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Discussion Starter #1
Love to hear your suggestions of where we should explore, in Spain, for our "summer hols."

Now, a holiday to me, does not involve sitting still for more than half an hour - just long enough for a reviving drink. I like exploring nice architecture, museums, a bit of history and culture, nice shops - not chain stores, shows, music. Definitely not into beaches.

We could, of course, explore more quite near the CdS, haven't been to Seville, Cordoba oor Cadiz yet, but some of these can be done on long weekends, etc, when a shorter time is available. Other obvious choices are Madrid or Barcelona.

Where have I overlooked? What are your favourite places to go with a week or two to explore?
 

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Guadalajara (Brihuega, Pastrana and plenty of other villages of interest around and Alcala de Henares is quite close)
Toledo (with amazing Roman ruins at about 45 mins at Carranque)
Cuenca
Salamanca (incredible university town)
Stravinsky has posted photos of some of these places I think and is sure to have his own suggestions.
In the summer one of the best places is the beach in Cantabría, but...
Only problem is the heat. Find somewhere high up near these places where you can flake out if needed.
 

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Galicia! Even if you can't make the Ortigueira Celtic music festival (which is not strictly Celtic any more) there are sessions and pipers (gaiteros) everywhere and the music is wonderful. So is the scenery, and the food.

 
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Galicia! Even if you can't make the Ortigueira Celtic music festival (which is not strictly Celtic any more) there are sessions and pipers (gaiteros) everywhere and the music is wonderful. So is the scenery, and the food.

we will go there next time, we now know where we want to explore more...your neck of the woods...live and learn
 

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Discussion Starter #6
we will go there next time, we now know where we want to explore more...your neck of the woods...live and learn
Ah, Galicia is definitely on our list though I'm not sure we''ll make the festival. Strange they till don't seem to have the programme up yet.

Great pic - though, to be fair, I've seen what could easily be the same scene in s-ooo many places. Sur eyou have too!!!



Pesky - thanks for those suggestions,too. I quite fancy putting together a route with a few places so I'll lookat all those. I'd completely forgotten about toledo, too.
 

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San Sebastian
I always find San Seb a bit disappointing. It's nice, but what makes it sooooo great? The beach is OK, but nothing amazing. Especially with all those other beaches so near that are lovely. The town is pleasant, but again, nothing amazing considering other places. Maybe the shopping is a bit out of the usual. It includes all the usual chains, but has other more individual stores, usually with their own set of price tags too! The tapas are good I hear, but they are great in Bilbao too for example.
I think I'd rather go to Hondarribia/ Fuenterrabía than San Seb TBH
Hondarribia - Buscar con Google

And Galicia is great and I good idea for the summer, but I think of the north as more of a walking place than museums/ monuments, although of course there are some!
 
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I always find San Seb a bit disappointing. It's nice, but what makes it sooooo great? The beach is OK, but nothing amazing. Especially with all those other beaches so near that are lovely. The town is pleasant, but again, nothing amazing considering other places. Maybe the shopping is a bit out of the usual. It includes all the usual chains, but has other more individual stores, usually with their own set of price tags too! The tapas are good I hear, but they are great in Bilbao too for example.
I think I'd rather go to Hondarribia/ Fuenterrabía than San Seb TBH
Hondarribia - Buscar con Google

And Galicia is great and I good idea for the summer, but I think of the north as more of a walking place than museums/ monuments, although of course there are some!
I just love the color of the ocean crashing on the walls and climbing up to the castle and stopping to see the old Brit graves back when they burned San Sebat down. Great restaurants, the aquarium is pretty nice digs...they are in the running for the most 'cultured' city in the world...

and just a short bus ride to other great Bay of Biscay cities and southern france...

all those other places you mentioned...sound wonderful!
 

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I just love the color of the ocean crashing on the walls and climbing up to the castle and stopping to see the old Brit graves back when they burned San Sebat down. Great restaurants, the aquarium is pretty nice digs...they are in the running for the most 'cultured' city in the world...

and just a short bus ride to other great Bay of Biscay cities and southern france...

all those other places you mentioned...sound wonderful!
Yes, it's nice, I just wouldn't put it up with the all time greats, but I'm definitely on my own there as both foreigners and the Spanish seem to rate it highly.
IMO San Seb is unusual 'cos I think it would be a good place to live, better than a place to visit, and most places are the other way round.
 

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Ah, Galicia is definitely on our list though I'm not sure we''ll make the festival. Strange they till don't seem to have the programme up yet.

Great pic - though, to be fair, I've seen what could easily be the same scene in s-ooo many places. Sur eyou have too!!!
Yes I have, but not round here unfortunately ...

Santiago de Compostela is a fascinating city with plenty to see, and a good base for exploring the Galician coastline and the seafood of the rias.

Remember that Toledo, Seville, Granada Cordoba etc will be stinking hot in August. No good for sightseeing! They are better visited in the winter months.
 

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Remember that Toledo, Seville, Granada Cordoba etc will be stinking hot in August. No good for sightseeing! They are better visited in the winter months.
That's why I didn't come into this thread and recommend Granada.
Many of the locals actually spend their holidays away from here because of the heat.

I would say that the best bet for a week or two in July and August would be to stay in a coastal town (even if you don't like the beach), hire a car and travel inland on a daily basis.

But on the San Sebastian theme... I'm another person who loves San Seb and the surrounding countryside. Cant really explain why - it's just a feeling. Sometimes I wish we had chosen to move there.
 

