Andalusia itinerary: a few questions

Old Apr 15th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Andalusia itinerary: a few questions

Hi all, my husband and I have planned a trip for the end of August. We know it's going to be incredibly hot, but our good friends are getting married in Seville, which will be the ending for our trip. We're in our mid- to late-30s and are not bringing our kids (so we can't go away for longer). Below is what we have planned so far. Questions follow the itinerary.
  1. Thu, Aug 22: Fly overnight to Madrid
  2. Fri, Aug 23: Land next day in Madrid, pick up rental car and drive to Granada (4 hours)
  3. Sat, Aug 24: See Alhambra (buying tickets as soon as they are up on the official site) and spend the day in seeing Granada
  4. Sun, Aug 25: Drive to Costa del Sol; town TBD
  5. Mon, Aug 26: Spend the day in Costa del Sol; town TBD
  6. Tue, Aug 27: Leave Costa del Sol, see Cordoba for the day and drive to Seville to arrive by night
  7. Wed, Aug 28: See Seville, drop off rental car.
  8. Thu, Aug 29: See Seville during first half of day; wedding festivities start that evening and last until Sat, Aug 31. We fly back home the next day.
Questions
  1. Overall thoughts on the itinerary? Again, we're limited by time given that we're leaving the kids behind and have already booked our flight to/from home.
  2. We have flexibility in terms of what we do in between. Any thoughts on arriving in Seville on the 28th instead of the 27th and spending one more day in either Granada or Costa del Sol? It seems that Seville is where we should spend most of our time and we're not sure how much we can see once the wedding starts.
  3. Any recommendations for a town in Costa del Sol with a great resort? We are celebrating our milestone wedding anniversary and this will be the part of our trip where we really relax and splurge a bit. Looking into Nerja, Malaga, and Marbella but will stay in anywhere that's beautiful.
Thanks in advance to everyone for any advice you can share.
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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  1. <<Fri, Aug 23: Land next day in Madrid, pick up rental car and drive to Granada (4 hours)>>
First mistake. You'll be a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road.
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 09:17 AM
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Yes, judging on recent years temperature, it will be hot as Hades in Seville in August. Poor you!

I hate to say it, but with only a week, I would ditch Granada. I would take a flight to Malaga or Seville and work the itinerary from there.

Sorry!
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 10:15 AM
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StCirq We are also considering taking the train to Granada. But having done a similar drive after landing in Portugal, we feel comfortable doing it. My husband sleeps well on planes.

OReilly64 Ditching Granada is not an option. I'm not sure when next we'll be in the region and I'm not going all the way there without seeing Alhambra!

Thanks for the feedback so far though.
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Hi,

Take the train, bus or plane to Granada (you are already at the airport) from Madrid. The transport system in Spain is great, even pleasant. Consider seeing the Nasrid palaces in the evening and touring them again during the day. There is a shaded wonderful café in the Parador where you can relax and take a break during the day.

It was 110F last year in August from 10am to midnight. Having a pool at the hotel made a huge difference.

I loved Cordoba and Sevilla. Check out a flamenco show at La Casa del Flamenco in Sevilla.

I heard that the Costa del Sol is crowded and has a lot high buildings. The pictures that I saw were not appealing. Maybe someone else can give you advice on that portion of the trip.

Last edited by ToujoursVoyager; Apr 15th, 2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 11:09 AM
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I understand, and it is a wonderful experience

Use this site for logistics. It is where I always start with my trip planning.

https://www.rome2rio.com/

Regards
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 11:49 AM
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OReilly64 Thanks for the site!

ToujoursVoyager I could skip Costa del sol and spend more time in Granada, exploring more of the city and using it as a base for a day trip or two. But my husband, who has already seen Granada and Cordoba, is seeing it again with me. This was a way to also build in something he wants to visit. He really wants to relax and indulge somewhere. This is our very first vacation without kids!

Any suggestions for resorts or towns in the area are welcome!
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 12:25 PM
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Instead of the Costa del Sol, I would look at the Costa de la Luz--more charming, less overbuilt. The beaches near Vejer de la Frontera looked nice from afar.
What to do in beautiful Costa de la Luz | Andalucia.com
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 02:31 PM
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I agree with yorkshire. Fabulous beaches at the Costa de la Luz. Less resort-y than Marbella, though.
Check out Estepona on the Costa del Sol. Nice beaches and fewer tourists than in Marbella or Nerja.
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 04:01 PM
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Unfortunately, prior success with driving immediately after an overnight flight is no indication of safety: Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter whether you sleep on the flight and no matter your prior experience! And please be patient with me if you think I’m being overly adamant, but I know too many people who have died or been seriously injured in accidents to which jet lag was a contributing factor, and I know too many people who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the knowledge that they were responsible for accidents that resulted in multiple deaths, including those of children, all because they were too confident in their ability to drive safely with jet lag. The issue has become a bit of a cause célèbre for me.

