Andalucia in the fall/2016

Mar 4th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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Andalucia in the fall/2016

My wife & I are pondering a trip to Barcelona & Andalucia. It appears the weather is still good in Oct/Nov so that's our target time. Probably for a min 3 wks - preferably 4 wks.
About us - 70/68 - active walkers - museums & art galleries - love wine & food - like to stay in a place for awhile in order to get some feel for the place beyond the tourist traps. Okay w trains & rental cars.
Not really interested in Gibraltar - if we want fish & chips we can stay home on Vancouver Island.

SO! How would you guys spread yourselves around?
arjaykay is offline  
Mar 4th, 2016, 10:48 AM
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Where were you thinking about in Andalucia: Cordóba, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Jaén, Málaga, Almería, Huelva, Cádiz, Jerez de la Fonterra, Vejer de la Frontera? It's a large area to consider.
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2016, 05:08 PM
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I would like to include Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada, Ronda (or an alternative white village). Maybe fly into Barcelona to start our trip - maybe out of Madrid enroute home?
Open to any suggestions.
arjaykay is offline  
Mar 4th, 2016, 11:49 PM
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In Andalucia, take a look at Malaga by the Med. Genuine Andalucian atmosphere, the best seafood and a "city of museums":
"Malaga - Spain's best kept secret":

I love the beautiful Axarquia region east of Malaga:

And I recommend you to make Sevilla the base for your stay in Andalucia, it's the undisputed queen of the cities in the south:

And from what you say, you will most likely love Montjuic (Jewish mountain) in the center of Barcelona. Lots of greens, fabulous museums and the best views of the city and the sea from the Castell at the top.

Have tapas with the locals in Poble Sec at the foot of Montjuic:

Many of the best restaurants in town are also close to Montjuic, in and around Avinguda del Paral·lel, in the so called Barri Adrià (after the Adrià brothers who run the best restaurant in the world the past decade, El Bulli). Here you'll find Tickets, Rias de Galicia, Pakta, Bodegas 1900 etc. etc.
kimhe is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 02:02 AM
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We have loved all of our visits to Andalusia, Barcelona not so much.

So I would suggest sticking to Andalusia and seeing it thoroughly. With a month at your disposal, renting an apartment for an extended period in a couple of places [kimhe may have a suggestion as to where these might be] and touring around in between is a real possibility.

Lucky you!
annhig is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 06:51 AM
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Thanks to you both. What annhig suggests is exactly what we like to do. We'll click on all your suggestions, kimhe. I can taste tapas & sangria already!
arjaykay is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 07:47 AM
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Well, I liked both Barcelona and Andalusia. They're very different and make a good contrast. Barcelona is very modern, lots of interesting architecture not just modern. The city feels open and breezy to me. It's less Spanish, more Catalonian.

What I found most interesting in Andalusia was the Moorish influence: in architecture, food, music and dance. Even the place names. The Mezquita, a wonderful old mosque in Cordoba, has a church implanted inside it. Other highlights: the Alhambra in Granada, Ronda, Seville.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 08:08 AM
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Relatively small Nerja (Moorish Narixa) by the Med could also be an option as a base. Has got all the amenities that makes it popular with tourists, but Nerja has also retained much of its Andalucian small town charm, especially in the beautiful Old town. Stay in one of the many apartments/town houses for rent in Calle Carabeo, one of the oldest streets in town, runs along the cliffs on this photo:

Here are some great options in C/Carabeo (have stayed in two of these places):

Nerja is close to wonderful big cities such as Malaga and Granada with the Alhambra (buses all the time), and not too far away from Cordoba and Sevilla either. And you have of course the spectacular Nerja Caves just outside town, lived people here more than 30 000 years ago:

And fabulous walks in the valleys and mountains just inland from Nerja.

A great food scene here, from traditional and no fuss local tapas bars and restaurants to a few high end gourmet places.
kimhe is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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that's just the sort of thing that I was thinking of, kimhe.

thanks for helping me out.

is there a similar place the other side of Seville - e.g. Jerez - where the OP could stay to look at that area?
annhig is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 10:58 AM
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Hello all, all these posts couldn't have been more convenient. My husband and I will be leaving for Málaga tomorrow. We plan to stay for three days and, depending on the weather and how we feel will either spend two/three days in Granada (have been there before) or Seville.
We visited Seville five years ago. When friends of ours went only three years later we provided them with a list of restaurants, tapas bars and a wonderful flamenco place in Triana. They came back and told us that sadly, probably due to Spain's economic situation, all but one of the placed we recommended had closed down. So, we have to start afresh and hope to receive recommendations for restaurants and places-not-to miss in Málaga, Granada, Antequerra and Seville. We have visited Cordoba before. Muchos gracias!
Elisabeth54 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 12:05 AM
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A few in your cities:

- The Atarazanas food market right in the heart of town. Two excellent tapas bars in here, Cafe Bar Atarazanas and El Yerno:

- Jorge Pardo performs in Teatro Cervantes on Wednesday:

- Casa del Arte Flamenco opened last year, and some of the finest flamenco artists in town perform here all the time:

- The Escribano square in front of the 16th century Real Colegiata de Santa María La Mayor is perhaps my favourite spot in all of Spain. Here's the Escribao restaurant in the corner, also with a nice terrace:

