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summer in spain

Hi! we are planning to spend two months in Europe this summer with my teenage boys. We're considering Spain for one of those months. We'd like to be in a lively town/city that is safe for my 15 and 17 years olds to wander and explore on their own, has fun outdoor activities, and a good homebase for day/weekend trips. Good food and not miserably hot also a plus. Any recommendations?

Posted by
6682 posts

Spain, summer and "not miserably hot" sounds like a hard problem to solve. But maybe have a look at the Atlantic coast somewhere.

Posted by
7906 posts

It does get hot in Spain in the Summer, but I am from South Georgia and it is hot there as well.

We have been to Spain several times, from the months of April, May, July and August. It is cooler in the north of Spain if you are that worried about the heat.

My favorite cities in Spain are Seville and Barcelona. The Costa del Sol area is good, but not too impressed with the beaches there.

The Basque region in the north might be good and you can take trips across the border to the Bordeaux region of France.

Posted by
6823 posts

I’d choose medium sized cities if I was going to let the boys wander. They’d have plenty of space to roam but not so much they’d lose their bearings and get lost. Leön, Burgos, Cáceres, Logroño, Ourense, Salamanca, and Zaragoza come to mind, but there are others. Where you want to day trip to and how you’re getting there will affect the place you choose. If using public transport you need a good transportation hub. Zaragoza and Cáceres can be terribly hot in the summer.

Posted by
27447 posts

Spain is a very large country, so if you choose one base, you'll only be able to see part of it. For that reason, I'd split the month into chunks or maybe 7 to 10 days each.

I traveled across northern Spain during the summer of 2016, and excessive heat was not generally an issue there. You might consider Bilbao in the Spanish Basque Country as a/the base. It's a real-world city not overwhelmed by hordes of tourists each day; the visitors tend to pop in just long enough to go to the Guggenheim, overlooking the medieval core of the city and its other sights. There's good bus service to San Sebastian as well as a much slower but scenic train route between the two cities. The Basque Country is one of the prettiest parts of Spain; I'm sure there's good hiking. Day trips trips to Bermeo, Lekeitio, Gernika and Vitoria-Gasteiz are possible. A long weekend would get you to Hondarribia (east of San Sebastian) and the French Basque Country farther east. Another long weekend would get you to the beautiful, mountainous Picos de Europa area to the west. I believe there are some active-sport opportunities there.

Galicia, in far western Spain just north of Portugal, is another scenic area. There are some nice smallish cities in that region. Santiago de Compostela is the best known and is awash in pilgrims. Much less visited are Pontevedra, A Coruna and Betanzos. There are also some attractive smaller towns along the west coast.

There are some really interesting cities between the Basque Country and Galicia, but it's important to keep in mind that as you move off the coast, the risk of unpleasantly hot weather increases. Therefore, the inland cities might be better for short side-trips rather than as bases.

The Pyrenees seem to be a very interesting area as well, but I've only been through there on trains and buses. To get up high enough to avoid the summer heat, a car would be handy.

Posted by
690 posts

Adding to the great ideas given by acraven: Spain is extremely diverse in climates (we have snow right now in the mountains around Bilbao, while they are in the 70s in southern Seville), food, architecture, landscapes, traditions.... In general, a very safe place for kids, do not be surprised to see young ones at midnight on the streets, just playing with their friends while parents are socializing. I would suggest the northern part if you want to avoid the heat, although last year we had very hot days (climate change) but not as bad as it´s in the Mediterranean. The north is also rainy, so beach weather may not always be an option and you may need a sweater at night some days. Beautiful landscapes.