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Pls critique my itinerary - Ribera del Duero + Andalucia in July

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Dear Fodorites,

Hi! I am a lurker who has browsed on this site for years to help plan my own trips. I first want to thank StuDudley, ekscruchy plus a number of other avid posters who have provided so much helpful information in the past. I have successfully planned trips to Provence, Piedmont/Lake Como, Mosel/Bavaria and Norway based on the posts and notes on this forum. Now I need your help again. I am currently planning a summer trip to Spain. Travelers on this trip includes my husband and I (mid-thirties) and our seven years old son. Husband loves wines, while I am into a bit of everything (arts, history, natural scenery, architecture, outdoor). The seven years old, being a first grader, is vain and has no interest in history or the arts. He enjoys theme parks, water parks, science/children museums and anything to do with cars. Both my husband and I are pretty much set on seeing Andalucia. My husband’s fascination originates from stumbling upon an Anthony Bourdain show on Granada. All of a sudden he wants to see Moorish architecture and dine on tapas! Meanwhile I have always wanted to visit Morocco, unfortunately the opportunity never materializes, and so visiting Andalucia will be close enough. I try to fit a bit of everything into the trip, to make sure everyone gets a taste of what s/he wants to see/do. We can’t change the timeframe of the trip, as we can only travel further afield in the summer while the child is on summer vacation from school. I thought the last 2 weeks of July would be a better choice, comparing to travelling in Europe in August. We don’t need night life. Please critique my itinerary, and feel free to make suggestions!


Itinerary:

Fri Jul 15 – Depart Asia at midnight

Sat Jul 16 – Arrive Madrid at noon via Munich, get rental car and drive to Segovia. Overnight Segovia

Sun Jul 17 – Open day

Mon Jul 18 – Husband goes to Ribera del Duero to visit wineries, while I take my son to Parque de Atracciones in Madrid (I plan to take AVE train then transfer to metro. Spend half day in park then leave using the same method) Overnight Segovia

Tues Jul 19 – Full day drive from Segovia to Seville. Overnight Seville

Wed Jul 20 – Full day in Seville. Overnight Seville

Thurs Jul 21 – Full day in Seville. Overnight Seville

Fri Jul 22 – Day trip to Cordoba from Seville. Overnight Seville

Sat Jul 23 – Drive to Granada, stopping in Antequera en route. Overnight Granada

Sun Jul 24 – Seeing the Alhambra and Generalife garden. Overnight Granada

Mon Jul 25 – Drive to Malaga area, stopping to see La Alpujarras villages (Lanjaron,
Pampaneira, Bubion, Capileira, Trevélez). Overnight Malaga area

Tues Jul 26 – Day trip to Aqualand Torremolinos. Overnight Malaga area

Wed Jul 27 – Day trip to Ronda (visit bull and horse farm, lunch at Ronda center and Cueva de la Pileta) . Overnight Malaga area

Thurs Jul 28 – Do go kart in Fuengirola in the morning and visit Caminito Del Rey in afternoon / or day trip to Tarifa. Overnight Malaga area

Fri Jul 29 – Visit Picasso museum in Malaga in the morning, depart from Malaga airport at 3pm to return home

Sat Jul 30 – Arrive in Asia in the afternoon


1) Regarding the first part of the trip, I know it totally doesn’t make sense to stay in Segovia for 2 days, but my husband is very dead set on visiting one or two wineries in Ribera del Duero. He will make that tour by himself, while I take my son to do some other activities for the day. I am not worried about my husband being the only driver, since he never drinks when he goes on winery visits (he always spits out the wine after tasting). I picked Segovia only because it’s relatively close to the Ribera del Duero area (within one hour’s drive). I actually can’t think of really good attraction for my son in that area. I am just keying Parque de Atracciones into the itinerary for now. Any suggestions welcome! We don’t even need to stay in Segovia if anyone can think of a better suggestion!

2) I currently have a problem finding rental apartments with air conditioning in Segovia (only proper hotels have air-conditioning there, very strange). Is Segovia cool enough in July sans A/C? Do note that my son will need to nap or sleep very early the first couple of nights in Europe, due to a 6 hours’ time difference between Asia and Europe.

3) I welcome any suggestions for Tues Jul 19 (Drive from Segovia to Seville) – which route to take, some good stopovers for sightseeing and/or lunch?

4) Any suggestions for area/town to stay along Costa de Sol? We have a car and don’t mind paying for parking fee for a couple of nights. We are willing to stay in Malaga city if the food scene in Malaga area are significantly better than its counterparts in Torremolinos/Fuengirola/Marbella. For convenience’s sake, I find it more suitable to stay in apartment-style lodging when one’s travelling with a child.

5) Is Ronda a better daytrip from Costa de Sol or from Seville? I can easily switch that.

6) Is end of July too hot for hiking in the Alpujarras? Originally I wanted to do a short hike when driving through the villages on Jul 25.

7) Does anyone know if “Aqualand Torremolinos” or “Parque Acuático Mijas” is better for a day out in the water park?

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