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My proposed Andalucia/Madrid Itinerary

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I feel a bit guilty asking another Andalucia itinerary question, as this issue comes up pretty frequently and I’ve read many of the various “takes” on how to divvy up one’s time. But I can’t resist the temptation to see if my own proposed itinerary looks okay.

The trip will likely be middle of next March (I like to plan well ahead). I realize the weather may not be ideal and we’ll have less daylight to work with, but that timing works out best for us. We have 13 nights on the ground to work with, from a Sunday arrival to a Saturday departure. Right now, these are my thoughts:

Arrive Madrid; AVE train to Seville, with five nights in Seville
Morning train to Cordoba for two nights
Morning bus to Granada for three nights
Train (hopefully the high speed AVE train will be running by then) to Madrid for three nights

The time I've allotted for each city is based on research on what we’d like to do and see in each place, knowing that we will not have enough time in any of the places to do everything we’d like. My husband is an avid photographer, so I bear that in mind when I consider how much ground we can cover in one day. While we like to visit all manner of sites, we also like to just aimlessly wander a fair amount. In fact, that’s really my favorite thing to do, so that's a factor for me as well. Oh, and food. We like to eat. Admittedly, though, this is the first trip we've taken where we've moved around this much. We usually prefer much longer stays in one place.

We have budgeted three nights in Granada to accommodate both a day and night visit to the Alhambra, knowing that we will not to do both tours the same day and our arrival day is a Sunday (no night visits). There are a number of other things in the city we’d like to see, but I do recognize that Granada hasn’t proven to be everyone’s cup of tea. I also know that many people just make a day trip to Cordoba, but again, I’ve identified several things we’d like to see there and I would also like to experience the city after day trippers leave. Finally, I’d note that we didn’t originally plan to spend anything other than one night in Madrid, but the more I read, the more I wanted to explore the city, even if just briefly. We added another day to the trip to help better accommodate that.

With respect to accommodations: I’m eyeing a well reviewed AirBNB apartment in the Triana neighborhood—on Calle Vasquez de Leca. We prefer to stay in neighborhoods that are a bit outside tourist central, so while I know many recommend Santa Cruz—and it does look lovely—I think Triana will suit our tastes. That said, if anyone has any reason to suspect that the specific location within Triana is undesirable, please let me know.

In Cordoba, I’ve eyeing the Palacio del Bailio. Booking.com has some decent rates for that property. My husband very much wants to stay in the El Albaicin area and Granada and I’m eyeing the Hotel Santa Isabel la Real. We’re both very active and the uphill climb from the city center doesn’t put us off. I think he'll be in photographic heaven. For Madrid, we’ll probably stay in the Huertas barrio. We were planning on just a hotel, but a Fodor’s member recently wrote about a group of apartments in the area that will accommodate three-night stays. I’d like to pursue that because we really do feel more relaxed in an apartment.

Thanks for everyone's input. I've read many older threads and want to commend the "Spain" regulars for the wealth of information they so frequently provide. Progol, if you're reading this, your trip report and pictures started the ball rolling on this trip; thank you ever so much for sharing. And maitaithom, I've read your blog entries from Spain several times through now. Kimhe, if you read this, I will be asking for specific suggestions as the trip approaches for flamenco suggestions. Ideally, I’d like to make time for two shows, with one in Sevilla for sure.

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