My husband, three year old and myself are traveling to Spain for two weeks March 23-April 7. We fly into Barcelona and want to head south. We are interested in food, wine, and I'm interested in some beach/coast time and some time in the hills. Looking at places in costa del sol, Andalusia, Catalonia, and Valencia/Murcia. Just want to experience the culture, meet great people, and enjoy our surroundings. I'm not the person who wants to spend the day touring cathedrals, even though the art/history is of interest. Any recommendations?
Well, I would start with a good guidebook. Rick Steves' books are a good place to begin although they are not comprehensive. There are lots of towns not covered in it. However, with a short period of time I think it would cover what you are looking for. Here are a few towns that might consider in Andalucía, Costa del Sol and Catalunya:
Andalucía: Ronda, Arcos, Zahara, Grazalema, Jerez, and Cadiz
Costa del Sol: Nerja, Salobrena, and Gibralter
Catalonia: Figueres, Cadaques, Sitges, and Monteserrat
Most of these towns are accessible by trains, but some of the smaller ones would have to be connected by bus as well (like Nerja, Zahara, and Grazalema).
For trains, you can find schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website (www.bahn.com) and you can buy tickets on www.raileurope.com. You can also buy them when you get to Spain but make sure you do at least 24 hours in advance or more.