Spain Easter Trip...HELP!!!!!!

Oct 28th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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Spain Easter Trip...HELP!!!!!!

Our family of 2 adults and 3 kids (16, 12 and 9) are traveling into Madrid Holy Thursday and staying in Madrid until Easter Sunday with a day trip to Toledo to see Semana Santa on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. We return home from Barcelona and plan to spend 4 nights in Barcelona. We have 4 nights between Madrid and Barcelona from Easter Sunday till Thursday to see more of Spain. I am having the hardest time deciding if we go to Seville for 2 nights, then Granada for 2 nights, Marbella, then Nerja or Granada, or just pick 1 location and do day trips to Granada and possibly Ronda. We will fly to Barcelona from Malaga or Granada. We are fairly fast paced. Our last European adventure was 2 nights in Venice, 3 in Rome, driving from Rome to San Gimignano for 3 nights, driving to Cinque Terre for 2 nights with a quick stop in Pisa and driving to Milan for a night at the airport hotel. We did not feel crazy rushed and got a taste of many Italian areas we would love to return to one day. We love beach areas, culture, parks, unique architecture. Keeping kids and parents all happy can be a challenge, but we usually do well balancing it all. I'll take any suggestions or ideas on what we should see, do and where to stay for those 4 nights. Is anything going on anywhere in Southern Spain on Easter Sunday? Are shops open on Easter Monday? Being a family of five, we find that it's easier to rent apartments and most have a 2 night minimum although we would consider a 1 night hotel stay and 3 nights in another area. I'll also take any things we should not miss. Our son is begging to go to Gibralter but only to see the monkeys. I don't think that's going to happen, but you never know.
beachbum2 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2014, 08:58 PM
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Easter Monday would be the day after "Domingo de Ramos", Palm Sunday. Judging by your itinerary, you will not be arriving until Maundy Thursday.

In most cases, finding an apartment should be done as soon as possible, but you may find that any apartment rental may require a full week stay during Semana Santa. You'd be advised to check as soon as possible to see what your options are. Also note the Holy Week in high season throughout Spain but the impact isn't quite as bad in Madrid and Barcelona as it is in the south.
Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2014, 10:32 PM
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IMHO, less is more. So my advice is that you shouldn't even try to go to Andalusia if you are also trying to go to Madrid and Barcelona and surrounds on this trip. With the time you have, you could have a decent (if still very fast-paced) visit to Madrid, Barcelona, and surrounds. Nothing more IMO, even if you are fast-paced travelers, particularly because so much could be closed while you are there.

BUT it all depends on what you want to see and do. I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from the train/bus station or whatever, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

I appreciate that you are showing your children different parts of the world. I wonder if might learn a bit more if they are given the chance to slow down a bit. Just a thought.
kja is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 04:44 AM
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Fast paced indeed... I agree with kja, those are far too many cities to visit in that time span. I'd focus on either Madrid and Barcelona or Madrid and Andalusia (though personally, I'd skip Marbella, Nerja and Málaga altogether). Easter is an intersting time to visit the south, if you are interested in religious displays AND don't mind huge crowds -and bear in mind that the Easter celebrations in Southern Spain will probably slow you down (blocked streets, parades everywhere, etc). If you decide to go to Andalusia, make sure you make transport and accomodation reservations way in advance.
WellsEuroTraveller is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 05:12 AM
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We did spring break in Spain over Easter a few years ago. My trip report should still be on the board (search during 2005 I think). We started in Madrid for a few days, took the train to Seville, picked up a rental car and drove to Malaga and did a day trip to Granada. Not sure why everyone goes gaga over Granada.... Then we flew to Barcelona and spent a few days there. Our next visit to Spain will be in January and we will probably do just Madrid and Barcelona. Loved Seville, the white villages and thought Alhambra was a c+ attraction but that was just us. Be sure to see the processions, Easter Sunday is quite amazing as well. Our boys were about the same ages as your children and they had a blast. Enjoy
cmeyer54 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 05:18 AM
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Sorry - in the US the day after Easter is Easter Monday and is a holiday in some parts of the country.

