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Spain with teens...

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Dec 20th, 2009, 08:08 AM
  #1
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Spain with teens...

Hello
We( 2 adults and two boys-teens) are in the planning stages of a 12 days trip. (end of June 2010) We are thinking of Spain and perhaps Portugal also. If you had limited time, and wanted to get a taste of Spain (and Portugal), what would be your recommendations? ( spending two nights min. in a location~ but would stay longer if needed and limiting other locations) Our only desire would be to end the trip with three days (2 nights) on the coast for R&R.

Thank you for helping to guide me in a place to start our research. ( I will purchase guide books but wanted to make sure this is for us before doing so.)

fyi- The boys are well traveled and still love to sight see with us. (so in other words… we are not worried about finding things to entertain them.. the trip will do that)
thank you again
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Dec 20th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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I think you are really on the right track. Personally, I would restrict it to Spain only during that period of time. Also, parts of Spain at the end of June will be hot, so bring a variety of clothing.

I would imagine you will fly into Madrid? There are tons of things in Madrid, including one of the oldest continuous operating restaurants in Europe.

Other places I would hit are:

Toledo (historic old capital with two bridges that date to Roman times)

Cordoba (site of the Mezquita Cordoba Mosque, which is huge, but more. A portion of it was converted into a cathedral after being captured by Spanish forces from the Mores. The contrast between the cathedral and the mosque is simply breathtaking. Cordoba dates from the Roman empire)

Granada (site of the very impressive Alhambra, a Morish palace). It was in Granada were Queen Isabella gave Columbus funds from captured Morish loot to finance his exploration. She and King Ferdinand are "buried" in Granada, the only Spanish monarchs not at El Escorial, the tranditional burial site)

Salamanca (site of one of the oldest universities in Europe)

Torremolinos (on the Costa del Sol, a great place with lots of beautiful beaches. At that time of year, it will be very busy and very touristy.)

Any chance you can go earlier?

There are TONS of other very interesting places in Spain, but with 12 days, and spending 2 to 3 days in each place, you will not be able to hit them all. This will give you a very good overview of Spain.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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We took 4 teen age grand children to Spain several years ago. They loved the cathedral in Seville and the palace there as well, They also enjoyed Alhambra. We also spent a bit of time in Rhonda. We only had a week, so that's all we had time for.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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You really have very limited time. If it were me I would stick to Andalusia and a couple of days on the Costa del Sol. IMHO this is the most interesting part of Spain since it is the most different from the rest of europe due to the Moorish history.

If you prefer you could spend a couple of days in Madrid first, then rent a car and head south. At that time of year assume very hot weather (highs can reach 100) and make sure hotels have good AC and a pool.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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One of the best resources for planning a trip to Spain is Maribel's Guides at www.maribelsguides.com.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 12:31 PM
  #6
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Thank you all for your replies and helpful information. We cannot go earlier since the boys will still be in school.

Last summer we spent 7 weeks traveling in Europe... we were able to spend at a minimum five nights in each location, I fear only two nights like I previously quoted for each town/city will be a disappointment. I will have to limit it to just a couple spots.

Thank you again for pointing me in the right direction.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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" I fear only two nights like I previously quoted for each town/city will be a disappointment.'
You are right!
Spain is a big country with variety of cultures an scenery.
If you like big cities, Madrid with several trips ( Toledo or Segovia or Salamanca) and Barcelona (the beaches in the city and in many nearby towns) would give you some insight in diversity of Spain. Lots to see and do for teenagers in both cities!

I understand some consider Andalucia the "real" Spain, but I think it is too limiting ( plus it is hot as hell in the summer).
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Dec 20th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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How do your teens cope with heat? Andalucia is a furnace in summer. There is wonderful surfing in the Basque country, and the possibility of forays into France.

