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Andalucia itinerary help

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Feb 21st, 2015, 12:39 AM
  #1
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Andalucia itinerary help

My husband, adult daughter and I will be visiting Andalucia for 14 days in April. We fly into Malaga and out of Sevilla. We plan to rent a car for our time in the hill towns and any other time when it wouldn't be a problem to have a car. We will use public transportation when necessary. We prefer to stay awhile in each place rather than move frequently. We enjoy all cultural activities, especially music and festivals, hiking, architecture and food. Please comment on our very rough itinerary. We welcome all suggestions.

1,2 Sleep in Malaga

3,4,5 Sleep in Ronda (Take the hill towns drive.)

6,7 Sleep in Granada

8,9,10 Sleep in Cordoba

11, 12, 13, 14 Sleep in Sevilla

Some specific questions: Should we get the car in Malaga and keep it all the way until Sevilla? It might be useful for the day trips but will it be too big of a problem in Cordoba and Granada?

What day trips do you suggest or are there places we should stop in route?

Thank you very much!
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Feb 21st, 2015, 01:27 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Sounds like a fabulous trip!

I just commented on Andalucia in April on another thread: Andalucia in April is about as good as it gets, spring is coming and the heat is a couple of months away. Just be aware that Semana Santa/Holy week goes on until April 6th. It's massive in Andalucia, fiesta and devotion hand in hand for a whole week. Could be a huge experience, but you should know of it. And the Feria de Abril/April Fair in Sevilla goes on from April 21 to 26. Also a huge event and lots of fun.

Semana Santa: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/easter/home.htm
Feria de Abril: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/seville-feria.htm

A couple of tips:

Hiking: Torcal, just North of Malaga city: http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

Music and festivals:
See the greatest flamenco artists in the world in theaters around Andalucia. The scedule is updated here: http://www.deflamenco.com/conciertos...andalucia.html

Wonderful Sara Baras dances in Gran Teatro Falla in her native Cádiz from April 23 to 26. http://www.cadizdiferente.com/sara-b...de-cadiz-2015/
Online tickets: http://www.tickentradas.com/eventos/...ra-baras-cadiz

I could go here for the sole purpose of seeing Baras dance "Voces" in her home town. Here's a clip from the performance when it recently was staged in Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris for three weeks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5jI4DVPOJ4
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Feb 21st, 2015, 01:49 AM
  #3
kja
 
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Should be a great trip!

FWIW, you might consider shifting one night from Ronda to Granada. I had planned to stay in Ronda longer than I did; I felt that I had seen everything that I wanted to see in less than one day (but I wasn't trying to drive anywhere from Ronda). In contrast, I thought Granada required at least two nights just to see the Alhambra (with visits during the day AND the evening) and additional time to see Granada's other highlights. JMO -- YMMV.

BTW, I like that you are giving Cordoba time enough to see more than the Mezquita!!

Enjoy!
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Feb 21st, 2015, 02:00 AM
  #4
 
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Just a thought about the rental car. Last December we rented a car from one of the majors in Malaga, and were grateful for an upgrade. But, the car was a little wider than the one we ordered, and in some of the Pueblos Blancas, that was a real problem. Getting to the Parador in Arcos de la Frontera requires driving through very narrow streets!

Stay with something small, and be certain the car has 4 doors. A two door car has doors that are just too difficult to use in narrow streets and restricted parking areas.
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Feb 21st, 2015, 03:14 AM
  #5
 
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Great site about architecture in Andalucia: http://www.andalucia.com/art/architecture.htm

The dolmens in Antequera should not be missed. Antequera itself is also a small town with lots of very interesting buildings and constructions, such as the Roman baths and the Santa Maria la Mayor, the first partly renaissance style church in Spain (early 16th century).
http://elboqueronviajero.com/en/spai...-of-antequera/
http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5668/

Local food not to miss include espinacas con garbanzos (deliciously seasoned spinach and chickpeas, Sevilla), salmorejo (a thicker variant of the vegetable soup gazpacho, Cordoba), porra (even thicker than salmorejo, Antequera), conchas finas (colourful and divine clams, Malaga), rabo de toro (oxtail stew) and the plain fantastic world's best cured ham, jamon iberico de bellota (especially from the small town of Jabugo in the Huelva region not far from Sevilla). And not much beat a great Arroz caldoso (a more soupy variant of paella): http://www.andalucia.com/gastronomy/home.htm

"The emerging fine food scene in Málaga and around": http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...taurants-tapas
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Feb 21st, 2015, 05:35 AM
  #6
 
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We have done all of those areas and the trips were by car. We had a midsize and there were some places (getting to the center of Ubeda) where it was a little bit of an adventure.

