Spain with Kids

October 1st - November 4th, 2014

Our Story


In addition to spending a month in Barcelona, our adventure in Spain also included a day in Valencia, a month in the southern Andalusia region, and a few days in Madrid.

Valencia

Valencia was our mid-way stopping point while driving between Barcelona and Andalusia.  While in Valencia, we enjoyed an evening around the town, taking in some sights and of course indulging in some paella (Valencia is known as the birthplace of paella after all).  We also made some time to visit the Oceanografic, the largest aquarium in Europe.  We enjoyed our stop in this quaint little city, and easily could have spent some more time taking in what the city has to offer.

Read more about Valencia on our blog

We fell in love with Andalusia while watching an episode of House Hunters International that took place in Ronda.  This was years ago, but it left such a strong impression with us that as soon as we decided on going to Spain we knew we had to spend at least some of our time in Andalusia.

Rio Gordo

Using AirBNB, we found the most amazing house located outside the small town of Rio Gordo (link goes to AirBNB listing).  Not only was the house priced better than any of our other one month rentals, it was also the biggest, and even had a pool.  Getting to the house was a bit tricky as it was located in the middle of nowhere, down a dirt road on the side of a mountain, but it was worth it!  The house has so much charm and character that we all fell in love with it.  We enjoyed a peaceful month situated in the mountains, surrounded by olive trees and nature.  From our home base in Rio Gordo, we took many hikes in nature and ventured out to several nearby towns, each of which were amazing and beautiful in their own way.

Read more about Rio Gordo on our blog

Nerja

Located about 45 minutes from Rio Gordo is the charming beach city of Nerja, the balcony of Europe.  The beaches in Nerja are beautiful, but perhaps even more impressive are the lovely, restaurant lined streets covered with white sheets to protect you from the hot sun.

Read more about Nerja on our blog

Granada

The city of Granada is a few hours from Rio Gordo, and it is definitely worth the journey.  We took a day trip out to Granada, and though we got a bit lost on the way, we still had enough time to take in Alhambra, the crown jewel of Granada.  This ancient palace dates back to the Moorish rule in Spain, and has such beautiful architecture and landscaping, just make sure you book it early as it sells out fast!  We also were fortunate enough to enjoy an authentic Flamenco music performance and dance at a restaurant in the old quarter.  A word of warning which holds true for most Andalusian cities: beware of where your GPS tells you to drive, and avoid driving in the old quarters if at all possible!  The streets in all these cities are tiny, and the GPS will frequently tell you to take roads which in actuality are large enough only for a motorcycle, or are just pedestrian alleys with stairs!

Read more about Granada on our blog

Comares

Comares is a town we had never heard of before, and probably never would have heard of if we weren't living 15 minutes away and saw it in the distance every day.  This white washed town is situated at the peak of a large mountain, and is clearly visible from anywhere in the region.  We were told it was one of the last Moorish strongholds in the region to fall, and we could easily believe that considering its very elevated position.  It is not really a big tourist destination, but that may change one day, as it was by far our favorite of any town we visited in Andalusia, and is considered a real gem to many locals.  This village is incredibly quaint, and though you can walk through the whole thing in just an hour or two while taking in all the labeled sights, you just won't want to leave!  Make sure you take in a hike while there, there are different paths for hikers of any experience level, with the easiest being perfect for kids.

Read more about Comares on our blog

Sevilla

Sevilla, also spelled Seville, is another great city a few hours drive from Rio Gordo.  It is definitely a larger city compared to the other nearby cities we visited, so a few days can easily be spent here, however we experienced quite a bit with just a day trip.  Must sees are the Alcazar and the Plaza de Espana, but there is much more to see if you have the time!

Read more about Sevilla on our blog

Malaga

Malaga was the biggest nearby city to us, and though it didn't have quite as much character as Granada or Sevilla, it was still a very beautiful place and had a lot to offer.  Our favorite was Malaga's port area, which features a nice boardwalk with nice restaurants and a lively atmosphere that was fun for the whole family.

Read more about Malaga on our blog

Ronda

As I mentioned before, Ronda was really the reason we came to Andalusia in the first place, so of course our trip would not have been complete without at least a day trip there.  So did it live up to our expectations?  Absolutely!  It is such a gorgeous town, we've never seen anything like it.  They've somehow managed to incorporate the cliffs of this giant gorge right into the middle of the town, and wow, what a sight!  No trip to Andalusia would be complete without a trip to Ronda.

Read more about Ronda on our blog

Madrid

Madrid is another city we didn't really intend on visiting, but it just so happened that the cheapest flights we could arrange meant spending a few nights there after leaving Rio Gordo.  In hindsight, we are really glad it worked out the way it did.  We enjoyed spending time in the city, and it was a nice treat that it was more Americanized than any of the other cities we had visited recently, especially considering we arrived on Halloween!  We got our fill of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, took in some nice sights, and enjoyed the parks and street markets before heading off to Southeast Asia!

Read more about Madrid on our blog

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