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Costa Brava or Balearic Islands in September

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Aug 25th, 2011, 09:17 AM
  #1
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Costa Brava or Balearic Islands in September

My husband and I are planning an anniversary trip for early next September and are having problems deciding on one of our destinations. We were planning on beginning our trip in Paris, then onto the Loire Valley, then the Bordeaux region. We were hoping to add a relaxing, beach element to our trip, and are torn on where to go.

My husband would love to see Barcelona so although it is not very close, my thoughts were we could train from the Bordeaux region, maybe making a stop in Toulouse on the way, and then spend a few days in either Costa Brava or one of the Balearic Islands before heading to Barcelona to end our trip.

My questions would be, will it still be warm enough in early September to get in the water on the beaches in northern Spain, and also what location would be ideal for a romantic, relaxing stop for 3-4 nights.

We are in our late 20s, are looking for something charming and romantic with a beach and a great pool with scenic views near a town with great restaurants and that are not too touristy. We plan on for the most part spending our days there at the beach, and maybe one day driving around checking out other local points of interest.

We loved Oia, Greece because of its dramatic views and we could spend all day at the pool admiring, but also could walk into town and enjoy some great food and entertainment in the evening, and was great for walking around in the day. We also loved the Amalfi coast for similar reasons. Where would you recommend for this type of stay in September.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! We would love hotel recommendations as well. Thank you!
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Aug 29th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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After doing some research, I think we have decided to stay on the costa brava. I have looked around and had trouble finding something nice that has great water views from the rooms and also the pool, that is in walking distance to the beach and also great places to go to dinner in the evening. Cadaques and Begur sound close to what we are looking for, and the following hotels are of interest: Playa Sol, Rocamar, Parador de Aiguablava , Hotel Aiguablava, Vintage Hotel, and Aiguablava House.

Almost all of these would require travel to the cute town restaurants in the evenings in appears. Are taxi cabs easy to get in this area? Has anyone stayed at these hotels and have any input? Or does anyone have any other recommendations for a nice, romantic hotel with beach access, sea views, and pool in a quaint town?

Thanks!
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Aug 29th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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I would skip the Bordeaux region and do Bourgogne. More romantic IMO, better food. I was in Bordeauz (the city) and it was less than desirable. Also think about Brittany region in France. Great beachy towns and awesome coastal views, the Emerald Coast is breathtaking.

For the beach part I wouldn't recommend Costa Brava. I would suggest Mallorca. Or head to the Algarve, specifically Lagos. We're here now and it's beautiful. Great food, cheap prices, cliffs, weather will still be warm.
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Aug 29th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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Hi AA,

I'm sure that the water in the med will be fine in September - in fact, it couldn't be better as it's had all summer to warm up. We were in Barcelona in mid September a few years ago and went to the beach most afternoons, so you could stay in the city and still enjoy the beach if you wanted.

as an alternative to the atlantic beaches of france, which might be a little chilly, what about the coast south of Toulouse? Collioure for example is lovely. or as Burke30 says, if it's early in the month, the Brittany coast has a lot to offer.
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Aug 29th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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The beaches around the Bay of Roses and the area of Tossa de Mar are lovely. Just an hour to the North of Barcelona then makes the city very accessible for the end of your trip.

The Algarve is probably a bit too far away for you and in any case the Atlantic is always cold for swimming along the coast. The weather in Meditteranean N Spain should still be very good in early September whilst Brittany will be uncertain.

There's a lot to do in and around Girona, Figueres and Tossa, perfect for your few days there.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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You can definitely swim in the Mediterranean in September. Last October we stayed at Playa Del Sol in Cadaques & loved it. Cadaques is beautiful! We had a room with a water view; visited Dali's house in Port Lligat, drove to Cap de Creus for stunning scenery & views.

Tossa de Mar is beautiful,too. We spent several hours there exploring the medieval walled town on the hill. We didn't have time to swim, but we definitely saw people in the water.

S'agaro & Calella Palalfrugel are also beautiful. S'agaro seems more upscale; Palafrugel is a very pretty fishing village.

You can click on my name to read my trip report from Oct 2010.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Thank you all so much for your recommendations! Burke30, we have been to burgundy and loved it, it is so sad to hear the Bordeaux region is not as pretty. We were considering staying in St. Emilion, would you recommend this over the actual town of Bordeaux?

Lagos and Brittany both sound beautiful, and places we will most certainly plan to visit on another trip! Collioure also sounds wonderful, but with my husband really wanting to see some of Spain, I think we have decided on Costa Brava, due to our time constraints and its proximity to Barcelona.

Kwoo, what a wonderful trip report! I have saved for Barcelona as well! I would love your insight on this region...

After looking around, I have found a village called Llafranc, said to have pretty beaches, good restaurants, and within walking distance of both Callella Palalfrugel and Tamariu.

Has anyone stayed here or around here? We were hoping to find a base, have a few days relaxing on the beach and in the sun, and then explore Cadaques and Begur and the surrounding areas. Do you think 4 days is adequate time for this? How much time would be needed for Cadaques and Begur as day trips?

The hotel we are looking at in Llafranc is Hotel blau Mar, aside from the cheesy pool photo, looks cute, clean with great views and located only 5 minutes walking from town.

http://hotelblaumarllafranc.com/.

Does this area too sleepy (not enough restaurants, night cap bars)? Should we consider doing this for a couple of nights and staying in a more town centered area for a night or two?
One final question, if we wanted to venture out for dinner, would it be advised against driving after a couple of glasses of wine, even for a short distance, and how easy is it to find taxi’s in this area?

Thank you so much again for all of your insight!
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Aug 31st, 2011, 08:30 AM
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We went swimming at L'Escartit first part of Oct. It was not cold. The beaches are beautiful. Roses was also really nice. Not familiar with Llafranc. Spent a day trip by train from Cadaques to Collioure. Easy walk from the train station into the centre and waterfront of Collioure. Great day. Don't forget the sardine place. Can't wait to go back and do some day trips south of L'Escartit.
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Aug 31st, 2011, 09:31 AM
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See if this thread helps; I did an overnight to Cadaques from Barcelona once and just loved that town. Someday soon I hope to return to the CB and am interested in the info you receive here...


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...aiguablava.cfm

Also see this article:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/08/17...l/17costa.html
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