Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

help with my Spain itinerary - Barcelona /Northern and Costa Brava

help with my Spain itinerary - Barcelona /Northern and Costa Brava

Old Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:30 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
help with my Spain itinerary - Barcelona /Northern and Costa Brava

My daughter and I will arrive in Barcelona mid-May for 2 weeks. I have visited Barcelona, Sitges and Montserrat in the past as well as Madrid and southern Spain. We are interested in visiting small quaint villages, beautiful scenery (mountains/coast/cliffs/beaches) and good food. I rented a car and don't mind driving as long as the roads are not narrow!

This is what I have planned so far :

1- Barcelona - Tarragona - Zaragoza (overnight in Zaragoza)
2 - Zaragoza - Bilboa (use Bilbao as base for next 3 nights)
3 - day trip towards west (along coast)
4- day trip to San Sebastian including a visit of Gaztelugatxe
5 - day trip to ??
6- Bilbao to Huesca via Pamplona (overnight in Huesca)
7- Huesca to Tossa de Mar (use Tossa de Mar as base for visiting Costa Brava)
8 - day trip to Girona and Begur
9 - hike along the coast (Cap de Creus - Cadaques)
10 - day trip to ???
11- back to Barcelona

Your thoughts?
Any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks to all
mist is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 01:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bilbao is excellent, but if you're looking for beautiful scenery, coast, cliffs and beaches, I would very much recommend to make San Sebastián your base. Belle Epoque San Sebastián is the culinary capital of Spain if not all of Europe, some of the finest city beaches on the continent, fabulous coastline in both directions, and the Pyrenees starts just inland. http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/

San Sebastián is very compact and sits between three steep hills along the coast, Monte Ulía in the east, Monte Urgull towering over the Parte vieja/Old town, and Monte Igueldo in the west. Spectacular views of both the coastline and the city from all the three hills, possibilities for great walks etc.

Monte Igueldo and Monte Urgull: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC8tDqQq09M
Flight along the coast from east to west over Monte Ulía, Urgull and Igueldo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p9nsrWOhgY

All about going for the famous pintxos in food crazy San Sebastián:
kimhe is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 01:24 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
... and continuing:

pintxos in food crazy San Sebastián: http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en

San Sebastián is European Capital of Culture 2016. And the most beautiful city in Spain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zTb7Eg9Lk
kimhe is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 04:07 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely would opt for San Sebastian over Bilbao as a base for your first few days.
Not far to spread your wings a little and cross the border to visit Saint Jean-de-Luz and Saint Jean-Pied-a-Port.
Not sure if Tossa del Mar would be your best choice to stay if you are thinking of day trips to both Girona and Cadaques.
Do include Besalu and Figueres in your itinerary and if you are visiting Begur, don't miss two other small towns in the area - Pals and Peratellada.
Perhaps you might consider staying somewhere further up the coast like Llafranch.
Have done some research on the coastal walks around Cadaques and am a little wary of some of the GR 92 in terms of the terrain and quality of the underfoot conditions. Best option seems to be the walk out to the Cap de Creus lighthouse and back (there is a restaurant at the lighthouse itself).
SeeDee is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 08:02 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow! Thanks so much for your advise! San Sebastian looks so nice! I was thinking of staying in San Sebastian but I was afraid that it would be too far if I wanted to do a day trip up to Santiago de Compostel?

I really want to have the Spanish feel and perhaps a Flamenco show. From the video and pictures, it looks a lot like southern France (which I've been before) but I really want to see the Pyrenees mountains too so I'm really hesitant...

I will definitely check out Llafranch for a base on the Costa Brava
mist is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 08:11 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You won't be able to daytrip to Santiago de Compostela from either Bilbao or San Sebastián! It's way too far for this itinerary with 2 weeks.

If you're looking for a "Spanish feel" then you're going to be in the wrong part of Spain. When most people think of Spain it's the typical Andalucia or central Spain. Most of your proposed itinerary is in Catalunya and the Basque Country - they are far from the Spain that most people envision. Very unique and separate from Spain.
CathyM is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 08:44 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh well, then, not the Spanish buildings that we see on pictures all the time and that we would expect when visiting Spain?

My daughter fell in love with the Costa Brava coast when she saw pictures because it reminded her of Greece. Maybe we should skip San Sebastian and go further south on the East coast of Spain instead so we can feel that we are more in the typical Spain?
mist is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,789
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd skip Tarragona on your first day - it is worth more than a couple of hours walking around, and it is a 2.5 hour drive to Zaragoza. Just go directly to Zaragoza so you can at least experience that city a little more.

If you head south instead (and you could go down to Valencia which has a very typical "Spanish feel" IMO) spend some time in Tarragona and skip Zaragoza.

You are packing a lot in - I wouldn't want to spend that much time in the car. Consider narrowing your choices and spending at least two nights in each spot.

Whatever you decide to do I am sure it will be wonderful.
rialtogrl is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,887
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
We located in Figueres and made day-trips from there to Cadaques, Port Lligat, and other coastal and hill towns.
If you make it to or through Figueres, be sure to check out the wacky Dali museum.
Dave_Ohio is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2014, 06:47 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a relaxing itinerary compared to what I have done in my previous trips...

I'm having a hard time finding reasonable hotels in San Sebastian with ensuite and free parking. I found a nice one in Getaria but that's out of town. I would probably have to stay out of town anyway and take public transportation to visit San Sebastian since I assume that parking in town would be more expensive then taking the public transportation.
mist is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2014, 05:28 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is great deal of "typical" Spanish architecture in Girona and Zaragoza and Huesca. One of the resentments the peoples of Catalona and the Basque country have felt toward the rest of Spain has been an imposition of Spanish style (and language) on their separate cultures. It is my understanding there is high quality flamenco performance in Barcelona if you know where to look.
sandralist is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2014, 07:07 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,909
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
If you want to stay outside of San Sebastian, look at Hondarribia. I highly recommend that you look at Maribel's Guides to both Basque areas, Pais Vasco in Spain and the adjacent Pays Basque in France.there is a section on Hondarribia as well as San Sebastian, Barcelona.
You can print out the guides and take them along. www.maribelsguides.com. Also, In recommend that you read Mark Kurlansky's "The Basque History of the World" before your trip.
We spent more than a week traveling from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian. I think you can fly between them via Madrid.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2014, 06:19 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to all! Hondarribia looks really nice but almost in France! I really want to keep France for another trip...

I wonder if there is more things to see near San Sebastian then near Bilbao? I thought that Bilbao would be more central.

I'm now hesitating between staying at the Ibis in Barakaldo (near Bilbao) or the K10 Hotel in Urnieta (near San Sebastian).
mist is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2014, 06:48 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"typical" Spanish architecture? What is that?
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2014, 01:32 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
typical Spanish architecture means the iron balcony ramps, sculptured facade of buidings
mist is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,909
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Maybe you should be planning to visit Seville, Granada and Cordoba if you want that traditional Spanish
architecture.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Roodnat
Europe
11
Oct 8th, 2016 03:32 PM
gabrino
Europe
5
Mar 17th, 2012 03:34 PM
Karen7272
Europe
7
Apr 21st, 2010 02:52 AM
Spectrum
Europe
14
Apr 8th, 2009 07:50 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:27 AM.