Andalusia then Portugal, or vice versa?

Old Nov 2nd, 2017, 12:02 PM
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Andalusia then Portugal, or vice versa?

A quick question as we start our (rather late, as usual) planning.

Background: we need to be in Manchester UK on January 16. Rather than fly directly there, we have decided to depart the US on Dec 25 and have three weeks in Portugal and Anadalusia, before flying up to Manchester.

We first need to decide in which order to travel, and that is driven in part by where we should be (or can get reasonable reservations for) on Dec. 31 and Jan 1, as well as what the schedule for major attractions (eg., the Alhambra) will be in the week before January 6. We are not late night NYE folks, so we are not looking for a big celebration.

Excluding our arrival date on 12/26 and our departure date on 1/16, we have 20 full days on the ground. Our inclination is to split it perhaps 8 days in Portugal and 12 days in Andalusia.

Portugal first, with NYE in Lisbon? Or Spain first, with NYE in Seville or elsewhere? I really hope to get the accommodation and our flight to Portugal or Spain figured out this weekend.

BTW, hotel budget is up to $150/night. Not luxury for sure, but we like interesting hotels in interesting and walkable parts of town.

Thanks,
EJZ
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Old Nov 2nd, 2017, 12:59 PM
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I don’t know what NYE is like in Spain, but we loved our nye in Lisbon!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2017, 01:11 PM
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Don't much matter IMO -I'd see what had direct and cheap flights to Manchester and work around that (Malaga, Lisbon, Seville or Porto namely). Figure many things will be closed Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Day in each place- only one I'd worry about being open or not Alhambra - churches are key in Codoba and Seville and will of course be open and a special time to go I'd think.

Are you driving or taking trains and buses? Renting car in one country and return in another may result in steep drop-off charges. For trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com for ideas of where to go and ticketing yourself online at perhaps a sweet discount.

Trains and buses are great in Andalusia to see the biggies like Seville-Codoba-Granada and maybe Malaga (too cold for swimming but a neat old seaside town)

Seville has direct buses to Faro, Portugal and Lisbon - I'd spent time in cities in winter and Lisbon and Porto and a stop of two in between would be sweeet (like Obidos -perfectly walled medieval citadel town and Coimbra amongst others.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2017, 08:49 PM
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You might want to check the opening times for things you want to visit and plot them out on a calendar -- many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break. My route through Andalusia (I haven't been to Portugal yet) would have been quite different had I not considered opening hours!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2017, 04:42 AM
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Yes, thanks all. Now wielding my pencil ....

Current thinking is to start in Porto, and over the course of 8-ish days work our way down to Lisbon, perhaps with a something like a 3-1-4 distribution of nights with the "1" in between Porto and Lisbon. Now working on details.

This order means NYE in Lisbon, so I would appreciate suggestions for "old town" neighborhoods or areas for my hotel search. All transport will be bus or train.

Then on to Andalusia for 10-ish days by ground transport.. Putting together the above suggested calendar and a list of places to visit (Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Jerez...). -- everything will be built around Alhambra ticket availability -- and will be back to this forum having done that research to get advice on the order on which to proceed and transport suggestions.

Then a cheapest flight back to Manchester. There are budget airlines I have never heard of, so I will have to look at their gotchas.

What a pleasant way to spend the weekend ....reading up on travel. Again, thanks.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2017, 03:02 PM
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While it depends on what you want to see and experience, my ideal for 10 days in Andalusia would include 4 days in Sevilla, 3 days in Granada, 2 days in Cordoba, and -- if the timing works out -- 1 day in either Ronda or Malaga. YMMV.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2017, 04:38 PM
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Kja -- thanks, that helps. We have been devoted sherry drinkers for the past ... 40? ... years or so as part of our OxBridge roots, so we may substitute Jerez for Ronda or Malaga.

Do you have one of your excellent trip reports for Andalusia? Your Singapore report was most helpful last year. Thank you for that.

EJZ
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Old Nov 3rd, 2017, 04:45 PM
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What a nice compliment -- thanks! I'm glad you found that report helpful. Unfortunately, my time in Andalusia was before my trip report writing days. But I still have my journal and will be happy to answer questions.

With a fondness for sherry, including a day in Jerez would make perfect sense.
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Old Nov 4th, 2017, 01:32 PM
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In Lisbon, wherever in Baixa, Chiado or the Alfama would be great. It's an insanely beautiful city.
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