Have you been to Spain AND Hawaii?

Aug 16th, 1999, 08:53 AM
  #1  
kathy
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Have you been to Spain AND Hawaii?

I'm trying to convince husband a vacation to Portugal/Spain will offer more than Maui next spring. I like the relaxation of Maui (hubby's criteria), but we haven't experienced the sights of Portugal and Spain. The reality is, either locale is interesting and enticing, but one is probably more relaxing than the other since I seem to cram our vacations with side trips anyway - not wanting to miss a thing no matter where the destination. Any suggestions, ideas or comparisons? As usual, thanks for sharing.
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 09:26 AM
  #2  
Maira
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Yes, I have been to both,... and boy, are you posting a tough one today!!!

If diversity, historical sights, cheaper vacation, and relaxation is what you are looking for, then S/P has more to offer. If you are looking for outstanding natural beauty, top quality of the beaches and relaxed environment, then Hawaii is tough to beat. If you have to go in the Spring, and you are set in being near a top notch beach, then Hawaii is probably your best bet. If you are looking for a relaxed and DIVERSE environment, then S/P is the way to go.

....again, a tough one.
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 09:40 AM
  #3  
kristi
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I'll start off with a couple of things that bias my opinion-I can't bear to lay on a beach for extended periods of time (burner, not a tanner) and tend to try to do and see as much as possible on my vacations. I enjoyed both Hawaii and Spain and both places can be extremely active or relaxing depending on how much you do. That being said, provided you were going when the weather was nice in Spain, I would probably opt for Spain/Portgual. You haven't been there before and Spain (haven't been to Portgual although I hear its wonderful) is a wonderful, inexpensive (by European standards anyway) place to visit. The food is great and there are many fabulous historic places to visit. If you concentrate on one or two areas, depending on the amount of time you have, the trip doesn't need to be stressful. Spend several days in a city like Seville and you'll have plenty of time to see the sights and to enjoy walking the city.
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 10:26 AM
  #4  
kathy
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Thanks Maria and Kristi. You've said exactly what I thought and why I can't make a decision - or forego the possibility of going to Spain. From the posts I've researched on this forum - and others, economically I think we'd get more for our $$$ in Spain, and while that's possible, that's where I'd like to visit. On the other hand, I relaxing beach sounds good too considering the past several vacations were in Europe. Our vacation time is mid-May, and I believe the climate is comparable both places. From what I've read, prices for lodging are much higher in Maui than Spain. Am I correct? Do either of you recommend a hotel you were pleased with? In Paris this May, we stayed at Champ de Mars and were quite comfortable there. Something similar to that in Spain would be great. Thanks for letting me "pick your brain". Travel time to both places is about a wash since we fly out of Cincinnati. Thanks for your comments.
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 10:40 AM
  #5  
Brian in Atlanta
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Kathy, my wife and I are planning a trip to southern Spain next May due largely to the testimonials on this site, but the clincher were the pictures on the following web site:
http://cesium.clock.org/~sblair/spain/spain.html.

Our last trip to Europe was to London/Amsterdam, and while it was a great trip, I would be less than honest to say it was relaxing. That's why this time we're going to spend time in smaller cities/towns and not move around too much. Fewer sights to see, less pressure, more wandering, more food, more drink. We're going to relax if it kills us.

You seem to have a tough decision to make. I imagine that you'll change your mind numerous times before you commit (I know that's how I operate). Good luck!

 
Aug 16th, 1999, 10:50 AM
  #6  
MAira
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I spent the first week of this past May in Northern S/P. In Portugal we stayed at a small seaside town called Viana Do Castelo. Very relaxing, gorgeous, unspoiled beaches, nice old medieval (walking) town. Tons of day-trips opporrunities. The weather that time of the year was nice; we barbecued every day. The beautiful city of Porto (home of the amazing Oporto wine) is about 45 mts south. We saw a lot of houses (gorgeous!) for short-term rent. We found another beach nearby called Efife that was gorgeous. The Parador Santa Luzia is also in this city. You may want to check the following website for another rental property that was in an incredibly beautiful area;
http://www.contactovisual.pt/casadaveiga/en.html

I was extremely impressed by the hospitality, how INEXPENSIVE, how gorgeous and how undiscovered the Northern Portugal coast (Costa Verde) is.....

