Andalucia itinerary critique

May 21st, 2019, 08:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 91
Andalucia itinerary critique

My husband and I are planning a two week trip and would appreciate your thoughts about our itinerary. It would be for the last week of October and the first week in November. We'd likely combine trains and car rental. (BTW, we visited Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, and Barcelona a few years ago.)

Day 1. Arrive Madrid in am. Take train to Cordoba
Day 2. Cordoba
Day 3. Cordoba (pick up car) to Ubeda via Jaen and Baeza
Day 4. Ubeda to Granada
Day 5. Granada
Day 6. Granada to Malaga via Antequera
Day 7. Malaga to Ronda
Day 8. Ronda (driving loop to Setenil de la Bodegas, Zahar de la Sierra, El Bosque, Grazalema)
Day 9. Ronda to Jerez de la Fontera via Gilbralter
Day 10. Jerez de la Fontera to Seville (return car) via Arcos
Day 11-12 Seville
Day 13 Seville late train to Madrid
Day 14. am flight to NYC
Summary: 2n Cordoba, 1n Ubeda, 2n Granada, 1n Malaga, 2n Ronda, 1 Jerez de la Fontera, 3n Seville, 1n Madrid.

Thinking I might drop Malaga and add a night to Jerez or Madrid or day trip to Tangiers.

I'm wondering about the weather this time of year. I much rather it cool, but I'm concerned it might be too rainy, or even snowy in the Sierra's (concerned about driving.) I initially planned this trip for September, but the international flights I had my eyes on are now gone. I'm not convinced October/November is a good time to visit.

Thank you!!
pasqualino is offline  
May 21st, 2019, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'd probably drop Malaga (as much as I love it) but one night isn't really much considering your drive from Granada. I'd also drop Tangiers.

We very much enjoyed Cadiz and did Jerez as a day trip. Food for thought.

We had a car in Granada and stayed in this hotel right by the entrance to Alhambra - easy in/out parking. You can walk to the main town or there's a frequent jitney bus.

Hotel Guadalupe | Junto a la Alhambra, Granada | Web oficial

Can't comment on weather - we were there in February and driving was fine, but YMMV.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 21st, 2019, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Because you are not spending any time in Madrid because you have been there before, is it necessary to fly in and out of Madrid? I suggest doing an open jaw or multi-city ticket, fly into one city and home from another so that you don't waste time backtracking. Perhaps you could fly into Seville and home from Malaga. A possible itinerary order could be Seville, Cordoba, Ubeda, Granada, Ronda and then Malaga. Or do the reverse: fly into Malaga and home from Seville.

I would spend 4 nights in Seville. It's a beautiful city with lots of important historical and cultural sites. If you can, I would spend 2 nights in Malaga. We loved Malaga. It's a beautiful city with lots of interesting sites, such as the Cathedral, Alcazaba, Castillo, art museums, Promenade along the port. It's nice to have some coastal ambiance. Two nights in Cordoba and two nights in Granada are good. I have not been to the white towns so can't really comment. I agree with Elizabeth about dropping Tangiers.

You should check some international weather data sights. We were in Andalucia from mid-September to very early October. It was primarily in the 80's but Seville was 90 - 95 in early October. So I think most places should be decent weather in late October and early November. But you really need to check historical weather data.
KarenWoo is offline  
May 21st, 2019, 04:47 PM
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Posts: 502
I was in Andalucia during the second half of October and the weather was perfect.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
May 21st, 2019, 04:49 PM
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Posts: 78,221
book those two long-distance trains early to get possible discounts - Renfe is a struggle for me to use but is so easy and is said to have similar prices. For lots on trains check; BETS-European Rail Experts and
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Andalucia itinerary critique

Good decision Great months to travel South of Spain. No crowds, fair prices, better service than from July to September.

About weather in October and November :
Pleasant temperatures in October ( 17ºC/ 24º C ) and Novermber ( 11ºC/19ºC )
Sunny weather overall, maximum 3% rain In October and November​​​​​​.

About your itinerary :
KarenWoo is 100% right. Malaga has a great major who transformed totally the city, for better ! You should not skip it.

