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Andalucia trip plan – second draft – feedback?

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Hello Fodorites,

I am now working on the second draft of our trip plan for the fall. This is our first trip to Spain, we know a little Spanish and have traveled a lot in Mexico but never in Spain so very much looking forward to it. Too many choices in this country! For a brief crazy moment, I was trying to see how we could squeeze in a bit of Barcelona with two or three major places in Andalucia plus throw in Toledo and El Greco, but soon realized that was madness. With great angst, out goes Toledo, out goes Barcelona, out goes Madrid. We will focus on Andalucia. Those other great places will go on the bucket list for the second Spanish trip, and the third….

BTW, we only have 10 nights in Spain because of various other life things going on. Our hotel budget is 100-150 euro for a double. We avoid Michelin-type restaurants. We like everything: museums, gardens, food, café-sitting, cathedrals, small bits of ruins and things, and just wandering aimlessly in an old district.

So here goes Version 2.0 of the itinerary:

Fly into Madrid and go to Cordoba by train (we love trains, will use them for the whole trip)

2 nights Cordoba: guided by kja and kimhe and judy_rosa’s comments and many others, it seems that we should spend some time here instead of dashing into the Mezquita for 2 hours and then leaving the city. Some posters have praised the flamenco offerings in Cordoba. If anyone has recent flamenco experiences in Cordoba, your comments would be welcome.

2 nights Granada: interesting here—fodorites have very different opinions about this city’s attractions apart from the Alhambra. If staying at the Parador is truly a life-changing event, okay, then, we may be willing to cough up 250-300 euro, but that would be a stretch. Has anyone stayed at Hotel America recently? It is inside the grounds as well, much more reasonable. One specific question: if one does stay at the Parador or the Hotel America, how do you get back inside the walls of the complex at the end of the evening, after going into town for dinner? Is there a guard, a code, a key for the fortress gate? I can’t seem to find information about this. We are not committed to staying inside the Alhambra in any case.

2 nights Malaga: we really like to visit a city that is not quite on the heavily traveled circuit, like Arezzo or Salerno or Lyon. A few posters have praised Malaga in the past, and its blend of seaside, historic center, and a good tapas-café-restaurant scene seems very appealing.

3 nights Seville: probably does not do justice to this city, but again, choices must be made. I have made a list of many places to eat, using ekscrunchy’s extensive trip notes. We are allocating ten extra pounds of weight gain for this place.

1 night Madrid: more angst here, we are planning no visits to the big sights, no side trip to Toledo. We would not try to see Madrid on this trip, just arrive in mid-day, walk around a bit, dinner, sleep, and fly out the next morning.

This is very much a working draft, so all comments and suggestions are most welcome. Thank you in advance!

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