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Andalucia - 9 day itinerary - help please

Andalucia - 9 day itinerary - help please

Old May 4th, 2024, 07:10 AM
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Andalucia - 9 day itinerary - help please

Hello,
My husband and I (very active, mid-50s) are traveling from Newark NJ to Malaga arriving at 7:30am, Friday Sept 13th. We fly out of Malaga first thing Sunday Sept 22nd.This is our first trip to Spain, so we're hoping to see a lot, while leaving a little time to relax as well.
Here's a preliminary itinerary. Would be very appreciative of your thoughts and suggestions!

Day 1: Arrive Malaga; Train to Seville, hoping to arrive early afternoon. Seville Cathedral and La Giralda Tower.
Day 2: Alcazar. Flamenco
Day 3: Palacio de las Duenas
Day 4: Early train to Cordoba. Mezquita, Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, Jewish Quarter.
Day 5: Early train to Granada. The Alhambra. Bus/train to Malaga in the evening.
Day 6: Malaga
Day 7: El Cominito Del Rey
Day 8: Day trip to Nerja
Day 9: Malaga
Day 10: Early flight to Newark

I welcome your help with this itinerary!
Thank you so much.


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Old May 4th, 2024, 09:26 AM
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Tell us about the relaxation part.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 10:11 AM
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Thank you for your reply!
By relaxation I mean spending time having tapas and drinks, leisurely strolling neighborhoods, maybe even a little pool time.
We don't mind go-go-go some days, but not all of the days!
I hope that is more helpful.

As a slight alternative to our itinerary, we are also considering traveling from Cordoba to Malaga and making The Alhambra / Granada a daytrip from Malaga.

Last edited by ldematte5028; May 4th, 2024 at 10:42 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 11:16 AM
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Seems very rushed..but it is your choice.. Make sure you have tickets for Alhambra, Mesquita…
just a reminder: the temperature in Andalusia is usually 90+ at that time of the year.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 01:17 PM
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It seems like a very rushed trip. And you don't have a lot of time for relaxation, except perhaps on the afternoon of day 2 and day 3. And that's if everything goes according to plan. I wouldn't count on doing a lot on your arrival day. You will be exhausted from jetlag and the heat.

Day 5, IMO, would not be an enjoyable day. Very rushed. First you have to check out of your hotel in Cordoba, get to the train station, and then take the train to Granada. Find a place to store your luggage. Get to the Alhambra. You shouldn't rush through the Alhambra. The Alhambra is magnificent and should be savored. Take your time. Then you have to get to bus or train station, take that to Malaga, then check into your hotel in Malaga. Find dinner somewhere. I would spend at least one night in Granada. It's a lovely city, very interesting. I would drop the daytrip to Nerja.

I know it sounds corny but I would stop and smell the roses. You are young and will have many more trips to Spain.

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Old May 4th, 2024, 01:45 PM
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Thank you so very much for your suggestions thus far. I truly appreciate all the advice.

Would it be better if on Day 5 we took the train to Malaga and checked into our hotel, spending the day at our leisure there.
Then on Day 6 took a daytrip to Grenada?

Should we replace the day in Nerja with some time in Mijas?

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Old May 4th, 2024, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ldematte5028
Thank you so very much for your suggestions thus far. I truly appreciate all the advice.

Would it be better if on Day 5 we took the train to Malaga and checked into our hotel, spending the day at our leisure there.
Then on Day 6 took a daytrip to Grenada?

Should we replace the day in Nerja with some time in Mijas?
I haven't been to Nerja or Mijas. The reason I suggested not going to Nerja is because I think it makes your trip too hectic, and you would be better off staying in Malaga. Daytrips can be tiring.

Regarding visiting Granada for a day from Malaga, you can certainly do that if that's what you want. It is 1.5 hours one way, so 3 hours roundtrip. We really like Malaga but personally, if it were my trip, I would spend a night or two in Granada (we spent 2 nights in Granada), which is a much more important city than Malaga.

