5 days in Granada - Seville?

Old Dec 5th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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5 days in Granada - Seville?

I forgot to tag "SPAIN" in my original post -- sorry for any duplication!

I am planning a surprise trip to Granada for my DH's birthday -- the plan is to fly from Philadelphia to Seville late March 2014 as that seems to be the best route for us. We can also fly to Valencia or Madrid and connect to Granada from there, but Seville is probably our best option.

I believe we will fly from the USA on a Wednesday night and return the following Monday -- I could extend the trip to Tuesday.

Question(s):

Should we travel directly to Granada from Seville and start out trip in Granada and circle back to Seville for the trip home?

How many days should we devote to Granada? Based on Anthony Bourdaine's Granada trip (the reason DH wants to visit Granada) we definitely want to see the Alhambra (day and night), Cathedral, explore the old city area, enjoy some tapas.

I'd like to spend a few days in Seville as well. Train to Seville? How much time should we spend there to get a good flavor of all it has to offer?

Or......should we just stick to Granada and spend the entire 5 days there? Is 5 days (including air travel) enough time to see both towns?

I know it's just a short trip and don't want to spend a lot of time traveling from one town to the next, so any suggestions on itinerary are greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 03:41 AM
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PS -- Just checked USAirways and although the site states I can fly to Seville, there doesn't appear to be any flights to Seville from Philadelphia, so I might need to fly to Madrid instead. SIGH.....
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Seville IMO has much more to offer than Granada as a city - I found Granada to be a loud busy rather polluted big city with however a neat historic core with Alhambra, Cathedral and some ancient lanes adjoining the Alhambra to the north.

But for me at least a day was enough - if you land there spend two nights there IMO and take the bus to Seville - cheaper and quicker I think as trains run routes going around mountains.

Spend the rest of the time in Seville but also consider a day trip by train to nearby Cordoba, to me on a par with the other two cities - not only for its old mosque that is now a stunning cathedral but a slew of old churches, monasteries and a warren of whitewashed medieval lanes.

5 days in Granada I think would bore the average traveler. Not so in Seville. Well that's my take others will have differing ones perhaps.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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I am usually the lone voice here asking why anyone would want to spend more than a day in Granada. We spent 5 days in Seville and had a blast. You can day trip to the white villages, Ronda, Cordoba, etc if you want to get out of town. We used a tour guide in Seville, Connnie (concepcion) Delgado who was outstanding for the old city and cathedral. From my perspective, Seville has much more to offer than Granada. You could potentially fly into Madrid and then take the high speed train to Seville if that is cheaper than flying into Seville.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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We were in Seville, Granada, Barcelona, Madrid, Barcelona, and Cordoba this past Sept/Oct.

I agree with PalenQ - Seville is much more interesting. So is Barcelona and Madrid. The Alhambra is fabulous - but the other parts of the city did not "wow" us like Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid did. We were in Granada for 3 nights, & in Seville for 3 nights, Barcelona 4, and Madrid 5 (we also visited Ronda & Cadiz).

In Granada, we stayed at the Alhambra Palace & in Seville at the Dona Maria - perfect locations & highly recommended..

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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If you extend your trip to Tuesday and have 5 full days (not including travel days to and from), I would spend 2 days in Granada and 3 in Seville. There is so much more to see and do in Seville. We accomplished all that you want to do in Granada in 2 days. Fly into Granada (not a non stop flight most likely) and out of Seville.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Agree if you have to choose only one city, you should make it Sevilla. Sevilla is far and away the better food city of the two; Granada, is only mediocre in that regard.

Here are reports from two trips I took: One was a week-long combo of Madrid and GRanada; second (last fall) was combination of Madrid, Sevilla, and 2 other places in Andalucia. Both reports are mainly focused on food. Madrid is a fabulous eating city.


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-malaga.cfm


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...k-in-spain.cfm


YOu are correct that you will have to fly via Madrid.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:19 AM
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YOu are correct that you will have to fly via Madrid.>

then Seville is just about 2 hours by AVE high-speed train, Granada a bit longer as high-speed tracks I believe do not quite reach there yet - www.renfe.com, the Spanish Railways site has special offers if you book far enough in advance but since they I believe - discounted tickets that is - cannot be changed nor refunded it is rather dicey booking a departure time if going out the same day as arriving due to late flights, etc.

