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Where to visit between Spain and Ireland

We're meeting our daughter in Barcelona on April 10th. Will spend a night or two there so she can show us around and then hope to visit Madrid and the Basque country, incorporating the Spanish and French sides. We are meeting family in Ireland on the 18th. Any suggestions for another place to visit for a couple of nights after France and before Ireland? We aren't museum or tour folks, prefer to experience the people and culture by visiting smaller towns and hanging out. I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
Thank you.

Posted by
9579 posts

Honestly, with the way you’ll need to keep up with Covid regulations/testing between countries, I’d not add a 4th country to the mix. Keeping track of 3 sets of regulations is a lot! Plus things may change several times between now and your travel time.

Posted by
3898 posts

From which location are you flying to Ireland? You could still have some bad weather in the mountainous Spain/France border area that time of year. Since it wasn’t stated, I’d pick a place near where your flight to Ireland departs.

Posted by
828 posts

Just mapping this out:

4/10: arrive Barcelona
4/11: Barcelona
4/12: Barcelona to Madrid
4/13: Madrid
4/14: Madrid to Basque area
4/15: Basque area
4/16: Basque area to ?
4/17: ? To departure city (Barcelona? Madrid?)
4/18: Departure city to Ireland

So it appears you only have one night to be somewhere other than the Basque area or your departure city. I would add an extra day to Barcelona at the beginning of your trip. Or add an extra day in the Basque area, and fly out of the easiest city to get back to from the Basque area by train. I wouldn’t add another area or another country into the mix. You just don’t have time.

Posted by
624 posts

8 days is barely sufficient for a reasonable exploration of Catalonia, let alone all the other destinations being considered.

Posted by
5345 posts

Scudder is correct. 8 days will allow you to seriously visit two places. Don't try to do too much and waste a lot of time traveling.

Posted by
327 posts

I agree with the others, with 8 days, you are probably better off doing just Barcelona and Madrid.
In the Spain forum there is a post about the Valley of Aran. Maybe you could substitute that in, doing just Barcelona and Aran.

If you are interested in going to the Basque Country and France, you need to take a few things into account.

Will you have a car? There is a hefty fee to leave a Spanish car in France.
As for airports, you could try Bilbao or Biarritz. They both have flights to Dublin. If pressured you could try going from Burdeos. If going from France interests you, you could leave the car in San Sebastian, and take the Eusko tren to Hendaye and from there take the train.

Of course you will be here during Holy Week, so I would suggest getting your reservations soon. As most places have very flexible cancellation policies, it makes sense that people are booking ahead.

For example, if you were to go to the Basque Country, you could stay in the Baztan Valley. Elizondo for example. I was there in October. The 11th and 12th of October (Mon and Tue) were holidays here. And the hotels and casa rurals were pretty book up. On Wednesday things go better, but it appears many people stayed for more days.

Easter week will probably be book full. Most people will have Thursday and Friday off, and some will take the whole week. I have friends who rent an entire casa rural during those day and the whole family, (about 18 people) goes.