Spain for a Small Family

Old Aug 8th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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Spain for a Small Family

I am looking for suggestions for family travel to Spain for my husband, 7-yr old daughter and me. Some specifics:
-We would most likely be travelling the 3rd week of March '17. If we can't get this to work, OR if the weather would be much better, would could possibly push this back to the 3rd week of June '17. Any input on this would be helpful. Our stay would be from 8-10 days.
-We would like to see Madrid or/and Barcelona, but would also like to see 2-3 other sites, either off the beaten path or not-to-miss sites. I think the south looks really interesting, my husband thinks the north and northwest coast looks beautiful. I'd even be willing to skip Madrid in lieu of some other sites (Granada? San Sebastian? Galicia?)
-We'd like to see some cultural places, but also have a chance to do some more adventurous outdoor activities. Our daughter (and I) are apt to become bored if there are too many museums, etc. I'm thinking perhaps some small hikes, horse back riding?, beach walking, biking, etc.
-We are very open to staying in different types of accommodations, although it would be nice to have a pool at one of them
-I'm intrigued by staying in the old monasteries.
-We aren't big spenders....but are hoping to offset the vacation with some built-up miles in order to be able to stay at nicer places and/or do things we want. Thus we can rent a car using the miles and stay at some hotels in Madrid and Barcelona using miles. Our lflights will be on miles as well.
Thank you,
mmkmmk is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 05:21 PM
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Well I don;t think you will get pools in Spain in March (unless they are indoor pools). And the northern Atlantic coast would be quite chilly then (Spaniards go there in the summer to get cooler weather).

March is actually a good time to head for the south, not beach weather et but warm enough (60s to 70 highs) so you can enjoy touring and outdoor activities.

Madrid can still be quite chilly but Barcelona should be milder.

By June you will be well into summer in the south (highs in the 90s) so more beach weather but fewer other outdoor activities, esp for a child.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 05:32 PM
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IMO, 10 days in Andalusia in March would be lovely! You could plan a nice itinerary to include Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, maybe Ronda or Nerja or Marbella....

Lots to do in and around Barcelona, too -- the city itself and the coast to the north or south....

Much as I love Madrid, and was glad to have 10 days in and around that city, it doesn't sound to me like it would meet your family's interests as well as the other areas. JMO.

If you haven't already done so, I strongly recommend that you consult the Michelin Green Guide and, for your interests in outdoor activities, the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet.

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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 11:28 PM
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kja puts it well, the Grenada, Seville, Cordoba, Malaga combo is a good one. It is possible to go pony trecking in the south (but up in the hills) I booked to go one year but an accident stopped me going, up around the ski resort if I remember correctly

I'd save the north for June.
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 12:52 AM
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Andalucía in March is a very good idea, the spring is coming but the major tourist season is still some weeks away. I love coming here in early spring or late fall.

And Nerja by the Med comes to mind as a base when you mention "cultural places, but also have a chance to do some more adventurous outdoor activities ... some small hikes, horse back riding?, beach walking, biking, etc".

Realtively small Nerja is ideal for biking, horse back riding, small hikes and walks along the nine city beaches, many of them below the cliffs. Spectacular landscapes and Nerja has mainained much of its small town Andalucian charm.

- Nerja horse back riding:

- Endless biking routes:

- Hiking in and around Nerja:

- Nerja beach walking, a trail connects many of the beaches:

And then you also have the spectacular Nerja Caves just out of town. Were people inside here more than 30 000 years ago:

Nerja is a short ride (buses all the time) from both Granada with the world famous Alhambra and wonderful and 3000 year old Málaga city itself with the Roman theater, the Moorish Alcazaba palace fortress, the huge 16th century cathedral, the Picasso museum, the Picasso birth house, tons of great cafés, tapas bars, restaurants and a great cultural agenda.

Hotel Plaza Cavana has an indoor pool and is right on Nerja's central plaza.

But plenty of other possibilities from extremely charming and very affordable Hostal Mena to upscale hotels such as the Parador, the Hotel Balcón de Europa and small Hotel Carabeo.

Hostal Mena (basic hotel standard, private bath etc, and a three bed suite on the top floor with a great terrace and wonderful views of both the mountains and the sea):

The Parador:

Hotel Balcón de Europa:

Boutique Hotel Carabeo:
kimhe is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 01:35 AM
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And when it comes to costs, Nerja can be extremely affordable too. Do as the locals and have your main meal of the day at lunch time (as in all of Spain), many excellent places in Nerja serve a three course Menú del día with drinks included for some 8-10€. A couple of the best:

Or you can have as much as you like of the famous paella at Ayo's on the huge Burriana beach for 7,50€, it's been prepared exactly the same way all days year around since 1969. Only open until sunset:

And in most tapas bars and restaurants in Nerja they keep the old tradition of free tapas with every glass of whatever in the bar area. You can even choose your tapa, and the variety on offer is huge and generally very high quality. A glass of wine/beer/coke and a delicious tapa will set you back some 1,50-2€. Have had many great nights in Nerja for about 10-12€ pp. A typical 10-12€ tapas bar round in Nerja will for example include some fabulously fresh fish, grilled prawns, the typical meat skewer (pincho moruno), a local stew, the excellent avocado based local salad and some delicious Manchego cheese (with the corresponding glasses of whatever...):

And Nerja is only some 35 miles east of Málaga city, and Málaga city is 2h 30 mins from Madrid on the high speed AVE Train.
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