Trying to find a balance in Spain

Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Trying to find a balance in Spain

Planning a May trip to Spain and am getting pretty excited. I've been to Spain a couple times and went to Barcelona, Madrid, Ronda, Marbella & Denia. My husband, on the other hand, hasn't been at all.

Looking for a good balance for us both. While I certainly don't feel like I've seen all there is to see in any of the places I've already been, I would love to hit a new spot.

We're in our late 30s, love to walk, get a feel for what it would be like to live where we travel (our best trip was renting an apartment in Rome) and love good food & drinks. We love chilling out and touring vineyards, too.

Any suggestions? Right now, we don't have anything planned and are totally open to whatever. Planning to spend around 10 days..not long enough!!
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Seville is considered by many to be the quintessential Spanish city and May is a good month to bear the heat of Andalucia.

You could visit, Cadiz, Jerez, and Cordoba on day trips or even venture north into Extremadura to visit Merida and Caceres for a few days. I think all of those are locations are quite different from the places you have been already.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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To me Andalusia - Seville,, Cordoba and Granada - are the most obvious choices - since that is the part of Spain that is really completely different than any other part of europe due to it's Moorish heritage.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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Sevilla came to my mind first also! You could base yourself in Sevilla for 5 days and get an apartment doing daytrips to Cordoba and another place (there are plenty of other possibilities but if you like touring wineries you could try the sherry bodegas in Jerez or manzanilla bodegas in Sanlucar). Or even spend a night or 2 in Cordoba or Jerez if your trip coincides with the Patio festival in Cordoba or the spring Feria in Jerez.

From there you could visit Granada (if you haven't been before) and perhaps Malaga or even some of lesser known areas (like Priego de Cordoba or Ubeda).

Or as Aramis suggests Extramadura is very often overlooked and hasn't felt the touches of tourism too much. You could rent a car in Sevilla and visit Zafra, Merida, Caceres and Trujillo. You could do this without a car but it will be difficult to explore the countryside.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I really do appreciate them. Was in Seville briefly a long time ago, but was there on a day trip to visit the Worlds Fair.

If you haven't been to Spain before, would you feel like you were missing out if you didn't go to Barcelona or Madrid?
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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I agree with everyone who suggested Andalucia. I can also recommend Costa Brava (north of Barcelona), Girona and the Pyrenees.

What about San Sebastian? I haven't been there yet but I know a lot of people love SS.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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I wouldn't feel like I were missing out. For a first exposure to Spain I think it would be perfect to take your husband to Andalucia and May is a perfect month. You can save the Basque Country for summer when Andalucia is way too hot or do another trip with a Madrid/Barcelona combination.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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Regarding your question about "missing out" on a trip to Spain if one does not see Madrid or Barcelona - I don't think so. You asked the question of those who haven't been there and I have - 3 times - but I have only visited Madrid on one of those trips, the second one, not the first and I still have not made it to Barcelona. I don't think I missed out.

Spain is really 5 very distinct regions - somethin I didn't really realize until I started visiting it. Madrid and Barcelona don't define it and unless one is staying for a month something has to give. I guess I'll just keep going back (don't tell Germany)

You will likely have to pass though one of them, Madrid most likely, if you go to Andalucia, so you can always stop for a couple of nights on the way there or back.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 08:02 PM
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In the last 4 years I have been to Spain 5 times. To Barcelona, Madrid, Salamanca, Basque country, Santiago de Compostello, Malaga...Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Majorica, and Ibiza.. On these trips we were able to do day/weekend trips to outlying districts..I couldn't tell which I liked best as each is so unique. The south would be my choice for May as the summer is too hot. Having said that San Sebastion/Donasta is awesome and the summer crowds will not be there yet in May. What did you like best and do you want to share your experiences or are you up for new adventures??? Your call but whatever you do it will be great.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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It is a personal preference....
I like Barcelona and .Madrid( and the towns nearby) more than Seville and other places in Andalucia.


If you decide on Andalucia, Malaga is a nice spot for a few days.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:55 AM
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IMO it depends on what your husband likes. If he's into city life then I would say that yes, he's missing out by not visiting Barcelona and Madrid. I'm one of those few people that are not that enamoured with Southern Spain. When given the choice to go to Spain I gravitate to Madrid and Northern Spain time and time again. There are no right or wrong answers, really a matter of preference.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Thanks to all for your thoughts & assistance. I'm still really at a loss as to what to do. My husband keeps saying it doesn't matter. I do like Madrid & Barcelona, but am rather interested in seeing other places. Seville is definitely on the list. I went to school for a summer in Denia and am curious to see what it looks like now, but not sure it's worth going there or not. Ahhhhh.... and then there is wine country too. What to do? What to do?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 11:31 PM
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May is festival time especially in Madrid and Andalucía. Will give you plenty of options to enjoy local food, wine, and culture. Spain is serious festival turf, and most of the festivals goes way back in time and are primarily local events.

In May, Andalucian towns - especially Granada and Córdoba - celebrate the "Cruces de Mayo": http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/spani...es-de-mayo.htm

Córdoba in May is something special, the "cruces" celebration is followed by the patio competition leading on to the flamenco inspired Feria by the end of the month.
Córdoba patio exposition and competition: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/patios.htm
The Feria in late May: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/co...pring-fair.htm

May is also the month of the famous Jerez horse fair and the San Isidro festival in Madrid. And remember Jerez is wineries!
Feria de Caballo de Jerez: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/jerez-horse-fair.htm
San Isidro in Madrid: http://www.madrid-guide-spain.com/san-isidro.html

Madrid-Cordobá-Sevilla is on the fabulous AVE high speed train line. Madrid-Córdoba is 1h 40mins and Sevilla is an additional 50 minutes. Jerés is a 1h+ bus ride from Sevilla.

Means you can easily make up a flexible mix of any combination of Madrid, Sevilla, Córdoba and Jerez. All will be great places to visit in May.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Thanks again for everyone's thoughts/opinions. I really appreciate it.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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My daughter & I did a trip to Spain last fall & our fondest memories are from Andalusia. We loved Sevilla and wish we could have had more time there (next time..) To us, Barcelona and Madrid are just big cities - don't get me wrong - there are lots of interesting things to do/see, but I do prefer the smaller centers, and outlying areas, as we like to do some hiking on our travels (there is Monserrat from Barcelona). Depends on your interests.
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