In Seville, you should visit the nearby little town Carmona, 5000 years old + or -. Outmost interesting museum with remains of the mysterious civilization of the Tartessos, tasty and cheap Tapas at Plaza San Fernando, Plaza de Abastos, Wonderful panoramic views from the Parador, Roman archeology ( necropolis, amphitheater ) etc.

Regarding the trip Ronda - Gibraltar - Jerez de la Frontera, I think that, unless you have private business to arrange in Gibraltar, need to watch monkeys in freedom who steal everything they catch and don't want to miss the sad social panorama of Línea de la Concepción, one of the areas most affected by drugs and criminality, I advise you to replace Gibraltar by a more authentic route which will bring to you more culture, best tourist attractions and nice gastronomic experiences.

Check this :
Ronda - Medina Sidonia - Chiclana - Cádiz - Jerez de la Frontera.
As for the duration of the journey, almost the same as the one you had originally planned.

On this different route, you can admire small villages not polluted by the mass tourism, taste a bit of excellent Chiclana sherry ( so different of Jerez de la Frontera sherries ) , experience the decadent beauty of Cadiz and enjoy there a delicious lunch of fresh fish accompanied by the refreshing white wines of the region. Walking quietly through the beautiful - albeit somewhat not too well maintained - old town of Cadiz,after lunch, will help you to dissipate the ethyl vapors of the wine and understand why Goya loved the atmosphere of this city when he was the guest of his wealthy friend Sebastian Miranda.
jannie_1947 is offline  
May 25th, 2019, 08:22 AM
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We did similar trip (a bit shorter) in October 2013. We also flew RT from Madrid, and upon arrival took train straight to Cordoba. It was early enough in the day, that we had time to do some sightseeing when we arrived in Cordoba. We spent 1 night there, the 2 in Granada, 1 in Rhonda, 3 in Seville, 1 in Madrid.

We took trains for all legs, except to/from Rhonda, where we took buses. We decided against having a car, because parking in these places is difficult, and we only needed transportation between cities, which is easy by bus/train.

When we were there the weather was mostly very nice, but it poured on the day we toured Alhambra, We were prepared so managed ok, and it did clear up later in the day, when we toured the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation (it was a combo ticket, and the foundation was well worth seeing).

We also loved Seville, and could have easily spent more time there. We loved our tours with Concepción Delgado. Wish we had time to do more.

Last edited by MFNYC; May 25th, 2019 at 08:57 AM.
MFNYC is offline  
May 25th, 2019, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 291
​​​​Our two driving trips to Andalucia were in November and both times the weather was phenomenal: not a single drop of rain, bright sunshine, temperatures around 70-75F. In Malaga, it was up to 85F on one of the days.

I would not advise to take a day away from beautiful Malaga - so much to see and enjoy there. We liked Jerez (and sweet sherry tasting) and made a day trip to Cadiz, but Malaga was the city that stole my heart forever. Everything was lovely: the Alcazaba, climb to Castello de Gibralfaro with breathtaking views along the way, lovely vibrant market full of Andalucian delicacies, ripe fruits and sweet berries, amazing authentic Flamenco shows, stunning Malaga Cathedral, world class museums... And shopping is great as well.

I really like your plan to visit charming and non-touristy Antequera.

Ronda was a crowded to the brim, so if you stay overnight you will see the famous views of El Tajo Gorge without swarms of day trippers.

And do not miss the loveliest Arcos de la Frontera, if you like beautiful views. It is not far from Jerez on the way to Ronda.

And do try to add one day to Seville - two days would not be not enough to enjoy this true gem of Andalucia, IMO.

Last edited by vinonobile987; May 25th, 2019 at 11:35 AM.
vinonobile987 is offline  
May 26th, 2019, 05:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 91
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. I'm revising our itinerary based on your very helpful suggestions.
pasqualino is offline  
Jun 7th, 2019, 06:43 PM
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Chiming in late, and thinking you have a great plan in the works!

2 nights in Granada could mean just one day there – whch is really just enough time for the Alhambra. Maybe you have more time on other days?
kja is offline  

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