Spain trip

Jan 5th, 2014, 06:04 PM
  #1  
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Spain trip

Hi-

A friend and I are planning a 2 week trip to Spain this fall (1st 2 weeks of October). Have 16 days total, but 2 will be travel to and from. I am well traveled, but know little of Spain. I would appreciate any suggestions on the best sights and any advice. We both like sightseeing, art, food, beaches...just about anything. I have heard weather is pretty good then. What places would you suggest. I will then start building an itinerary. Thanks.
heathergrace is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Why did you choose Spain in the first place?

There are really five or six different cultures, regions and languages. Since you are seasoned traveler, I would get your favorite guide book but for Spain and narrow down the areas.

Most people start with Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla and then branch out from there.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 06:27 PM
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That is good idea. I have looked at those cities. For some reason, when I planned Italy, Scandinavia and most of rest of Europe I had no problem thinking it through. Spain is a place that sounds like has beautiful scenery and a fun environment, but having trouble getting organized to figure out where to go and what to do. I do know that I want to take my time and see a portion well instead of rushing all over...maybe time to go Barnes and Noble and duke it out with number of guides!!
heathergrace is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 06:34 PM
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What are you interested in? Culture? Food? Wine? Or something else? You can start your research at Info Spain (www.spain.info) and work out from there.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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For Spain Frommers and Fodor's are good on the major sights but smaller towns are non-existent. They have improved over the years, however.

Cadogan's are dry but very helpful

Lonely Planet and Rough Guides have a better insight in history and culture but they are plain awful on restaurants and hotels

Rick Steve's- I would rather be led by a blind man.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 06:55 PM
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Interested in good scenery...cathedrals, good food...and a nice beach or 2. I think part of my problem is I know little of Spain where I was more educated about the other countries when I started researching. I know of the major cities and would like to see some sights there...but I also like out of the way beauty and areas tourists aren't as prevalent. I have also read that Northern Spain may be somewhat difficult in October as things are closing...is this true?? I will maybe look at Lonely Planet and get an idea of what culture I want and then do further research on hotels etc. Both my friend and I are foodies...would be interested in maybe a cooking class or specialty food areas.
heathergrace is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 07:13 PM
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There are plenty hotels in San Sebastian opened in October. Maybe in Santander or Malpica, other northern beach areas, there will be fewer hotel selections.

But many first timers who think Barcelona is considered Northern Spain, which it is not and that is an international city.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 07:14 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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A good guide book or two should prove invaluable to you.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 04:17 AM
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Another source of info; www.maribelsguides.com
iris1745 is online now  
Jan 6th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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October isn't beach time.
BigRuss is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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"October isn't beach time" except in the Canaries and Cadiz, if you're hardy.

Andalucia is generally a good choice in October, but so is Catalunya. The north coast, Green Spain (the Basque country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia), can be quite interesting and beautiful in October. And of course Navarra is always a beautiful destination.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 08:19 AM
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If a festival would be of interest to you, there is a magnificent one in Zaragoza (between Barcelona and Madrid) called the Fiestas de Pilar. It goes on for some days, but the main day is October 12. Zaragoza isn't really on the circuit for the first time traveler to Spain, but it is a beautiful city with a fantastic tapas bar scene and it is an easy stop between Madrid and Barcelona on the high speed train.
rialtogrl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Zaragoza isn't really on the circuit for the first time traveler to Spain, but it is a beautiful city with a fantastic tapas bar scene . . .

And the castle looks awesome too.
BigRuss is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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We loved it BigRuss. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
rialtogrl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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Thanks...these are good places to start researching. I love festivals...think I may have to look into the Fiestas de Pilar. Since it is an easy stop and I would like to see Madrid and Barcelona...think add that in. I will be looking at these links. I would like to see beaches...even if it isn't tanning weather...rugged and beautiful is great. Won't be too cold for me probably...I'm in Minnesota with minus 30 right now!!! I appreciate the feedback on what people think is worthwhile in Spain!!

Rialtogrl...does the festival cause room bookings to fill up months in advance?? May need to look at grabbing something and then scheduling the before/after festival trip around that???
heathergrace is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 08:51 PM
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hi heathergrace, we booked an apartment many months in advance in Zaragoza, so I am not sure how hard it is to get hotels for the fiesta. You could definitely book something now and cancel or change it later if you needed to. Try to stay close to the center so you can walk to everything - there are buses and trams, but we found they ran on limited schedules because of the processions etc.

Our apartment was amazing but I think for a short stay it wouldn't work so well - if you think you'd stay a few days, I would be happy to post the info.

With two weeks you could stay in Barcelona for a week and make day trips (with a couple of beach visits included) then split the other week between Zaragoza and Madrid. It would be a nice taste and you can go back for more later.
rialtogrl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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For a first time visitor, Andalusia might be more interesting than Zaragoza.

something like this:

Barcelona....4 nights
Fly to Granada. 2 nights
Bus to Seville 3 nights
Train to Malaga (for beach time) 3 nights
Train to Madrid 3 nights
Fly home
danon is online now  
Jan 6th, 2014, 09:56 PM
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P.s.
If this is too many locations, skip Malaga and add time to Barcelona( beaches)
and Madrid ( for side trips to Toledo or Segovia.)
danon is online now  
Jan 6th, 2014, 11:14 PM
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I spent the end of October/beginning of November in Andalusia. It was beautiful weather and definitely not tourist season. We would do it again in a heartbeat. We loved the coastline around Tarifa as well as the Seville and Cadiz areas.

I highly recommend Barcelona. We just returned. We rented an apartment near the Sagrada Familia through enjoyBCN. It was a great experience. We were there earlier in the year and stayed near Parallel Metro station, which we would not do again.

I would also skip Malaga. I can't comment in the other regions; however, Bilboa is next on my destination list for Spain.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 04:04 AM
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The world's largest and most prestigious flamenco festival goes on in Sevilla from Sept 12 to Oct 5. Fabulous artists in theaters around town every night. Could be a great intro to this powerful art so important for especially the south of Spain (Andalucía). http://www.flamenco-world.com/notici...112013ing.html

Sevilla is the undisputed queen of the cities in the south: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm

Seville is only 2h 30 mins from Madrid with the high speed AVE train.

Normally very much beach weather in the Andalucian coast in the first half of October. Mostly sunny, some 80F+ in the air and 70F+ water temp. Sevilla is close to great beaches in the Cádiz region. Also not far from the Maro beach just outside Nerja, recently voted #2 beach in Spain in the Antena 3 national competition.

Veru much "rugged and beautiful": http://www.101tv.es/la-playa-de-maro...ejor-de-espana
Info: http://www.nerjatoday.com/nerjabeachguide/maro/

The Feria in close by Nerja goes on from Oct 5. to 12.
http://www.nerjatoday.com/fiestas/nerja-feria/

Regarding the flamenco festival, here's the trailer for Carlos Saura's state of the art movie "Flamenco, flamenco" from 2010. Most, if not all, of these artists will perform in Sevilla theaters during the festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xg2-8Ipvz4
Full movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmtj7hQ21sc
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