Hi everyone! I already posted this in the general spain forum but someone suggested I might have more luck posting in specific forums, so I am going to try posting my question in the seville and san sebastian forums as well.
My husband and I are in the process of planning a 9 day trip to Spain from June 22-30 (this does not include our travel days, which will be June 21 and July 1). We know this isn't much time, but it is all we can get away from work, so we are trying to make the best use of our time!
Right now, we are torn between concentrating our time in Northern vs. Southern Spain and have come up with 3 loose itineraries. I have already done some research and am fairly certain we would enjoy all 3 options, but I am hoping to get some opinions from people who have been to both areas. Here are our 3 options:
Option 1: Fly into Barcelona and out of Bilbao
2 days Barcelona (my husband has been before and we don't want to see any sights, just enjoy wandering around parts of the city), drive to La Rioja region (my husband likes to drive and we would make it a fun day of stopping in pretty towns etc.) and stay 2-3 days in this area doing wine tastings, drive to San Sebastian area for our last 4 days before flying home out of Bilbao.
Option 2: Fly in and out of Bilbao
Drive right to la Rioja area and spend 4-5 days in this area wine tasting, followed by 4-5 days in San Sebastian area before flying home out of Bilbao.
Option 3: Fly in and out of Madrid
2 days in Madrid (possibly with a day trip to Toledo), followed by time in Granada, Ronda (and/or other Andalucia hill towns - we will rent a car) and Seville. I am not quite sure of this itinerary, we might tweak it to change some citys so we can add a costal town (e.g., Tarifa, Cadiz) for a day or two. But the main idea would be to concentrate on southern Spain.
We know these trips couldn't be more different but we are so torn because we're sure we would love both for different reasons. In general, we are in our late 20s/early 30s and are fairly well travelled. This trip we are looking for a relaxing vacation that focuses on good food, wine (we prefer red), and beatufiul sights/scenery (either natural beauty and/or cultural/arcitecural beauty). We are not looking for a party scene and don't want to spend a lot of time going to museums/churches/historical monuments this trip. We equally love beaches, wandering along old, windy alley-ways lined with beautiful old buildings, and just taking in the local culture. I would prefer to stay away from areas that have been built up with a lot of modern buildings. While we enjoy big cities, we prefer to stay in cities and/or areas of cities that have a older/smaller town feel to them. We also love going off the beaten track a bit to see the country/smaller towns.
So, with that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions for us on which option they think would be best?? Any and all help is very much appreciated!!
Thanks in advance :)