Spain - please help us decide

Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 01:02 PM
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Spain - please help us decide

Hoping that you are staying well.
I am beginning to plan a first time trip to Spain with my husband. We have a little over two weeks.
Coming from Los Angeles and thinking sometime in September.
We mainly like towns on or close to water that are walkable. We enjoy good food but do not care about wine.
We enjoy great museums but would not feel cheated if we missed Madrid.
A few of my favorite places are the Amalfi Coast, Kauai, Palm Cove in Australia, Bora Bora and as far as big cities go, I love San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sydney.

We are fine renting a car and/or taking trains. I have two potential itineraries below and would love your feedback.
San Sebastian has been on my list and I liked the first itinerary but people have warned me it's a lot of flying from place to place.
I then decided on the second itinerary but have read mixed things about the Marbella and Malaga area.
I definitely do not want the feel of Miami or Waikiki!

First Itinerary -
LAX to Barcelona
Four nights in Barcelona with side trips to Cadaques, Sitges and Roses
Barcelona to Mallorca - fly
Three or four nights on Mallorca
Mallorca to San Sebastian - fly
Four nights in San Sebastian with side trips to Bilbao, Zarautz and Zumaia
San Sebastian to Madrid - fly
Three nights in Madrid with side trips to Segovia and Toledo
Madrid to LAX

Second Itinerary -
LAX to Barcelona
Four nights in Barcelona
Barcelona to Mallorca - fly
Three or four nights on Mallorca
Mallorca to Valencia - fly
Drive from Valencia to the Malaga or Marbella area and stay in one of the nearby towns for three or four nights and explore nearby towns
Malaga to LAX

Thanks so much!
JBeth is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 01:34 PM
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They both have a bit too much moving around to my eye, but we all like a different pace. Do consider though that you have a lot of day trips picked out and may want more time in the destinations themselves. For the first one, I'd cut either SS nor Mallorca and give the extra time to the remainder. I have scoped out a Mallorca trip and I think you might want more time. You could fill the whole trip in Basque country, so that would warrant more time also. The first option is longer--could the second be equal length?
For the second option, I would also choose either Andalucia or Mallorca. Malaga's old town is quite pleasant, but we just used it as an arrival point--the coast west of Gibraltar is nice.
yorkshire is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 05:33 PM
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It seems you have day trips planned that leave no time in the base city. Example is Barcelona, which is an interesting city with lots to do and could easily take a couple of very full days. Four nights gives only three days and you’ve planned day trips to three places.
If you have no interest in Madrid, you could stay a night or two in Toledo.
Have you no interest in Granada, Seville or Cordoba?
You have traveled a lot, so probably know better than others what works for you. Think about the times and pace of life in Spain as you plan.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 07:52 PM
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Agree with the above.

When is this? End of the month I'd worry about some of the more beach towns already slowing down.

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Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 09:53 PM
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The first option is much more interesting, IMO, it covers very different areas in Spain (the Mediterranean, sunny and warm; the Atlantic coast, cooler and wetter; Madrid and its vibrant atmosphere) and flights are very short from town to town. Id take public transport (bus or train), its cheap, super-efficient, clean and extra safe.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 11:27 PM
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I'd drop Mallorca and use trains. Lots of things to see between Barcelona and Malaga along the rail system.
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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 11:01 AM
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Too many flights for me. Trains in Spain are excellent and more relaxing.

And I agree that all those day trips mean seeing very little of your 'base' city. That's okay though if that's the compromise you choose.
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Old Mar 5th, 2021, 05:45 AM
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I agree that doing all the day trips leaves little time to be in the city you are staying in. We spent 5 nights in Barcelona and did one out of town full day trip by bus. We easily filled our days in Barcelona.
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Old Mar 5th, 2021, 06:29 AM
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Agree with all the above, plus I don't understand why you would fly from Mallorca to Valencia and then immediately drive to Malaga which is hardly adjacent [ ie a 6 hour drive] - firstly I'm pretty sure you can fly from Mallorca to Malaga* and secondly it so happens than Valencia fits your requirements to a tee vis it's on the sea [and has a wonderful beach with great restaurants overlooking it] is very walkable, and has great food. And loads to see and do. I've been there twice now and I'd love to go again.

*Just checked and in normal times, Ryanair, Vueling and Iberia all flew direct from Palma de Mallorca to Malaga.

annhig is offline  
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