We currently have a trip scheduled to France for October and are thinking about possibly changing to Spain because Covid rates are far lower and I am immuno compromised. We are in our 60s and enjoy kayaking and walking, good good and wine, but are looking for quiet places to stay and it seems a lot of beach towns might be mainly attracting younger folks? At any rate, I’m wondering if it’s too late to plan a trip for this fall. We are somewhat picky in terms of choosing accommodation. Certainly we are not averse to using a trip planning service that can set up accommodations and suggest activities. We are looking at spending about 2 1/2 weeks in Spain but would likely only stay in three places. And while we love Kayaking, don’t need to only stay in beach towns. We favour slow travel and understand we can’t see the entire country in a short trip. We don’t want To do group activities or join a tour. We would definitely rent a car. I started researching Spain a couple of years ago, but we have not travelled outside of North America since Covid. If we don’t go in the fall we will definitely go in the spring. Just wondering if we are crazy for trying to plan a trip with such little time. And if it were you, where would you go in late October or early November if you were choosing three bases. Happy to hear specific accommodation recommendations as well. Budget is very flexible. Thank you in advance. I have always found this community to be extremely encouraging, positive and supportive.
We went to Spain in November a few years ago. Loved it. I'm not sure of where there might be kayaking. Since it was November we decided to do southern Spain. You have more time than we had. The weather for us was fabulous. We had temps ranging from 60-80 F during the day. This is the itinerary we used:
Landed in Madrid, high speed train to Sevilla
Madrid (day trip to Segovia)
BTW, I planned a trip to Poland in less than 3 weeks and had a fabulous time.
In southern Spain in November other than along the Costa Del Sol, most of the beach towns will be essentially closed for the season, meaning fewer open hotels and restaurants. With only 2-3 weeks consider selecting a smaller area to visit rather than trying to see the entire country. For example, Extremadura, western or eastern Andalucía, Galicia/Asturias/Cantabria (the north coast), Catalunya, etc. there are plenty of wineries in the La Rioja region around Haro, Logroño.
Planning on short notice isn’t a problem. You can always find a place to stay, especially in November.
jaimeelsabio has done a lot of Spain travel so I always respect what he has to say. The areas he suggest are great, and places I've visited or have plans to. I would just suggest that you check the average weather for a particular region you are interested in. I totally agree to keep the area smallish. Spain is so big! In terms of COVID, think about the type of trip you would like. For example, for the last couple years, our trips have been more outdoors, we've tended to avoid crowded museums/venue, we eat outside, etc.
I visited Spain in late May and it was my first post-covid trip and during the testing requirement so we were fairly cautious. We rented a car, did primarily outdoor activities, and ate dinners outside at all but one or two meals. I found Spanish people more observant of protocols than Americans. Masks were worn in grocery stores and small markets for example. I observed people wearing masks outside sometimes (young people, so I assumed they were being cautious of spread).
I was in Extremadura and La Mancha and we felt like we had the places to ourselves--they were pleasantly lively with Spanish tourists but never felt overrun. Spain is an easy place to travel and I think you'll have no trouble coming up with an itinerary for October. I planned rather late because I was worried it might fall through, and I was able to rent the apartments I wanted. I had been to Spain three times prior but not in many years and to different regions.
I would look at some weather websites to evaluate rain chances in November, but I'd go just about anywhere in October--but I tend to go to less popular places because I don't enjoy crowds even where there is no pandemic!
I like Jules' itinerary, focusing on Andalucia where it will be warmer than elsewhere in Spain. Cordoba and Sevilla are easily reached by train from Madrid, and you could rent a car and explore from there. I found Granada less appealing (a minority view I know) and it will be cooler because of altitude. With 2 1/2 weeks you could put together a very good trip in southern Spain, and I don't think it's too late to start planning. You would also have time for several days in Madrid, where it will be colder but the art museums are world-class, and a side trip to Toledo. Might as well spend some time there assuming that at least one of your flights puts you there.
In terms of Granada, it wasn't my favorite city, though the Alhambra is really incredible. I think Cordoba is really underrated. I found the small city charming and the mezquita quite interesting. And Sevilla, WOW.
I just thought I'd share how I did transportation. We used the high speed train from Madrid airport to Sevilla. After our time in Sevilla we picked up a car and used it to explore the pueblos blancos for a couple days. We returned the car upon arrival to Granada. After a couple nights in Granada, we took the train to Cordoba (actually, we were there a few years ago and the high speed train was still being constructed so we took a bus and then a train to Cordoba) After Cordoba we spent a couple nights in Toledo and then a couple nights in Madrid.
I use modest hotels in city centers. I will provide the names if that's helpful and if thats the kind of hotel you are looking for. I try to stay at family owned, CLEAN smaller inns with good beds.
Andalusia is perfect for late October and early November! Temps will still be very comfortable. Andalusia in the summer is much too hot, temps typically in the 90's and up to 100's. So the fall is perfect.
You don't need a trip planning service, and you can certainly plan this trip on your own.
Three awesome bases would be Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba. I think beach towns in October/November will have shut down by then. If you want some coastal ambience, Malaga is also a good choice. The city center is beautiful, and there is lots to see and do in Malaga. The beaches and beach-side restaurants will have shut down by October/November, but the city will still be lively with lots of restaurants, bars, shops and sites (such as museums) still open.
Youi can easily travel by train or ALSA bus to all these destinations.
A possible itinerary would be:
Seville - 4 or 5 nights
Granada - 2 or 3 nights
Cordoba - 2 or 3 nights
If Malaga interests you and you don't mind a 4th base - then 2 or 3 nights
Or instead of Malaga, would you be interested in Madrid? Madrid has some outstanding art museums.