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chimpy Jan 30th, 2015 12:24 AM

Need advice for Madrid/ Castilla Leon / Basque / Aveiro
The advice that Ive read in this forum has been so helpful. Hope someone can give some tips on our intended itinerary in July. We are a family of 4 with kids age 8 and 10. We are fitting in Aveiro, Portugal as have a friend there.
My worry:
1.. Is it too much time on the trains from Avila to San Sebastian / SS to Madrid, unless the train ride is interesting
2. Is the trip too rushed especially around Castilla Leon?
3. Should we be driving instead of taking the train, although I think driving is tiring

Arrive Madrid -3 nights
Drive to Salamanca - stay 2 nights
Drvie to Aveiro - stay 3 nights
Drive to Avila - stay a night (or dont we need to stay and just hop on the train?)
Train to San Sebastian - 3 nights
Train to Madrid

Your tips are much appreciated!

sandralist Jan 30th, 2015 04:45 AM

Have you already bought air tickets in and out of Madrid? Where are you coming from -- Europe or another continent?

Are you making stops along the way to Aveiro because you really want to sightsee that route in Spain, or are just looking to get to portugal + ways to break up the long drive?

The train from San Sebastian to Madrid is so long, I would be unhappy to take it and I don't think I would want to make my kids take it.

If you are not wedded to the idea of seeing Salamanca and Avila, then I would suggest flying to Lisbon, and driving to Aveiro, then driving back to Lisbon airport to fly to Bilbao/San Sebastian. From there, drive back to Madrid.

If you haven't already bought your air tickets and can fly first to Lisbon, that would help. If you already have air tickets in and out of Madrid then maybe this would work:

Arr Madrid 3 nights
Fly Lisbon, rent car at airport, drive to Aveiro -- 3 nights
Drive back to Lisbon airport, flight to Bilbao -- either car rental or bus to San Sebastian
Drive back to Madrid, via Burgos, Segovia and possibly Avila
Fly home.

Robert2533 Jan 30th, 2015 06:10 AM

Aveiro is less then an hour south of Porto. If you're committed to flying into Madrid, then take a TAP Portugal flight from there to Porto. Discount fares on direct flights are as low as €52/person, one-way in early July.

If you havn't purchased your tickets as yet, then fly into Porto and home from Madrid or Bilbao. Madrid will be quite warm in July, the Basque coast a little cooler.

After your time in Aveiro, you can head east to Salamanca on the A-25 and then visit Ávila on the way to San Sebastian-Donostia.

As already noted, the train from San Sebastián to Madrid takes awhile, so, as an alternative, you can drive to Pamplona and take the high-speed train to Madrid.

kja Jan 30th, 2015 06:17 PM

"Avila - stay a night (or dont we need to stay and just hop on the train?)" -- I was glad that I spent a night in Avila, as I found it quite evocative as the sun set and then after dark. That said, I think it really depends on what you want to see and experience and how you and your family manage one-night stays.

Hope that helps!

chimpy Feb 1st, 2015 04:27 AM

Thanks everyone. Yes unfortunately have to fly into Madrid and out of Madrid. Was trying to save on flights as well and back and forth airport. But perhaps we can look into TAP fight from Madrid to Porto. Or just forget Portugal altogether. Will have a rethink.

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