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14 nights in Marbella & 6 nights in Madrid

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Aug 8th, 2016, 05:24 AM
  #1
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14 nights in Marbella & 6 nights in Madrid

Hi there!
My family & I (5 of us), will be staying in Marbella for 14 nights (26 Nov) & 6 nights (10 Dec) in Madrid.

FYI, we were thinking of driving a rented car from Madrid to Marbella, keeping the car whilst at Marbella and will return the car at Madrid once we travel back to Madrid on the 10th.

1. Is it safe & wise to travel by car with such a long journey (500+ km)

2. Any suggestions where we should visit whilst we are in both town/city.

Thank you in advance for all your suggestions.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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Perhaps take the high speed Ave Train from Madrid to Málaga city close to Marbella, and rent a car there? The AVE train is twice as fast as driving, very comfortable and saves you a rather dull drive short time after landing.

When in Marbella, you should visit genuine Málaga city itself, now one of three Spanish cities on the New York Times "Places to go in 2016" list. "Beauty, but now a cultural capital, too.": http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...isit.html?_r=0

Sevilla is the queen of the cities in the region: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm

Moorish Córdoba was once the most advanced city in Europe: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba.htm

Granada with the Alhambra: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/gran...hamhistory.htm

Antequera, the so called heart of Andalucía: http://wild-about-travel.com/2011/07...ing-antequera/

Ronda with the famous gorge and the old bullring etc.: http://www.andalucia.com/ronda/home.htm

Nerja with the spectacular caves, were people in here more than 30 000 years ago: http://www.cuevadenerja.es/index.php?lenguaje=en
Nerja itself: http://www.nerjatoday.com/

And note that Málaga city is something special from late November through Christmas times. People travel from far to experience this season in Málaga:
http://www.spainforpleasure.com/2014...ime-in-malaga/
http://www.guidetomalaga.com/5-reaso...mas-in-malaga/
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:16 AM
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While it is cheaper to make the trip to Marbella by car, the road south isn't very interesting and you will have just come off a long flight (tho' you don't say from where), so perhaps it is the better idea to take the train to Malaga and pick up a car there. You can make a trip to Granada along with Cordoba from there. Although Ronda isn't very far, I would hit it on the way to Seville where I'd drop the car and train to Madrid. You won't want a car there. Toledo and Segovia can be easily reach by public tranort. Have fun !
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:31 AM
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You may be better off IMO basing in more than Marbella on the Costa del Sol - fairly long drives to most of those places kimhe describes - beaches at that time may be too cold for swimming? Not sure why you are staying in Marbella so long - Seville would be a sweet base - Cordoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz (beaches) easy drives or train rides.

If booking trains from Madrid to Malaga or any long-distance train book well in advance for nice discounted tickets- www.renfe.com but it is a fickle site for many Americans to get to work - www.petrabax.com seems to be OK and has about the same prices with a minor mark-up I think. Check www.seat61.com for suggestions on discounted tickets - for general info on trains check also www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

From Madrid there are great day trips to Toledoand several other ancient neat towns but Toledo seems to be the consensus best- 45 minutes by train.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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I would recommend spending a night or two in Toledo instead of a day trip. Lots to see and it is beautiful all lit up at night after the daytrippers leave.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 06:16 PM
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First of all, thank you so much for your great suggestions kimhe, Bedar, PalenQ & joannyc.

kimhe & Bedar, we will be travelling to Madrid from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia arriving around 5.55am. I have checked and believed the cost for rental car is the cheapest (15 days = 520 euros). Cost of roundtrip Iberia flight 434 euros & AVE train roundtrip 426 euros. The later two options would incurred us more cost when we rent a car upon arrival. Should we stick to train and car later for safety reasons, probably?

BTW PalenQ, we are basing ourselves at Marbella because the accommodation is free for 2 weeks via Interval International exchange program (well not free actually, 625 euros transfer fees paid haha). I believe we would still need a car to travel to all those wonderful places mentioned by kimhe and believe the petrol would cost us a bomb.

joannyc, is it worth sacrificing one or two days of our plan 6 days in Madrid for Toledo or maybe Segovia. FYI have not made any bookings in Madrid yet but Marbella is a done deal.

Thanks a lot guys for your help, cheers.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 06:26 PM
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I would not base on the coast in the middle of winter when you can;t use the beach. Sounds very boring. Much better to visit the wonderful cities or Andalusia while the weather is brisk and you can do a lot of sightseeing while not suffering from the 100 degree heat in the summer.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 06:36 PM
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kja
 
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"Should we stick to train and car later for safety reasons, probably?"

Absolutely! Driving with jet lag is a little recognized, but serious danger to oneself and others.


Like joannyc, I thought Toledo easily worth 2 full days, and IMO, makes sense for a stay in the area of 6 days. Segovia is easy to visit as a day trip from Madrid, and you can decide whether it fits within your plans once you are there -- no reason that I know of to plan that particularly possible day trip in advance.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 07:33 PM
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Noted with thanks kja for the safety advise. Make sense to not travel far by car after long journey from Malaysia. Should we travel by train or flight to Malaga? Since the cost is almost the same.

nytraveler, thanks for your thoughts. Our decision to stay at Costa del Sol was not because of sun and swim, but simply because of value for money at two different resorts being offered by II. Without II resorts, hoping one city to another for 14 nights would cost us more. We might only stay 1 or 2 full day at both resorts, the rest (12 or 10 days) we would visit most of the places recommended by kimhe. BTW thanks again kimhe for the links, it was very helpful.

