Spain - first time

Old Jan 14th, 2021, 03:25 PM
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Spain - first time

I hope your year is off to a pleasant start. Also hope that we will all be able to travel soon!
My husband and I are planning our first trip to Spain. We are flexible on dates but thinking early to mid September.
We like warm weather but prefer that it's not too hot.
We like towns and cities on water, charming towns, good food and small to mid-size hotels.
An afternoon at a great museum would be wonderful but we do not need days of this.
Love pretty beaches but do not necessarily have to spend a day at the beach.

The itinerary below is what we are considering.
I realize that San Sebastian is in another region.
Mallorca and San Sebastian are at the top of my list.
Malaga and Cadiz and Valencia also look lovely but we do not have more than two weeks or so.

Is the itinerary below manageable?
Would also love suggestions on places to stay.

Los Angeles to Barcelona
Four nights in Barcelona - side trips to Sitges and Cadaques.
Barcelona to Mallorca - fly
Four nights on Mallorca
Mallorca to San Sebastian - fly
Three or four nights in San Sebastian
San Sebastian to Madrid - open to other ways to get back to L.A. but would like to see Madrid if this makes the most sense.
Two nights in Madrid
Madrid to Los Angeles

Thank you in advance!
JBeth is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Hi, JBeth, and may travel be possible. Try to search on Fodors for trip reports about your specific cities. Lots of info! I can only speak for Barcelona and Madrid. I wanted 5 days in Madrid but you might have more stamina or different interests. The art museums were mine. We were ok with 4 days in Barcelona but didn't take side trips.

Please share you interests. Others can weigh in about the other places and logistics.

Last edited by TDudette; Jan 14th, 2021 at 03:44 PM.
TDudette is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2021, 03:12 AM
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Barcelona is a great start you might also like to visit Girona and Figueres both have wonderful sights to see.

San Sebastian opens up the idea of Bilbao and the Rioja wine district

You are trying to cover a whole country by skipping about a bit. Flying will kill most of a day by the time you change hotel, arrive at the airport etc I would pull in the range and focus a bit more.

bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jan 15th, 2021, 01:52 PM
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Since I have been mostly to Southern Spain and Barcelona, not to many places on your list, I won’t say to skip any of yours, but will say I would not go to Madrid for only two nights. That gives you only a day there and unless you plan a return trip, I would not miss Toledo. Also, even if you are not a big museum fan, the Prado is world class and you would need a few hours there.
Personally, Granada and Seville would be high on my list if I were recommending places to others. That area is very nice in September. I do like the smaller coastal towns near Cadiz.
There is so much to see in Spain. I have been three times and feel I have actually seen little of the country.
Flights and other transportation would determine some of my itinerary. I would try to take advantage of the fast train between Madrid and Barcelona.
It will be interesting to hear from people who have been to San Sebastián as well as Andalusia.
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Old Jan 15th, 2021, 05:05 PM
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I love Andalusia, and that would be my first choice, especially if you were going the last 2 weeks of September. You can click on my name, if you wish, to ready my trip report from September 2017. We visited the following places in 2 weeks:

Madrid - 4 nights
Toledo - 1 night
Cordoba - 2 nights
Granada - 2 nights
Malaga - 2 nights (this will give you 2 days on the Mediterranean)
Seville - 4 nights

We also visited Barcelona on another trip. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona that I would not recommend trying to visit Sitges and Cadaques during that time. We did spend a night in Cadaques and loved it! We also spent 2 nights in Girona and loved this city too. I think the Barcelona/Cadaques/Girona trip was 10 nights.

So I do agree with other posters who say you are trying to visit too many places in 2 weeks that are far apart and require flying and a lot of traveling. On our Andalusia trip, we traveled by train or bus. Most places were about a 2 or 2.5 hour ride, and you don't have to arrive at train/bus stations way ahead of time like you do when you fly.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2021, 02:57 AM
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Donostia-San Sebastián is very small and three or four days there may be a lot. Think of side trips to Bilbao (IMO, much more interesting) and the Basque Rioja wine region.
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Old Jan 16th, 2021, 06:24 AM
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I agree with the others who suggest staying in one region instead of trying to go all over the country, you’ll loose a good part of a day every time you move.

We spent 13 days in Andalucia in the first half of March last year, just before the Covid lockdown, Ronda 2 days, Cordoba and Granada 3 days each and Sevilla 4 days, flying out on the last day.

Sevilla-Ronda and back was by bus, the rest all by train, which is fast and extremely comfortable. The cities are all reasonably small and we walked and walked, 20000 steps a few days.

The weather was lovely in March, a little chilly in Ronda and Granada, but bright and sunny. September will probably be warmer, but not unbearably so.
geetika is offline  
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