Northern Spain - Portugal

Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Northern Spain - Portugal

I am thinking about taking a trip to Northern Spain and Portugal this summer around Aug 3 - Aug 18. I am a single male 30 years old that will be traveling solo. Two years ago was my first trip to Europe (I traveled to Southern Spain). I thoroughly enjoyed my trip (absolutely loved Sevilla, Ronda, Malaga, Salamanca and Granada and would like to check out the North of Spain and Portugal this time around. My question is... would I have enough time for the itinerary below? I plan to travel by bus. Am I being to ambitious here (I had the same problem with my Southern Spain trip (originally I wanted to do and see everything) but I ended up cutting out a few destinations which made my trip much more enjoyable.

Aug 4 - Philadelphia to Bilboa
Aug 5 - Santander
Aug 6 - Santander
Aug 7 - Potes
Aug 8 - Potes
Aug 9 - Santiago de Compostela
Aug 10 - Santiago
Aug 11 - Santiago
Aug 12 - Porto
Aug 13 - Porto
Aug 14 - Preferably a beach town between Porto and Lisboa
Aug 15 - Lisboa
Aug 16 - Lisboa
Aug 17 - Lisboa
Aug 18 - Lisboa to Philadelphia

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
glynner79 is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Here is what I would do:
San Sebastian[a must]
Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Have fun !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 06:40 PM
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It's not a bad itinerary, but traveling by bus can be a challenge if you plan on spending a few days in Potes, which I highly recommend.

First off I would spend my first two days in Bilbao, the first to adjust to the jet lag. You'll need it. With only two weeks total, 13 days in which to enjoy the north, I would spend more time enjoying and exploring the Basque country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, saving Portugal for your another trip.

Bilbao is worth a minimum of 3 days, which doesn't include anything outside of the city. Santander is good for a minimum of 2 nights. Visiting Potes and the Picos can easily take 3 or 4 days. And then you have Asturias and Galicia to consider.

Robert2533 is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 08:23 PM
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Hi glynner,

I agree that maybe it would be best if you left Portugal for another time.

Rather than staying in Potes, why don't you visit it as a daytrip from Santander. Then, after Santander, move to Cangas de Onis and stay at the fantastic Parador. While there, you can visit Covadonga lakes and other areas of Picos de Europa. After that you could move To Santiago , with an overnight in Oviedo to break the trip. Let me warn you, the bus trip from Oviedo is doable, but it is loooooong( close to 5 hrs). But the bus is very comfortable.
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 08:26 PM
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Just forgot to say , that I have done by bus Bilbao- Santander- Cangas de Onis- Oviedo- Santiago and it worked fine! (except I would have loved if Oviedo-Santiago had been shorter by an hour!). Check
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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Thanks much for the replies! I definitely hear what you guys are saying about saving Portugal, so I will put that under advisement. Although I really want to get there, since I have only been to Europe once and that was my Spain trip. I am curious about the towns of Cangas, Oviedo, and Viana do Costello. I do not know much about these places? Can anyone shed some light on them?

glynner79 is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2009, 03:04 AM
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When we did a Northern Spain trip last year, we took Bobthenavigator's and Maribel's advice (how could we go wrong with both of them recommending the place) and checked out Viana do Castello and thought it delightful. It's small, around 30,000 people, but it has great charm. There is waterfront and a town center area away from the water. DH thought it among the most picturesque of all the towns we were in on the trip that covered Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. The old town has lovely buildings, a couple of nice churches, a museum, nice squares complete with interesting modern art here and there and lots of sidewalk cafes.

Some towns give off a vibe that says "we're here, so it's up to you." Viana do Castello seems to invite you in. You get the impression that the town fathers care and are bringing the place into the 21st Century while doing their best to preserve the old. Everything seems well cared for. We loved it.
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