Have never heard of Maundy anyhting.

Not sure if the monday after easter is a holiday in Spain or not.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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Maunday Thursday is the day/evening of the Last Supper and Jesus's arrest.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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I f you like moving around, your plan is fine
Train to Seville, spend 2 - 4 nights rent a around to see some of Andalusia One can see Alhambra in several hours
( make sure you have tickers)
You can fly Vueling to Barcelona from Granada or Seville.
It is a very busy time in Spain..... Have everything booked as soon as possible.
danon is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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I agree way too much.

If you were Christian, even as an American, you'd probably know the term Maundy Thursday. It comes from a Latin word for washing of the feet (the Maundy part). I know they used that when I was a kid (my mother was Methodist and I was among a lot of Lutherans, I think both used it, as well as Presbyterians and Episcoplains).

I'll admit I don't know of any place in the US where Easter Monday is any kind of official holiday (it's not Federal, for sure) by any city or state, so must be rare. In SPain, it isn't national, but is a holiday in some regions like Catalonia and Galicia.
Christina is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Maundy comes from the Latin mandatus meaning command, in this case Jesus' command to his disciples to love one another spoken at the Last Supper (John 13).
Alec is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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The resurecction on Easter Sunday marks the end of the greatest celebration of the year in all of the region. Semana Santa/Holy week is 24/7 devotion and fiesta hand in hand for a whole week in every small village all over Andalucia, and Easter Sunday is the grand finale. Here from Easter Sunday in Sevilla:

Easter Sunday marks not just the end of the Holy Week, but also the opening of the bullfighting season in the famous Maestranza bullring in Sevilla (as well as in other cities in the region). Holy Week and the opening of the bullfighting season in Andalucia can arguably be seen as parts of a Mediterranenan spring rite of death and rebirth with roots thousands of years back in time. See for example Allen Josephs "White Wall of Spain - The Mysteries of Andalucian Culture" for an enthusiastic and somewhat romantic introduction to the topic:
kimhe is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 02:01 PM
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If you don't have your tickets yet, I would cut Barcelona from your trip and return from Madrid. That would give you more time in Andalucia for the important sites there - Seville, Cordoba, and Granada - and maybe Ronda. No Marbella or Nerja and most certainly not Gibraltar !
Bedar is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 05:00 PM
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I wish I could have just an in and out out of Barcelona or Madrid, but we used FF miles and were limited with our choices. cmeyer54, your trip sounds like what we are looking to do. I searched and could not find your report. I an aware of all the Semana Santa festivities throughout the area which is why we are heading to Toledo for a day vs heading into Seville for complete insanity. We will be leaving Madrid on Easter Sunday, so I'm not sure if we should train to Seville or just get a rental car from Madrid and head down to Malaga area. I had hoped to stop along the way in a white town, but will anything be open on Easter Sunday or the Monday after Easter? we will be spending our 4 nights outside Madrid or Barcelona, just trying to decide where. kja, we have done much slower paced European trips and one was a return to Paris. Both styles work well and for this one, we have decided to go at a faster pace.
beachbum2 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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The trip report is titled "family trip to spain" and was posted in April of 2005.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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Found it! So helpful. Thanks so much. Still not exactly sure about where to spend the 4 nights between Madrid and Barcelona. To many wonderful choices.
beachbum2 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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Thanks for the link to the h
Hemingway project. Love all the references and information.
beachbum2 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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Glad to hear you found the link interesting. Andalucía and the Andaucian culture could be an adventure for a lifetime.

This video is about Córdoba, but it also transmits a more general Andalucian feel:
kimhe is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 02:13 AM
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My car was surrounded by the monkeys at this point (north tip of the Rock).

I think your son's will weighs more than advises just over the net.
LuisJp is offline  

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