Spend your first night in Madrid and then leisurely the ext day head to Seville or Granada. check www.seat61.com for good info on discounted tickets which can save you a bundle.

cars would take much longer than the AVE train which goes up to about 190 mph or so.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Thank you EVERYONE! I definitely want to spend enough time in Granada to view the Ahlambra twice (day/night), tapas, old city and cathedral. Maybe a flamenco show (although not sure if the best place for that is Granada, maybe Seville is better).

While I do want to spend some time in both towns it's important to me (us) that we just relax and stroll around, people watch and take in the atmosphere.

We visited France last October (2012) and it turned out to be really stressful because we tried to pack too much sightseeing in a relatively short amount of time. I don't want to do that again!

Any additional advice from fellow Fodorites is greatly appreciated!
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Thanks PalenQ!

I think you also gave me great advice when I was planning the France trip (you and others strongly advised me to not pack too much into one trip, but I was overruled by the rest of my travel group).

This trip is just the two of us (my DH and me) so I'm hoping for a really wonderful time.

Good to hear from you again!
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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>>While I do want to spend some time in both towns it's important to me (us) that we just relax and stroll around, people watch and take in the atmosphere. <<

Seville is much better for that than Granada, IMO.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Thanks Stu....that is good to know.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Well, it looks like you have 4 days on the ground versus 5 - and I would spend most in Seville and 1 day/night in Granada.

Have you looked at flying into Malaga and renting a car form there - not sure what options you have from Philly - but Seville is NOT a major airport.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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As NY said, try to go into Malaga and out of Seville. 2 days Granada, 1 day Cordoba, 2 days Seville, if you can extend the trip till Tues.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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@ nytraveler -- didn't realize Seville is not a major airport. I'll look into Malaga as an option.

@ Bedar: Cordoba is worthwhile for one day? I've seen a few posts about Cordoba but don't know much about it. Will need to do further research.

Can it be done as a day trip while in Seville?

3 destinations in 5 days sounds like I'll be spending a lot of time on the road -- unless all 3 towns are really close to each other?
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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One day and night is adequate for Granada. The Alhambra at night and during the day is amazing. Other than that, the things you want to see/do - flamenco, tapas, cathedral, strolling, are much better done in Seville. Spend the bulk of your time there.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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Do you still have your old Art History textbook ? Doesn't matter which; the Mezquita of Cordoba will be in it. We prefer Cordoba over Seville.

Your trip is VERY short. While the three cities are sort of close, you need to factor in travel time between them. Perhaps you should only visit two - Granada, your primary interest, and ????
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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Going with the Granada/Seville itinerary (I think)....although I will do some more research on Cordoba.

I agree, my trip is VERY short -- so I don't want to do "too" much in this small space of time, that's why I'm trying to narrow down the best itinerary.

From everything I've read the Alhambra cannot be missed. So that is a definite.

I'm looking at possibly flying from Philly to Madrid (depart Wednesday evening, arrive Thursday morning) and transferring to a regional flight to Granada. Given jet lag I imagine the only thing we will do day one in terms of sightseeing is see the Alhambra at night.

Spend day two in Grenada, see the Alhambra a second time (daytime), cathedral, old city, tapas bar crawl.

Day 3 leave for Seville (not sure of best transport). Spend remaining days in Seville (day 3, 4, 5).

Fly home on day 6 (Seville-Madrid-Philly).

Does this sound doable?
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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OK, my husband says to fly into Malaga, pick up a car, go to Granada for a few days, drive down to the coast, go thru Nerja to Malaga, visit Malaga, and fly out from there. I agree. You really don't have time to do Cordoba and Seville. Save them for another trip (which you will make !!).
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 02:52 PM
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Jet lag, flying in from Philadelphia, will be minimal.

Iberia has the only non-stop flights from Madrid to Granada. If you do book on one ticket (if US Airways joins One World by then), then you shouldn't have any connecting problems.

If they don't do the switch before the summer, then you will have to check in at the Iberia counter in T4 (US Airways currently lands at T1) to pick up your boarding passes. They will announce the departure for the Granada flight about 20 minutes before departure. You should allow at least 90 minutes to check in at Iberia (the process can be a little confusing if you haven't done it before).
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