FWIW, I think Granada best suited to a stay of 3 nights, which gives you 1 day for the Alhambra (and yes, it can take the better part of a day) and 1 day for Granada's other treasures. But I can understand the pull of trying to meet differing needs and interests -- always complicated!

As you know, you can not possibly see all there is to see in Andalusia in the time you have, so thinking about where you might be most comfortable and would be most likely to enjoy your time as a couple makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure broiling in Sevilla or Cordoba would be my choice; YMMV. ;-)
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Old Apr 15th, 2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
  1. <<Fri, Aug 23: Land next day in Madrid, pick up rental car and drive to Granada (4 hours)>>
First mistake. You'll be a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road.
Second that.
It is more like: "Land next day in Madrid, a 30 minute or more walk to passport control, stand in line, walk to luggage, wait for luggage, go to rental car counter, wait while agent tries to up-sell whoever is ahead."

Last time we rented a car in Madrid it took three tries and about 90 minutes to find a car that was not broken (stay away from Avis in MAD)

That 4 hour drive can easily become a seven or eight hour ordeal.

Either train to Seville and make it your base or pass on Granada or the coast.

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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 06:04 AM
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The beaches of the Costa de la Luz are easily accessible from Sevilla and are about a hundred times prettier than the ones I've seen on the Costa del Sol. And there are few areas with seafood as good as the seafood you will find in that area.

Why in the world do you not just fly to Granada, with a plane change in Madrid? It's so easy.


I was just in Sevilla. Flew from NYC to MAD, luggage was checked through to Sevilla, and I was at my Sevilla hotel by 9am the next morning. Compare that with having to collect luggage, schlep to the rental counter and all that entails, then navigate leaving airport and drive all the way to Andalucia. Pretty crazy, I think.
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 06:50 AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses.

Spent some time talking to my husband last night and we're debating skipping Costa del Sol and spending more time in Granada, making it our base for 4 nights and exploring more areas from there before moving on to Sevilla. We're using points for our Granada hotel stay and it doesn't have a pool, so we're getting in that type of "relaxation/lounging", which is what my husband wanted for just a day or two.

In any case, any suggestions for day trips from Granada (besides Cordoba) if we end up staying there for longer?
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 06:52 AM
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Agree to check other flight options--I have flown to Malaga, Sevilla, and Jerez--never for that much more than what I would have paid for roundtrip to Madrid and well worth it for the time savings.
Alternatively, you can take transport to Granada and get a good nap in, then pick up the car as you leave Granada.
If you give up on the coast, look for a resort somewhere in the countryside. One of the most appealing pools I ever saw was in Jimera di Libar (or somewhere nearby outside Ronda skirting Grazalema park). I have no idea, but maybe you can get high enough in the Sierra Nevada for relief from the heat???
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 06:57 AM
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Thanks yorkshire I think our real issue is time and not place. Do we go somewhere in between Granada and Sevilla, or just stay in Granada for longer? I think the dates we have for Sevilla are what we need, do you agree? We shouldn't cut any time from that portion, right?

So what we're going back and forth on is the first half of the trip.
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 07:20 AM
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Understand the conundrum! Driving distances are not vast, but I see the appeal of one stop over two.
I do think you will appreciate having the full day in Sevilla to see a little before the wedding festivities begin.
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 08:09 AM
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Yes! Mapping the distances makes it all seem to easy. Trouble is we also see the appeal of two stops over one!
I think we're pretty much set now on keeping the Sevilla portion of the trip as is. Thank you!
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Suzy_Q View Post
I think the dates we have for Sevilla are what we need, do you agree? We shouldn't cut any time from that portion, right? ... I think we're pretty much set now on keeping the Sevilla portion of the trip as is.
Maybe I've misunderstood, but I think you have only 1 day in Sevilla before the wedding events begin? I'm sure you realize that you can't see all the highlights of Sevilla in 1 day. So I'm not sure I understand why you are making that a greater priority than other options. As I said upthread, I'd rather not broil, but YMMV.
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Old Apr 16th, 2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Suzy_Q View Post
We're using points for our Granada hotel stay and it doesn't have a pool, so we're getting in that type of "relaxation/lounging", which is what my husband wanted for just a day or two.
I'm confused! Did you mean to say that it DOES have a pool?

Originally Posted by Suzy_Q View Post
any suggestions for day trips from Granada (besides Cordoba) if we end up staying there for longer?
I'm not sure I'd call Cordoba a good day trip from Granada -- I believe it would be at least 2.5 hours each way. I would be more inclined to look at Malaga, Nerja, Antequerra, or somewhere in the Sierra Nevada.
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 01:44 AM
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adding my two cents worth.. we were in southern spain in august last year and it was very hot.. we are from australia and used to the heat, but it really was a scorcher.
I would skp day trip to cordoba and the costa del sol.
looks like you have 7 nights on the ground.. I would do 4 nights Seville, and 3 nights Granada.
you can do day trips from Seville to Cordoba or to Ronda or maybe even Malaga.
From Granada you can also do day trips.
What you want to do is so rushed from place to place.. I would prefer to base myself in 2 places and do day trips..
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