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Family travel to Spain in April, incl. Easter. Need itin. help!

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Family travel to Spain in April, incl. Easter. Need itin. help!

Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Family travel to Spain in April, incl. Easter. Need itin. help!

Hello!
We are a family of four, with two kids ages 6 and 7, traveling to Spain April 3 through 13, 2009. After much vacillating between many countries we are booked and ready to start planning. We are flying from Sweden with a flight to and from Madrid. I tried in earnest to book to Madrid and back from Malaga but the return times were not good for us and the prices skyrocketed during my decision making time. Very frustrating but will make this work! The first and last days will be travel days which gives us a total of 10 nights lodging and 9 days sightseeing.

I am happy to experience Spain with my family and am seeking itinerary recommendations for length of days and or day trips. I have read many posts and trip reports, notably Indiancouple and mom23rugrats and AJMelheim.

Question is where to make a home base?
I think it would seem reasonable to do a max 3 different lodging locales. Even that might seem like a lot with the kids but not sure we can cover ground with only two cities. That does not include the last night which I think we will base closer to the Madrid airport with a crack of dawn flight home.

Question is, how many days in each city here...or can we do day trips for these?
Madrid--
Either Cordoba or Toledo- maybe canīt do both...is it worth it to try to do both?
Sevilla
Granada--have read there is not much there except for the Alhambra. Would like to see the Alhambra

Question is, can we add towns from this region or is it a whole īnother trip?
The white towns, Nerja beach or some other locale in that vicinity.--recommendations here?

Questions are,
Our last day in Madrid is on Easter Sunday. Will anything be open? Will trains be running in case we make that a travel day back to the city? Will the metro be running? Any notable festivities in Madrid?

Question
Is it necessary to rent a car with the cities listed above? Part of me says it would be helpful outside of Madrid with the kids, but the other part wants to wing it and not be so planned, which it out of my norm. Can we wing it or are advance reservations necessary for train tickets?

I feel we should book lodging as that will help us with keeping a budget.

Question
Has anyone traveled to Spain with their kids? Highlights and recommendations for family friendly hotels, hostels, paradores etc.??

I am sure more questions will surface but this is a good start. Thanks for any and all replies!
cheapboxofwine is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Spain is a big country . Some people have been able to cover a lot in 9 days but you are traveling with a family. ( packing and unpacking, small kids etc...
Madrid is a huge city known for fantastic museums ( not rely for kids) beautiful parks ( good for kids) and the Royal Palace ( could be of some interest to kids).
Fast train will take you to Toledo in half an hour for a nice day tip.
Day trip to Cordoba would be too long and expensive (IMO) , Granada is an hour by plane from Madrid.
Seville will be totally over run by people at Easter.
You might consider taking a train to Barcelona for a few days - a lot easier to move around than Madrid , more thing for the kids to do , beaches ( not to swim yet), more relaxing.
So 4 days in Madrid ( with a day trip or trips), half a day to travel to Barcelona, 3- 4 days in Barcelona ( maybe a day trip) , back to Madrid for the last day.
I would not rent a car .
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 01:29 PM
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I have spent Easter week in Italy and I believe Spain will not be much different. The Friday before Easter through the Monday after Easter not many paying attractions will be open. It is a great time to people watch and to take in the free attractions. I would base my travel around the paying sights that are must see on your vacation.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:49 PM
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cheapboxofwine, we are in a similar situation. My wife and I are bringing our 2 girls to Spain for 12 days, also leaving on April 13th. We decided to rent a car straightaway upon arriving in Madrid, and spending five days exploring the area north of Madrid. 2 nights in Segovia in a hotel on the Plaza Mayor, a night in a parador in Lerma (south of Burgos) and 2 nights in the famous university town Salamanca. Then we'll spend the week before Easter in Madrid, seeing the sights and doing our usual apartment rental thing in a nice neighborhood (just east of Retiro Park).

This will be our second trip to Spain, having already been to Barcelona and Valencia. We decided to focus on Madrid and areas to the immediate north. We'll save Toledo for another trip in the future (on the way to Granada and Sevilla). And we'd really like to see the Basque country, Rioja and Mallorca. But Spain is, as noted, a huge country. Trying to bite off too much is tough on both you and your children. Relax, there's plenty to see around Madrid. Toledo makes a lovely side trip by train. Plus I've heard about the strawberry train (Tren de la Fresa) to Aranjuez--Google it to see what it's about. You will have fun!
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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Hi All,
I appreciate your replies. It is always good to hear other perspectives! Since writing I decided to reign myself in a bit and get real.
I think we might do a couple of days in Madrid and then take a side trip to Toledo. I have read about the train around the town plus the city and think that will be a good trip. The remaining days....our original plans were to rent a friendīs home in the Javea area...but due to plumbing repairs that was out. I have come back to that idea and will try to find a home to rent in that region and take each day as it comes. But...my husband is a big Rioja wine fan so I might have to rethink again.
We have a 6.30 a.m. flight back to Sweden on April 13th so will probably spend that night at an airport hotel.

Thanks again,
American in Sweden
cheapboxofwine is offline  
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