Spain road trip

Aug 18th, 2010, 05:44 PM
  #1  
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Spain road trip

Hey!
Here is the dilema: We are a couple early 30s visiting Spain for the first time. We are usually more into sightseeing, outdoors, visting local places rather than touristy big cities. The original plan was that we land in Madrid stay there for 2 days, then rent a car and heading north to the Atlandic coast (stopby Segovia, obviously). First, Picos de Europa, Santader, the Basque Country with San Sebastian, the Pyrenees, nd down to Barcelona for 2-3 days. Our trip is 14 visting days. Is this reasonable? Will we have extra day to go more south than Barcelona, maybe to Valencia or maybe other places, suggestions?

I guess the dilemna comes from all the good reviews I have been reading about Seville, Cordoba, Grenada which all sound amazing.How is the sightseeing down south compare to the North?

Last question, we usually don't reserve hotel in advance as we don't really know where we will be any given day. Will that be a issue if we stick to the Nort coast/pyrenne plan? We arrive on Aug 23 and leave on Sept 6 both in Madrid

Thanks in advance.
Rick007 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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While the idea is worthwhile, that is a lot of driving. Little time to savor Spain.

It is the difference between Moorish Spain and the Spain of the Gallegos and the Basques. It all depends on your interest in history, language, cuisines, and natural beauty.

Each has own attributes.

As for dates, you would have to check to see if there are feast days or celebrations. And please note many Sapniards escape to the northern towns for the weather in the summer. Finding decent accomodations could be a problem in places like Santander and San Sebastian/Donostia.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 06:16 PM
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I'd say that is a lot to do in your timeframe. After u take out Madrid (2 days) and Barcelona (3) u've only got 9 days left. We just spent 3+ weeks doing a very similar trip. You could do what you propose, but you won't be able to really get out and about and explore the areas u visit.

I preferred the South to the North of Spain, but you'll get lots of differing opinions on that. No doubt would be cooler in the North during your dates.

Whichever u choose have a great trip -- Spain is wonderful!
yestravel is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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I agree with the others - I admire and understand your enthusiasm but I'd cut back the amount of places to visit. With 14 days I'd limit myself to 2 major regions. It could be Madrid & Barcelona, Madrid & Andalucia, Madrid & the Basque Country, or any combination of the 2 - but I'd really try not to just "see" too many places and instead enjoy. 2-3 days in Barcelona is very short - I'd spend at least 4 days and even more if you want to do daytrips.

For a first trip to Spain I'd probably recommend Andalucia however it could be very hot the end of August in this area.

Personally I'd make hotel reservations - not just to ensure availability but to save precious time walking around trying to find a place. Also, you may end up spending alot more or staying at a cookie-cutter business hotel if that's all that is available.
CathyM is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 06:44 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for you replies.

Hmmm,so basically you guys think we won't make pass San Sebastian if we choose the Northern Plan. ANy suggestions for Hotel stay? Obviously a 3-4 days at the end in San Sebastian, but where to stay in between? Alternatively, we could skip Picos de Europa and Santander (although I read thta the beaches around there where really nice) and head straight to San Sebastian for 3-4 days, do the Pyrenees in 2-3 days, and then head down to Barcelona for 3-4 days. Is that more reasonable?

CathyM, I was not suggesting that we do both North and South, but either one. Your comments in other post are one of the reason why I'm hesitating between the North and the South since you the itinary of Madrid, Sevilla, Cordoba, Grenada you suggest in other post is really tempting .

Either way, being from canada, I'm really sure we will be amazed by either the South or the North.

Thank you
Rick007 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 07:35 PM
  #6  
 
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I understand - I still think trying to visit Madrid, the Basque Country, Barcelona, Santander and the Picos de Europe is extremely ambitious in 14 days. My suggestion was to stick with 2 regions. I wouldn't group all of Northern Spain into one region. Logistically Santander/Picos, Basque Country & Barcelona would be how I'd group these for your trip. So, I'd choose 2 geographies among these, including Madrid.

Sorry I didn't explain it better.
CathyM is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 04:31 AM
  #7  
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Thanks CathyM!

Decisions, decisions, decisions! The thing is we were really commited to the North and Pyrenees from the start, just because we usually enjoy mountains better than big touristy cities. It's usually more relaxing.

But all the good architectural and historic stuff seems to be in Sevilla, Grenada, and Cordoba. How is the landscape and sightseeing in the South? I was reading that close to Grenada, there was this mountain range, where on good days, you can see the African coast. There are also the Casa Blancos that sound nice.

Now, I'm really confused!
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Aug 19th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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I love the mountains, but I don't consider Sevilla, Grenada or Cordoba to be big cities, touristy, yes. But that is also the case in the North -- We were there in May and it was pretty crowded everywhere we went. I was in the South of Spain in the Springtime also so can't speak to the time of year you'll be there, but the scenery was gorgeous--we would often turn a corner or bend in the road and there would be a field flooded with flowers--just gorgeous! Really enjoyed visiting the white villages and thought the towns far more interesting and charming than those in the North.

For the North, while I think Cathy gave u good ideas, we didn't group it that way (we did have longer). We drove from Madrid to Somo, right across from Santander. We visited Santander one day and did a day trip to Picos Europa which was very doable. Then we went to Bilbao, then up into the hills and then to San Seb b4 heading South. U could easily go from Santander to San Seb. as it would not be a long drive at all.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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Is this August 2011? If this trip is coming up on Monday, this a bit late for this type inquiry....?

A first timer to Spain needs to head South, unless traveling in the midst of the Summer.
Viajero2 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Thanks for you comments yestravel.

Viajero2, yes it's this Monday. Never too late, we usually don't know in advance when our vacation can be so we have to wing it most of the time. It has work well so far...
Rick007 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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We have done several road trips in Spain and your choice is Madrid and north or Madrid and south. You cannot possibly do both in 2 weeks. We had a couple of 3 week trips and both were Madrid and south - although we did some other cities (Merida) and even ventured into Portugal for a couple of days on one.

In August we did a trip across the north of Spain and found that esp in San Sebastian the hotels were stuffed with Spaniards on vacation. I would be extremely loath to go there at that time without advance reservations - or an unlimited budget.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:27 PM
  #12  
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yeah, I started looking at reservation for either the North or the South option and San sebastian seems to be the hardest of all so far. South seems fairly easy. Is it because of the weather? Is it typically always 40 C end of August/beginning of September?
Rick007 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 12:28 AM
  #13  
 
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The beaches in Basque land maybe good but the best beach in the world is in Galicia...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/200...16/beach.top10
I would not skip The Picos.
Have a good trip...hopefully you can find accommodation as a lot may be booked up. SS is always booked up, except in the darkest winter period.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Yes - in southern Spain in the summer high temsp are typically in the region of 100 and highs of 115 or so are not unknown. Youneed to mae sur eyou hotel and car have great AC - and the hotel a nice pool to lounge in the afternoons.

Out road trips there have been in late April and that was fine for beach weather (low 80s).
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:12 PM
  #15  
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Thanks all,

After factoring all your answers, we are indeed heading North.
Rick007 is offline  

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