Be aware that in smaller towns you may be on some streets that are narrower than the car - you drive with one or both sets of wheels on the sidewalk. Also, whenever you park fold in both side mirrors or risk losing them. And practice parallel parking in tiny spaces on either side of the car.

We found having the freedom of a car well worth the small trouble - but do be sure your hotels have garages.
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Feb 21st, 2015, 11:01 PM
  #7
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Thank you all for your invaluable information. Your detailed suggestions will really help us with our itinerary. My husband would like to visit Jerez to see the sherry production. Would this be a possible day trip from Sevilla? Would it be best to keep our rental car or take public transportation? Regarding the Alhambra tickets, should we get 2 separate tickets, one for daytime and one for evening? I will probably have more questions as I refine our itinerary. I love the food suggestions! I very much appreciate all of you taking the time to help us.
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Feb 21st, 2015, 11:17 PM
  #8
kja
 
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"Regarding the Alhambra tickets, should we get 2 separate tickets, one for daytime and one for evening?"

Most definitely! Preferable in that order. And if there are two evening options when you are there (the Nasrid Palace or the Generalife), you might want to consider buying tickets for both evening options in addition to your daytime visit!

To explain: The evening visits are limited to FAR fewer people than the visits during the day. You are also limited to only ONE part of the vast Alhambra, either the Nasrid Palace (visiting it at night remains one of my all-time most memorable moments) or the Generalife (which was not an option for evening visits when I was there). You can also visit these areas during the day, and I would recommend doing so as part of your earlier visit.

BTW, I thought the audioguide for the Alhambra (which I believe is available ONLY during the day) quite good.
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Feb 26th, 2015, 01:19 AM
  #9
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Thank you once again for all the helpful suggestions. After doing more research, we now have more questions. We are trying to decide which of these routes would be best.

Route one:

1,2 Sleep in Malaga

3,4,5 Sleep in Ronda (Take the hill towns drive.) (Drive through Antequera on the way from Ronda to Granada.)

6,7, 8 Sleep in Granada (We took a night from Cordoba to have another night in Granada.)

9,10 Sleep in Cordoba (Drive through Jaen on the drive between Granada and Cordoba)

11, 12, 13, 14 Sleep in Sevilla

route two:

1, 2 Malaga

3, 4, 5 Granada (Drive along the coast from Malaga through Nerja to Granada.)

6, 7 Cordoba (Drive through Jaen on the drive between Granada and Cordoba.)

8, 9, 10 Ronda (Drive through Antequera on the way from Cordoba to Ronda.)

11, 12, 13, 14 Sevilla

Which plan makes the most sense to you?

Other questions:

~Should we visit Jerez from Ronda or Sevilla? If we visit from Sevilla, perhaps we should take a night from Ronda and add a night to Sevilla.

~Can anyone recommend a drive that includes several hill towns including Arcos?

~Is Ronda the best base for exploring the area?

~Are there other scenic roads (or interesting sites) we should consider?

~If we buy a morning ticket to the Alhambra, do we have to leave the whole property at the end of the session or just the ticketed area? In other words, can we continue to explore the gardens, etc.?

~Are there other "must sees" that we have omitted?

We are fortunate to be visiting Sevilla during the Feria de Abril. Any suggestions on how to make the most of it? I have already booked an apartment for our time in Sevilla. It is near the Museum of Flamenco.

Thank you again for your help. It is very much appreciated!
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Feb 26th, 2015, 05:26 PM
  #10
kja
 
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"Which plan makes the most sense to you?"

Have you checked where the Mondays fall? Lots of things (not all!) are closed in Spain on Sunday afternoon and all day on Monday.

"Can anyone recommend a drive that includes several hill towns including Arcos? ... Are there other scenic roads (or interesting sites) we should consider"

Have you played around with routes on viamichelin?
http://www.viamichelin.com

Should be a great trip!
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