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Madrid to Northern Spain- 4 days/2 kids. Help w itinerary pls!

Madrid to Northern Spain- 4 days/2 kids. Help w itinerary pls!

Old Apr 21st, 2017, 09:39 AM
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Madrid to Northern Spain- 4 days/2 kids. Help w itinerary pls!

Hi,
Traveling from Madrid to Northern Spain end of August.
We've got 4 days and 2 kids (ages 9 and 10). Will want some beach time but also museum etc. time. I know 4 days isn't a lot of time but we'll try to do as much as we can!
Trying to confirm best itinerary w kids.
Madrid - Burgos - Bilbao - Santander
Madrid- Burgos- Bilbao - San Sebastian
Skip Burgos?
Have never been to this part of Spain and very excited!
Thank you in advance for your advice. DW
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 09:47 AM
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By trying to do as much as you can in that time, you will see little.

Four days is not enough time for Madrid, let alone three other places. Remember you will lose time just getting from place to place and packing and unpacking, checking in and out all with two kids.
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 09:53 AM
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How are you travelling ? car ? bus ? train.? All I remember from Burgos is the cathedral but am sure there must be more to see. I'd go Madrid, Bilbao, Santander, and then over to SS. You won't want to take the kids to the very expensive restaurants in SS, but there are plenty of reasonable ones there. Great beaches in Santander and SS, and the water should be OK at that time. Have fun !
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 05:04 PM
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Although it depends on your interests, I find it diffucult to imagine that 4 days would be sufficient for either plan. Note that trying to do as much as you can also means balancing time in transit with time to actually see or do anything -- and your plan seems to me to include a disportionately high amount of time in transit. I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library) and plot your wish list on a calendar. Each time you propose to change locations, pencil in your transportation (you can get some rough ideas from rome2rio.com), add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.), and then see whether you will actually have the time you want anywhere. Keep in mind that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.

If there is any chance that you will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage you to take public transportation for your first night or two. Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience!

Good luck!
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Old Apr 21st, 2017, 07:00 PM
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Is this a joke? You can't be serious.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:47 AM
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Do you mean you have 4 days for Madrid AND Northern Spain? Or 4 days AFTER you visit Madrid?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2017, 06:59 AM
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The end of August is hot ...both SS and Sntander have wonderful beaches

With kids, I would go to SS for 4 days and , if you wish, make a day trip to Bilbao.
( easily reached by bus)
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Old Apr 22nd, 2017, 07:58 AM
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There's a half day lost on the travel day, even if the first stop is Burgos. In most cases you won't be able to check into the hotel until after noon at the earliest. August will be hot in Burgos, no beach.

There would be another half day lost traveling from Burgos to Donostia, Bilbao or Santander.

If you can find accommodations, then I would go with either San Sebastian or Santander and send the 4 nights there. The only beaches near Bilbao are a metro ride away.

Flying is the quickest way, even with the time needed to check in and clear security. The fastest train from Madrid to Santander takes just over 4 hours. The quickest AVE or AVANT from Madrid to San Sebastian takes nearly 5-1/2 hours.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2017, 11:36 AM
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It makes no sense to me. Just spend your time in Madrid or go right to San Sebastian, stay put and enjoy it. You'll spend a half day traveling between each destination.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 02:50 AM
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Sorry - wasn't clear - we're spending a lot of time in Madrid before we leave for Northern Spain. Looking for itinerary for 4 days once we leave Madrid.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 07:08 AM
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4 days? One destination! You'll only have 3-1/2 days to enjoy it.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 11:57 AM
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Where do you need to go on the fifth day?
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 01:27 AM
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Robert2016 I do believe this is supposed to be a helpful forum. Every response from you has been negative. if it's ok feel free to leave the responses to others who may be able to provide insight. Thanks!
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 01:28 AM
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We are heading back to Madrid. Thinking of changing plans to drive from Madrid directly to SS or Santander and having that be our home base for a couple of days.
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 07:57 AM
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Are you driving a rental car? You would be better off driving to SS and dropping off the car on arrival, then flying onward from there if possible. You'll pay for the car in SS and you do not need it in the city.

If not possible, I agree about driving directly to San Sebastian and spending the time there. I'd book hotel now for summer high season.

I spent a few nights in Burgos recently and liked it very much, but you do not have enough time for more than a lunch stop.
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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"We are heading back to Madrid. Thinking of changing plans to drive from Madrid directly to SS or Santander and having that be our home base for a couple of days."

Good idea.
Your family will enjoy a few days on the beach after Madrid.
SS is more beautiful , more expensive , more popular with tourists, more to see..
Day trips ( half day?) are possible from either.
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Old Apr 25th, 2017, 06:41 PM
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Wow, I was about to try to offer another response in an effort to be helpful, but now I don’t know if my idea of what is helpful or useful will meet the OP’s criteria. For example, I thought Robert’s 2nd comment did offer helpful / useful information, but it seems the OP did not. I’m obiously not clued in! And I tend to think that ANY post that tops a thread is actually of potential help / use – JMO. ;-) After some consideration, I think I’d rather accept the OP’s request to “leave the responses to others who may be able to provide insight” than offer a comment that the OP might consider unhelpful.
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