Andalusia Question- Will this Work?

Old Mar 24th, 2010, 11:47 AM
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Andalusia Question- Will this Work?

Our itinerary thus far is 2 nights Cordoba (allowing for jet lag and a connecting train in Madrid), 4 nights Seville, 2 nights Granada which leaves probably 3 nights in Spain.
I have an amazing rate at the Ritz in Malaga (100E including breakfast, tax and spa) which leads me to wonder if this might be a reasonable base for car trips, perhaps to the White Villages, coast etc.
We could take a train elsewhere in Northern Spain as we head to France for the rest of our trip.
I am very excited by the architecture in the cities but my other love is beautiful lush countryside and I don't believe this is the area for that. That said, I'm sure there are many other compelling things of interest.
I'm open to ideas and thoughts.
Thanks!!
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Old Mar 24th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Train travel in the north is currently limited. You’re far better off having a car and staying out in the country if you want to tour the area.

Using Malaga as a base to tour using a car is not the best option for many reasons, parking and heavy traffic are only two.

4 nights in Sevilla is fine, but the city has lost some of its charm due to the overwhelming number of tourist and the ugly graffiti. I would do at least 3 nights in Granada to enjoy the city. It's far more than the Alhambra.
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 12:16 AM
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As far as I know, there is no Ritz in Malaga.
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 04:57 AM
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The Ritz Carlton is in Marbella. And it looks amazing! Great rate!
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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The only lush countryside in Spain is the north coast.
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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The countryside of Andalucia may not be particularly 'lush', but it is quite scenic. I would probably choose somewhere like Ronda as a base for exploring the countryside. This website will give you a good feel for the area:
http://www.rusticblue.com/
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your answers!
I don't want to begin to think of how I got the location of the Ritz incorrect. Let's hope this is the only time I do that!
Marbella is more appealing and closer to the area of interest.

I'm aware that only Northern Spain is lush. Would that be northwestern? I don't remember the area around Bilbao as particularly pretty, but I haven't been there in years.
Thanks for the link with the area photos, zootsi. It's very helpful.

We had initially thought of Rhonda as our base but the rate was offered at the Ritz and it seems hard to pass up.

As to whether to spend 4 nights Seville, 2 Granada or 3 and 3.
Does anyone else have an opinion? We would be there just before Feria de Abril.
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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I have been reviewing the Ritz hotels and found out the Marbella one, name Villapadierna; and another one in Carratraca, midway from Malaga to Ronda, by Ardales. The name is Hostal del Príncipe, it was the old hotel by the spa (this dates back to Roman times). The Ritz company has restored the Spa (Balneario de Carratraca) and improved greatly the hotel (so it seems, I may go and check myself). Carratraca I visited (and stayed there some nights) about ten years ago, it is a charming little town you can walk in a day, with an amazing bullring in the former Roman theater, a Palace (the town hall), the Spa and whitewashes streets. There was not a place to eat, but a venta, nothing remarkable; but I read it's changed for good. You can read here: http://www.ciao.es/Balneario_Carratr...pinion_1584878 (only in spanish).
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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Welch, how/where did you get that rate at Ritz? DW is already asking me to take her there!!!
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Connections. What can I say. The Ritz is indeed the Villapadierna- and I'm a sucker for a nice hotel.
I think we'll go with three nights there, just for the chill factor if nothing else.
Any advice as to how much time to spend in Seville just prior to Feria de Abril?
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 03:21 PM
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In general, spend as much time in Sevilla as possible...
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Sevilla is fine for a short visit, two to three days. I love the city and the people, but it's overwhelmed by tourist and does need to get rid of more of the graffiti.

The name of the city is Ronda, not Rhonda.
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Old Mar 25th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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I spent four days in Seville last year and loved it. It was the beginning of summer and getting hot, but during a cooler part of the year, I'd have spent a couple more days there.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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> As to whether to spend 4 nights Seville, 2 Granada or 3 and 3. Does anyone else have an opinion?

It depends on what you want to see and experience, but in general, I think that 2 full days is a nice amount of time for Granada and a bit more than that for Sevilla. So how many nights to stay in each city depends on your transportation.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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I apologize for my misspelling. I generally do better as it's a good thing to know where you're going!
I find it always difficult to know what my reaction to a place will be until I am there. If it's possible to leave a little "wiggle room" in my itinerary, I will.
That said, my concern is that Seville may be more chaotic than usual on our dates. Also, we arrive on a Saturday and I assume may find much closed one day or another over the weekend.
My interests are architecture and gardens along with design in the form of art/craft unique to an area.
As Seville is a city of size I hope to find those there. Any suggestions along those lines, I would be most grateful for.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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Not especially chaotic in Sevilla the days before Feria de Abril. You're in the right place if yor're into architecture and gardens. The obvious would be the cathedral/La Giralda, Alcázar, the old tobacco factory, Torre del Oro, Plaza de España, Parque de María Luisa etc. I also recommend you to go north of the city center to the Basílica de la Macarena (home of the city's most beloved Virgen, La Macarena) and the Moorish Walls. Several interesting churches and convents in the Macarena neighbourhood around Calle San Luis. Close by you would also find the 16th century Palacio de las Dueñas and Casa de Pilatos:
http://www.sevilla5.com/monuments/pilatos.html

This site is excellent on Sevilla. Among other things, great information on sights/monuments:
http://www.exploreseville.com/index.htm
http://www.exploreseville.com/sites.htm

Highly talented and upcoming flamenco artists perform every night in the intimate Casa de la Memoria in the hearth of the Santa Cruz district. Entrance 15€: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...Andalusia.html

For total relaxation, the Arab bath Aire de Sevilla:
http://www.airedesevilla.com/eng/gallery.html
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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I think I would stay the entire time of 4 days on Sevilla as you originally planned. If you find you have too much time you can always take a day trip to Carmona or elsewhere.
But personally I would have loved more time in Sevilla.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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Sevilla is amazing, Marbella, eh.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Marbella isn't my choice for locale but for hotel. I'll use it as a base and for a little down time.
Thanks so much for the information links for Seville. I read a wonderful piece on flamenco http://www.slate.com/id/2110634/ and would love some feedback about the bar. The information is a little old.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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It also appears we should have a reservation on the AVE from Madrid to Cordoba if we use a Rail Pass from the US or purchase the tickets in advance if we want to take advantage of what appear to be "saver" rates.
How much time would we allow to get from the airport to train station?
We will be arriving on a flight from Frankfort, having connected there from San Francisco (this is going to be a very long day!).
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