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One month in Spain

Sydney, Australia
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One month in Spain

We are planning to spend one month in Spain in September 2010. From scanning the forum it sounds like Madrid (Toledo + Segovia), Granada, Barcelona, Cordoba and Seville are very special and popular, but I am wondering whether there are some smaller towns that we should visit as well. We don't like too hectic a pace and like to settle in and enjoy a place. We are interested in the architecture, music, dancing and food of Spain - and the people as well! Also wondering whether it is better to travel by car or by train. We normally rent a car, but heard that the new train service is pretty good.

Oswestry, United...
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1. Re: One month in Spain

onetwochachacha,

Congratulations on having a worthwhile amount of time and the wit to do the country justice.

Presuming you will spend several days in each city, it would be unwise to be burdened with a car in almost any city, (most especially, Granada, Seville and Malaga from my own present knowledge). Public transport is very good in any city.

You could certainly make your way by train and bus (which = coach for some journeys). You would need train, local bus or car to reach many smaller destinations. The trains and buses are not there for tourist convenience, so you might feel you need a car.

I am sure you will receive many suggestions for other destiations. 'Things To Do' on the l.h.s. of this page and on the forum pages of any of your proposed destinations will also give side trips.

If you do not already have these for train, the slightly eccentric website is http://www.renfe.es/horarios/index.html

and read tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madrid…

My bias is for Andalucia and for many people this is the epitome of Spain, so do not neglect an area bigger than half the countries in Europe.

Ask (here) and you may receive.

Best wishes.

Hermosa Beach...
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2. Re: One month in Spain

Have you visited Spain before? If so, where have you visited?

Spain is a very diverse country where you can go from one region to another and almost feel like it is an entirely different country. In my opinion many people's perceptions of Spain are of Southern Spain. If you've never visited Spain before I'd definately recommend Andalucia for at least a couple of weeks. However, for something different it may be interesting to visit Northern Spain, particularly if you've already been to Andalucia.

If you enjoy wine, a viist to the Rioja region would work well. Logrono has a week long wine harvest festival, San Mateo, around the 21st of September. Nearby is the Basque country with larger cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian but also villages as well (Lekeitio, Getaria, Hondarribia, etc...). The food in the Basque country is amazing. Have you seen Maribel's guides? They are excellent - particularly for the Basque country.

http://www.maribelsguides.com/

There's also Galicia, Asturius, Cantabria and of course Catalunya. Barcelona and Tarragona both have festivals around the middle to end of September - a great time to visit.

With an entire month you may be a ble to visit both Andalucia and Northern Spain- it would be an interesting contrast.. I'd just be careful not to try to squeeze too much in. It can be tempting but as you noted you don't like hectic trips.

You are going to get all kinds of opinions in this forum . I'd probably invest in a book that covers all of Spain (Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc...). Go through each region and see which ones most interest you.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: One month in Spain

To answer your question, where have I been, I have been to Madrid, Toledo, Malaga, Barcelona and Granada, but long ago. I was backpacking with a Railpass and each stop was just a few days. My family have not been before, so I am quite happy to revist some of these places and expand a bit. We are not really worried about beach or sun seeking, given we live in Australia and have wonderful beaches all around. For us it is the history, architecture, food, music, nightlife and art that are the greatest attractions.

We have a 14 year old, so we try to find cities and towns with a bit of a youth culture going, so he can enjoy people-watching.

Kilmarnock, United...
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4. Re: One month in Spain

As Cathy has said, Tarragona has a festival in September, usually the second half of the month and it's only an hour from Barcelona, two hours from Girona.

The Festival is called Santa Tecla and includes everything from cookery and music to the famous Castellars, human towers.

Tarragona itself is a wonderful city, compact and friendly, steeped in Roman history. 20 minutes south is Port Aventura theme park with Caribe Waterpark and in La Pineda is Aquapolis all of which I'm sure your 14 year old would enjoy.

On this coast there are glass bottomed boats and catamarans if you fancy a leisurely few hours at sea.

Hermosa Beach...
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5. Re: One month in Spain

As a rough start to plan a month I'd probably budget 2 weeks in Andalucia. The moorish influence in architecture and food is very noticeable and somewhat unique to the rest of Europe. For the remaining 2 weeks I'd spend a week in Madrid and the surrounding area (Toledo, Segovia, even Salamanca) and then choose one other area (Catalonia - particularly if you can time your trip around the festivals in Barcelona or Tarragona, the Basque Country or Galicia would be my personal choices. 3 regions would be the most I would try to do. You really could just focus on 2 - I generally visit for 2.5 weeks each trip and focus on one area (I also don't like hectic trips) so 2 regions in a month would be fine.

I"d do some reading on the different regions of Spain and get input from your family. Choose only 1 or 2 main regions (after Andalucia) as your outline and then start filling in with which cities to base yourself in for overnights and any potential daytrips.

Plymouth
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6. Re: One month in Spain

Hi, A month in Spain will be great! DO try to be in Barcelona for its annual festival, La Mèrce, which lasts about 5 days around the weekend of 24 September (The 24th being La Mèrce Saint's Day & a holiday). There are parades, gegants (parading giants), concerts, free music, cava fairs, the run of fire (correfoc), fireworks displays and more!! it's certainly worth seeing some or all of this fiesta. I found out info about it here:

barcelonaflats.co.uk/whats-on-guide-La-merce… . You will also be able to find accommodation too here. I booked mine through here too.

Good luck with your holiday planning!

Plymouth
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7. Re: One month in Spain

Hi, A month in Spain will be great! DO try to be in Barcelona for its annual festival, La Mèrce, which lasts about 5 days around the weekend of 24 September (The 24th being La Mèrce Saint's Day & a holiday). There are parades, gegants (parading giants), concerts, free music, cava fairs, the run of fire (correfoc), fireworks displays and more!! it's certainly worth seeing some or all of this fiesta. I found out info about it here:

barcelonaflats.co.uk/whats-on-guide-La-merce… . You will also be able to find accommodation too here. I booked mine through here too.

Good luck with your holiday planning!

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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8. Re: One month in Spain

Onetwochachacha:

If you come to Malaga, go to Nerja, a peaceful town east of Malaga. You can walk the whole town, which has a beauty that is unbeatable. Then visit the white town of Frigiliana, not too far away. One of my favorite white towns is Comares, also close to Nerja. The white towns of Malaga have a beauty and charm that captivate visitors.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: One month in Spain

Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions. We should be able to get to the festival in Barcelona at that time.

Thanks again!!

Madrid, Spain
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10. Re: One month in Spain

The Basque Country.

Starting with Cider Day on the first Saturday of September, San Sebastian will celebrate the Euskal Jaiak festival dedicated to the Basque culture. Throughout the week there will be various activities organized to showcase the traditions this ancient civilization. There will be local sport exhibitions such as the row boat races, stone lifting and tree trunk cutting. Open air concerts featuring Basque music, traditional dance troupes, local craftsmen demonstrating their time tested techniques and the famous "bersolaris" (oral poets who improvise) are all part of the week long festivities.

Pic: 'Bandera de la Concha' row boat race in San Sebastian on 1st and 2nd Sunday of September.

livingindonosti.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/…