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where to go in Spain??

Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:54 AM
  #1  
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where to go in Spain??

My husband and I are planning an 11 night trip to Spain for New Year's. We are flying in and out of Madrid and will not have a car.

I am overwhelmed with options of where to go. I guess I never realized how big and diverse Spain is! We definately want to spend time in Barcelona and take a day trip to Figures (sp?) and some time in Toledo. Seville looks awesome. As does Granada, Arcos de la Frontera, Rioja region, and way too many more places.

We mostly just want to explore, wander around, eat, drink, see the main sights and museums, and live like locals for a few days. We are also interested in some wine tasting and maybe a cooking class. Since we have limited time and no car, where should we go? Should we try to concentrate on one region or just north/south?

Any help would be appreciated!
ktmae55 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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I am not a Spain expert, having only been to Andalucia, but with 11 days you should do no more than Madrid and Barcelona, with day trips of course. If you must pick one more place, make it Sevilla (out of the list you proposed)--for ease of transport.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Sorry, 11 days for Spain is a very short time. I'd suggest:
* 2 days in Madrid + 1 daytrip to Segovia or Toledo.
* 2 days in Sevilla (2.5 hours from Madrid in the AVE high speed train) + 1 daytrip to Córdoba (arab Mosque and former jewish quarter).
* 1 day in Granada (by train or bus from Sevilla).
* 2 days in Barcelona (flying from Granada)+ 1 daytrip to Figueres (Dalí museum).
* Last day: flying home from Barcelona or Madrid.
Revulgo is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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I'd go with what yorkshire recommends. Picking up and traveling every couple of days is not a pleasant way to spend your valuable vacation time.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Hi, We just got back from Spain. I would limit your trip to Madrid and Barcelona or Madrid and Seville but Not all 3. Many restaurants and inns may be closed at this time as well. I would take a day trip to Segovia over Toledo, At this time of year you may get snow. We had snow on March 23 with -5 celsius temps. We did an auction through luxurylink.com and paid 740 dollars for 3 nights, dinner and drinks in the restaurant, and a madrid card for 2 people at the Westin Palace hotel. Across the street from the Prado. It was great value as the dinner alone came to $300. We loved Barcelona. We booked an apartment in the el born district through inside BCN for 100 euru/night. Its a vibrant part of the city within walking distance to everything. Great restaurants close by. Would highly recommend this area. A day trip to Monserrat from here was great. Again the winds in the Mountains can be cold so dress appropriately. I would recommend flying from Madrid to Barcelona and if possible leave from barcelona to save back tracking to Madrid. Vueling (?sp) had a 30 euro one way deal madrid to Barcelona. I don't think you have time to visit the wine regions and there hard to get to without a car. Many are closed at this time of year. The Spanish wines are fantastic and there are many wine bars and stores that do tastings in both Madrid and Barcelona.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 02:53 PM
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Given the weather the past several winters that snowed-in places like Burgos, I would confine my visit to the southern half of Spain, maybe Andalucia. I wouldn't miss Madrid's New Years Eve celebration in [i]Puerta del Sol,though.

There's a lot to see and do in the South; so you might consider basing yourselves in Cadiz a few days, and then Sevilla for a few days daytripping to Jerez, Arcos de la frontera, etc. Bodegas Domecq is in Jerez; Osborne is in el Puerto de Santa Maria; and there are others along that coast.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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First you need to consider the weather. Madrid is on a high plateau - and is cold in winter - as are the mountains everywhere.

Second in only 11 days from Madrid you can go north or south - but not both - if you really want to see anything.

We have done from Lisbon to Madrid, touring south through Andalusia and then north to Madrid. But that was 22 days - and we still missed a lot. We have done th north of Spain - but as a separate trip along with southern France - again in 3 weeks.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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With only 11 days you are best to select 2 locations with one or 2 day trips. Madrid and Barcelona or Madrid and Seville, or some other combo.
Some people like to cover 6 cities in 10 , IMO you spend a lot of time on trains, airport, and bus stations instead seating down with a glass of wine and relaxing.
danon is online now  
Old Apr 8th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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From Madrid you can make a day trip to Toledo. It is less than an hour by train. From Barcelona you can make an overnight trip to Figueres or a very long one day trip.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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I'm a true Spain lover and understand how you could feel overwhelmed with all the options, but remember--you can go back. IMO it's better not to rush. I think the suggestion of 2 places is good, and would suggest an open-jaw ticket in to one and out of the other.

If you choose Madrid, you could easily make day trips to Toledo and/or Segovia.

If you choose Barcelona, you could make day trips to Figures (though unless you're a huge Dali fan I'd suggest Girona or some of the villages in Costa Brava such as Pals) and Montserrat.

If you choose Seville, you could do Cordoba or Granada.

But if you do all three in 11 days, you're going to spend most of your time checking in and out of hotels.

artlover is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Okay, so I think we will try to do just two areas.

Given the time of year, the fact that it my first time to Spain (my husband went to Madrid and Segovia 12 years ago in high school) and what we want to do, would you recommend we do:

Barcelona and Madrid with day trips
Madrid and Seville with day trips
?

Thanks!
ktmae55 is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Glad these responses have been helpful, but to your last question there is no answer--either would be wonderful! It is so subjective, only you can decide if you wold prefer Barcelona or Sevilla. Both offer different experiences, and both offer what you seek (food, culture, etc.).
Both are well connected to Madrid.
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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agree with PP.
Barcelona is very different than southern Spain .
Some consider Seville more of the " real" Spain, but others adore Barcelona for its art, mix of cultures, the sea, architecture, food.... It is a unique city.
The weather may be better in the south.
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