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FREE TAPAS if you help me with my Spain itinerary

FREE TAPAS if you help me with my Spain itinerary

Feb 20th, 2004, 07:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 134
FREE TAPAS if you help me with my Spain itinerary

OK, so there's no free tapas. Sue me!

But now that you're here, you might as well keep reading.......

Like many people at this site, I just desperately need your advice in the planning of my very first trip to Spain. I'll be there for the month of August, 2004. I've made a tentative schedule, and I'd be really thankful if you could tell me if I'm leaving out anything obvious, or if this itinerary actually works. If I have to, I'm willing to add a day or two if I'm leaving out an "absolute must see". Keep in mind, though, that I don't drive and will be taking planes, trains and buses. Also, if you know anything about the hotels I'm thinking of staying at, your imput would be really appreciated.)

So. Here's what I'm working with so far:

Barcelona - 7 days (already booked at Hostal Palacios) - How will I possibly soak in the art and architecture alone in 7 days??? The more I read about Barcelona, the more I realize that 7 days ain't nearly enough.

Seville - 5 days (Hotel Amadeus?) Same dilemma. How do you drink in so much beauty at a relaxed pace in so little time??

Cordoba - 2 days (Hotel El Conquistador?) One day for the Mezquita and museums, another day for everything else.

Ronda - 1 day (Hotel San Gabriel?) Walking and more walking. Bridges, bullring, churches....

Granada - 2 days (Hotel Guadalupe?) One day for Alhambra, and another for everything else.

Nerja - 4 days (Hotel Paraiso del Mar?) Hanging out, long walks on the beach, meandering through the town, lots of reading and sunning on the hotel terrace, day trips to surrounding villages and the caves. A relaxed destination to end my first three weeks in Spain.

I want this to be a pretty laid back trip for these three weeks, yet filled with a relaxed sense of Spain's beauty and history. An impression. I was thinking that my itinerary would cover the high points--hopefully, leaving me wanting to come back for more next year.

Does it work, or do I need to tweak it?


Tania is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 308
How are getting around? Why didn't you plan any time for Madrid? I really enjoyed The Prado.
Are planning day trips from Barcelona? Figereus, Montserrate? I think that to understand Gaudi you need to see Montserrate, but that's my opinion. Gaudi is awesome. Art Deco fuses with Organic architecture. The Costa Brava is beautiful.
I would spend less time is Sevilla and more in Granada but then I loved Granada.
Have fun... guess you'll be hearing from my lawyer about those Tapas or you can just FedEx them to me. I'll be expecting them by August 22 at the latest. Blessings
mcgeezer is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 01:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 496
in my opinion 7 days of barcelona is about 3 too many. and i agree with the poster above in questioning why no time is allotted for madrid, toledo or segovia.

but, hey, it's your trip. i'm sure you'll have a great time.
subcon is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
Be sure to take some thick cork soled shoes (or sandals) for walking in the south during the month of August. The soles of my feet got burned thru my thin-soled shoes once.

As far as I'm concerned you're doing a Spring itinerary in the heat of Summer. Unless I were going to a beach resort, like Nerja, I wouldn't venture south of Madrid during that time of year.

You say you'll be in Spain for the month of August; then later you say: "these three weeks." Is that excluding the week you plan to spend in Barcelona (which I think is too much for one city, even Barcelona)? Why is Madrid not in your itinerary?

I am more partial to Christian Spain (i.e., north and northwest). Did you know: during the Moorish Occupation of Spain Christians were called Gallegos? A Gallego is someone from the region of Galicia, in the northwest. My own Summer itinerary would include Basque country & Navarre, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia.

You can even see Gaudi's Caprichos in Comillas (Cantabria).
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 269
Hi Tania,
I think that 7 days in Barcelona is not too many days in that wonderful city. Especially if you have interest in architecture, art, food, and shopping, there is much to do and fill 7 days at an enjoyable pace.
The city has energy and much to offer.
Be sure to do a walking tour (either on your own, or a tour) of the POST MODERN houses and buildings. It is awesome if you have interests in looking at beautiful buildings and architecture. Be sure to visit every Gaudi building, and plan enough time at Parc Guell so that you can enjoy the beauty and walk thru without rushing. The Miro museum is worth a visit, many people do not include that in their Barcelona visit.
You will really be able to experience the full flavor of Barcelona by spending the 7 days there.
Also to note: in Barcelona it is nice to have a long relaxing lunch. Most of the stores are closed for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day, so be sure to plan your shopping either before or after the Siesta time. Museums do remain open all day, however some of the Gaudi homes do close Lunch time as well.
Pick up a TIME OUT Barcelona travel book as well, as it is a good basic guide for you to follow.
TrendGirl is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 06:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 134
I'm with TrendGirl on the 7 day plan in Barcelona. I really want to immerse myself in the city and not rush through it, looking only at the obvious tourist attractions. There's just too much to see. Especially in the way of museums and all things Gaudi. And yeah, Trendgirl, the Miro museum's already on the list!

To the other posters, Madrid was not on the itinerary, as I like to spend time in only one big city per trip. If I love Spain, then Madrid will be the big city I visit on the next trip to Spain. (If only for the Prado!)

