U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-05-2009, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,365,221 times
Reputation: 6670

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantthinkofone View Post
Spouse and I are planning a trip to Europe this fall, with Barcelona as our starting point. We can go for up to 2 weeks, and I'm curious what the travel forum folks would suggest as other areas to explore. We like sight seeing, people watching, food, cities, towns, beaches, and just generally soaking up the local culture (don't want to just do a checklist of the "must sees"). Don't care too much about partying (we'll go out for drinks but aren't into partying all night long), and although we like art probably won't spend tons of time in museums unless it's something really spectacular.

Some options we've thought of are to head south to places like Granada and Malaga, or head north into the Pyrenees and maybe over to Bilbao, or even go to southern France. Portugal is up for grabs, too, but am thinking that might be worth its own separate trip. Madrid is also a place of interest.

I know travel is very subjective, but I'm just curious what others would consider doing (even if it's something entirely different than any of the options I've mentioned), and how long you'd spend in each area.
I was in that area last (2008) summer, with a trip that both started and ended in Barcelona.

I would suggest taking the wonderful Spanish rail system to San Sebastian, Spain - an AMAZING city with incredible food and scenery, definitely the most beautiful I've been to. I'd spend a few days there, perhaps exploring the small towns nearby (Hondarribia is nice) and hiking, then take a nice long ride on the Spanish rail to Granada in southern Spain. (Madrid has nice museums and stuff, but other than that I wouldn't make it a priority). Granada itself is beautiful, with the Alhambra (although hopefully it won't be as full of tourists as it was when I went!) and the like, and it's only a short bus ride to exploring the tiny whitewashed villages in the Alpujarras. Then, if you want adventure, for the third lag of the trip I'd take the rail again in conjunction with the ferry and visit Morocco! Maybe Chefchaouen or some other northern town. I believe they have Tangier - Barcelona flights.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-06-2009, 05:59 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
128 posts, read 577,983 times
Reputation: 65
tvdxer seems to have the right idea. Could be on my trips a priorty was flexibility and being spontaneous. Rush and anxiety might have been caused by having a rental car and the hassle of driving. I found San Sebastian very crowded as many towns and cities are in Spain. If I weren't driving I might have had a different experience.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2009, 07:02 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,172,070 times
Reputation: 4537
Beware of beaches of the Costa Brava, there are thieves (gangs), we were stolen last August , our luggage which was in the trunk of our rental car on a parking behind the beach at La Escala disappeared.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2009, 07:06 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,172,070 times
Reputation: 4537
Barcelona can be cold in October

No, I take issue with that, October is balmy there , you can even swim in the Mediterranean, the water temperature is still 20C(about 68F) in October.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
128 posts, read 577,983 times
Reputation: 65
That's an anxiety factor I forgot to mention. Potential for thievery. If the crooks see any hint of tourist they are liable to break in (probably most countries in that part of Europe). Having a rental car is tell tale. I stopped at a lot of beach's in Spain but could only feel comfortable when I could keep an eye on my vehicle. There were a few out of the way places that I didn't have that feeling though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2009, 08:59 AM
 
5,457 posts, read 12,700,142 times
Reputation: 5498
Default Montserrat

You can also visit Montserrat whle in Barcelona. It will take up most part of a day, almost the whole day if you start late, but well worth it. Google it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2009, 11:29 AM
 
110 posts, read 233,882 times
Reputation: 46
Default thanks!

Wow, thanks for all the replies. I came back to post what we decided on and found a bunch more suggestions! I think we've narrowed it down to northern Spain, and will focus on southern Spain next time around. The last thing we want to do is rush all over the place and not enjoy anything. Here is what we're thinking:

Barcelona for 4 days, with a day trip to Figueres for Dali museum (and possibly other little towns)
Pyrenees for 2 days
San Sebastian for 4 days, with a day trip to Bilbao and possibly La Rioja
Toledo for 2 days
Madrid for 1 day (we'll fly open jaw and leave from Madrid)

I agree with tvdxer in not wanting to spend a lot of time in Madrid... from everything I've heard it's a museum city and we'd more enjoy Toledo with the confluence of three cultures.

We only plan to rent a car from Barcelona to San Sebastian, as we will need it for the Pyrenees. Other than that we will take bus or train to other destinations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2009, 05:19 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
128 posts, read 577,983 times
Reputation: 65
On my most recent trip I did most of what you are doing. Frankly I find extremely congested areas not to my liking. San Sebastian was very crowded as was France across the border. I would like to go back and spend more time in the Pyrenees as there were wonderful areas to just kick back and enjoy. Some of the gorges were stupendus. I haven't tried the south of Spain but probably will on my next trip. My SO is fluent in Spanish and that might help. Have a good trip.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2009, 09:52 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,359,820 times
Reputation: 13682
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob swanson View Post
That's an anxiety factor I forgot to mention. Potential for thievery. If the crooks see any hint of tourist they are liable to break in (probably most countries in that part of Europe). Having a rental car is tell tale. I stopped at a lot of beach's in Spain but could only feel comfortable when I could keep an eye on my vehicle. There were a few out of the way places that I didn't have that feeling though.
My sister has lived in Barcelona for many years so I know it quite well. It is a wonderful city with plenty to do and see. But .... you do need to be very street smart especially when walking in the touristy areas. There are pickpockets and scammers and they home in on the tourists. Stay in a reputable hotel and check your valuables into the safe. When out visiting, keep a minimum of cash/credit cards on you and make sure they are in a secure pocket. For women, watch how securely the locals wear their purses especially around the Ramblas and the old town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2009, 09:53 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,359,820 times
Reputation: 13682
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantthinkofone View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies. I came back to post what we decided on and found a bunch more suggestions! I think we've narrowed it down to northern Spain, and will focus on southern Spain next time around.
Southern Spain deserves a trip all on its own and it merits a couple of weeks. IMHO, the best part of Spain.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top