I understand that you are trying to see as much as possible, but your trip is too hectic for me. But I am also older, in my early 70's. I was in my late 60's when we visited Andalucia, and I would not have chosen your itinerary. You are visiting 6 destinations in 9 days. You are constantly on the go, and it will be very hot, too.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 03:13 PM
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I am winter resident of Sevilla, lived in Malaga & Cordoba, familiar with everything on your list except Caminito del Rey. Some useful info: 1) Alsa bus runs a direct bus from Malaga Airport to Sevilla. 2) my neighbor who is familiar with Caminito del Rey said avoid rainy day & very hot days. 3) In September, Cordoba&Sevilla can easily get up to 100F, much too hot for outdoor sightseeing by 1pm, no American style cold-air blasting air con anywhere, does not cool off until AFTER midnight. You need hotel with air con and might have to wrap up sightseeing by 1pm. 4) Need to book Sevilla's Real Alcazar tix weeks in advance, and Granada's Alhambra tix MONTHS in advance. Bad idea to book Sevilla Catedral tix for your arrival day because you might miss your entry time window. 5) Book all your train tix in advance because they might sell out. 6) In my opinion, Malaga is least interesting & worth less than a day, beautiful Cordoba needs 1 loooong full day but 2 days are better because there are many beautiful patios & churches to see (Mezquita with audio guide alone took me 2 hours), Granada historic center+Alhambra take1 full day but worth staying extra day to visit Albaicin and see Alhambra lit up at night, Sevilla's must-see sights need 2 full days. Nerja (the town) is not a must-see, I assume you want to visit the caves. I would drop Nerja & use only the final day for Malaga.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 06:27 PM
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I do have to respectfully disagree with FrEsDe about Malaga being worth less than a day. We walked to the top of the Alcazaba; the uphill path was beautiful with lush greenery, beautiful flowers, remnants of patios and gateways, and stunning views of the Mediterranean, and a small Nasrid palace at the top. We also walked to the top of the Castillo. The Malaga Cathedral is beautiful. There are many art museums; we visited the Picasso Museum. There is the Atarazanas Market, seaside promenade, etc. However, I do agree with FrEsDe that Cordoba and Granada are worth 2 nights.
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Old May 5th, 2024, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo
We walked to the top of the Alcazaba; the uphill path was beautiful with lush greenery, beautiful flowers, remnants of patios and gateways, and stunning views of the Mediterranean, and a small Nasrid palace at the top. We also walked to the top of the Castillo. The Malaga Cathedral is beautiful. There are many art museums; we visited the Picasso Museum.
Those are precisely the Malaga sights that will take no more than 1 day to visit as they are all within 5 min walk from each other. Catedral & Picasso Museum are both small. All art museums in Malaga's center are quite small. Malaga beach season is still in full swing in September with big beach crowd, long seaside promenade is fully exposed-to-the-sun .
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Old May 5th, 2024, 05:29 AM
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Thank you again for all of your suggestions and useful information! I am going to pre-book all of our tickets, including the train when available, as soon as our itinerary is set. Definitely will stay in AC hotels!! We are from a part of the U.S. that is very hot and humid during our summers as well, so the temps may slow us a bit, but it's nothing we're not accustomed to. I wish we had more time, but unfortunately we both still work and my husband has a difficult time taking more than 1 week at a time, so I'm already pushing it!

Regarding day1: I'm going to cross my fingers that travel works as planned and book the Cathedral for mid-afternoon.

Based on your advice, I've revised the itinerary a bit - adding an overnight in Granada and removing one day in Malaga (trip to Nerja). I am leaving our last day in Malaga free, so we can truly relax, stroll, maybe spend some time on the beach, before returning home. Please let me know if you feel this is an indulgence that we will regret. I am strongly considering spending an extra night in Cordoba instead. Many thanks!!

Day 1: Arrive Malaga; Train to Seville, hoping to arrive early afternoon. Seville Cathedral and La Giralda Tower.

Day 2: Alcazar. Flamenco
Day 3: Palacio de las Duenas
Day 4: Early train to Cordoba. Mezquita, Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.
Day 5: Jewish Quarter. Mid day train to Granada.
Day 6: The Alhambra. Bus/train to Malaga in the evening.
Day 7: Malaga
Day 8: El Cominito Del Rey - weather dependent
Day 9: Malaga
Day 10: Early flight to Newark

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Old May 5th, 2024, 11:03 AM
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As an fyi, our recent flight to Malaga (3 weeks ago) was delayed leaving Toronto due to a technical issue which resulted in our missing our connection in Paris. We were rebooked on the next flight which was 4 hours later and which departed 1 hour late so expecting to arrive in Malaga at lunchtime became instead dinner time. Fortunately we had nothing planned as for us Malaga was a 'soft' landing but then we're older (67 and 73). I'm mentioning this as how I believe your day 1 is overly optimistic. Also unbeknownst to us luggage on flights arriving in Malaga from non-EU countries is apparently segregated in a separate room beside the baggage carousels so if you don't find your luggage on the appropriate carousel check there. A kind traveler at the baggage carousel advised us of this. Despite numerous overseas flights, this was the first time experiencing this.
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Old May 5th, 2024, 11:15 AM
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Good that you eliminated Nerja.
I could never pack in what you are planning on your first day....do you sleep really well on the overseas flight? You can always pack in the Sevilla sights you've planned on the next day, I guess.

Tickets are booked, yes??? Otherwise it would have been better to fly into Malaga and home from Sevilla or Granada....any chance of altering flight schedule?

Jewish quarter in Cordoba is miniscule....synagogue can be viewed in 15 minutes.

Restaurants of any interest?

Are hotels booked?