E-mail me for details. I wish I was going back!!!
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 10:59 AM
  #7  
Cheryl Z.
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Have been to all three, and while nothing beats Hawaii for relaxation and beautiful beaches, I'd say go to Spain and especially Portugal. Maui is very expensive, Spain and Portugal are among the least expensive countries to go to, and you'll have more of a variety of things to do. The
Estoril coast in Portgual is wonderful, and you should find plenty of nice places to relax. Your hubby's criteria is similiar to my husband's and you're probably more like me, so I understand what you're going thru! I think you both would be happy with Portugal. May should be very pleasant, maybe very hot too.
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 11:23 AM
  #8  
Carol Lehrman
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Hi Kathy:

Having been to Hawaii several times, and loving Hawaii, I will still recommend Spain/Portugal! We haven't yet been to Portugal, been to Spain many years ago, but Europe just plain wins out! And from the postings here, you'll get some great information.

But, more info on Hawaii . . .
In the future, you might consider islands other than Maui.

We were lucky enough to go to Molokai a few years ago. It is still very Hawaiian and an island most don't see, and while it's not for everyone (not much nightlife, not a "scene"), it has beautiful beaches, friendly people and is a wonderful overall experience.

Wherever you go, have a great trip!

If
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 12:14 PM
  #9  
Ruth
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Just a note here: you can get nice, clean, very pleasant accomodations in Maui for $60 per night (a charming little B&B up in ranch country), or you can pay $600 a night (Grand Wailea) both in a good location, depending on your wants. Just takes a little research........ I don't like people to think they must spend a fortune to visit Hawaii.

Kathy, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time either place! Best of luck!
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 12:51 PM
  #10  
kristi
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Just to confuse you a bit more, I also was able to find reasonable accomodations on Maui by using the Entertainment book so it doesn't have to be expensive. It's just a little more work finding reasonable accomodations there. And Carol is right about visiting other islands-we visited three when we were there and enjoyed all of them so you don't have to spend the whole time relaxing. The volcanoes on the big island are fun to visit

On the other hand, mid-May is a lovely time to visit Spain. It's warm and it's before the tourist rush kicks in. And from Maira's description of her trip to Portgual, I'm ready to book a trip there myself!
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 01:29 PM
  #11  
Ruth
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Kristi, I was kicking myself for not mentioning the Entertainment card in my above post about Maui. I'm afraid people think that the accomodations must be inferior if they accept the card - NOT TRUE! It's a fact that the Grand Wailea isn't going to accept it, but there's plenty just a level or so below that!
 
Aug 16th, 1999, 01:30 PM
  #12  
Ruth
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Kristi, I was kicking myself for not mentioning the Entertainment card in my above post about Maui. I'm afraid people think that the accomodations must be inferior if they accept the card - NOT TRUE! It's a fact that the Grand Wailea isn't going to accept it, but there's plenty just a level or so below that!
 
Aug 17th, 1999, 05:31 AM
  #13  
John
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Hi, Kathy,
I guess I'd suggest a compromise of sorts - stay on the beach but close enough to enjoy Spanish or Portugese attractions.
For example, try Sitges, on the beach outside Barcelona...good sunning, swimming, and people watching, fun shopping and eating, cheap, clean and friendly hotels, and a 20-minute train ride later you're surrounded by Gaudi or walking on the Rambla. One of the good things about Spain and Portugal, remember, is that they come alive late at night, long after the sun has moved on (toward Maui I guess)...
 
Aug 17th, 1999, 07:04 AM
  #14  
kathy
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Thank you all. We're very seriously considering Spain and Portugal after reading your posts. Now ... research begins. I've already checked the hosted forums for both locations and have searched for hotel information too - I'm hoping one of you has a gem you will share with me. Maria, as I get into this plalnning in more depth, I'll surely take you up on your offer. This forum is great. Thank you all again.
 
