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I leave for Spain in 12 days!

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Apr 30th, 2012, 07:44 PM
  #1
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I leave for Spain in 12 days!

My husband and I will be spending 5 days in San Sebastian/Rioja, 6 days in Seville and 5 days in Alicante/Valencia...(plus the 2 travel days). I started planning this trip 11 months ago and can't believe its finally here!

Any last minute tips?
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Apr 30th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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It's not cheap, but, if you can, email Arzak for dinner in San Sebastian. http://www.arzak.info/index.html

Many food lists have it listed as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world. Good news is that it's not nearly as expensive as a French restaurant of lesser caliber.

It's surprisingly not that hard to get into, and not at all pretentious. The Arzak family has owned the building for more than 100 years, and the father/daughter team of Juan Mari and Elena make you feel part of the family.

It's an experience that you will talk about for years or more. I can't wait to go back.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 08:02 PM
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Have you made your reservations for visiting the bodegas in the Rioja, or are you planning on playing it by ear? Have you read Maribel's Guide to the Rioja?
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Apr 30th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Rastaguytoday....thanks for that! I will email them and try to get reservations. My daughter is a newly graduated chef and I'm sure the pics I send home will leave her drooling

Robert...I haven't made reservations, but thanks for the reminder! I will look into that for sure!
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Apr 30th, 2012, 08:36 PM
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Robert, we will have a rental car, driving from San Sebastian to Laguardia where we will stay for 2 nights (Wed/Thurs). Can you suggest any particular bodegas to visit? We don't necessarily need to do a full tour (we live near Temecula and have visited Napa/Sonoma often, as well as many wineries in Italy & France) but we WOULD like to do some tastings...
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Apr 30th, 2012, 08:36 PM
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There are several great options for lunch in the Rioja, all of which are listed in Maribel's Guide.

As far as lunch or dinner in SS, we then to lean toward Restaurante Kokotxa (www.restaurantekokotxa.com) in the old city (great menu del dia), Andoni's Restaurante Mugaritz (www.mugaritz.com/) and Pedro Subijana's Restaurante Akelare (www.akelarre.net).
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Apr 30th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Bodega visits in the Rioja are quite different for what you would experience in Napa, Sonoma, Italy or France. Most of what I would recommend are listed in Maribel's Guide, and unless you are comfortable in doing a tour in Spanish, you'll have to check to see when they are offering a tour in English.

There are only a couple of bodegas that have a bar where you can sample a few of their wines without taking a tour, Marques de Riscal and Muga are two.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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If you are into ceramics, Lladro in Tavernes Blanques offer a factory tour by reservation only at its factory just north of Valencia. When we was there last month, we were the only visitors in the morning.

If you want high end dining on Monday when many such restaurants are closed, Urepel offers Michelin level dining(I read it previous had a star rating.)
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Apr 30th, 2012, 09:49 PM
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All about going for pintxos in San Sebastián:
http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en

Have lunch in one of the great seafood restaurants in the small harbour in close by fishing village Getaria (30 mins by bus from San Sebastián). Expensive and never to be forgotten. Something like this: http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2007/...-in-getar.html

Visit the newly renovated Museo San Telmo (from 1902) about Basque Society and Citizenship in San Sebastián: http://www.santelmomuseoa.com/index....mid=10&lang=en

Perhaps experience real deal flamenco at Casa de la Memoria in Sevilla? Popular with tourists, but some of the finest flamenco artists perform here on a regular basis: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Andalucia.html

Have a sevillana night out at Casa Anselma in the wonderful Triana area across the river Guadalquivir. No need to come before midnight: http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/gui...fe-detail.html
http://www.sevilla5.com/activities/f...o/anselma.html

Start at least one night in Sevilla in riverside Calle Betis. http://www.sevilla5.com/activities/goingout/betis.html

When in Sevilla, Córdoba is only 40-50 mins away by the high speed AVE train and celebrating the great annual Feria de la Virgen de la Salud from May 19th to May 26. Local food, drink, dance etc. 24/7. http://www.andalucia.com/festival/co...pring-fair.htm
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Apr 30th, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Thanks for the great links Kimhe, we will be in Seville May 18-23 and plan to visit Córdoba!
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