First Trip to Spain: 11 Days

May 30th, 2014, 09:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
First Trip to Spain: 11 Days

Hello! I am looking for some expert feedback to help with our first trip to Spain. I am very excited but looking for some help and feedback with my itinerary. My boyfriend and I want to take full advantage of beach and sightseeing. But also want this to be a relaxing and exciting adventure. We don't like jumping around and feeling pressured at all times. With that said, that's why I'm looking for help with our 11 day trip to Spain.

First- I have not booked the flights yet. But will be doing so in the next week and a half. I am currently looking into flying from US to Madrid and flying out of Barcelona. We'd prefer for Barcelona to be the last city and fly out of, but I can open to changing this.

Madrid-San Sebastian and San Sebastian-Barcelona​. It feels pretty scrunched already. I really hate losing about 11 hours traveling by train from city to city. I considered flights. But I feel using a train would be a little more simple. But if people have had experiences using flights and found that this is best for travel between I would reconsider. We can also take the AVE which is a 3 hour fast train between Barcelona to Madrid. That would require changing the layout of the trip. We are really interested in getting some beach time and enjoying the Spanish during our visit.

I would love to see San Sebastian, but feel it's quite out of the way between the two cities. Plus we are going in September during the boat races and right before the film festival.

I'm sure we can fit in at least 1-2 small day trip in each city as it stands. Any recommendations on quick cities to go see would be great.

9-Sep USA TO MAD Tuesday Day
(Depart from Spain airport around 9AM)

MAD: 3 Full Days, 3 full nights
9-Sep MAD Tuesday Night
10-Sep MAD Wednesday Day
10-Sep MAD Wednesday Night
11-Sep MAD Thursday Day
11-Sep MAD Thursday Night

Train MAD to SS Friday until 1PM SS: 1 Half Day

San S: 3 Days, 4 nights
12-Sep SS Friday Day
12-Sep SS Friday Night
13-Sep SS Saturday Day
13-Sep SS Saturday Night
14-Sep SS Sunday Day
14-Sep SS Sunday Night
15-Sep SS Monday Day
15-Sep SS Monday Night

Train to Barcelona Tuesday until 1PM BC: 1 Half Day

BARCELONA: 3 Days, 4 Nights
16-Sep BC Tuesday Night

17-Sep BC Wednesday Day
17-Sep BC Wednesday Night
18-Sep BC Thursday Day
18-Sep BC Thursday Night
19-Sep BC Friday Day
19-Sep BC Friday Night
20-Sep BC Saturday Morning

Depart BC to US

Thank you to anyone to provides any help!!
apriloliphant is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,199
Take a look at Vueling for flights within Spain.
IMDonehere is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,563

Simple how? Simply losing more time from your trip in intra-Iberian travel, yes.

Do what ImDone said - Vueling for internal flights.


Yeah, and this fits in with "We don't like jumping around and feeling pressured at all times" how?

And when does your flight from the US leave? If it leaves in the afternoon of Sept 9, you'll arrive on 9-10.
BigRuss is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Low cost Vueling with frequent flights from Barcelona to Bilbao in little more than an hour. Direct bus from Bilbao airport to San Sebastián city center in 70 mins. The PESA bus leaves every hour at 0:58.

The Basque culture festival Euskal Jaiak will be over when you arrive, so San Sebastián will catch some breath between the culture festival and the film festival while you're there. Plain fantastic city.
kimhe is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
I would love to see San Sebastian, but feel it's quite out of the way between [MAD, BCN]

If you are really into good food then SS is probably the best place in Spain. We were there recently (also in Bilbao), had a hotel right on the beach and dined at some great restaurants.

If you are not really into the foodie scene, either Michelin starred fine dining or the highly creative tapas crawls, then I suppose you could skip it since BCN also has beaches, but we really liked the small town feel of SS (and Bilbao) compared to Barcelona.

As for the flights, we've flown Vueling four times and it's great so long as you either have a single carry on bag (of the right size) or agree to pay the extra fees for checked bags. People get into hassles if they sign up for one plan and then try to board with extra bags. I'm getting Vueling emails now for 35 euro flights but once you add on the fees it will be more.

I don't think they fly directly from Madrid to SS, I think you have to go via BCN, but SS to BCN is about 70 minutes (we just did it a couple weeks ago).

Any recommendations on quick cities to go see would be great.

From SS it's a bit more than an hour by bus to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim museum ... or about 35 minutes by bus to small seaside towns like Getaria, which is famous for seafood restaurants and has a couple of museums ... lots of small towns north of BCN available by train for day trips, we went to Sant Pol de Mar on a daytrip to a famous restaurant for example, bypassing many small beach towns. But there is a lot to do in each of the cities on your list for the time you have available.
Bill_H is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,919
I would skip at least one night in San Sebastian. It is a great city wih fine beaches (and excellent cuisine) but since it's on the Atlantic Ocean the weather is pretty unpredictable, might even be coldish mid September. We have been there at the end of June / early July a few years ago and we wore sweaters all day long!
Barcelona and surroundings is a better beach destination as it's on the Med and always warmer.
MyriamC is offline  

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