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I visited San Sebastian in the late 1960s when I was a student. It was very quiet and rather 'refined'. It reminded me of Eastbourne (but then late '60s Alicante reminded me of a smaller, quieter Bournemouth).
I liked it a lot.
I believe that in those days it was customary still for wealthier Spaniards to send their families to spend the summers in San Sebastian to escape the heat of Madrid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, I'm inclined to avoid Seville, Cordaba etc because they will be very hot - and because they are close enough "to do" as long weekends throughout the year.

Quite fancy heading up to Galicia area (from CdS) with stops en route, so that leaves a lot of scope - pretty much anywhere in the country really - so any more suggestions of your favourite places are most welcome!

Half the fun is in the planning!
 

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Yes, I'm inclined to avoid Seville, Cordaba etc because they will be very hot - and because they are close enough "to do" as long weekends throughout the year.

Quite fancy heading up to Galicia area (from CdS) with stops en route, so that leaves a lot of scope - pretty much anywhere in the country really - so any more suggestions of your favourite places are most welcome!

Half the fun is in the planning!
If you come up to Galicia, we'll be there this summer, my mother lives in Sanxenxo now. Not much to do there, apart from going to beach and complain about the rain when the only thing to do is going to the beach and you cant cos it's raining...So head for Santiago, Pontevedra and Lugo, these are nice beautiful towns. The Galician countryside is also breathtakenly beautiful.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The old fortified towns like Ávila and Zamora are nice, and if you plan ahead you might get a good deal at the paradores.
I've never heard of either of these but from a quick google they look lovely and the food alone would sell it - "Zamora cuisine: The excellent raw materials used in cuisine from this province really stand out. The pulses, the famous chickpeas from Fuentesauco, the exquisite cheese made from sheep´s milk, honey from Sanabria, asparagus from Guareña, peppers from Benavente, steak from Aliste, mushrooms, game, cold meats, cakes and sweets...Apart from the tasty roasts, there are also rice dishes from Zamora and the Toro wines which are very dark, almost black, nowadays made using modern techniques - with a rapidly growing reputation for their taste and quality."

This is great, I also like all the suggestions, but it does make you stop and think how much Spain has to offer. So many people would enjoy these places and yet, probably, never consider Spain - knowing only the the awful booze/ beach scenario.
 

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This is great, I also like all the suggestions, but it does make you stop and think how much Spain has to offer. So many people would enjoy these places and yet, probably, never consider Spain - knowing only the the awful booze/ beach scenario.
I still feel like I've only scratched the surface, especially after watching TV travel/food documentaries like Un país para comérselo - Web oficial - RTVE.es and the Rick Stein series.
 

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Now that I'm back on line on my PC rather than having to use the suegra's, here's my diez centimos-worth.

Our first trip to Spain holiday-wise was a quick trip (we were both working at the time and needed a short break as did my suegra, having been recently widowed) back in December 2005.

We flew to Sevilla and hired a car and went straight to Córdoba (fabulous place) where we stayed a couple of days then on to Granada via a couple of ermitas and Alcalá la Real en route. Granada was quite nice but a bit over-commercialised for our liking. Then to Ronda (beautiful - plan to return) then to Sevilla for a couple of nights. We have been back to Sevilla a couple of times and each time have found that, in general, the people are less welcoming than in other parts of Andalucia.

We now live here and have been to Córdoba a number of times and can thoroughly recommend it but watch out for hot weather. Still not overly impressed with Granada which we often visit for hospitals.

For our own holidays we have had a long weekend at Puerto Santa María (by Cádiz and Jerez) which was good. Last year we went to Galicia (excellent) stopping at Ávila (fabulous - did you ever see the movie "The Pride and the Passion" ?) and Pontevedra en-route. If in Galicia go to see the Castro de Santa Tegra (or Tecla). This year we are going to Cazorla and the Parque Natural.

We had a New Year in Barcelona (noisy and keep your hands on your valuables).

Wherever you go, get a good map with as large a scale as you can find and a magnifying glass, many of the best sights are in tiny print such as obscure ermitas and monasterios and because they are small and obscure, they have an unspoilt charm that is missing from the large overcommercialised touristy stuff.
 
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Now that I'm back on line on my PC rather than having to use the suegra's, here's my diez centimos-worth.

Our first trip to Spain holiday-wise was a quick trip (we were both working at the time and needed a short break as did my suegra, having been recently widowed) back in December 2005.

We flew to Sevilla and hired a car and went straight to Córdoba (fabulous place) where we stayed a couple of days then on to Granada via a couple of ermitas and Alcalá la Real en route. Granada was quite nice but a bit over-commercialised for our liking. Then to Ronda (beautiful - plan to return) then to Sevilla for a couple of nights. We have been back to Sevilla a couple of times and each time have found that, in general, the people are less welcoming than in other parts of Andalucia.

We now live here and have been to Córdoba a number of times and can thoroughly recommend it but watch out for hot weather. Still not overly impressed with Granada which we often visit for hospitals.

For our own holidays we have had a long weekend at Puerto Santa María (by Cádiz and Jerez) which was good. Last year we went to Galicia (excellent) stopping at Ávila (fabulous - did you ever see the movie "The Pride and the Passion" ?) and Pontevedra en-route. If in Galicia go to see the Castro de Santa Tegra (or Tecla). This year we are going to Cazorla and the Parque Natural.

We had a New Year in Barcelona (noisy and keep your hands on your valuables).

Wherever you go, get a good map with as large a scale as you can find and a magnifying glass, many of the best sights are in tiny print such as obscure ermitas and monasterios and because they are small and obscure, they have an unspoilt charm that is missing from the large overcommercialised touristy stuff.
I'm going to use this as our road map for next trip...wish I had this the first two trips...thanks!
 
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