Rome hasn't got historic importance. Am warning again those issuing condemnations of for committing a "crime" not visiting Rome for at least a week, which you repeatedly post, along with the info you are Catholic. Far from being a historian. Anyway, you're not the only one doing it, so fair warning to readers looking for advice about where to travel for fun.)
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Lauren1979,

If you decide to go to Sevilla, this might come in handy

http://www.exploreseville.com/tapas-bars.htm
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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Good food and wine can be found all over Spain...not everyone enjoyed the same type of food anyway
( some people are vegetarians, some don't eat pork or shellfish. Etc)
Finding beautiful towns with interesting culture and without many tourists is a challenge.
...around Madrid, Chichon or Aranjuez are less touristy but don'tb not have the splendid
history and monuments like Toledo. In the north, Santander is not well known as San Sebastian,
but also it is not nearly as lovely as SS.
Valencia is a beautiful city with fantastic beaches ...not as touristy as Barcelona or Lisbon.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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Also, only you can decide if you can be a happy camper in the rain or would prefer to reduce the risks of bad weather as much as possible

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...e_Country.html
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 02:10 PM
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>

Yes, Sandralist, that's exactly what I was talking about. Thank you understanding and for highlighting the distinction.

Also, thank you for the very useful information and links. Thanks also to the other posters who took the time to share their experiences and information and shared links. I really appreciate it!
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 03:39 PM
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Well let's see - I agree that some areas of some cities are very very touristy - the Vatican area in Rome and the Duomo area in Florence but those are tiny dots when looking at the whole city.

In Florence one day I walked right around the whole city center - in a big circle - following the large boulevards and saw nary a foreign tourist anywhere - just locals and it gave me a whole different insight in Florentine live - like several times I saw young folk sitting in parks smoking pot - right out in the open - that opened my eyes a bit - and ordinary restaurants and snack bars - so yes all cities are mainly real.
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 04:37 PM
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True, parts of many touristy cities are not very touristy:
Salamanca and Chamberi in Madrid, Parioli in Rome, Les Corts in Barcelona,
Macarena in Seville, some areas of Paris and London, Vinohrady in Prague etc..
Most of us visit famous cities to see weLl known museums, churches, parks..,
Exploring further afield usually requires more time or repeated visits.
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Old Apr 12th, 2015, 03:10 AM
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<interested in Seville for the tapas and the flamenco dancing&music>

1.
Rosario Toledo performs in the Cajasol theater in Sevilla on May 14th as part of the prestigious Jueves Flamencos (Flamenco Thursdays) program. Here in the Oslo Opera house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TnE_UQ2qGY

Online tickets, 15€ + expenses: http://www.ticktackticket.com/cajasolticket/Turina.html

2.
Spain's most cutting edge flamenco festival goes on in Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona May 21-24. Belen Maya (dance) and Dorantes (piano) are two of the finest flamenco artists on the current scene: http://mercatflors.cat/en/ciclesifes...amenco-2015-3/
Dorantes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOjtXiPl8Rk
Belen Maya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njoiyUez3U8

And fantastic tapas in Barcelona, I mention from the top of my list Tickets, Cal Pep, Tapeo and Cañete.
http://www.barcelonabook.com/tickets...estaurant.html
http://www.calpep.com/Ingles/index_ing.html
http://www.tapeoborn.cat/
http://www.barcanete.com/

And had one of the best meals in my life in Xemei, 300 meters from Mercat de les Flors, after a flamenco performance here a month ago. The Bigoli en salsa Veneciana (1min 35 sec) is unlike anything I've ever tasted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lvcjtoh0tU

3.
Last, but not least: on May 28 out of this world Rocio Molina dances in Teatro Pricipal in Vitoria-Gazteiz. Together with great cantaora (flamenco singer) Rosario la Tremendita in "Afectos": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97w_mvV7C9U

"one of the finest soloists in the world today", New York Times

"Molina has genius: irresistible, all-consuming, all-powerful", Financial Times

"as if she were sharing the stage with the ghosts of all the dancers whose art she has absorbed – and reinvented", The Telegraph

Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the Spanish Basque Country and close to San Sebastian.
Vitoria-Gasteiz: http://www.euskoguide.com/places-bas...toria-tourism/
San Sebastian-Donostia: http://www.euskoguide.com/places-bas...stian-tourism/

Fabulous video intro to the food/pintxos culture in San Sebastian, my favourite place on the planet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwmBAvqa_0U
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 04:38 PM
  #31  
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Wow, thanks Kimhe for all the great info!
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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Ok, so my husband really wants to go to San Sebastián after reading about it so here is what we are thinking: fly into paris and spend a couple nights, take a train to southern France and then rent a car. Get an apartment from airbnb in Bordeaux, Toulouse or...? (Insert adorable french village with great cafes and bakeries) wander around that region for about 5-6 days and then drive to San Sebastián and stay in that area for almost a week then fly out.

I lived in Paris for one year and only visited la Bretagne, la Bourgogne, Marseilles, sete and Arles (my absolute favorite!) (and visited Barcelona), so I have no idea about these other regions. So, if anyone can help with an itinerary in terms of what I can realistically fit in without rushing and where best to fly out of, that would be great! One week in south of France, one week in north Spain. Should we include Barcelona or is it too far? (I have been, husband hasnt) Also, is the Rioja region doable or is that too much? Any advice on quaint, walkable towns in southern France and northern Spain is appreciated!
We did a ton of sight-seeing on our last europe trip and want this one to be primarily relaxing and enjoying great food and wine. I mention in my OP about my obsession with tapas and seems like SS would fit the bill. People said it can get rainy there so that's why we are thinking may 14-21 in south france and subsequent week in Spain.
Is a car going to be useful or would it be best to take trains? (Other threads mention SS having limited parking)
I will post this in a different forum as well, since I've included france in here. Thanks a million, everyone!!
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 11:10 AM
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I based in Bayonne, with day trips (by train) to Pau, St. Jean Pied du Port and St. Jean de Luz. You could add Biarritz.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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Rioja is very doable with base in San Sebastian, especially the Rioja Alavesa: http://www.rutadelvinoderiojaalavesa...ja-alavesa.php
http://www.wine-pages.com/features/rioja-alavesa.htm

<quaint, walkable towns> Plenty, here are a couple of suggestions:
Tolosa, just inland from San Sebastian: http://www.euskoguide.com/places-bas...olosa-tourism/
Lekeitio, closer to Bilbao: http://www.lekeitio.org/en

Plenty of parking in San Sebastian, but the many subterr. garages are expensive. No need for a car in the city itself, very walkable, and great public transportation in the area.

Weather statistics for "your week" in San Sebastian says average highs 68F, seven hours sun pr day, and rainfall (usually heavy showers) in 3 out of 8 days. (wetteronline.de)
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