- See flamenco in Flamenqueria in Triana, just by the Guadalquivir river. Performances every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 9pm. Often young talents perform on Tuesdays/Wednesdays. This is the new epicenter of flamenco art in Sevilla; academy, shop, museum and tablao:
kimhe is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 02:51 PM
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WOW! Thanks so very much kimhe for so much info! I hope I can get thru it all before we get on the plane ];

It appears that we will be flying into Barcelona & flying out of Madrid so we'll spend 2-3 in each of those cities (maybe 1-2 in Toledo on the way to Madrid). Then, in no particular order yet, 4-5 days each in Malaga, Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada, with various daytrips from them

We've also decided we'll take the train in Spain, in case of rain on the plain. Sorry, folks, couldn't pass that one up. Please forgive.
We'll rent any car as we need - a day here, a day there.

Again, kimhe, thanks for all the info
arjaykay is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 02:52 AM
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Much against my better judgement we leave Madrid tomorrow after 7 weeks in Spain - much of it in the areas you're looking at.

We flew into Valencia and then spent 3 weeks in a seaside apartment in Altea - a charming white village on the Med. We backtracked a little and spent 3 nights in Valencia which we really enjoyed.

From there we drove to Granada (we had a car until last week) and spent 3 nights at the Guadalupe Hotel right by the Alhambra main gates (easy parking was a criteria). We enjoyed it tremendously but 4-5 nights in Granada would be more than we would spend (we would have been fine with 2)

(see my post here about how I timed our visit to Alhambra - it worked out really well)

Then we drove to Estepona (west of Malaga) and stayed in another seaside apartment for a week. From there we did day trips far and wide - Ronda, Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar (war buff husband - actually we both are glad we did it)

Then a week in Seville which we fell hard in love with! (extended our stay by a night). Highly recommend this well located, quiet apartment in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood:

(note - no oven/just a two burner hob + microwave which was fine for us)

We had planned to visit Cordoba as a day trip but a short illness prevented that - it's easy to do from Seville. (as is Toledo and Segovia from Madrid)

We're just finishing a week in this gorgeous apartment in Madrid - excellent location

(I'll post the Altea and Estepona apartments if you're interested - but sounds like your itinerary is set)

Will also post restaurants/other info when we get back to Toronto.

My biggest piece of advice is to follow kimhe's advice about Flamenco - we have loved two shows and are going to a third tonight - all her recommendations.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 05:28 AM
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I did a detailed trip report sometime back, I did Madrid and Andalucia.

You can check this out

Divya123 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2016, 08:38 AM
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ElizabethS - sounds like you had a wonderful trip and I'm especially glad that my tiny contribution [the hotel Guadeloupe in Granada] worked out so well.

We only had 2 nights in Granada and would have liked a third I think but that would probably have been enough.

OTOH ee went to Valencia on another trip and had 4 nights there - that was not enough and a week would have been better.
annhig is offline  
Mar 8th, 2016, 11:35 AM
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Arjaykay, regarding kimhe's reco of El Escribano in Antequera- we stopped in here for a beer on a hot day, but as plates of delicious looking food came rolling out of the kitchen for the locals' lunch, we decided we had to try some.

Amazing! Among other things, here is where we found out what that local specialty should really be like, thin slices of eggplant fried with some kind of 'honey' drizzled on, I've tried to recreate that without success.
We only had a drive through stop in Antequera but wished we had more time to explore, it looks interesting.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Mar 24th, 2016, 06:12 AM
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Thanks to all for your info & advice. I'm sure we'll benefit from it w/a better planned vacation.
arjaykay is offline  
Mar 24th, 2016, 07:18 AM
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I think you should definitely plan on spending more than 2 or 3 days in Barcelona, esp with jetlag to factor in. Considering how long you have overall for your trip, there is no need to be so rushed at the beginning. I would suggest at least as long as you have allocated for the other places, 5 days would be good for Barcelona. There are lots of interesting day-trips if you were to tire of the city.
Madrid has a much shorter history than Barcelona does (under 500 years) so unless you are keen to visit all the art museums, 2-3 days is fine for Madrid. Toledo is normally done as a day-trip from Madrid.

You might want to add somewhere in Cadiz province (Jerez or Cadiz maybe)to explore that area, rather than 5 days each in Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla.

Btw you can eat very well in Barcelona without paying the prices charged by the Adriá brothers!
lynda_berlin is offline  
Mar 25th, 2016, 12:31 AM
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Of course, but especially Tickets is a bargain for what you get. Have had 15-17 tapas lunch and dinner here the past couple of years with plenty of beer/cava included for 75-85€ pr. person. Laid-back, fun and fabulous value for money for a resturant currently ranked mong the 50 best in the world.
kimhe is offline  
Mar 25th, 2016, 07:55 AM
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Hello Arjaykay -

I will be spending three weeks of my trip in Andalusia this October. I will spend nights (always two or more) in Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz, Jerez, Malaga, and Ronda. I will most likely do a daytrip to Arcos. I will fly into and home from Madrid, allowing me once again to spend several days in my favorite Spanish big city.
jack333 is offline  

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