Spain trip- advice needed!

Old Jun 6th, 2021, 05:48 PM
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Spain trip- advice needed!

We are beginning to plan a trip to Spain for spring of 2022. We have about 2 weeks to spend and know for certain that some will be spent in Barcelona.

We ate considering a few other stops I'd love some input on. We'll be 2 couples. Our interests are mostly around history, good wine and food, entertainment, and natural scenery.
1- Seville or Cordoba? Want to experience the Moorish influence and take in some flaminco. Which is better and what are the musts?
2- should we do Madrid or San Sebastian?
3- we really want to do a few hours at a beach. Ideally not too commercial and easily accessed from the train route. Thinking maybe a stop between Barcelona and the Seville/Cordoba stop. Any recommendations?

TiA!
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 06:07 PM
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For Moorish influence, I would not miss Granada for a couple of nights. The gardens peak in Spring, so the Alhambra would be perfect then. Also, while more time in Cordoba would be nice, you can stay in Seville if you wish, and at least do a day trip to Cordoba to see the Mosque. That simplifies things anyway.
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 10:13 PM
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Seville everything from the

https://www.alcazarsevilla.org/en/#

To everything else you're looking for.

Madrid for the museums and the royal palace. Especially if you can timing it for the changing of the guard.

Barcelona's city beaches are pretty non commercial. Walking distance from many hotels. Not tropical.

If you want nicer less urban beaches they don't work.

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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 06:13 AM
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I can recommend you a Bagatelle beach in Barcelona, as far as I've heard, it's the most favorite local's beach. It's dramatically less crowded, cleaner, and less popular with local pickpockets.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 07:01 AM
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We much preferred Seville over Cordoba, but of course everyone will have their personal preference. As beautiful as Cordoba is I would choose Seville and Granada over it if I could only visit two. For the beaches in the spring San Sebastian will likely be quite cold and in general the weather is likely to be more unpredictable. We have a family home in France not too far from there and we really can't swim until June-July at the earliest. So if you are really thinking about getting in the water and/or a warm day at the beach, then I would venture down to the other coast near Barcelona while you are there. Visiting someplace like Castelldefels, which is just under 30 minutes by fast suburban train is really easy. We had a really nice meal on the beach there (a Sunday brunch on Sant Jordi's day, the patron saint of Catalonia on April 23-which was fun). All the guests got a fresh rose to celebrate the day. Sant Jordi day is on the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, the most famous Spanish writer, and is today called the day of the rose and the book, a day of love and culture. We ate at a really nice place right on the beach called Fosbury Cafe which is an easy walk from the train station.

In general, as tempting as it is to see "all of Spain" in 2 weeks, I would be tempted to spend it all in Barcelona and Andalusia and skip Madrid and San Sebastian. If your flights go in or out of Madrid then it might be worth spending a day or 2 there, but with only two weeks, I would try to not try to do too much. But we prefer a slower travel pace than many people.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 07:30 AM
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Frankly I'd spend 2 weeks in Barcelona going as far north as Narbonne and as far south as Valencia. That is still rushed. I see the south of Spain as a major 2 week visit, Granada, Cadiz, Seville, Cordoba, Malaga. Madrid and the Basque country will consume another 2 weeks and then the north west is another 2 weeks. Spain is a country of 5 languages, with some major historical events, people buildings dotted all over. Even then you have not touched the islands in my list above
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 04:05 PM
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Barcelona, Seville/Cordoba, and San Sebastian are in very different parts of Spain. For me they were three separate trips. I think combining them would mean too much time wasted in transportation between them. If Barcelona is a must then I suggest you combine it with Valencia. I did a great trip in the spring that combined those. Another year I did an Andalucia trip that combined Seville, Cordoba and Granada. I suppose you could combine Barcelona and Seville but would not consider including either San Sebastian or Madrid. We did Seville, Granada and Cordoba in 8 days and felt that was not to rushed so you could do that and the remainder in Barcelona. In fact you could do 4-5 days Barcelona, then Valencia for 2-3 days and the remainder in Andalucia. Valencia is on the train route between Barcelona and Granada so not out of the way. You could go to the beach there. Barcelona does have beaches as well.

Here's my trip reports/photos from those trips: Spring in Spain - Mallorca, Ibiza, Barcelona, Valencia, Tarragona

Isabel's spring break to Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada - photos and trip report

Photos are here: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f855477163
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 06:11 PM
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Would you consider visiting Seville, Cordoba, and Granada? All 3 places are magnificent with wonderful, historical, and beautiful Moorish places, such as the Alhambra in Granada, Mezquita in Cordoba, and Alcazar in Seville. I wouldn't visit Cordoba as a day trip. It is a lovely city with white-washed walls, narrow passageways, lovely patios in the spring with tons of flowers, and more to see than just the Mezquita. Perhaps 4 nights in Seville and 2 nights each in Granada and Cordoba. For some beach time, Malaga, which is a wonderful, under-rated city on the Mediterranean. You can take a train or ALSA bus to Malaga from Granada or Seville.
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 08:38 AM
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I would agree that Seville has more to offer than Cordoba if you are staying a long time. I would never want to spend two weeks in Barcelona doing train day trips to France or anywhere. I rfeally like Barcelona, but two weeks is too much for me in almost any city. Barcelona has really changed a lot, also, and it isn't even typical Spain.

I like the Malaga idea for the beach and I really like Malaga, also. But it is impossible for you to go to a beach in Spain that is easily accessible by train that is not commerical. Not going to happen, The beaches in Spain are extremely popular with locals as well as zillions of tourists.

I haven't been to San Sebastian but I think it makes things more difficult logistically, and isn't comparable to Madrid anyway.

I think in two weeks you could do
Barcelona
Madrid
Seville
Malaga

Seville is a hotbed of flamenco if that's a particular interest. They have a nice flamenco museum there.

I think it is a lot easier to get flights in/out of Malaga versus say Granada (or maybe even Seville, not sure, I had trouble getting a flight to Seville from the US in recent years, not a lot of airlines with good connections. I've flown Easyjet either in or out of Malaga, forget which). But Air France, United and BA all have flights to Malaga frm their hubs in Europe (Paris, Frankfurt or London) For Seville, I don't think BA has a flight surprsingly, not sure, both United and KLM have them from within Europe though (nonstop).
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 11:13 AM
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I heartily agree with the general drift that you should think regionally versus trying to do all on your list in two weeks. Just Andalucia would be great for two weeks, plus people often pick Barcelona or Madrid because of flight availability.
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 07:41 PM
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When we visited Andalucia in 2017, we flew home to Boston on TAP from Seville. Flight was Seville, Lisbon, Boston. I don't know where you live, so TAP out of Seville might not work for you, but you could give it a try, depending on your itinerary routing. Or as Christina says, you might have more choices out of Malaga.
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