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Any suggestions on our Spain trip would be great!

Any suggestions on our Spain trip would be great!

Apr 11th, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #1  
Darcey
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Any suggestions on our Spain trip would be great!

My husband and I are getting away from it all (4 girls nine and under!) for a little anniversary trip. We fly into Barcelona, have two nights there, then board a cruise for four nights (France, Corsica, Balearic Islands and back). Now is when we'd love any advice. We have four days before we fly home. The travel books I've read recommend heading south the month of April, because of weather. We were thinking of flying into Seville and spending all three nights there with one possible day trip. The only request my husband has on the whole trip is to see a bullfight (ughh), but I'll comply!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. And any suggestions on a hotel in the "heart" of Sevilla would be great. We do not want to have a car while in Sevilla.

Thanks
Darcey
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 04:33 PM
  #2  
xxx
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Dear Darcy:

I'm assuming that your planned trip is for April of 2002 and not 2003. The Feria de Abril takes place in Seville during the last half of April each year (don't know the exact dates in 2002 or 2003), and hotel rooms for this extremely popular time usually have to be reserved many months in advance. You should check out the Seville accomodations situation right away.

If you are set on Seville, you might consider staying in Cordoba (about a half hour away by train, and with many attractions of its own), or in the nearby town of Carmona, and coming in to Seville for day excursions. On the other hand, I don't know if the Feria de Abril crowds spill out this far.

Madrid has a lot to offer (including easy day-trip train-ride access to the wonderful nearby towns of Segovia and Toledo), and there shouldn't be any difficulty in booking rooms on short notice in April. If you want to splurge for your anniversary, the Reina Victoria, Villa Real, Palace, and even the Ritz hotels (in increasing order of cost) are all very well located in the center of Madrid within walking distance of many attractions and a very short taxi ride to the Atocha train station. But I don't know what the weather in Madrid is like in April. Also, I don't think bullfight season starts in Madrid until about May 15 (the feast day of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid, which is why it's also very hard to book a hotel in Madrid during the week before and the week after May 15).
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 09:37 PM
  #3  
Darcey
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Thanks for all the info. Sounds like you've spent a lot of time in Spain. What's your feeling on Granada? Is it too far to be a day trip from Sevilla or Cordoba? Is it worth fitting in? Bullfights start in April in Sevilla, and we were able to book at The Alfonso XIII at a great price. I'm assuming from what you've said, the crowds have diminished from the festivals or we'd never have gotten a room there.

Darcey
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 02:32 AM
  #4  
Julie
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Good choice on Sevilla. It's our favorite Spanish city. Should provide a nice contrast to Barcelona--former old world, latter, new. How good a deal did you get on the Don Alfonso? That is a fabulous hotel.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 04:03 AM
  #5  
Rex
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Make sure to spend a few minutes looking at www.madridman.com - - not just for Madrid.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #6  
more
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Can you get public transportation from Carmona to Seville regularly? What's Carmona like?
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 08:09 AM
  #7  
Darcey
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I was able to get The Alfonso XIII at $232 a night plus tax, but with breakfast included. Sounded like a great deal compared to what Sheraton quoted me the week before $464 a night with no breakfast. I decided to call the hotel directly and got a very pleasant woman with a great price.

Thanks for the information on the madrid website. I'll look into that later today.

Any advice on Granada. Is it worth a trip from Seville? Can it be done as a day trip?

thanks,
Darcey
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 08:18 AM
  #8  
lisa
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Personally, I think a day trip to Granada is a great idea. In fact, we liked it even better than Seville. In addition to the Alhambra is the Cathedral with the tombs of Isabella and Ferdinand, an Alcazar (isn't there one in every town?) and some great statues in town and just a fun "city" feeling to Granada. But I would advise that you purchse tickets to the Alhambra in advance so that you will be certain that you will get in prior to making the trip.

I can't remember how long the drive is between the two, but someone else can help.

Enjoy!
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 08:53 AM
  #9  
xxxx
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Dear Darcey:

Granada is too far from Seville to be a feasible day trip. At least a couple of years ago, there was no easy, direct train service, and even if there is now, the distance is such that the train trip would be several hours long. Driving would also take several hours, one-way. Also, admission to the the main attraction in Granada (La Alhambra) requires a timed-entry ticket, of which only a limited number are sold each day. These tickets are best obtained well in advance. There have been several recent Fodors discussions on the topic of Alhambra tickets/admission whic you might want to check out. The palaces and gardens of the Alhambra are enchanting beyond description - it is no accident that people have been raving about them for centuries. I would suggest saving the Alhambra for your "next" trip to Spain when you can treat yourself to plenty of time in this marvelous place.

