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larad Jan 30th, 2012 06:01 PM

Spain Itinerary for Review
Hello - first time travelers to Spain here, looking for relaxation/adventure and good food/drink. I know that we are packing A TON into 1 week (can only leave our todder with my parents for 7 days)! But - are we being too ambitious?

May 5 - Arrive at 7:25 am in Madrid
Rent Car at Madrid Airport, Drive to Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego
Thinking about visiting/eating at Bodegas Baigorri (if we're up to it, it seems to be closed Monday/Tuesday (the rest of our stay in the area).

May 6 – Elceigo - Marques Des Riscal Tour, drive to Asador Etxebarri Restaurant then to Guggenheim Museum.

May 7 – Elceigo -Explore other wineries - Ysios, perhaps. Other suggestions for best wineries or a good meal in Rioja region...

May 8 – San Sebastian - Leave Marques Des Riscal. Drive to San Sebastian. On the way visit Cider Museum. Check into Hotel Londres. Pinxtos Crawl at Parte Vieja (Astelena, La Cuchara de San Telmo, A Fuego Negro)

May 9 – San Sebastian - Lunch at Mugaritz. Either try to make 4:13 train to Barcelona (not sure we have time OR drive to Bilbao to take evening flight to Barcelona). Check in at W.

May 10 – Barcelona - Walking and Lunch Las Rambles/Boqueria, dinner at Tickets

May 11 – Barcelona - Gaudi/Picasso Museum/Gothic Quarter, Drinks at Icebar, Dinner at Aqua

May 12 - Barcelona - leave Barcelona at 10 am

zeppole Jan 30th, 2012 06:31 PM

I would switch planes in Madrid and fly to San Sebastian and spend your first two nights there. Then rent a car and drive to Elciego. Visit the Guggenheim, drop off the car (or vice versa) and fly from Bilbao to Barcelona.

Personally, I don't think the food attractions of Barcelona and your itinerary make it worth the trip. You will get much better food in and around San Sebastian and in Northern Spain. For a seven day trip, focus on that. If you've already booked your return flight from Barcelona, fly down from Bilbao the day before, visit some Gaudi sights and the Gothic quarter, have a nice dinner and leave.

CathyM Jan 30th, 2012 06:33 PM

Yes, this is WAY too much in 7 days. You only have 2 days in Barcelona and San Sebastian and 2-1-nighters in a 7 day trip. This would make just enough for a sampling of the Rioja/Basque Country OR enough to spend the entire time in Barcelona and exploring the area. You won't have much time to relax with this schedule.

I'd also suggest if driving from Elciego to San Sebastian to stop for lunch at Etxebarri on this day - it's practically on the way. I highly doubt you're going to be up for lunch at Baigorri even if they are open if you arrive into Madrid at 7:25. It's a 4 hour drive (w/o stopping) and the tour w/the lunch starts at 1pm.

It appears your primary focus is food and wine. If so I'd do the Basque Country/Rioja combination and use Bilbao as your airport. It's about 1.5 hours from Bilbao to La Rioja and you can usually book flights into Bilbao connecting in Paris, Madrid or Barcelona.

CathyM Jan 30th, 2012 06:35 PM

Should have noted that I assumed your airfare wasn't purchased and you weren't locked into flying into Madrid and returning from Barcelona....

kimhe Jan 31st, 2012 04:25 AM

You should also visit Zeruko in the Parte Vieja in San Sebastián, has won much fame since it opened in 2009:

The Bonfire is their signature dish:

You might also enjoy the Guardian article "Is San Sebastián the best place to eat in Europe?":

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