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myraoncomputer Mar 3rd, 2014 12:40 PM

I know this is a really general question but my husband and I are thinking of going to Spain in August. I know this is a busy time but this is when I have my holidays. We were either going to fly into Barcelona or Madrid and then wanted to spend 4 nights in an area with a really nice beach. We are in our early 50's and like restaurants, beaches and sightseeing, also like outdoor sports like biking and snorkelling. Any help would be appreciated.

yipper Mar 3rd, 2014 04:46 PM

Spain is a wonderful country to visit. Get a good guide book. But, Barcelona has a nice large beach. Also go towards Valencia or Roses where there are a lot of good beaches. We stayed in Cadaques, which is charming, but the beach is not stunning.

kja Mar 3rd, 2014 05:22 PM

If you are going in August, then I would urge you to consider places in northern Spain, as southern Spain will be extremely hot at that time. Barcelona, at least, would probably be manageable:

Madrid isn't near any beaches.

As yipper said, a good guide book or two should prove invaluable.


kimhe Mar 4th, 2014 02:11 AM

Barcelona would be excellent for both restaurants, beaches and sightseeing.

Barcelona competes with San Sebastián in the Basque Country about being the food capital of Spain. Twenty Michelin star restaurants in town.

Some of my favourites:
Traditional Catalan food in Barcelona classic 7 Portes from 1836:

Paradise versions of traditional tapas at Tickets. Reserve tables two months in advance, they are gone ten minutes after midnight:

Fabulous tapas at Cal Pep:

The wide Barceloneta beach is very popular with locals. All kinds of people and all kinds of water, sports, leisure, eating and drinking activities long into the evening:

The spectacular Sagrada Familia and the many other Gaudí buildings and the Gaudí park (Park Güell) are on top of many lists:

Other obvious sights include the large medieval Barri Gotic (Gothic quarter), the beautiful Gothic 14th century church Santa María del Mar, the Picasso museum, a visit to the underground excavations of the 1 century BC Roman city of Barcino and Montjuic (Jewish mountain), with the castle, the parks, the many museums and theaters, the 1992 summer olympics arenas and fabulous views of both the city and the sea:

Good site about Barcelona:

brendonb29 Mar 4th, 2014 02:22 AM

Barcelona is an amazing spot for beaches, nightlife and wonderful food. About 40km down the coast is the town of Sitges with one of the nicest beaches in Spain. Close to Barcelona is Figures where Salvador Dali lived and you can tour his house. A little church on a mountain called Montserrat which in Spanish means Serrated mountain.

traveller1959 Mar 4th, 2014 02:56 AM

Another vote for northeast Spain with regard to temps in August.

Barcelona has a wide sandy beach, which is a little boring and certainly not good for snorkeling. My preferred beach would be Tossa de Mar, 90km north of Barcelona. There are also several beautiful coves in the area.

Cadaques is stunningly beautiful, but the beach is not sandy but has pebbles and rocks (so not bad for snorkeling).

BTW, Salvador Dali's home is in Cadaques (in Port Lligat, to be exact). In Figueres you find a Dali museum. Both places are spectacular.

North of Cadaques, there is Cap de Creus, a most spectacular coastline with many rocky coves which are a paradise for snorkeling.

However, August will be high season and many hotels will be fully booked by now.

myraoncomputer Mar 14th, 2014 08:39 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I don't really mind hot weather as I do hot yoga almost every day. I was wondering what people would think about flying to Barcelona and spending 3 nights there and then going to Majora for about 5 nights. Would that be a nice trip to Spain or would someone recommend another iteneray which includes 5 nights beach side.

kja Mar 14th, 2014 08:45 PM


IMDonehere Mar 14th, 2014 08:46 PM

If you were going spend five days some place, the mainland, IMHO, is much more interesting for a first time visitor.

brendonb29 Mar 15th, 2014 12:39 AM

I think she meant majorca

kja Mar 15th, 2014 12:49 AM

Probably, but with so many odd auto-correct "solutions", it would be nice to have the OP confirm...

myraoncomputer Mar 15th, 2014 08:08 AM

sorry I did mean Majorca. But I am wondering is it better to go to this Island for a first time visitor or stay on the mainland.

bilboburgler Mar 15th, 2014 08:45 AM

Majorca in August will be even busier than Barcelona in August. Take the advice and aim for the Biscay or Atlantic coasts of Spain. It will be busy with Spanish holiday makers but not the whole of Northern Europe. :-) I'm in my mid fifties and Barcelona and Majorca at this time would be my idea of hell.

