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Flying into Barcelona and have 5 days to go where?

Flying into Barcelona and have 5 days to go where?

Old Apr 9th, 2014, 03:43 PM
  #1  
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Flying into Barcelona and have 5 days to go where?

My husband and I fly into Barcelona and have 5 days to sightsee or tour or eat or whatever before we are to meet friends on their sailing yacht in Palma to sail around the Balearic islands. We traveled Madrid and Barcelona last year. We would even stay a couple of days again in Barcelona and then go to another city and take a plane or ferry to Palma. This is to take place in late August the hottest time of the year but the only time our friends take off with their boat.. I also thought of maybe going to San Sebastian? Is it logical to fly to Barcelona and would we take the train to S.S ? When we are done Take a flight to Palma?
If we are missing another city we should be going to please tell me. My husband and I are in our early 50's and fit and love to explore. Thank you....
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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San Sebastian is a great idea but you need to reserve very early since August is such a popular time.

It is not clear to me from your post if you have already purchased tickets to Barcelona.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Yes, we already have our plane tickets to Barcelona from Los Angeles and back. Just have that 5 day of what to do?
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 05:53 PM
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San Sebastian in itself is a gorgeous place but the real reason most people would be thrilled to spend 5 days there is the chance to eat (pintxos in particular). It that is really ho-hum to you (and being from LA, then beaches may be ho-hum ahead of a boating trip), then you could also rent a car and to into the Pyrenees, which would be quite lovely in August. They are spectacular. You can border cross all through them if you are not afraid of mountain driving.

But if you wanted to go to San Sebastian, I would fly. I don't know what are your options for flying to Palma. You could consdier 3 nights in San Sebastian, rent a car and drive through France or Spain to an airport with convenient flights to Palma if you thought 4 nights in San Sebastain was too much. But if you are going for the food, it is great to have maximum evening there. If you can afford parking in San Sebastian you can rent a car for day trips and enjoy the tapas at night.

There are obviously other things to do, but in August, I would want cooler weather spots.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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I don't think you can train directly from Barcelona to San Sebastian. Most of the trains will require your going through Madrid first.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Sandralist...We like to eat..and drink yes. So San Sebastian sounds good, and I know my husband would love to drive but when you say mountain driving that made me scared a little...because he likes to drive fast.HaHa, Maybe I will try to encourage him to fly. Drive through France that sounds interesting to...where?
I have always wanted to go to San Sebastian and I lived in Madrid for 6 months and never went, to San Sebastian.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Leburta that is a bummer I will have to check on that.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 06:38 PM
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There is a direct train from Barcelona to San Sebastian, an ALVIA. The morning train takes 5-1/2 hours and makes seven stops along the way. The afternoon train makes nine stops and takes a few minutes longer to make the trip.

But with only 5 days to spare, why not enjoy Catalunya? There is a whole of of country to see and experience before heading off to Palma to join your friends.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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As far as going to San Sebastian-Donostia, why not save that for another adventure. 5 days is never enough, especially if you are interested in fine cuisine. But then again, one of the best chefs in Spain is Carme Ruscalleda, of the restaurant Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar (www.ruscalleda.com).
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 01:43 AM
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Anamaria,

You can drive through France to or from San Sebastian and you don't have to go through high mountains. In fact, if you can just stick to the highway via Toulouse, but it is also very easy to get off the highway and enjoy a bit of the rolling countryside. I would probably only do the drive one way.

Catalonia would be too hot for me that time of year, but even if I wanted to see it, then I would rent a car. At that point, I'd drive to someplace cooler. It's about a 7 hour drive to San Sebastian through France so I would spend the night en route. (Probably near Pau, in or around Oloron-Ste-Marie)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oloron-Sainte-Marie

I would stay right in San Sebastian, even though it would cost extra to find someplace to park the car. I'd use the car for day trips and to drive to Bilbao airport. You can fly from their Palme.

I have to say that the idea that 5 days somehow "isn't enough" for San Sebastian strikes me as an odd thing to advise. Most people do not spend that much time there and love their stays, and most people don't eat more than one "fine cuisine" meal if they bother at all. (A lot of us stick to staggeringly delicious pinxtos and the tapas when in Spain and enjoy that far more that the excruciatingly formal and expensive culture of Michelin stars,. Besides, if you want to eat in a Carme Ruscalleda restaurant you can do it in Barcelona.) San Sebastian is beautiful but the area is not as culturally compelling as other parts of Europe where people typically spend 5 days (like Paris or Rome). But if 5 days somehow "isn't enough" for San Sebastian, then surely it isn't enough for Catalona either, which has a great many more sights of interest.

