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Starting to plan a trip to Spain (passing through France)

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11. Posted by mpprh (Full Member 114 posts) 6y

A few thoughts ...

May / June is early in the year. The good news is that things are quieter and cheaper. The bad news is that summer weather hasn't kicked in for most of N Europe.

Enjoy the night in Amsterdam !

Visit Brussels Grande Place and take lunch in the adjacent outdoor restaurants.

Make sure you pig out on Tapas in San Sebastian.

I'd trade the beach day by San Sebastian for a warmer beach day on the Med side. Santander is near San Sebastian and has a Ryanair flight to Seville which is on the Med coast and near Seville.

Unless you have a special reason to go to Valencia, why not go direct to Barcelona and spend the extra time in Costa Brava (or even a trip to Girona/Andorra/Collioure) ?

Girona (65miles from Barcelona) is the Spanish cheap flight hub for Ryanair. They do routes to Ibiza & Majorca, but also Sardinia, Morocco, and the Canary Islands.

Check out the Accor hotel group (they also own Motel 6) and similar. Decent low cost hotel rooms - Ibis, Etap, F1 etc are pretty cheap.

San Sebastian is a bit pricier than N Spain, but still cheaper than Amsterdam, Brussels and Bordeaux.

The only sure thing is that you won't have enough time !

Peter

12. Posted by Alan1950 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Sitges good beach as already posted
Ibis good value but double check locations
Not all in City Centre
F1 in France can be handy for motorists not rail travellers
Paris climb to top of Arc de Triomphe worth it
water bus runs from near Notre Dame to near Eiffel Tower
Good viewpoint up some steps down towards Eiffel Tower

13. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 6y

Quoting mpprh

A few thoughts ...

May / June is early in the year. The good news is that things are quieter and cheaper. The bad news is that summer weather hasn't kicked in for most of N Europe.

..

I'd trade the beach day by San Sebastian for a warmer beach day on the Med side. Santander is near San Sebastian and has a Ryanair flight to Seville which is on the Med coast and near Seville.

Unless you have a special reason to go to Valencia, why not go direct to Barcelona and spend the extra time in Costa Brava (or even a trip to Girona/Andorra/Collioure) ?

Girona (65miles from Barcelona) is the Spanish cheap flight hub for Ryanair. They do routes to Ibiza & Majorca, but also Sardinia, Morocco, and the Canary Islands.

Check out the Accor hotel group (they also own Motel 6) and similar. Decent low cost hotel rooms - Ibis, Etap, F1 etc are pretty cheap.

San Sebastian is a bit pricier than N Spain, but still cheaper than Amsterdam, Brussels and Bordeaux.

The only sure thing is that you won't have enough time !

Peter

Thanks, Peter, I'll definitely think about your suggestion about checking out beaches further south, especially since I am trying to visit earlier than I normally would. Last time I went to Europe, it was July and I thought I would die of heat stroke every day. The stop in Valencia was added for no other reason than it's on the way to Barcelona and I know for me I really don't need more than three days in any city to feel like I'm done. I've never heard of the places you mention near Barcelona so I'll have to read up. Or use that Valencia day to check out Ibiza instead and then go to Barcelona. Good to know Ryan Air hub isn't too convenient.

14. Posted by Alan1950 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Trocadero in Paris is a good vantage point

15. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 6y

ok, made some adjustments based on input. everyone should like the slower pace :):

Day 1: Fly from Minneapolis to Paris
Day 2: Paris full day/night

Day 3: Train to Bordeaux (3hrs)
Day 4: Bordeaux day to wine tour

Day 5: Train to San Sebastian (~5hrs guess)
Day 6: Day in San Sebastian

Day 7: Train to Madrid (~5hrs guess)
Day 8: Madrid full day/night
Day 9: Madrid full day/night

Day 10: Train to Barcelona (3 hrs)
Day 11: Barcelona full day/night
Day 12: Barcelona full day/night
Day 13: Fly home via a layover in Amsterdam (usual stop between Barcelona and Minneapolis via Delta)

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Aug-2010, at 12:48 by laurim ]

16. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 6y

London to Folkestone.

hehe i'm from folkestone....

17. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 6y

Yay! Found a date to plan around. San Juan is a festival on June 23rd celebrating the start of summer and is supposed to be a ton of fun in Barcelona. Parties everywhere, bonfires on the beaches, firecrackers and merrymaking. And, it's right before my birthday! So glad when I find a definite time to shoot for.

18. Posted by laoutlaw (Budding Member 41 posts) 6y

Hi!
I would highly recommend Seville if you have a hankerin' to go there!! it is an awesome mix of old and new and so pretty! We flew from Seville to Barcelona (one way) last year on Spanair for about $35 per person, & it only took about an hour and a half, so dont let distance be a deterrent! If you prefer to stay on that one "side" of Spain, you could hit Granada, very pretty, and stroll the boho side of town after seeing the Alhambra (and Sierra Nevadas in the background!)

(However, I didnt go to Valencia, so I cant say Seville is better than Valencia, but if you do keep Valencia on the agenda, you should check out the aquarium there----it's the largest in the WORLD! ---if youre into that sort of thing....)

Happy Travels!

19. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 6y

Quoting laoutlaw

Hi!
I would highly recommend Seville if you have a hankerin' to go there!! it is an awesome mix of old and new and so pretty! We flew from Seville to Barcelona (one way) last year on Spanair for about $35 per person, & it only took about an hour and a half, so dont let distance be a deterrent! If you prefer to stay on that one "side" of Spain, you could hit Granada, very pretty, and stroll the boho side of town after seeing the Alhambra (and Sierra Nevadas in the background!)

(However, I didnt go to Valencia, so I cant say Seville is better than Valencia, but if you do keep Valencia on the agenda, you should check out the aquarium there----it's the largest in the WORLD! ---if youre into that sort of thing....)

Happy Travels!

Thanks for the advice! I have some time to think about it so I definitely will look into all possibilities.

20. Posted by Mapirc (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

I agree with the note about TAPAS in San Sebastian: It is the capital of Tapas (that we call Pintxos)....I wish I could go!!!!

I know that all you guys loooove the South of Spain, but being from the North I would suggest also places like Gijon, Santander or Santiago de Compostela in the Northern region, Toledo is a must if you are interesting in something close to Madrid, and yes, Granada and Sevilla are amazing places as well....I miss them all!

Have fun,
Mapi