Just a note on bicycle riding in Spain, like a few other crazy countries it is mandatory to wear a helmet unless, of course, the road you are on is too steep or it is too hot (I guess it gets safer then)

iris1745 Mar 15th, 2014 09:48 AM

We were in San Sebastian last September and there is lovely sandy beach, probably a few miles long.

Weather was perfect.

nytraveler Mar 15th, 2014 10:06 AM

Barcelona OK if you rally don;t mind heat. (The most interesting part of Spain, IMHO, is Andalusia - but that time of year the high temps are often more than 100 and can be up to 120).

I would head for San Sebastian - which has pleasant summer weather, great beaches, and is where all of the Spaniards with any money will be - not sweltering with all of the northern europeans.

myraoncomputer Mar 15th, 2014 12:14 PM

ok I will look that up.

myraoncomputer Mar 23rd, 2014 06:41 PM

I would like to go to a beach that is more mediterranean looking than San Sebastian. The scenery looks nice but more rugged which we have so much of in Canada anyways. I have been to Greece in the summer and was looking for a beach that looked more like that but in Spain.

BillJ Mar 26th, 2014 04:39 PM

Myra; I just posted an update on my year old post about Majorca and Ibiza. If you want to beach and snorkle, and want to spend time away from Barcelona (my wife cannot get too much of Barcelona), I suggest Ibiza, a little med island with some 50 beautiful beaches. Some with good snorkling opportunities. Get a car, stay out somewhere away from the crowds of Ebiza town, and visit the different beaches. That's what we did. Stayed at Santa Eulalia del Rio.

excited_confused Apr 1st, 2014 09:30 PM

BillJ, I read on an older post that you had made a stop in Cordoba on your way from Madrid to Seville. We are planning to do the same on our upcoming trip next month (wow, it feels good to say that!)Anyway, just wanted to find out how it went, how much time you spent/needed there, what you did etc. etc. We hope to see the patios (Festival de Patios) for a couple of hours & then visit the Mezquita, trying to figure out how much tie we should plan for.

We should have a carry on bag each so hopefully the lockers at the bus station are still there! Any other information you can provide would be great! Thanks!

BillJ Apr 3rd, 2014 08:57 PM

Excited: good for you. As I recall, we got there about noon or a little before. There may have been an earlier train, but we tend not to be early risers on vacation. (It is a Vacation, after all.)
We schlepped the luggage across the street, found the lockers and a security guy of some sort helped us get the right change and get our stuff stored. Then we took a taxi up to the Mezquita area and spent about three to four hours up there.
Can't tell you about the Festival de Patios. But we had plenty of time to see the Mezquita, walk around the vary narrow streets, have some lunch at a cafe overlooking the little square, and take the little train around the whole town ( recommend the train ride).
Then we got a bus back down to the bus depot, secured our luggage and walked back across the street to the train station. I think the train left for Seville around 6, but can't be sure. I also believe there was a later train had we needed it.
For us, this was plenty of time to do the above, and worked very well in order to check off Cordoba. We had previously taken a train to Toledo, as a day trip out of Madrid. That also worked very nicely. We really liked the trains in Spain.
They show a movie on the train, and when we stopped in Cordoba, the movie had not ended.
Wife was upset because she had gotten hooked on the movie. But when we boarded the train in Cordoba, to continue on to Sevilla, the movie picked up right where it had left off. We thought that a pretty nice touch.
Have fun.

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