But tell me--am I insane to be focusing on the south in August? (I haven't reserved anything beyond Barcelona yet). I chose the south because the concensus among everyone I know who's been to Spain is that Andalusia is by far the most beautiful and historically interesting part of the country, and it was strongly suggested that I start there. How hot could it be?? I spent last August in Greece and the August before in the south of Italy, and was fine...wouldn't the heat be comparable?
Tania is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 19
Andalucia is by far the most beautyful part of spain as u said and i think it really condense the spirit of spain but i think in august it will be really hot,at least in sevilla.The diference with greece or italy is the proximity with africa.I agree with NEDSIRELAND,u should use sandals and always have a good bottle of water.
Anyways, u will have a really great time there and it truly will leave u wanting more for next year.
rideon1895 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,046
I too would be concerned about the heat in the south in August. I also think that Cordoba is an easy day trip from Seville so moving your base for a couple of days is unnecessary. If you wanted to include some more temperate areas, you could consolidate the days in Andalusia to some degree and harvest a couple of extra days for some place more comfortable.

If you're spending a week in Catalonia, why not head up into the Pyrenees? Close by, cooler weather and it will emphasize the variety Spain has to offer.
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
WHAT??? NO TAPAS???!!!

And, even worse, going for three weeks to the Iberian Peninsula and NO Lisbon - ah, well...
easytraveler is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 636
It seems you have more time than the usual traveler to spend in Spain.
And it also seems that you are looking into a cultural spanish trip.
I agree that if you have the time spending seven days in Barcelona is a rare pleasure. The city has a lot to offer and not been in a hurry to see everthing in three days is great.
Now, I do not agree with the the fact that Andalucia is the best choice and for sure not in August.
Andalucia has great cities and an unmachting mixture of cultures, My recomendation will be to spend some days between Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada. 1/3/1 or something like that will be fine. You will enjoy and you will also sweat it.
And to take advantage of your private luxury, time, forget the south and move to the north. I will suggest Santander as a base for a quiet and nice, beach city with good atmosphere.
car is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 657
It's a close call for me as to whether the south or north is more intresting. Let's face it - they are both spectacular. It's like aruing between the American Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. You win either way. I'd Take advantage of the good weather in the north and avoid the less desireable weather in the south. In the north there are really only 4-5 months when weather is good. In south, much more. Take advantage of being there in August and do the north. Both mountains and coasts. IMO, Cordoba is really not worth more than a half day trip from Sevilla. Other than the Mezquita, which is spectaular, it's simply more of Sevilla and Granada but not quite as interesting.

Bottom line: I'd steal some time from Barcelona, Cordoba, and Sevilla and use that to hit San Sebastian and as much of the north as I could get going as far as Santiago if possible.
weber6560 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 08:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 134
So here's my dilemma: Let's say I DID consider the north after Barcelona. I know zero, zilch, nada about any of its destinations. (that was the beauty of the Southern itinerary--the towns and cities are all so well
known because they're tried, tested and true!)

Where would I begin in terms of narrowing it down?


I've been pouring over my Lonely Planet and Eyewitness Spain books tonight, combined with countless searches on this board, and my head is swimming with choices. How does this sound? After my week in Barcelona, fly to Santiago. Then, over the next 14-17 days (including day trips)....

Santiago--Santander/Santillano Del Mar--Leon--Salamanca--San Sebastian--Bilbao--Barcelona--home


Santiago--Santander/Santillano Del Mar--Leon--Salamanca--Toledo--Madrid--Barcelona--home


Something else?????? Picos de Europa looks amazing, but I don't know how do-able it is via public transport.

Any thoughts?

Tania is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 15
Tania, I agree with all those who have pointed out that it is REALLY hot in southern Spain in August. Can easily be 105 in Seville if you are unlucky. You sound like somebody who is going to like (or love) Spain, so you'll be going back. That means you should apply your "Barcelona principle" to the whole idea: spend time in just a couple of regions, close to each other, to soak up a lot of what they have to offer. Go back another year -- and in a better season -- for other regions.

Your new northern itinerary is better, but still not "north" enough. August is too hot also for Madrid - Salamanca (and I love Salamanca), etc. True, they are cooler than Seville -- but more humidity.

For a northern itinerary, yes, Santiago, San Sebastian, Bilbao, maybe Pamplona, definitely get up into the Pyrenees, maybe a wine town in the Rioja region. But not Leon or Salamanca in August.

Consider a side trip from Santiago to Oporto at the coast in northern Portugal. Not far, and the town and area are beautiful and interesting (river Douro is charming, vineyards climbing the hills all up the valley). You could return to Barcelona to fly back. But you could also go home via Oporto - London - USA, a well-serviced air route.

Whatever you choose -- Viva Espana!
Rover42 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
Tanis: re. Picos de Europa
One of the several tour companies runs a daytrip from Santander to Fuente De in the Picos de Europa just about daily. It goes Unquera, then south thru the gorge of the rio Deva to Potes and the Monastery of Santo Toribio and stays at Fuente De long enough for everyone to take the Cable Car to the top.

It takes you to a roadhouse restaurant that I would be generous to categorize as 2-star. It's 'family style' and they don't give you enough bread or wine. There are several excellent restaurants in Potes and the MotorCoach will come back to pick you up at the Bus Station at an assigned time. Another downside of the meal-inclusive tour: it doesn't give you enough time to shop in Potes

la Palomera bus company also operates regular commercial bus service between Santander and Potes or Fuente De
NEDSIRELAND is offline  

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