After Madrid what?

Oct 6th, 2000, 09:28 PM
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After Madrid what?

Going to Madrid, 1-6-01 we will be there 8 nights. We will be going south. Should I rent a car { I have 5000 KM driving in Europe} or take the train. What are the roads like in Spain down to the Costa del Sol? Any places to see or eat you would recommend.
Oct 7th, 2000, 01:26 AM
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Rent a car. Roads are excellent. And, after Madrid, almost every good thing.
Oct 7th, 2000, 05:51 AM
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Agree with Bo-Jack. Roads in Spain are in excellent conditions. Get familiar with traffic signs and a good map and you are good to go. I would however train to Seville and rent the car there for day trips to Merida, Cordova, the Pueblos Blancos trail, etc...Stay in Granada overnight. Another option is fly to Malaga Airport. Great city to use as home base to explore the South. If you do choose to drive, try to stop in Toledo on your way to Andalucia. Also, Consuegra is windmills country. Paulo did a similar route and he posted about it. You may want to search past posts and compile a draft from there. Are you going on June or January? (Jan 6 is Epiphany Day, big holiday in Spain). Are you leaving from Madrid?
Oct 7th, 2000, 11:05 AM
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We just got back from Southern Spain, the end of our long summer trip. We had a car and after coming from Northern Spain and down through Portugal, we re-entered Spain to Cadiz for a night (not planned, but we got bored in Southern Portugal so left a day earlier). From there we spent three wonderful nights in Seville staying at Las Casas de la Juderia, which was really a special place. From there we drove through Arcos and spent a night at the Parador in Ronda. Next day we drove down and along the coast through Marbella and Torremolinos (had to see if the first hotel we ever stayed in Europe was still there after 30 years --it was and surprisingly tacky.) We drove up to Cordoba for two nights right in the heart of the old city at Hotel Amistad, which was a little scary to drive to, but they had a great garage for parking. From there we drove to Toledo for one fabulous night at Hostal del Cardinal with their great restaurant, an outpost of the famous Bodins in Madrid. Next we drove to Segovia for one night at Hotel Infanta Isabel, which was fine except for all the construction going on beneath the hotel. From there we drove on into Madrid for three nights. We decided to do overnights in Segovia and Toledo rather than day trips and we were glad we did. Those two small cities were so much more wonderful in the late afternoon and at night after all the day trippers and bus tours left. We have been to Granada before, otherwise that would certainly be the other stop I'd recommend. The roads are wonderful and easy. We even thought the mountain road across through Arcos to Ronda, and the one south from Ronda to the coast were no problem. Even traffic in Seville was no problem unlike Madrid where we had planned to drive to our hotel, unload, then go deliver the car to Avis downtown location. When we saw Avis on our way down GranVia, we made the decision to dump the car there and take a taxi to our hotel, as the traffic was a nightmare and we weren't really sure of our way to our hotel. Car rentals are so cheap in Spain. We paid less than $28 a day for an airconditioned Seat Cordoba with a huge trunk including all insurance through Auto Europe. We were glad we weren't taking the trains. The 8 hour train ride from Barcelona to Bilbao was enough of Spanish trains to last us, although I realize the AVE trains are wonderful, just pricey.
Oct 8th, 2000, 10:35 AM
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Some of the roads are very good, some have more patches than road.The road down the Costa del Sol is good, but can be very busy - watch out for it splitting into parallel roads (eg coast/inland), some toll.The coast road is to be avoided as it goes through some towns.
The train is faster (assuming you get the express) and very comfortable.
Spanish buses are good, but slower.
Some of the resorts are a bit tacky.

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