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pgriffin May 10th, 2012 03:48 AM

Andalusia - 11 days in late Sept / early Oct 2012
 
Hi All,

Just looking for some advice on an itinerary as per my title.

Was thinking of sticking to Western Andalusia and just returning some other time to do Nerja, Granada and Cordoba etc.

For this time, given 11 days, I would like to restrict it to 3 places and not be rushing around too much.

How does the following sound:

Seville - 4 days
Jerez De La Frontera - 3 days
Cadiz - 4 days (finish with some beach time)

Our interests are food, drink, culture and sightseeing (pretty standard I guess). How does the above sound? Should we try and get out to a village for a couple of days also or instead of some of the allotted time?

I believe the weather is pretty good at this time of the year - cooler but still ok?

Is the Rough Guide to Andalusia the best guide book?

Thanks in advance.
P

cheapboxofwine May 10th, 2012 04:43 AM

We were in Jerez over Santa Semana a couple of years ago. There is not a whole lot to do there unless you want to visit a sherry distillery, horse dancing show or perhaps a day trip to the white villages. Was not a touristy place at all but we did enjoy our time. We stayed at a nice little place- so nice I forgot the name but can easily find it on Trip Advisor if you need a recommendation.

mamcalice May 10th, 2012 04:53 AM

With 11 days, you ought to be able to include Granada. To my mind, a visit to the Alhambra is the highlight of Andalucia. You could take a day from Jerez and Cadiz and stop in Granada.

We have been in Andalucia in September when the temperatures were in the 90s(F) so you should have warm weather at that time of the year.

WomBatt May 10th, 2012 07:02 AM

'Is the Rough Guide to Andalusia the best guide book?' - If it is not top two (and I cannot name a second) I will be surprised.

'Should we try and get out to a village for a couple of days also or instead of some of the allotted time?' - Yes, village or modest size town like Carmona, an easy day trip by bus, (you do not say how you will travel around), from Seville. And no need to change accommodation.

kimhe May 10th, 2012 08:28 AM

Will normally be excellent weather, sunny and not too hot. Good idea to finnish off with some beach time in Cádiz, some of the finest beaches in the country around here.

The largest and most prestigious flamenco festival in the world takes place in Sevilla between Sept 7 and Oct 6. Another planet than what most tourists are presented with, and a night in a Sevilla theater during the Bienal de Flamenco could easily be the highlight of your trip.
http://www.flamencotickets.com/festi...o-sevilla.html

Azagar has got excellent suggestions for tapas bars and restaurants in Sevilla by district. Be sure to visit places outside the beautiful but touristy Santa Cruz district. Take a closer look at Enrique Becerra, Eslava, Bodega dos de Mayo, Rinconcillo and La Primera del Puente for a start.
http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/

This site is very good on Sevilla, always updated info:
http://www.exploreseville.com/

cheapboxofwine May 10th, 2012 09:37 AM

Kimhe- did you say flamenco? Is Rocio Molina performing? I just might have to fly down for this fest if she is!

nytraveler May 10th, 2012 09:48 AM

First, you can expect Sept to still be very hot. Perhaps not in the 100s any longer - but make sure your hotel and car have good AC.

Second, I would not miss Granada or Cordoba for either Cadiz or Jeez, which are secondary tourist venues.

Our second trip we did visit Jerez, but then we are fans of sherry - but wither Granada or Crodoba has much more to see and do. (The second trip we did spend a few days on the coast and also visited Ubeda.)

CathyM May 10th, 2012 04:01 PM

If I had 11 days and wanted to visit 3 places for a first trip to Andalucia I'd probably do things a little different. I'd definately spend 4-5 days in Sevilla and 2-3 in Granada. I'd visit Cordoba as a daytrip from Sevilla or even between Sevilla and Granada. For a 3rd choice Cadiz is good, especially if you do not have a car as there are many daytrip possibilities. Another 3rd choice that may work well logistically is Malaga. Larger than Cadiz but a port city with a nice old town and also lots of daytrip opportunities.

Weather should be quite nice especially if your trip is in the 2nd half of September.

kimhe May 10th, 2012 08:15 PM

cheapboxofwine,

The program for the Bienal is not set yet, but I'll be surprised if Rocío Molina is not performing. Since she had her real breakthrough in 2007, she has turned female flamenco dance upside down, and her performances in both the 2008 and 2010 Bienal were huge events that left nobody indifferent. You never know where she goes next. Here in a 2006 performance in a small theater in her native Málaga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R_4pudSras

I've great expectations for this Bienal and the new artistic director Rosalía Gómez. http://www.labienal.com/

cheapboxofwine May 10th, 2012 10:08 PM

Thanks Kimhe! I will check out your link as time goes on. By chance I attended a performance of Rocio Molina when she was touring Sweden. I was absolutely blown away- breathtaking performance- literally! and I knew nothing about flamenco going in (that's why I bought tickets).

stevelyon May 11th, 2012 12:23 AM

I also have been researching this area for some time - so I will be interested in how it works out. I am not inclined to spend as much time in Cadiz but seems like a good base for exploring around there - places like Sanluca appeal to me especially as it allows access by boat to the big national park there (i like wildlife). But like I say I haven't been yet so I may be disappointed by my own plans. The best of luck - and report back.

pgriffin May 11th, 2012 12:28 AM

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions, much appreciated.