There is so much to see and do in Seville that you may not even have the time or inclination for a day trip! But if you do, one choice would be Cordoba, which is only about a 30-40 minute train ride away, with numerous trains each day between Seveille and Cordoba.

You can visit Cordoba just for a half-day to see the Mezquita (Mosque), which is the main "must see" sight, There are also other attractions in Cordoba if you want to spend the full day - such as the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos (gardens not as magnificent as those of the Alcazar in Seville but stil nice), the historic Juderia (Jewish Quarter), and yes, even a bullfighting museum (Museo Taurino). Since my feelings about bullfighting are also "ughh", I never went in so I can't comment on the Museo directly except to say that it's there in the Plaza Maimonides in the the Juderia. Just check the opening days/hours of attractions in Cordoba to be sure they are open when you go. If you stay for lunch, I highly recommend El Churrasco restaurant on Calle Romero near the Mezquita; and highly recommend that you avoid the Caballo Rojo.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 04:34 PM
  #10  
patg
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I think you'll feel very "pushed" by trying to include Granada in your trip. Spend the time in or near Seville - it is a beautiful city and April weather should be very pleasant. And the Alfonso XIII is lovely with lots of atmosphere and beautiful grounds. I didn't want to leave there, ever!
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #11  
Darcey
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Thanks for the restaurant suggestions in Cordoba. It sounds like we may have to skip Granada. The only advice I got from my girlfriend who spent 18 months in Spain was not to miss Granada. But, maybe it's best for another time. I love this website. Thank you all for the help. Any MUST sees that wouldn't be in the typical tour book for Seville or Barceona?

Darcey
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 06:09 PM
  #12  
janet
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Darcy - I was in Seville last week. We stayed at The Alphonso XIII and loved it. I agree that you should stay in Seville and go to Granada another time. You'll really enjoy your stay at The Alphonso.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 09:10 PM
  #13  
Darcey
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Thanks. That's what we'll do. What were the highlights of your stay in Seville last week?

Darcey
 
Apr 13th, 2002, 06:17 PM
  #14  
top
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to the top
 
Apr 13th, 2002, 07:27 PM
  #15  
Alice
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I JUST got back from Barcelona.. iF you go, you mUST fly to Majorca also. Barcelona was fabulous, but wait until you see Majorca!!
 
Apr 13th, 2002, 10:16 PM
  #16  
wow
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Am I alone in admitting that I would NEVER spend this kind of money on a hotel room in Spain and then express that I got a good deal?And then to ask for help on this forum.........brag,brag or troll?
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 01:37 PM
  #17  
Darcey
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You obviousy haven't done your research. Travel however you'd like, but spending $232 a night on a five star hotel that is continuously getting the highest reviews across the board and has a great location seems reasonable to me. I'm not sure I understand your reply regarding the brag, brag, or troll? What's up with that? If you had bothered to read the replies you would see that someone specifically asked me what my rate was for that hotel. I was asked a question and answered it. Since when was that bragging? Have you ever stayed at the Alfonso? If this information helps someone else get a great rate by going directly through the hotel vs. Sheraton or a website, then great. Are you always so sour grapes?

For the sake of those around you, I hope not.

Darcey
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 07:09 PM
  #18  
Rex
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Well stated Darcey. You ought to be an inspiration to other newcomers - - that you CAN know what you are talking about on certain matters from having done your homework, even before getting to someplace. There are some limits, of course, to being able to talk about how "good" or convenient something is. But you stood up well for yourself - - don't let the "anonymo's" get ya down!
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 07:51 PM
  #19  
janet
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That is a great rate for the Alphonso. There were four of us staying there (2 daughters). In Granada we stayed at The Melia for the same money because we had to take two rooms.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 09:46 PM
  #20  
Chad
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Darcey,

You will love the Alfonso. As others have said, Granada is too far to try to do in a day. Consider Arcos de la Frontera or Cadiz as day trips instead. Both are great. For good advice on Seville and Spain in general, check out Penelope Casas' "Discovering Spain". Her taste is a bit high brow, but her recommendations for tapas bars, etc. are always right on (particularly in Andalucia). Have a wonderful trip.
 

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