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Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

Kent, United Kingdom
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Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

I am looking to travel with my 2 kids aged 13 and 4 for a month visiting the area and wondered if you can suggest us an area or village where we could stay and perhaps find self catering rentals.

I like more history and architecture and don't really like some of the high rise resort type places full of British bars and restaurants. I do have kids of course who like the usual kids stuff so I have to bear that in mind. We spend a month in Andalucia and based ourselves in one of the white village close to Ronda in January. I loved it and the beautiful cobbled streets. From there we managed to visit most places from Granada, Seville right to Cadiz with some occasional overnight trips.

I am trying to see if we can do something similar for this area, we could move from one place to another a maximum of 3 or 4 times perhaps if that gives us flexibility. I would really appreciate your ideas on some pretty areas that we could stay in and the activities we can do.

We are looking to travel end of Jan to Feb and will probably get a car rental. Also what is really Girona like? We loved Seville sooooooo much and so I am curious about Girona, found Granada, Cadiz, Jerez just ok. Found Marbella a bit plastick with some beautiful hidden germs. I hope this is enough to give you an idea of the sort of things we love in Spain....

Edited: 10:09 pm, December 30, 2012
Malaga, Spain
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1. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

Kent:

The Costa Brava is best seen during summer. Many of the resorts do close up during winter, when they get little tourism.

Barcelona, Spain
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2. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

You can't compare Girona with Sevilla, or any Andalusian town, like you can't really compare the areas. Girona is a very charming place IMHO, with one of the most beautiful and better preserved Medieval quarters in Europe. As well its a deeply Catalan place and very proud of it, so the cultural difference with the South of Spain is very interesting.

As you' re staying in Winter, I would better stay in Girona itself. I would not really agree with Benny about the Costa Brava being better to be seen on Summer, as actually I like it a lot more off-season. But the coastal towns in Winter may be too closed and quiet to stay (but still suitable for daytrips). If you live in Girona you will be spoiled for choice on places to visit as daytrips, and you can decide where to go for the day depending on the weather. But at night or with bad weather you will still have things to see and do, as Girona is a University town with a good cultural scene that's still lively during Winter months.

Besides, bear in mind most of the appartment rentals in the coast are aimed to summer visitors so may not have proper heating and insulation (check this in any case)

Bon viatge!

Girona, Spain
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3. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

The previous response is spot on, at this time of year Girona is your best bet as it is a very attractive city with good value accomodation and has an all-year round appeal whereas the coast will be very quiet and is only summer focused. Girona though is not comparable to Seville (much smaller, less "marque" must see sites) but has a more laid back, old fashioned charm to it probably compares more to, say, Cordoba. For the Seville type break you are probably looking at basing yourself in Barcelona where you can have a varied break (sea, shopping, sightseeing, food) and then, maybe, take a 3-4 day stop in Girona where you could go on day trips to Figueres for a day (Dali museum), hilltop towns such as Besalu and a trip to the coast visiting places such as Perratallada, Pals and Begur.

Hope that helps but once you investigate further if you want more detailed information on places, where to stay etc please feel free to send me a direct message.

Kent, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

Thank you all for the replies, its given me food for thought and its made more keen on seeing the northern part. Perhaps if I move the dates to end of Feb and we leave just before the Easter week in March? Will that time be better?

I am not that keen on Barcelona, I have read too much on robberies there so I think I would base myself in or around Girona and do a day or 2 in Barcelona. Do you think I can get good deals on rentals in Girona itself? We will be having a rental car so I am wondering if staying on the outskirts in some sorrounding villages may give us a better deal?

Regarding heating, that was one issue we had with our rental when we stayed last year. We were there when Europe experienced the big chill, the house wasn't properly heated as it only had two portable oil heaters which were totally inadequate.

I have looked at rentals and I seem to have hit a brickwall, the properties here on trip advisor rental seem to be more costal ones or they operate more like a hotel charging a nightly rate. I have just checked on owersdirect and there isn't much either. Agrrrrr seems like I am going round in circles.

Girona, Spain
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5. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

Don't think the later dates will make much difference to be honest, I have lived in Girona for nearly 4 years now and the weather can be equally good/bad in Jan as March. To really open up your options in terms of accommodation and places to visit I think late April/early May or, even better October,as weather in northern Spain tends to be better in autumn than spring.

If you are coming Feb or March then Girona and Barcelona are your best choices for a base, don't let the crime in the latter put you off, if anything there is more crime in Seville, the bag snatching etc can be avoided by just being sensible.

In Girona there is a promotion each year called girona10 which might fit your dates, many hotels, restaurants etc run promotions for 10 euros, hence the name. I don't think you will gain from staying on the outskirts. Most places will give you a big discount for staying at that time of year and for that length of time so make a few calls if you find somewhere you like.

Kent, United Kingdom
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6. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

Thanks Darren, I will make some accomodation inquiries first and then move on from there.

Girona, Spain
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7. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

I thought this might be of interest to you given your dates:

Each year Girona run a promotion called "Girona10" during which rooms are 10 euros/night, restaurants have a menu for 10 euros, taxis charge 10 euros from the airport, shops offer 10% off etc, you get the idea.

These offers include the very best hotels and restaurants in the area which typically charge 10x these sort of prices. As it is so popular (within Spain as well as to overseas visitors) it also makes the city a good weekend to visit as it is busy and bustling at a time of year when normally it would be very quiet.

The details for 2013 have been announced today and the weekend chosen is January 26 and 27. There are 1,588 hotel rooms available for 10 euros and 15,000 meals in restaurants for the same price. These rooms and meals include the very best places in Girona. All you have to do is register at www.girona10.net and there will be a draw to allocate the rooms, many of which will be reserved for overseas visitors.

8. Re: Where to base ourselves for a month in Jan/Feb???

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