So that would be Seville, Granada and Cadiz, with day trips to Cordoba and a white village. Hopefully that's not too much for 11 days, maybe it can be 12 days if the flights work out right.

kimhe May 11th, 2012 02:52 AM

cheapboxofwine (and sorry to OP and everybody else for interfering),

You obviously know greatness when you see it, and some tour you got in Sweden in 2008! Molina is the most awarded flamenco dancer the past four years, and New York Times described her in 2009 as "one of the finest soloists in the world today".

pgriffin May 11th, 2012 05:54 AM

Ok I actually have 12 full days (flying into Seville and out of Malaga) and have revised it ss follows:

5 days Seville with a day trip to Ronda;
4 days Cadiz, incl. a day or two at the beach in Tarifa;
3 days Granada.

Cordoba will have to be omitted this time I think in the interests of relaxation.

Does this seem ok?

Thanks a mil.

CathyM May 11th, 2012 07:03 AM

With 5 days in Sevilla you should be able to do 2 day trips. I'd choose Cordoba over Ronda as a daytrip from Sevilla - not only for the logistics (Ronda is more than twice the travel time) but also for the wealth of sights Cordoba has to offer.

With 4 days in Cadiz you could visit Arcos de la Frontera if you want to visit see the white villages area. It's only an hour away. Other villages nearby are Vejer de la Frontera and Medina Sidonia. If you are visiting Tarifa just for a beach day there are plenty of beaches in Cadia and much closer places than Tarifa.

Flying out of Malaga is a good idea - if you have time it's a great city to visit.

Will you rent a car for any part of this trip? If so you could visit Ronda between Cadiz and Granada as a daytrip. But a car wouldn't be mandatory with the itinerary you've chosen.

pgriffin May 11th, 2012 07:49 AM

Thanks CathyM, we hadn't planned on renting a car but what you say makes sense.

Is Ronda a "must see" or are there other substitutes that are equally good (like some of those you mention above near Cadiz)?

Understood re Tarifa, thanks.

I'm just weary of trying to include too much. Seville-Cadiz-Granada seems like a neat triangle, while bringing Cordoba into the mix just seems like too much in 12 days and I've heard that a day trip there does not do it justice?

Egbert May 11th, 2012 08:42 AM

Ronda is not a must see. It's picturesque, especially from the gorge. If you are interested in the Mezquita at all visit Cordoba as a daytrip from Seville, if not, don't worry. Granada is one of my favorite places in the world but universal consensus seems to be that 3 nights is a lot. On the other hand i always believe Spain is better experienced by relaxing and spending as much time as possible in one place.

CathyM May 11th, 2012 08:59 AM

I agree with Egbert. Ronda is pretty but it isn't a must see (IMHO). I'd visit Cordoba as the daytrip from Sevilla. Arcos is an easy daytrip by bus from Cadiz (only an hour) and is arguably just as nice to visit as Ronda. Vejer and Medina are also easy daytrips from Cadiz and don't get the tourist traffic that Ronda gets - which makes them attractive to me.

I also prefer a slower pace of travel - learned the hard way after 3 whirlwind trips where I was basically just checking off places to visit. It was so much nicer when I learned to slow down, get to know a place better and actually meet local people.

I spent 3 nights in Granada during my last trip and it was fine. It was during the May Crosses so I had more to see than at a normal time. I could have probably done 2 days and still not been rushed - so it's up to you. I could spend a week in Sevilla and find plenty to do. In addition to the neighborhoods wonderful for just roaming, there are numerous daytrip possibilities. 4 nights is good for Cadiz - especially if you plan to do daytrips. I travel to Cadiz ever year without a car and it makes a great base for daytrips (Sanlucar, Jerez, Arcos, Vejer, Puerto de Santa Maria, etc...). In addition the old town is great for random wandering with narrow streets and shops. The nice thing about staying in base cities versus moving around is that you can have flexibility to stay put for the day or take a day trip. You can play it by ear and just enjoy - which is the point of being on vacation!

pgriffin May 11th, 2012 02:14 PM

Thanks all. I think I have a much better idea of what I'm at now!

pgriffin May 17th, 2012 06:38 AM

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys.

I have finalised an outline itinerary (see below), which seems ok to me. I now have 12 days and will fly into Seville and out of Malaga.

Seville – 4 full days;
Cadiz – 6 full days, including two day trips to white villages, e.g. Arcos DLF, Medina Sidonia etc, and some beach time in and around Cadiz.
Granada – 2 full days

Any thoughts? I know this excludes Cordoba but I believe from reading around that Seville warrants 4 days and I really want to go to Cadiz, see white villages and the Alhamabra seems like the #1 thing to do in Andalusia. Hence, no time for Cordoba as well without rushing to the point of not really relaxing at all.


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