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Old May 5th, 2024, 11:32 AM
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It has been quite some time since I've been there but I recall that Granada had much more to offer than the Alhambra which is pretty spectacular. We had to spend an extra day there on our our trip as we were driving and there was torrential rain and several of the roads in and out were closed because of hazardous conditions, so you never know.
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Old May 5th, 2024, 12:10 PM
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I lived the last 3 months in Cordoba. Jewish Quarter is not that big but quite interesting. In addition to spectacular Palacio de Viana (far more interesting/beautiful than Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos), there are dozens of beautiful patios to visit in tourist area (especially San Basilio). Mezquita ticket also covers 10 magnificent churches which can be visited within 7 days -- 4 churches in tourist area are of exceptional beauty: San Andres/San Pablo/San Francisco/San Augustin.
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Old May 5th, 2024, 02:01 PM
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Again, thank you for all of your replies and advice!

Kiddo- many thanks for the heads up on non-EU luggage. You may have saved me quite a bit of time and worry!

I agree that day 1 is quite optimistic, but figure that if I must push back the Cathedral to Day 2 or 3 because of travel delays, I can do so. When traveling to Europe, we've always planned a full day 1, with an early bedtime. I think the adrenaline keeps us going until we can no longer stand! We have also found this helps us get on European time, as we wake on day 2 fully refreshed and ready to go.

I thought about flying out of Seville, but we're able to fly non-stop out of Malaga. This is important to my husband as he needs to be in office on the day after our return to the U.S, so we can't risk connection issues / have an extended layover.

We are foodies and can't wait for your suggestions on restaurants to try. We'd enjoy a variety of finer dining, hole in the wall, tapas and drinks, etc. I'd love your suggestions!

Likewise for hotels. We generally prefer more boutique type hotels, but would certainly consider larger hotels as well. We're willing to spend more for a unique experience, but we're also fine with nicer, comfortable hotels with great service and location. In hotel breakfast is not a must.

I will start to book hotels and make restaurant reservations as soon as I finalize the itinerary.

Thank you so much!

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Old May 5th, 2024, 07:05 PM
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This is the hotel we stayed at in Cordoba, and it was our favorite hotel:
Las Casas de la Juderia
It consists of 5 homes attached together with courtyards. Very convenient location. A few minutes walk from the Mezquita and Alcazar.

Soho Malaga located in Barrio Soho, very close to the pedestrianized calle Marques de Larios. Small boutique hotel (28 rooms).

Apartamentos Suites Santa Cruz in Seville. Main office and reception desk is located in Plaza de Dona Elvira. Our apartment is located at Calle Pimienta. Pedestrian only area. Convenient location in Barrio Santa Cruz, but it is very busy and crowded with tourists. A few minutes walk from the Cathedral and Alcazar.

Our hotel in Granada has closed.

If you have the time when you are in Granada, I highly recommend having a night time tour of the Alhambra in addition to the daytime tour. It's very magical at night; quiet; fewer tourists, and you can hear the running water.

In Seville, if you have the time, make sure you visit Plaza de Espagna. It's stunning with its tile work, bridges, architecture. And visit the Triana neighborhood including the market in Triana.

One of our favorite restaurants is La Azotea in Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville.

In Cordoba, we had a delicious dinner at Regadera, one of the best of our trip. You need to make reservations.

And in Granada our favorite restaurant is El Trillo Restaurante.
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Old May 5th, 2024, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo
This is the hotel we stayed at in Cordoba, and it was our favorite hotel:
Las Casas de la Juderia
It consists of 5 homes attached together with courtyards. Very convenient location. A few minutes walk from the Mezquita and Alcazar.

Soho Malaga located in Barrio Soho, very close to the pedestrianized calle Marques de Larios. Small boutique hotel (28 rooms).

Apartamentos Suites Santa Cruz in Seville. Main office and reception desk is located in Plaza de Dona Elvira. Our apartment is located at Calle Pimienta. Pedestrian only area. Convenient location in Barrio Santa Cruz, but it is very busy and crowded with tourists. A few minutes walk from the Cathedral and Alcazar.

Our hotel in Granada has closed.

If you have the time when you are in Granada, I highly recommend having a night time tour of the Alhambra in addition to the daytime tour. It's very magical at night; quiet; fewer tourists, and you can hear the running water.

In Seville, if you have the time, make sure you visit Plaza de Espagna. It's stunning with its tile work, bridges, architecture. And visit the Triana neighborhood including the market in Triana.

One of our favorite restaurants is La Azotea in Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville.

In Cordoba, we had a delicious dinner at Regadera, one of the best of our trip. You need to make reservations.

And in Granada our favorite restaurant is El Trillo Restaurante.
A night time visit to Alhambra is really special . I agree.
I don’t know if it still the case but when I visited Andalusia the first time (end of August !) everything came to a standstill in the afternoon because of the heat . It didn’t bother me that much, I was thirty!

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Old May 5th, 2024, 08:56 PM
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Why not fly into Seville and save that first day train trip and time worry. You can still fly out of Malaga. TP Ait Portugal had non stops both ways using Newark.
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Old May 6th, 2024, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by basingstoke2
Why not fly into Seville and save that first day train trip and time worry. You can still fly out of Malaga. TP Ait Portugal had non stops both ways using Newark.
This is an excellent idea!
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