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Andalusia (Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba) trip report

Andalusia (Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba) trip report

Old Nov 30th, 2014, 02:35 AM
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Andalusia (Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba) trip report

This will be a brief but informative report.

Flew in to Malaga due to Ryan air flight, rented car through Hertz with a great deal for 6 days, 78 euros booked online (rental car), so we thought.

Hertz= at counter, lady shows me receipt for 376 euros, wtf? She included, second driver, gas and insurance without me asking for it. Told her I didn't need them but she told me gas had to be on there at 65 euros extra, oh well. (btw, this is bs, dealing with hertz now). Anyhow, I brought back the car with only 10 Km left before empty, I pushed it, i know.

Sevilla= stood at Hotel Becquer, close to city center and had secured parking at 16.50E a day.
About a 2 hr drive from Malaga at about 120 Km's per hour the majority of the way, this region has great roads but scenery boring, endless olive trees. The hotel turned off the A/C and the rooftop terrace was closed, which sucked because the pictures online promised both. It was warm in the 70's so I needed a fan to sleep as too much outside noise from open windows. The staff made up for these minuses though. Great help.

Sevilla itself= good city for a few days, highlight was the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Lots of walking to do but you will need a map as to there being no guidance signs or are hard to find. I coudnt do more than a few days as it is not a huge city with a ton of must see attractions like Paris or London.

Cordoba= Went there specifically for the cathedral/Mosque attraction and It was great. Stood at a hotel near the Roman bridge. Finding the hotel was a PITA and I think I will expect a "crossing a restricted street" fine in the mail soon, its a hard city to maneuver in with a car. Not a great walking city as we couldn't find anything that stood out after the cathedral/mosque. Was there only 1 day.

Granada= about 2 hours from Cordoba by car. Went there for the Alhambra, wow, must see. We had great weather and bigger than what you think. Tickets are said to be a PITA to get but we got ours the day prior.

Tickets procedures for The Alhambra= online or at the front gate. You have 2 time options to choose from when choosing online, 0830-1430, 1430-1700 and then hourly slots in those time frames, this is confusing and means: my 1200 chosen slot is for the palace entry time frame till 1430, not the whole Alhambra. I can be in the Alhambra all day but my time to enter the palace within the Alhambra is slotted from 1200-1430 (but a good hour is enough anyways).

I bought my tickets online but picked them up at the front gate automated machines by the bookstore with no waiting at all. I guess summertime its more crowded. I parked right up front also, about 8 euros for 3-4 hours.

The food of Spain= I dont like it. I'm not crazy about Jamon or Tapas and the selection in between is lacking. I like to cook so I can appreciate good food. Went to a foo-foo restaurant in Cordoba for grilled octopus and cohinito, pricey and just , okay. Morrocan food in Sevilla was good but again too much fluff over substance and I make a mean chicken tagine. Tasty though.

After jones'ing for a burger we ate at a number 3 on yelp place in Sevilla. I got food poisoning from the burger, spouse thought it smelled rancid but it tasted good. Holy hell was I doing an Exorcist remake in my hotel room for the next whole day! Sad when you look forward to finding a Mcdonalds.

Would do differently next time= go from Malaga-Granada-Cordoba-Sevilla route as this cuts out driving time.

I wanted to enjoy the view and smoke a cigar on hotel rooftop, didn't happen, I would call ahead of time to confirm, would of been great after a long day. In Sevilla, Hotel Dona Maria has a great view from the cathedral tower and is next to the cathedral with rooftop pool, for what its worth.

The people of Andalusia are warmer than Barcelona/Madrid but its a slower paced living.
elpansonloco is offline  
Old Nov 30th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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thanks for your trip report and details about the Alhambra entry, though i am not altogether sure that this is accurate:


unless they have changed the rules since we were there [also in November when we too enjoyed mostly warm sunny weather and very few crowds at the Alhambra] the time on the ticket gives you a 30 minute "slot" for entering the Nasrid palaces - there is no limit on the amount of time you can spend looking at them once you are in there, though it may be that they turf you out at 2pm when the morning session ends.

the best website with details of the ticketing arrangements seems to be this one, though they are all pretty confusing:


it has always struck me as weird that if you have a ticket for the morning session at the Alhambra you can spend all day there, but if you have an afternoon slot, you can't. [BTW, a friend said that there were denied entry to the Generalife because they arrived after 2 pm with morning session tickets but as we managed to get there before the end of our morning session, we didn't have that problem; I've not idea if it is a real rule or just someone being awkward].

IME not all spanish food is jamon and tapas - we have had some great stews including a great oxtail stew in Granada. If you like a slower pace of spanish life and good food we can strongly recommend Valencia - plenty to do and see and excellent food.
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Old Nov 30th, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Regarding food in Spain, seven of the top 50 restaurants on the S. Pellegrino's The World's Best Restaurants are Spanish (four French and four Italian). Three of the top nine are Spanish. http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners#t1-50

Spain's status as a cutting edge gastronomical country during the past fifteen years has trickled down from the top restaurants to much of the normal food scene almost all around the country. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/di...TsBrUWF1uDGM5w

Fabulous food especially in the Basque Country (San Sebastian, Bilbao etc.) and the rest of the North, but loads of fantastic places, from tapas bars to restaurants, in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla. My favourite city in the South, 3000 year old Malaga, is also undergoing a sort of a food revolution. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...taurants-tapas

You should be ill informed to not eat extremely well almost all over Spain whatever your food preferences. Here are for example some of Sevilla based Azahar's recommendations in her town: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/about/
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 01:45 PM
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Having said that, good and to the point info, elpansonloco!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 02:28 PM
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About Alhambra entry. You first choose AM or PM and then specific time every 30 min for entry into Nasrid Palaces. Once inside, you can stay until the whole complex closes in the evening (i.e. you won't be turfed out at 2 pm with AM ticket). If you have AM ticket, you must enter the three ticketed areas - Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba (fortress) and Generalife (summer palace and gardens) - before 2 pm, and with afternoon ticket after 2 pm, and you can enter once only (your ticket barcode is scanned to check). If your ticket states Nasrid Palaces 10 am, you need to be at the entrance between 10 - 10.30, but suggest you get there closer to 10 am. You won't be allowed in before 10 am. There are unticketed areas within the complex, such as Charles V Palace with two museums, parish church, Arab bath and former burial site of the Catholic Monarchs within the Parador, so you can fit them in around your reserved time.
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