Another quite fascinating area of Spain is Catalonia, with a choice of Barcelona, Girona and Vic for major sightseeing, some Greek ruins along the coast (Empuries) and beautiful, beautiful seacoast towns like Calella da Palafrugell. It will also be hot, but you have both the mountains and the sea for cooling excursions.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 02:29 PM
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Thank you both for your replies
Last summer we found one day in Rome was quite warm, and in Athens. (but the gelato in Rome helped!) Athens, we just went out early and enjoyed REALLY late dinners. The boys thought it was fun to have dinner ending after midnight and are great sports in going with the flow.
I am anxious to look into Calella da Palafrugell. Thank you again.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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As noted here is no typical Spain. We have visited many coutries but have spent the most time in Spain. And Spain is many counties united by a geographical fiction.

For sights Michelin Green is very good and for a broad and affectionate but maybe slightly outdated view read Penelope Casas Discovering Spain.

That why you can see the differences in the regions, cultures, languages, and histories. Maybe even give the boys the Michelin guide and see what appeals to them. I do not think they would like Penelope Casas as much.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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oh on.. when I did that smile to thank you.. I had no idea it would do a clown. sorry.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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thank you aduchamp1 for the help.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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I agree with Aduchamp1 to let the boys page through a guidebook or two. I usually do that with the DK Eyewitness Guides because they have such great pictures and graphics (I borrow them from my local library). Last year our 16 year old son chose the Templo de Debod from the DK Eyewitness Spain Guide (it is located in Madrid near the Palacia Real) and it was fascinating. We may never have gone there if he hadn't spotted a picture of it in the DK guidebook. (As a matter of fact, we were there exactly one year ago today!)

I agree with others that spending your full 12 days in Spain is the best use of your time.
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Dec 20th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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You are welcome.
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Dec 21st, 2009, 12:32 AM
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There´s no "real" Spain. Andalucía has little in common with the Basque Country or Asturias, for instance. It´s one of the most diverse countries in Europe in terms of languages, habits, landscapes, climate,..., so it´s a difficult choice to decide where to go.

The "image" of Spain that has been exported over the years is that of bullfights, sun, beaches, sangría, tapas and paella. Well, that may be true...but only for the most touristic areas and mostly in Southern Spain.
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Dec 21st, 2009, 06:11 AM
  #16
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Thank you mikelg... As you can imagine with only 12 days we can only get a taste of Spain on our trip. (and at that it will be a nibble at best.) we would like to combine 2/3rds of our trip with culture and history~ taking in what we can.. ending with a few days of R&R in So. Spain... (yes I know it will be hot and crowded.) That has never bothered us before, it is the nature of the beast when you travel in high season. With our children in school, this is what can work best for us right now.

Thank you for your comments.
and have a good day
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Dec 21st, 2009, 07:04 AM
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Then you can start with Madrid, then south to Toledo, then south to Córdoba, Sevilla, Granada and end in any of the beaches in Málaga. That would be good enough for 12 days and you´d visit the most interesting places in Andalucía. It will be very hot, that´s for sure.

Many areas of Spain are now covered in snow, so I´m kind of missing that Andalucían hot summer...
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Dec 21st, 2009, 09:24 PM
  #18
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Thank you for the help Mikelg. I have a great starting point to my research. It will be fun to see what I can put together. We are very cold here in Boston too. I am missing the summer sun as well.

cheers
Viv
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Dec 22nd, 2009, 07:35 AM
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I really agree with Mikelg. Especially with teen boys they will probably like Madrid and even more Toledo. You will all love Sevilla (especially the cathedral, giralda and alcazar and a tour of the bullring) I recommend 3 nights in Sevilla. They will love Granada because the Alhambra is a magical palace, read some of Washington Irving's "Tales of the alhambra" and get an audio tour. Also an end on the beaches near Malaga or Cadiz (my preference for better beaches) since your from Mass. Too bad you don't have time for San Sebastian and the Basque country which is the only place I've ever seen where the beaches can compare to the Cape and Islands. You must plan the North coast for your next trip.
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Dec 22nd, 2009, 08:38 AM
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I also back Egbert´s opinion on Cádiz beaches, or Almería´s...but it´s just that those in Málaga are full of teens, people, amusement parks, lively towns...and those in Cádiz are quieter (thinking of your teens)
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