Favorite/must see places in spain

Old Mar 25th, 2005, 08:48 PM
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Favorite/must see places in spain

Want to hear people's thoughts on the best places in spain and how long to spend there.
We tend to like cities that have charm/character with some nightlife. Our trip will be in July.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Spain takes about 8 weeks to see well--do you have that much time? July is very hot in Spain--do you have any option on the timing? My favorite places in Spain all start with " S".
Seville, Salamanca, San Sebastian. Good luck !
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:37 AM
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And if you want nightlife, the majors like Madrid and Barcelona are bustling with nocturnal activities. Each city, to some extent, is different from one another in terms of architecture and language.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Toledo's Cathedral, with El Greco's paintings, is certainly a must see. You can also purchase the damascus jewelry there at great prices. You should make it a day trip; take the bus from Madrid.

July will be too hot to go through the Costa Del Sol, but it is a fantastic trip. You can stay at Youth Hostels, they are very good in Spain, just be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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I would like to add another "S" to Bob's list : Santiago de Compostela. Also, in July Santiago doesn't get hot as the South. I spent 4 days there a couple of years ago and maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll go back this year.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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If you were given only one thing to see in Spain, that place would be the Alhambra in Granada.
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I am getting the sense that it may be best to stick to northern spain were the weather will be more bearable.
I have 2.5 weeks any thoughts on where to spend my time? I have to go to Leon to visit an aunt.
Cruiseluv I know you went to Northern spain in july last year - where do you think I should go and how long should I spend in each city. My husband does not like jumping around too much so I am thinking 2-3 cities (not including time in Madrid where we fly in)
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Spend a couple of nights in Ronda. Beatiful views at sunset of the Puente Viejo(new bridge) spanning the Tajo River. Incredible!
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Hi Natty,

I think 2.5 weeks gives you time for a lot of flexibility and my choice in July would definitevely be Northern Spain. Since I didn't want to rent a car I had to move around more to see more places. But if you're renting a car then you might select 3 cities as a base and then do day trips from there.
I assume you read my trip report so I don't want to bore you repeating my itinerary. If you didn't, click on my name and you'll find it.

After Leon( I loved Leon. Have you been there before?) , you could go west and northwest to Galicia or north and northeast to Asturias , Cantabria and Basque area( I did the latter). Maybe you could encompass the whole northern area, I don't know.

Hopefully Maribel or Cova will see this post soon and be able to suggest an itinerary that makes sense with only 2 or 3 cities as base for 2.5 weeks .
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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Cruiseluv
I have been to Leon briefly. How many nights do you recommend to stay? I was thinking 3 nights. I am visiting an aunt who is in monastery there. We fly into Madrid so plan to stay there a few nights and do side trips. We plan to go to Barcelona as well since we hear such good things (though I know it will be hot). We will be flying in between the cities. So now just looking for a city in northern spain or galicia that would be easy to get to and that is recommended. Somewhere we can spend about 4 nights. I really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you very much
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Cruiseluv
One more thing we were thinking of going to Oviedo or Santander - which do you recommend. Just looking for place that has charm and some nightlife.
Thanks and if I can be of any help let me know (I have been to Greece and Italy)
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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Natty,

With respect to Leon, we were there 2 nights and I would not have been bored to stay a 3rd, however, I think you can cover everything with 2. We stayed at the Parador which was great.

My favorite place in Galicia( so far) is Santiago de Compostela. Spanair and Air Europa offer reasonably priced flights from Madrid and Spanair from Barcelona. I spent 4 nights there 2 years ago and I'm hoping to go back this summer. From Santiago you can do day trips to a number of other cities in Galicia like La Coruña and Pontevedra

We went to both Oviedo and Santander. Santander is a beautiful beach resort, it has also a beautiful bay, but it's pretty much that. Although I found it beautiful it was not my favorite place.
I found Oviedo very charming , with a really attractive Old area and beautiful Cathedral( although not as impressive as Leon). Between the two I would probably go to Oviedo, but they are very different. If you like to be by the ocean , you'll like Santander, specially the Sardinero beach area.

How are you planning logistically to connect Madrid, Leon, Barcelona, Galicia and Oviedo or Santander? This is pretty spread out.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I was thinking of flying between these locations (except between Oviedo and Leon). I was considering Santiago but have not found an easy way to get to it from Leon. Right now my itinerary is
Barcelona (5 nights since 1st day is recovering from the travel)
Leon (3 nights since I will spend time visiting my aunt
Oviedo (4 nights - is that too long?). If I can find a way to get between Leon and Santiago I will do that. BUt I am open to any city as long as again I can get to it from Leon and then get to Madrid.
Madrid (4 nights)
Thanks again
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:14 PM
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Natty,

Out of curiosity, how are you going from Barcelona to Leon?

From Leon to Oviedo you can either take a train or a bus( we did the latter) . It's not a very long ride, approx. 1.5 hr. We stayed 2 nights in Oviedo and I did a day trip to Gijon, which I didn't care that much for. It would have been better to go to one of the seaside villages like Cudillero or Luarca. From Oviedo you can also do excursions to Picos de Europa. 4 nights are a lot if you're only going to stay in Oviedo but if you're planning to do some day trips, then it's fine.
From Oviedo you can fly into Madrid. Spanair flies from that airport and they usually have reasonable fares. Be aware that the airport is approx. 45 minutes outside the city.

From Leon to Santiago would be a very long train or bus ride, approx. 6 hrs.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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It appears that you have decided on the north of Spain: Good call!

A week after Pamplona's San Fermines, Santander has a week-long Santiago fiesta, then, 23 to 25 July, Santiago de Compostela is the place to be.

You should know that 16 Jul (la Virgen de Carmen) starts 'Peak' season at most of Spain's resorts. It ain't going to be cheap!
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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Natty,

If going to Barcelona first is a given, then you could fly from there to Oviedo. From Oviedo you can take bus/ train to Leon. From Leon you can take train/ bus to Madrid.

You can also fly form Barcelona to Santiago, but as I mentioned before Santiago to Leon is far. Maybe somebody could recommend a stopover between these two cities? Between Oviedo and Santiago I would definitively pick Santiago.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 05:01 AM
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I second the recommendations for Santiago - it's by far the most beautiful city in Spain (even more enchanting than Salamanca, Toledo and Granada IMO), and well worth the trip. Character oozes from every slab of limestone. It also has loads of nightlife, even in the summer when the students are away. The only downside is that it does get very full of tourists and pilgrims in July & August.

However you will not be disappointed!

I really wouldn't bother with Oviedo - while it does have history it is really not much more than an industrial city. Ditto Santander. You won't find much to occupy you in either city that you can't find anywhere else.
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