Are we doing too much?

Old Sep 14th, 1999, 10:08 AM
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Are we doing too much?

We are leaving for Spain on Sept 27th for about 10 days (not including travel). This is our first trip - are we doing too much? Here is what we have planned:

Day1-Madrid (Mora Hotel), Day 2- Madrid, Day 3-Toledo(back to Madrid), Day 4 High Speed Train to Cordoba (Maestre Hotel) Day 5 Train from Cordoba to Seville (Arias Hotel) Day 6 Seville, Day 7 Seville, Day 8 Seville to Rhonda (San Francisco Hotel) (go by bus or car?), Day 9 Rhonda to Granada (Salvador Hotel (car or bus???), Day 10 Granada to Malaga (Carlos V Hotel) - Leave on Day 11 from Malaga. it true that the High Speed Train from Madrid to Seville goes to Cordoba?
Old Sep 14th, 1999, 10:51 AM
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Cordova and Granada seemed a bit rushed. I would rent a car in Cordova and do Andalucia by car. With this ambitious itinerary you need the flexibility that a car provides. I believe you are doing too much, but it is a doable itinerary.
Old Sep 14th, 1999, 11:13 AM
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We returned on Sun from Spain. We chose Central Holidays tour rather than drive. The selected cities and order were the same as you have outlined, but we stayed in Torremolinos. 2 nights Madrid; 1 night Cordoba; 2 nights Seville; 1 night Granada; 2 nights Torremolinos.

Museums in Madrid close at noon on Sundays. Do try to go out to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen; it's magnificant. (and open on Sundays)
Toledo & Ronda were 1/2 day morning visits.

You must get your tickets ahead of time for the Alhambra or you will not be able to spend only 1 night there and see it.

There is construction on the road between Ronda & Granada so travel time is longer than usual.

Have a good map -- the road signage is not as good as we noticed in Italy.

Would advise against any attempt to drive in cities. Parking may pose a problem in Toledo & Ronda -- you should try to park outside the historic centers.

Enjoy -- we loved all of Spain, had great food everywhere, and enjoyed the beach.

Old Sep 14th, 1999, 12:29 PM
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Terri, we did the similar trip as Marion through Central Holidays (Granada wasn't on our itinerary). I don't think your itinerary is too rushed but you might want to consider making a base on the Costa del Sol and doing day trips to Granada and to Ronda (you might also be able to do from Seville). We went to Granada on an organized bus tour because we had also heard that tickets to the Alhambra were difficult to get on the same day. The tour was a bit rushed though and we didn't get to see the cathedral. You should look into getting tickets in advance, if possible, if you are going on your own. We rented a car and drove to Ronda for the day from the Costa del Sol but I imagine you can also do this on a bus.

The high speed AVE trains from Madrid to Seville also go to Cordoba. I believe we had a regular train between Seville and Malaga.

Take the bus from Madrid to Toledo for your day trip. The buses leave more frequently and are quicker than the trains.
Old Sep 14th, 1999, 12:50 PM
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I think your plans are fine except that I would really try to get a day in Granada. I would do this by going directly to Seville and then trying to either make Cordoba or Rhonda a day trip and trying to go to Granada by car by way of the other. The mosque in cordoba is outstanding but it is the only really outstanding sight. Rhonda is supposed to be very beautiful (having never been there) but Granda needs more than a half day.
Old Sep 14th, 1999, 06:29 PM
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I don't believe your itinerary, while indeed quite busy, is overly ambitious. I often plan "first time in Spain" 10 day trips to Madrid/Andalucia for friends, and it can be done well within your time frame. My only suggestion would be the same as others have given you-add another day in Granada, given the difficulty of securing tickets to the Alhambra (see Paulo's Granada/Ronda post). To do this, you could see Cordoba on the way to Sevilla, leaving Madrid, day 4, on the high speed AVE train at 8:30 a.m. (there's also one at 9) arriving Cordoba at 10:10. Leave luggage at baggage check ("la consigna") in station, grab taxi and go directly to the Mezquita, allowing two hours for your visit and a stroll around the Jewish Quarter (Juderia), then perhaps a leisurely lunch. Back to station to catch the 3:41 p.m. (or even 4:45) AVE that will whisk you to Sevilla in a mere 45 minutes. Days 5-6 in Sevilla, day 7 pick up rental car upon leaving Sevilla (at train station-Avis and Hertz have offices there) to take you to Ronda, a 3 to 4 hour drive, if you take the A4 to Jerez, then the N342 on the "ruta de los pueblos blancos" through Arcos and Zahara de la Sierra to Ronda. You will very much enjoy seeing the oldest bullring in Spain and the Arab quarter, and you'll have a restful evening and will marvel at the breathraking views down the yawning Tajo gorge. Drive from Ronda to Granada on inland route through Antequera takes about 3 hrs. Days 8-9 in Granada, giving you time on day 8 to purchase Alhambra tickets for next day and visit Cathedral and tombs of Fernando/Isabel in Royal Chapel. Depart Granada on day 10 for drive down the N323 through the Sierra Nevada to Motril, then on the N340 along the pretty eastern side of the Costa del Sol with stops in Nerja (quick detour up to white town of Frigilana), then on to Malaga. Drop off car upon arrival in Malaga then taxi to hotel. Perhaps time to see new Picasso museum? Day 11 departure.
This would be by itinerary.
You will not want or need to be burdened with a car in Sevilla, and unfortunately, you'll most likely want to deposit it safely in a garage for the two days in Granada, but a car is really the only way to accomplish independently in a short time all that you want to do from Seville to Malaga. And as Marion wisely suggests, please invest in a very detailed map, such as the Michelin #446 for your Andalusian adventures. Signage in the area is indeed quite poor.
I promise that you won't regret the money spent! (My husband, a native Spaniard, and I travel with all the regional maps and still get lost, often more than once a day! It's part and parcel of the experience in these maze-like villages!
Have a wonderful first trip!
Old Sep 14th, 1999, 06:49 PM
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You should plan to spend an entire day - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. - with a break for a long lunch in the patio of the posada- at the Alhambra. I would also consider driving the entire trip rather than taking the ave. The countryside of Spain is varied and the small towns and back roads with the olive trees and cork trees are interesting.
Old Sep 20th, 1999, 09:05 PM
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Geeze!! I would get dizzy on that itinery. It's hard to see anything if you dont take the time to get the flavor of a place. I prefer to spend at least 203 days each place, and see less, but SEE something. the first day you arrive you are tired, and by the time you secure lodgings, get there, get something to eat (they eat real late in Spain) it is bedtime. Then a full day to look about, and ask about, walk about, down alleys, talk to people, find little surprise cafes, etc., and be unhurried. The spainish do not hurry around and think we are strange for our rushed habits. My advice is to go less places, and stay a little.

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