Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid - May 2022

Hello. We are scheduled for the May 4, 2022 Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid tour. I would appreciate restaurant suggestions in Barcelona, must see and do and if you know what the weather may be. Thank you.


  • Options

    mil - it certainly helped and thank you.   We are scheduled to go on June 1 and we are so looking forward to it.  

  • Options

    SLT, I appreciate that you are excited about your upcoming tour and want to make the most of it and in general people on this forum are more than happy to help. In exchange it helps if you're willing to take the time to do some research on your own. For one because it shows you aren't just laying off the work on someone else, but it also helps to focus your questions and their responses.

    Must see and do in Barcelona? I'd first start with reading loads of old forum posts and reviews here on Tauck's website. You can also go to Rick Steves website forum and read what they have to say. If you like hardcopy guidance there's lots of guidebooks out there for purchase or borrowing from your local library. I bought Rick Steves pocket guide which is excellent. Or google "what to do in Barcelona" - you'll be provided with loads of sites with recommendations. Others can say what they enjoyed based on their interests which might not be yours. Example: are art galleries your idea of joy or hell?

    Weather? There are tons of website devoted to this. Weatherspark is my new favorite. Here's a link to their data on Barcelona
    https://weatherspark.com/y/47213/Average-Weather-in-Barcelona-Spain-Year-Round Of course, predicting weather anywhere these days is a gamble and you're wise to pack a wardrobe that lets you adapt as needed.

    Restaurants? What kind of food are you looking for? What is your price range? Sit down or take out?

  • Options
    edited March 2022

    SLT HI!
    I would highly recommed:
    -First, to buy all the tickets here in U.S- specially the ones for the Park Guell- (you'll need also to set up an appt. here)

    • Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, it has tours and it is amazing.( near hotel)
    • Do go on the Hop off-Hop on, it goes around everything you would like to see - the main stop is 2 blocks from the hotel-
    • Casa Batllo- you can buy ticket before visiting, online.
    • Mercado Boqueria is a most! - 1 block down from hotel.
    • Dali Museum- near hotel too.
    • The marina- which you will see on the hop on hop off.
  • Options

    Claudia Sails
    . . . . Weather? There are tons of website devoted to this. Weatherspark is my new favorite.

    Where ever did you hear about Weatherspark? :D

  • Options

    I always check the weather for a place I want to visit because it can make or break it for my comfort, especially in a touring situation. In fact, it’s the most important for me.
    Visiting in May would be perfect for me, not too hot.

  • Options
    edited March 2022

    Smiling Sam was the one who introduced me to weatherspark. It's got the best displays I've even seen though as he pointed out, somewhat limited in what cities they cover.

    And like British, I'm not fond of traveling/touring when it's too hot. We're doing Portugal/Spain in Oct/Nov. May get some cool days/rain, but that's ok. Someone tried to persuade me to move our dates to Aug when there was openings in Tauck's schedule. No way, more than $1000 cost increase and hot hot hot. No thanks.

  • Options
    edited March 2022

    August is way too hot in Spain. Good choice Claudia. I still want to go to Portugal, the current terrible war situation may cause Tauck to cancel my September destination. I doubt there will be much choice for tours by then.

  • Options

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Just a note: I do research the areas we are visiting, both online and reading various travel books. In addition, I contact the concierge at the hotels for their dining and sightseeing recommendations. But I also like to ask for suggestions from those that have traveled on the trip(s) that we are taking. Just in case someone found an off the beaten path local, non-touristy restaurant. Thank you again and safe travels to all.

  • Options

    SLT, I've been watching lots of YouTube videos lately including some from Spain Revealed. They have videos with recommendations of non-touristy restaurants in different cities in Spain and Portugal. The presenter is a co-founder of the Devour Tours food tours. You might find these useful. I'm all for non-touristy as long as I can figure out the menu and how to order.

    Feel free to share anything you learn from research or concierge. We'd all be interested.

  • Options

    SLT- 4 Gats in Barcelona is a very interesting and historic restaurant - apparently it was a Picasso hangout in his day. While I don't remember much about about the dinner, I do remember the cool, funky vibe and great art covering the walls. Walk by and take a look - you might be able to book a table on the spot.

    In addition, I'm sure you'll go to the Picasso museum. There's a room dedicated to his take on Las Meninas - the famous painting by Velazquez which is in the Prado in Madrid. Picasso was obsessed with this iconic painting, and created many versions in his own, modern style. Even if you're not a Picasso fan, you can't help but be in awe -bemused- incredulous. His interpretations are fascinating.

    Lastly, I've bought gloves in a great leather store on the Rambla- I live in a cold climate and tend to lose gloves - the leather in Spain is so soft and buttery (and my glove size doesn't change even when I overeat on vacation!).

    Enjoy, Shari

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file