Need suggestions for the best places to visit for 15 -20 days in Spain , interested in some sightseeing , some fun and vegetarian Spanish food,travelling with a 5 year old this summers .Please let us know weather we should stick to just the northern atlantic coastal cities or take a grand tour of Spain or do just Andalucia.Want as much a cool summer as possible but with plenty of fun and see the best of Spain.
R nd P
Travelling with a 5 year old kid to Spain in Summers
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We’ve just got back from a six week camper van trip around Spain with our one year old daughter – she had a whale of a time running around campsites and playing with other children in the squares. Most squares were pedestrianised/partially enclosed and lined with cafes and bars, perfect for hanging out in. Spanish society seems to have a very positive inclusive view towards children – people were friendly, striking up conversations about her and giving her chocolate, lollipops and balloons etc. Based on this I’d say definitely build a lot of hanging out time into your trip.
A grand tour of the whole of Spain may involve a bit too much travelling but depends on how well you and your daughter cope with travel/mode of transport….Salamanca and Merida (Roman remains) make good stop overs if travelling north to south – I think I’d avoid Toledo in the summer though as even in March it was absolutely crowded with tour bus crowds.
Vegetarian food seemed more varied/widely available in the south than in the north – in Andalucia in particular there are a lot of vegetarian tapas (although not all cafes and restaurants do all of them) e.g. patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), patatas pouvres (roasted potatoes and peppers), spinach and chickpea quiche, gazpacho soup, goats’ cheese salad, French and Spanish omelettes, olives, hummus etc.
On a previous trip we hired a car for two weeks, starting in Seville and ending in Almeria – the cheapest way to do that was over the internet as there were on line discounts. Even though it was high season (August) and we hadn’t booked ahead, finding rooms to rent was not a problem (using the Rough Guide listings).
Highlights of the visit were Seville, Ronda, the Alpujarras/Sierra Nevada mountains,and the semi-desert Cabo de Gato National Park. From other trips I’d recommend Granada and Cordoba for the beautiful Alhambra and Mezquita Moorish architecture.
Nerja has a pleasant atmosphere/beautiful Balcon for strolling about on and some nice beaches. Tarifa has lots of funky little cafes including some good veggie ones, and the beaches to the west were unspoit/uncommercialised (although still busy!)
Bear in mind that it gets very hot in Andalucia in the summer (especially in Seville) and most things shut down for siesta (roughly 2pm – 4pm) with Spanish families (including children) out and about in the evening, often eating late (7pm onwards, often not getting busy until 9pm) – to get the most out of your holiday it’s nice to follow suit and have a nap in the hottest part of the day.
If you decide to travel around the north instead the Picos de Europa mountains are beautiful and some of the walks (e.g. Cares gorge from Caen or Poncebos) should be fine for a five year old, as is the cable car ride from Fuente De up the mountain. Barcelona is a great city too – the Placa Real and Ramblas would be good places to hang out with a five year old.
Hope this helps!
We have been going to Spain in August for years now. When our kids were young, we also followed the Spanish timetable and got up early, went to markets and parks etc in the morning then had a long siesta in the heat of the day. We are beach mad so we’d go to the beach at 3.30 ish and stay until 7.30 ish before going out for a meal in the evening. For us, its a lovely time with the kids and they adapt to staying up late but having a siesta instead during the day.
August is VERY hot in the Costa Blanca so plan your time accordingly.