Aug 17th, 1999, 07:17 AM
  #15  
HelenF
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Kathy, I don't know how far back the NY Times's website goes for Sunday Travel section articles, but I read one earlier this year about a grandmother's trip with her young granddaughter to a Spanish seaside town that made me want to call my travel agent immediately. It would probably help your husband imagine the relaxing, fun, non-beach possibilities. Have fun planning your trip -- for me, one of the best parts of any vacation.
 
Aug 17th, 1999, 03:32 PM
  #16  
Judi
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I have been to Hawaii (once was enough) and went to Spain for the first tme last year. We loved it and are returning in November. We go to Nerja, which is a wonderful little town on the easternmost part of the Costa del Sol and very different from the other cities on the Mediterranean. Last year we rented a villa with some friends and this year we have a place on a cliff overlooking the water. It is very inexpensive and the town has so much charm. I am not a beach person but do like to walk it in the morning and in the moonlight. The beach is made up of small smooth rocks like river rocks. I would suggest that you - and Brian- do a search on Nerja; you will find pictures on the net. Ronda is a cool town but we did it in a day trip and that was enough for us. We haven't been to Portugal, but from reading posts on this forum, I think we will plan a trip there next year. E-mail me if you would llke more information. Have a great time wherever you end up!
 
Aug 18th, 1999, 07:06 AM
  #17  
Bob K.
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Kathy:
Been to Portugal twice, Spain twice, different parts of both countries. The greatest! Never expected so much from Portugal, as they don't toot their tourism horn too much. 2000 + years of history in Spain/Portugal, so much to see, so little time. You go once to these places, you do return to see the rest.
Bob K.
 
Aug 19th, 1999, 08:43 AM
  #18  
Mike
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Actually, don't think that you have a tough choice at all. I have spent lots of time in Hawaii and only a little in Spain/Portugal and Europe wins by a long shot.

Due to the timing of your trip, the water may not be the warmest in Europe, but weather should still be very nice. Nothing can compare with the diversity of the culture (language, food, etc)here in Europe. Due to all the differences, you will feel like you are exploring instead of just being a tourist. (Don't know why I didn't move here sooner...)

Not to bash Hawaii at all (I have spent almost a year there over the past 20 years), but it is just too touristy. Due to the decline of crops such as sugar cane and pineapple, tourism is Hawaii's biggest industry and is, unfortunately, changing the islands. No more can you escape tourists and just get away. You always seem to be surrounded (and if you do get away, the non-tourist parts of the islands are relatively poor).

Hope this info helps.
 
Aug 19th, 1999, 09:53 AM
  #19  
kathy
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Thank you all! (I've been reading, but unable to post.) I think you've convinced us! Spain and Portugal lookin' good next spring! Now .... the logistics of getting there. I'm not familiar with TAP airlines, is anyone? I haven't gotten guide books yet, or really looked at a detailed map, but it appears visiting Northern Portugal and the seaside of Spain might be a difficult itinerary to follow. Maria's post makes Portugal a must-see (Maria, I'll contact you later, thanks), but how did you do it? Is it possible to combine southern areas of both countries? Then what airport would we use? I checked the net for Ronda - what a beauty that is.I hadn't heard of that city or Nerja before Judi posted it (I know I'll contact Judi later about hotels, etc. Thanks for your offer to share.)Helen, I checked the NYTimes w/o success, but did get other information; thanks. Ruth & Kristi, the Entertainment book is a mainstay for us. What great hotel values we've gotten. Thanks. John, I'm still looking for Sitges. Can you suggest a hotel there? Cheryl, do you have a hotel you can share on the Estoril coast? This is too much fun! thanks to Mike, John and Carol too. I learned something new from each of you. Brian in Atlanta, are you reading? This is great stuff they people shared!
 
Aug 19th, 1999, 10:05 PM
  #20  
gina
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Kathy, sounds like Spain wins, as it should. But when you are ready to go to Hawaii, Kauai should be your destination, not Maui. My parents live there, I have been more times than I can count. Let me know when you want info. gina
 

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