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Spain, Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza, Barcelona

Spain in Mid-May - Recommendations?


I will be heading to Spain in May for the F1 race in Barcelona.  After the race I will have about 4-5 days to explore outside the town, any recommendations?  I have never been to Spain, but am very experienced with traveling in Europe by car or train.

My thoughts are Madrid, Valencia/Ibiza (I heard Ibiza is insanely expensive and not in full swing until end of May).

Looking forward to your recommendations, thank you!

11 Answers

top answer by
Sarah from Alicante

Madridand Valenciaare great cities and very different. Madrid is fabulous for culture with the Prado art gallery, palaces, government buildings, etc.

Valencia is vibrant with a beautiful historic old town and the modern city of arts and sciences. Like Barcelona, it is also by the sea so you can enjoy some time on the beach. Valencia is the home of the paella, so you can try some great varieties of this regional rice dish. You can also visit the albufera to see where rice is grown. If you are lucky, you could also get tickets to see Valencia or Levante football clubs.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid (city)
  2. Valencia (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Nilufer from Istanbul

Hey, please find out my Barcelona and Mallorca adventures on my blog. Mallorca would be a good alternative rather than Ibiza. Barcelona is a great mediterrean city and I have spent 4 days there. There are many things to do. Check out my experiences and have fun at your trip!

3 thanks

answered by
Eric from Seattle

Would need to know more about your travel style, of course, but I found a leisurely trip up and down the Costa Brava of Catalonia to be great. In particular, there are secluded cliffs and beaches around Aiguablava, a somewhat secluded old town called Begur and old volcanic-formed countryside between Olot and Vic. I did not get to go to Girona but have heard great things about this medieval town.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Costa Brava (attraction)
  2. Catalonia (region)
  3. Aiguablava (attraction)
  4. Begur (city)
  5. Olot (city)
  6. Vic (city)
  7. Girona (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Brittni from Plainfield, Indiana

I recommend taking a paella making class. I took it with a bunch of girlfriends but the class consisted of a couple from Denmark, another group from Hong Kong and a couple from London. The teacher was from Spain and it was held in a back bar kitchen. He took us to the local market and we picked out all of the fish and vegetables for the dish. It was an amazing experience.  

3 thanks

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

Loved Seville and Granada but travel from Barcelona could be quite long for that short amount of time. Valencia is gorgeous and so is Alicante, both along the coast and easier to get to from Barcelona. Saragoça is also a beautiful city not many people seem to go and quite close. 

Just outside of Barcelona you should take a trip to Montserrat, it is breathtaking. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seville (city)
  2. Granada (city)
  3. Barcelona (city)
  4. Valencia (city)
  5. Alicante (city)
  6. Saragoça (city)
  7. Montserrat (attraction)
3 thanks

answered first by
Brenda from Long Beach

How about fly to Seville and train to Granada. It's the cheapest region of spain...great food and the Alcaraz and Alhambra.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seville (city)
  2. Granada (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Pat from Clermont-en-Argonne

In Catalonia, Barcelona is obviously amazing and some typical attractions around are Montserrat (you can find a bus tours in Barcelona) and Girona. I lived in Olot for 4 years and I would recommend Besalu for the medieval bridge and Begur for its coast line. Carcassonne in France is also amazing. Ryanair and Easyjet are 2 very low-cost airlines operating from Barcelona and Girona and can bring you anywhere in Europe in less than 3 hours. Go to  Madrid or Seville if you like cities, Granada or Cordoba (Spain) if you like visiting historical sites, IbizaFuerteventura or Santa-Cruz de Ténérife if you prefer the beach, and Santander or San Sebastian if you are a foodie.

Or go to Monaco for more F1 race from May 21 to May 24!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Montserrat (attraction)
  3. Girona (city)
  4. Olot (city)
  5. Besalu (city)
  6. Begur (city)
  7. Carcassonne (city)
  8. Madrid (city)
  9. Seville (city)
  10. Granada (city)
  11. Cordoba (Spain) (city)
  12. Ibiza (neighborhood)
  13. Fuerteventura (city)
  14. Santa-Cruz de Ténérife (city)
  15. Santander (city)
  16. San Sebastian (city)
  17. Monaco (country)
2 thanks

answered by
Loreto from Santiago, Chile

Hi Mark! If you have only 4-5 days and you'll be in Barcelona I recomend you to visit Costa Brava. You can rent a car and go stopping in al the different and beautiful beaches and small towns around. I recomend Sa Riera Tossa de Mar Palafrugell Begur RosesGironaCadaques Port Lligat(Dali's house) Cap de Creus and finish in the beautiful Monasterio de Sant Pere de Rodes

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Costa Brava (attraction)
  3. Sa Riera (attraction)
  4. Tossa de Mar (region)
  5. Palafrugell (region)
  6. Begur (city)
  7. Roses (city)
  8. Girona (city)
  9. Cadaques (city)
  10. Port Lligat (city)
  11. Cap de Creus (attraction)
  12. Monasterio de Sant Pere de Rodes (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
giulia from Sardinia

Hello, don't forget to visit Parc Güell

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Parc Güell (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

My husband and I rented a car from Barcelona few years back and drove up to Cardona.  We stayed in the Parador de Cardona there and absolutely loved the little village.  There is a fantastic (and I mean fantastic) little restaurant that we stumbled on and went back 3 or 4 times in the space of 3 days.  Restaurante El Petit Perico was right in the heart of the village, if they still have the salad with the balsamic glaze-eat one every day.

We also took a day trip from there to Andorra.  The drive was beautiful, and not too far away.  How many people can say they've been to this tiny little country?  The main city, Andorra la Vella was set along a small river into the mountains-very pretty!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cardona (city)
  2. Parador de Cardona (hotel)
  3. Restaurante El Petit Perico (restaurant)
  4. Andorra (country)
  5. Andorra la Vella (city)
1 thanks

answered by
James from Canada

Madrid would be an excellent option! It is not too expensive and the downtown core is stunning. If you stay in the Callao or Sol area, you'll be within easy walking distance of enough sights and museums to occupy you for weeks.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid (city)
  2. Callao (attraction)
  3. Sol (neighborhood)

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