If you want to take a drive up to San Sebastian it is simple, but you need to reserve your lodgings for August well in advance, and your plane tickets will likely be cheaper too if you get them well in advance.

Or you could go someplace else!
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 03:07 AM
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If you need to meet your friends in Palma, why not spend the 5 days on Mallorca? Go up to the north of the island and stay at Pollenca and use it as a base to see that side of the island.

You can visit Alcudia, Lluc, Valdemossa, Deia, etc etc.
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 03:27 AM
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Also possible to "drive fast" from Barcelona to San Sebastián on the highways through Zaragoza and Pamplona without having to go into the beautiful Pyrenees. http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/

All about going for the famous pintxos in San Sebastián, with suggested routes etc: http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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With a total of only 5 days, why spent nearly half that time in transit, unless you like to spend time behind the wheel in hot August traffic. Having driven the route many times, the drive from Barcelona to San Sebastián, on the French side, tends to be boring if following the highway. It's not much better through Spain if all you want to do is travel from point A to point B. If you want to enjoy the drive, then planning a route that crosses the Pyrennes back and forth would make the drive interesting and easily consume your 5 days. There are dozens of stops to make along the way that are worth a night or two.

If you fly direct, you'd only loose a half day each way, but direct flights into Hondarribia are limited. Most flights go through Madrid.

As far as San Sebastián goes, no, 5 days is never enough. That's hardly time to do much more then to skim the surface of what the city has to offer, and hardly enough time to share some pintxos with friends and family.
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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There are direct flights from Barcelona to SS, sometimes twice a day.
Check Vueling.
We were considering taking a train, but as suggested, it seemed too long.
Some Vueling flights are very early in the morning so we are flying to Bilbao and taking a bus from the airport, On the way back to Barcelona, I booked a direct flight.
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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This is what I wanted everyone giving me ideas because I was wondering do I go closer to Palma with just 5 days or do I go towards my "San Sebastian" where I have always wanted to go but sounding unrealistic. Now everyone has me thinking with Rubicund's idea and kimhe's and Roberts. Vueling does have flights so I could fly saving time. I would like to eat at Carmens restaurant, I would also like to eat at the new Ferran Adria Tapas restaurant you know the guy that created El Builli its called 41 degrees....in Barcelona....Please keep your ideas coming I so appreciate it and you all have such good ideas and it makes me really look at the map now...haha
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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The new Adria tapas restaurant in Barcelona is not called 41 desgrees but Tickets. 41 degrees is the same address coctail bar that early in the night (from 7 to 11 pm) have a special combination of fingerfood, coctails and drinks, accompanied by an audiovisual show. http://www.41grados.es/

Tickets is the new paradise version of traditional tapas style restaurant run by the Adrià brothers of the world's by far most awarded restaurant the past decade, now closed El Bulli. Very affordable Tickets was up on the list of the world's 100 best restaurants after one year (#77). http://www.theworlds50best.com/

The basic concept is traditional tapas prepared and presented as you never would imagine and with tastes to the maximum. Iberian ham, Spanish cheeses, olives, croquetas, tomatoes, anchoas, shellfish, Iberian pork etc etc plus some surprises from out of this world. Just tell the waiter how much you would like to spend and what kind of food you like, and then leave it up to the kitchen to make it an evening never to forget. The four of us had 17 dishes here some months ago and payed around around 60-65€ each with wine/cava included. Lived very much up to the high expectations.

You can normally only book online and only two months in advance. Tables are literally gone 10 minutes after midnight two months prior to every day year around, so you have to be online on midnight Barcelona time two months on the day before you want to book a table. http://www.ticketsbar.es/web/en/
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Thank you kimhe
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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What about this idea? Staying the night in Barcelona,eating at Tickets, then leaving the next day to go to Sant Pol de Mar to have lunch(Carmen's Ruscalleda) if they do lunch but drive up to Narbonne or go the other way towards France? I never thought of going that way and then taking a Vuele flight to Palme. But Im asking everyone if its worth it because I was on this writers sight named James Martin and he had a interesting intinerary of driving from Valencia to Marseille, but of course we would not do that drive.
At least we could hit two of our restaurants
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Costa Brava and/or Collioure, France.
Both are beautiful coastal locations near Barcelona.
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Old Apr 10th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Kimhe is right about booking a table at Tickets....they go in a few minutes, I was able to get only
early seating, but who cares!
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