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Help! July in Barcelona &...Madrid or Paris? San Sebastian? Other?

Help! July in Barcelona &...Madrid or Paris? San Sebastian? Other?

Old Jun 5th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Help! July in Barcelona &...Madrid or Paris? San Sebastian? Other?

Hello! It looks like the husband and I will be in Europe for 2 weeks in July. We could either fly in to Barcelona and out of Paris, or in to Barcelona and out of Madrid. Seeking your expert opinions in fleshing out this itinerary!

I've never been to Spain and would love to explore all parts of it, but I've read that July is brutally hot in Madrid, Andalusia, and many other Spanish areas, so I was thinking that Barcelona and Paris might be the wiser choice this time. (I've been to Paris before, but only when it was frigid, and would love to go back.)

So, questions: if we did do the Barcelona-Paris option, should we fit another city in between the two? I was thinking of San Sebastian. We like food (though I'm thinking tapas bars, not Michelin stars). Any other cities/towns that would make sense logistically, and would be fun for a semi-young couple?

Conversely, is Madrid in July not as bad I am imagining, and should we stay in Spain the whole time? I would love to see Seville as well, but I don't want us to melt.

We will have 14 nights in Europe, and do not yet have any plans on how to get from city to city. Thanks so much for your thoughts!
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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No you are right, that Spain can be unbearably hot and wise to skip Madrid & Andalusia in July ( although I adore both outside of July & August). Paris will be hot and muggy too, but should be better than cold and drizzly.

San Sebastian is perfect for a foodie and should be cooler even than Barcelona ( I'm here in Barcelona now and it is already hot!).




You might also consider near by Altamira and gorgeous santillana:



Also just an hour from Barcelona there are some jewels that most miss:


Have you considered Galicia? I think it is one of the true gems of Europe?




I have more on my website about Paris and Spain, but thought I'd just put a few for you to consider. Remember too that you will be dealing with jet lag and factor in time to relax and time for transportation between the places ( usually travel days are just that).

Seville and Madrid are MUST sees, just not in the heat. Spring is the best time to see Andalusia and Madrid in my humble opinion ( after traveling Europe based in Spain for the last 4 years):


Happy planning! Sounds like you are on the right track!
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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WTnow, thanks for your advice and suggestions. I appreciate getting some reassurance that I'm *not* being too wimpy about the heat.

Your photos are great! Galicia does look lovely, but it seems a bit hard to reach from Barcelona--or am I mistaken? I completely agree about wanting to take time to relax and not spend too much time traveling between places, which is why I was hoping for a third destination convenient to both Barcelona and Paris. We do still need to figure out how to get to these places--trains, planes, driving?

LOVE the pintxos pics from San Sebastian, and the Costa Brava looks beautiful. Hope we can make it there.
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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If heat is a concern in my experience Paris can be as stifling in July/ August as Madrid. It depends on your luck . A few years ago we were in Madrid in August and had gorgeous weather, in the 80's. Madrid is not humid. The one place I would never go back in the summer is Sevilla as the heat there is brutal.

From Barcelona you could fly to Santiago de Compostela , La Coruña or Vigo in Galicia.
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 10:41 AM
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My honest opinion is to forget cramming two countries into your trip, even two cities. Spend all of your time in San Sebastian. In July you won't regret it. You can even cross the border into Biarritz or St. Jean de Luz if you want to. Explore the coast, go to Santillana del Mar, Santander, Galicia. It's a special part of the world and you won't bump into tourists everywhere you go. You can also go into Rioja or Picos de Europa. We went to Barcelona and San Sebastian last July and wished we had spent the entire time in San Sebastian.
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