Thanks again nytraveler & kja, cheers.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 07:50 PM
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<< joannyc, is it worth sacrificing one or two days of our plan 6 days in Madrid for Toledo or maybe Segovia. FYI have not made any bookings in Madrid yet but Marbella is a done deal. >>

Yes, it is most certainly worth it. I spent 3 nights in Toledo and could have spent more. Loved it.

Segovia is another of my favorite places. Most people do a day trip but I love being there at night, again after the day trippers leave and the city is lit up at night. Gorgeous... the aqueduct, the cathedral, and the alcazar! If you want to do a day trip, I hope the last train back to Madrid is well after dark so you can appreciate the town at night. And, if you eat pork, the roast suckling pig (Cochinillo Asado) is delicious but the great restaurants will require a reservation.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 07:52 PM
  #11
kja
 
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If you can fly to Malaga immediately upon your arrival in Madrid, that would, I think, make most sense. That said, I generally prefer trains -- I like to see the scenery, be able to move around, etc., so if you can't fly straight there, a train is worth considering.

You can get a preliminary sense of your options from rome2rio.com (always confirm anything you see there), and remember that airports mean time to get to/from the airport, time to clear security, etc.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 08:00 PM
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Should add that I completely agree with kja about driving after a long flight. Much safer to take a train or connecting flight to your final destination.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:27 PM
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Also agree that flight/train to Málaga would be the best and safest option. And absolutely nothing boring about staying on the coast in November/December. As mentioned above this is for example a very special season in Málaga city. My greatest vacation ever was three weeks in Nerja in November 2002 with some day-trips to Málaga city, pure magic!

Marbella is definitely not a bad place to be in this season either: https://www.mydestinationmarbella.com/

And note that Córdoba is only 50 mins from Málaga city with the high speed AVE train, driving would take you hours.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:45 PM
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<< I would not base on the coast in the middle of winter when you can;t use the beach. Sounds very boring >>

Not to be believed.

I was in the Malaga area in February one year and the weather was beautiful! Had to buy shorts to sit on the beach. And lots to see a day trip away to see.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:46 PM
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Sorry... I was in Marbella but the result is still the same.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 02:08 AM
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Once you're in Malaga by air or by train, to get to Marbella you will have to either:

Hire a car
Hire a cab
Take a train to Fuengirola and then take a bus or taxi
Take a bus all the way to Marbella

If you are able to sleep on a plane then I'd go for the hire car, but if you can't sleep, after an overnight flight, connecting flight or train, I think I might stay in Malaga for a night to get some sleep before the drive to Marbella. It's a busy road even in late November/ early December and although it's only around ninety minutes or so, it's seventy odd miles.

A pre booked car and driver from the airport to Marbella appears to be reasonably inexpensive at around €60
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Aug 9th, 2016, 11:32 AM
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Gibraltar is another easy day trip by car or bus - climb the Rock and avoid the pesky tailless monkeys that are all over looking for a handout.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 06:02 PM
  #18
kja
 
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I could be mistaken, but I think there are frequent buses direct from the Malaga airport to Marbella running from 7 a.m. to midnight
http://www.malagaairport.eu/buses.php
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Aug 10th, 2016, 07:33 AM
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Marbella is not an amazing city, but you'll have all the beach you need. Madrid obviously is far more interesting, if you want to see someplaces near it, Segovia or Toledo are your better options, but in Madrid you'll find a lot to do and I dont think it is necessary to search for new towns. Enjoy your trip
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Aug 10th, 2016, 11:39 AM
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Thank you joannyc, kja, kimhe & palenQ for your further insights. Thank you as well to Rubicund & Rindaroy for your advise.

Based on all of your great inputs, we decided to shorten our stay at Marbella from 14 to 7 nights instead. From 7 days at Marbella, we plan to travel day trips to Malaga, Nerja (caves), combined day Granada (Alhambra) & Sierra Nevada (snow), and combined day Fuengirola & Marbella town. 2 full days at the Alanda Club Resort for rest & indoor pool visit.

Day 8 would then travel to Ronda, then continue our journey to Seville for 3 night stay (any suggestions things to do in and from Seville?). Thinking of day trip crossing to Portugal (Vila Real de Santo Antonio), just for the sake of having been to Portugal. If not, probably to Jerez or Cadiz then or perhaps both on the same day.

Day 11 we will travel to Córdoba for 3 night stay (is it too many for 3 nights?). Any suggestions for day trip from Córdoba? Or should I skip Córdoba and just go for day trip from Marbella? Where should we stay if not Córdoba?

Then day 14 we plan to travel to Toledo for 2 night stay as advised by joannyc. Day 16, from Toledo we will end our adventure at Madrid for 5 night stay. Whilst at Madrid we will visit Segovia for day trip. Is there any other place worth visiting from Madrid (day trips) apart from Toledo & Segovia?

Thanks again guys, for all your great advice. If you have anymore free time, appreciate your feedback, cheers.
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