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Seville Ronda Nerja Granada: Please critique Andalucia driving itinerary.

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First time in Spain. After arriving in Madrid (4 nights) and visiting Toledo and Cordoba, we will be in Seville for 3 nights. Then we will rent a car and drive through the Villas Blanca, White Villages, to Ronda. We have booked the Don Miguel in Ronda for 3 nights, then we will drive to Nerja staying at the Nerja Parador for 2 nights, for a day at the beach. This will be in September, 2010. Thence, driving to Granada (3 nights), dump the car, fly to Barcelona (3 nights) then home.

My request for assistance is in the routes to take while driving in Andalucia. My plan is to rent the car in Seville, leaving Seville maybe late morning (10-11 am), driving to Arcos and lunching and taking in the old town. In the afternoon, drive to Ronda, taking in some of the white villages, but try to get to Ronda not too late.

With three nights, have one day to lounge around and visit Ronda, the other to drive and see the other highlights of the White Villages, before heading south to Costa del Sol.

I have reviewed guide books and a Michelin map of Andalucia (#578). I’ve come up with the following tentative route. We want to see old city centers and historic things, along with incredible scenery; kind of drift along on a route, ready to stop or divert somewhere on a whim.

From Arcos, take A372 to El Bosque, then down to Ubrique. From there, it looks like I have two choices, but don’t know driving times, so need help here. Could go south, but probably best to go east from Ubrique A2302 direction Villaluenga del Rosario, A372 to A374 then south to Ronda.

The second day, we would try a loop drive north from Ronda, trying to take in Olvera, Zahara, Grazalema and points in between. Hopefully, this would be a bit of liesurely driving day. Any “must sees” on this day in the vicinity of these towns? I would tend to stay on the smaller roads, those with a green line (scenic) on the Michelin map. We don’t shy away from “challenging” roads.

The third day, I figure we just spend walking around Ronda. Maybe do some laundry and generally take it easy.

Activity of Day 2 and 3 could be reversed.

After leaving Ronda, map looks like I would take A397 south to Costa del Sol coming out near San Pedro. Could use any comments or advice on driving from there to Nerja. Looks like driving along the ocean is more interesting, but more time? I think the Parador is on Playa de Burriana, a bit east of Nerja proper.

North to Granada: Any comments on taking the A4050 north from Almunecar, direction Jete - Venta del Fraile, instead of the major road A44 north from Salobrena? 4050 seems like a much more interesting road with vista points. I’m certain it will take more time.

I understand checking the car in at the Granada airport is a good idea, saves driving in Granada, which I want to avoid if I can. But the airport seems far out of town. Is there a better place to dump the car?

Any assistance provided will be gratefully accepted.

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