andalucia--car needed?

Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 06:32 AM
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andalucia--car needed?

I am planning on taking my 15 year old to Andalucia during spring break this year. Is it helpful to rent a car, or is that too much trouble? We are both pretty well seasoned travelers, and can handle public transportation, but I read that car rental is popular. Does the bus/train system have a sufficient # of trains/busses to easily get from town to town. Planning to fly into Granada and fly out of Seville, and will see Cordoba and perhaps a town like Cadiz.

Also, if I want to see the White Villages and dont have a car, I am assuming the best way to see them is with a tour for the day. If so, is Seville the best town to see the White Villages? I am thinking public transportation wont be very helpful here, especially fi I want to see several towns in one day. Or, should I rent a car (for the day) to see these towns?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 07:44 AM
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I did Andalucia back in 2018. We used a mix of public transport and car rental. We flew into Madrid, spent some time there, before taking the train to Cordoba and Seville, then picked up a rental car for several days to see the hill towns, Gibraltar, and the Costa del Sol, before dropping off the rental car in Granada.

My view of the hill towns is that seeing their situation is thing to do, rather than spending time in any one of them. The architecture is similar to what you will see in the old parts of Seville and Cordoba, without as many interesting things to do. So, for that reason, I think a rental car to see the hill towns works best. Lace together several hill towns in a day or two, then dump the car, if that's all you need it for.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 07:55 AM
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We did not visit the hill towns so I can't comment on that. Our itinerary in 2017 was Madrid, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and Seville. We flew home from Seville. We used public transportation for our entire trip. We used a combination of the trains and the ALSA bus. We used the bus because the train tracks in 2017 to/from Granada were not completed. The trains and buses worked very well. There are a sufficient number of trains and buses to get to/from the places we visited. We had many choices for each destination. I highly recommend using the public transportation. It was so easy, very comfortable, and very clean. The ALSA bus handed out complimentary bags of snacks and bottled water. A nice touch! And both buses and trains are air-conditioned.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 07:56 AM
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We did Andalucia in March 2020 using public transport, we flew into Sevilla and immediately took the bus to Ronda for two nights. Then train to Córdoba, Granada and Sevilla, flying out in the nick of time before borders closed for Covid!

But we only saw Ronda and did some hikes there, didn’t visit any of the other hill towns. Maybe you can take a day tour without having to rent a car? Or rent one just for a day or two as suggested.

Trains are fast and convenient, you can book ahead for the cheapest fares. So maybe a mix of trains and a tour would fit the bill.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 09:02 AM
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very helpful, thanks.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 09:59 PM
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We did make an effort in 2017 to see the white villages with our leased car. Very nice, but we ended up just driving through them, back and forth, as there was no parking available. When we reached Ronda, there was some sort of festival happening, so even driving was nearly impossible. Unless you want to park a good distance outside of these towns, it's not so easy if you aren't arriving early in the day.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 10:14 PM
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We toured much of Andalusia about 10 years ago with a base in Seville. We did not have much trouble parking anywhere possibly because it was in November. Weather was quite pleasant.
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Old Jan 5th, 2022, 07:27 AM
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If you want to explore the White Villages from Seville I think renting a car for the day is your best option as bus routes are infrequent and lengthy, Having a car would allow you to see 2-3 different White Villages on a day trip, not so doable with a bus.
We rented a car from Seville to the White Villages several years ago and loved it (although not as a day trip-3 nights), The driving is easy, the sights are spectacular and parking was no problem in any of the towns (Ronda, Montejacque , Grazlema and Zahara de la Sierra) .

If you want to take a bus, I would recommend a day trip to Arcos de la Frontera, one of the better known White Villages with more frequent bus service. Also have you looked at Carmona. Although not technically a White Village, it is considered one of Andalusia's most beautiful cities and amongst Spains oldest. Only 20 miles from Seville so I would assume public transportation would be frequent.
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