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Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

Willamette Valley...
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Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

Hi there, we are in the very early stages of planning our first visit to Europe. I am hoping to plan it for mid June 2013. Spain will be our destination since we would like to take several days to a week in Madrid. Our summer foreign exchange student lives there with her family and we definitely need to spend a couple of days with her! We wanted to visit for a total of about 15 days so really at a loss where to go/what to do after that. There are so many places everywhere that look amazing! My high school daughter and I are foodies, appreciate history and architecture (don't forget shopping). Exploring cathedrals, checking out museums and logging lots of miles walking while we take in the gorgeous buildings would make the two of us happy! My husband and 11 year old daughter on the other hand... will get tired of that after a week or so, if not sooner! If there is a way we can find a great beach locations with beautiful and warmer water to visit after Madrid that would be a great combo for our family. I would love a place not full of high-rise buildings but something with a smaller size, old spanish type of town that can be accessed from the beach??? In Accommodations would be nice if they had washer and dryers on site or in our suite. We have stayed in many upscale timeshare type condo's in Kauai and Maui not to mention 4 and 5 star hotels and resorts. Especially love some of the AI's in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

We are flexible either a nice high end condo unit with a hotel type feel, or a resort with lots of activities and a large pool/pools. We like both boutique size or large properties . I would appreciate any help as I really know nothing about Spain other than what I am currently reading on TA as I begin to research this trip!

Madison, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

Mid June 2013. That is a very good choice. Most Spanish schools are still in session, and the real holiday swing for beaches, etc. doesn't start until July 1 so you should beat the biggest crowds. Actually, I might consider the beach vacation before the city tour for that reason.

I would recommend taking train from Madrid and rent car in larger city near the following cities...When I say, "take train" this in most cases will be an AVE, high-speed train. If you drove, it would be 5 hours...2 1/2 on the train.

Get tickets from 120 days out. Read guide on right hand side of page.

Here is my list of beach places (not condos or resorts) to consider from

Spanish/Portugal border east

1. Isla Cristina

2. Puerto de Santa Maria near Cadiz

3. Costa del Sol (huge properties...probably lot available due to economy.

a. Marbella (Marriott timeshare there)*

b. Fuengirola (Lot of everything on Costa del Sol re: real estate)

c. Torremolinos

d. large capital city and port Malaga (take train to Malaga from Madrid)

4. este of Malaga

a. Nerja (lots of Brits)

5. Costa Levante (Take train to Valencia)

a. Alicante

b. Benidorm

c. Altea

d. Denia

e. Calpe

6. Costa Brava - beaches near Barcelona (take train to Barcelona

a. Sitges

7 Costa Cantabrica. If you like "up north" in the US this is where a lot of Spaniards go to vacation. Asturias area is beautifully green...cooler waters and more rain though. This is green than "up north" with mountains not see in IL or WI.

With the country almost completely surrounded by war, there are lots of places to choose from. Happy researching.

Malaga, Spain
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2. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!


Torremolinos has nice beaches and there are plenty of apartments there. From there you can explore our white towns of Ronda, Mijas, and Nerja.

You can take the AVE from Madrid to Malaga. Also explore Malaga. Read the top questions in the Malaga forum.

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

Just read my post...the country is almost completely surrounded by water...not war. Thank goodness for that.

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4. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

I'd also put a plug in for Cadiz. Gorgeous as well. And the Costa de Morte (area near Santiago de Compostela) which is not the warmest water but so beautiful and also incredible food!

Madrid, Spain
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5. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

<< don't forget shopping >>

Map of shopping areas in Madrid:


Madrid, Spain
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6. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

My suggestions are as follows:

1) Costa Brava - Begur and surrounding areas. Lovely beaches and coves. Within easy reach of Girona and Barcelona and not too far from France. There are lots of high quality villas with private pool for rental in this area. Take a look at the holiday rentals website or owners abroad. These can be rented for a week and the prices should be quite reasonable in June. You can check out Figueres and Cadaques if you are a fan of Salvador Dali.

2) Galicia - Vigo, Baiona and surrounding areas. A little cooler and greener with some stunning beaches to visit such as Rodas (Islas Cies). Within easy reach of Santiago de Compostela and Portugal. Similarly villas and houses can be rented on a weekly basis. Try the Secret Destinations website. You could fly to Vigo or Santiago de Compostela from Madrid, take the Talgo train. If you hire a car in Madrid you can even drive, I have driven this route many times and the roads are very good.

I personally would avoid resorts such as Benidorm which cater to mass tourism. I note that you do not like high rise buildings - so perhaps not for you either!

I am sure you will receive a deluge of wonderful suggestions as there are so many lovely places to discover. Happy researching!

Edited: 14 August 2012, 13:42
Northampton, MA
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7. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

Nobody has mentioned San Sebastian ? The world's greatest food city with 3 great beaches right downtown and several more outside of town. The weather and water will no doubt be warmest in Malaga. I also like the costa Brava idea, you could see Barcelona that way too. I also like Cadiz.

8. Re: Newbie planning Madrid + week at a great family beach?!

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