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oopsy May 24th, 2004 12:50 PM

Back from Nerja, Sevilla, Ronda
We returned two days ago from our 8 day trip to Spain. Just a few quick notes...

First, thank you, thank you, thank you to past and present posters whose experiences were so very helpful in planning our trip! This forum is really a very valuable resource.

And for my hotel reviews with mini-trip reports...

Paraiso del Mar in Nerja...WONDERFUL! We are considering a longer stay there in the future. After two nights there, the dark circles under my eyes were almost gone. Loved everything about the place. We thoroughly enjoyed Romeria de San Isidro festivities in Nerja, but did not follow the parade out to the caves. We did very little exploring in Nerja and instead focused on relaxation and spending time with each other. The walk down to the beach includeds multiple lovely terraces that we used frequently to sit and read or just be with each other quietly.

Hotel Amadeus, Sevilla...a charming, well-located place. BUT, we had a first floor room and it was very, very noisy. Breakfast on the roof top terrace was nice except for the worst coffee we had on the trip (was it instant?). Sevilla overall...we only spent two nights in Sevilla, and it was enough for us. Sorry to those of you who can't get enough of the city. We certainly saw that there was so very much to see and do in the city. We just wanted to be in quieter locales for this trip. Our visited sites included the Cathedral, the Alcazar (wow!!), Casa de Pilates (happened upon...loved the gardens and the amazing tiled walls), and the Murillo Gardens. We spent a ridiculous and embarrassing amount of time looking for our hotel. But once we found it and settled in, we loved the maze feeling of the area.

Hotel San Gabriel, Ronda...another WONDERFUL. Beautiful hotel, quiet place, incredible staff, great breakfast (best orange juice we had on the trip). We would definitely stay here again. Ronda overall...I know many folks consider this a one-day stop at the most. We spent 3 days, and could have spent longer. Yes, lots of tourist groups, but we were able to dodge them for the most part. Views were beautiful, incredible parks for strolls. We visited many of the sites, but nowhere near all of them. We also spent a large part of one of those days doing a scenice drive (with occassional short walk), including Zahara, Grazalema, and some other routes I'll have to look back at the map to identify.

Hotel Miami, Torremolinos...We stayed here one night because we had an early flight out of Malaga, and I felt we had already blown our lodging budget. Once we got into our room, I wished I had splurged and stayed at the Parador. The room was dingy and worn, springs in the chair were broken so that you sunk nearly to the floor when sitting down, and the beds were pretty uncomfortable. Not good for a good night's sleep before a long flight.

Relaxing at Paraiso del Mar
Flamenco singer and guitar player at La Carboneria in Sevilla
Gardens in Ronda
Short hikes around Ronda
The drive from Zahara to Grazalema (which we did not find to be particularly more difficult than the tougher spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina)
The mountain drive from Ronda to San Pedro (I think that was the town..down on the coast). STUNNING!
The Arab influence on architecture and the tile work
Gardens of the Alcazar

Iberia airlines...scariest landing I have ever had in Chicago, one of the 10 worst landings I've had in Madrid, and other problems...

Hmmm...maybe that's it for lowlights. Except that we wish we would have had more time!

And for what I'm sure will be my most controversial comment...a note on shoes. Except for one day of hiking, I relied on two pairs of Dankso sandals. We walked, and walked, and walked on those lovely cobblestone streets, up and down stairs and steep inclines. I had not a single blister, no soreness in feet, ankles, legs, or knees.

Well, I thought this would be short. Oh well! Thanks again for the help. And yes, I do think we'll go back some day!


artlover May 25th, 2004 01:44 PM


Thank you for your informative trip report. Glad you had a great time.

I'm one of those who "can't get enough of Seville" and am unfamiliar with La Carboneria--could you tell me more about it?

Thanks again.

Vera May 25th, 2004 08:31 PM

Thanks for the report. We did love Seville and would like to go back, even though we didn't like our hotel. We were there Easter week and saw the wonderful posadas, but that meant settling for a business hotel too far from the fun stuff.
I think it is interesting that although you say you weren't crazy about Seville, you give rave reviews to several things you saw and did there!
I agree with you on Rhonda. We were only there for a day, but found it fascinating. There's more to it than the gorge, that's for sure!

oopsy May 26th, 2004 03:08 AM

Hi again...
Art...Carboneria (I think I have the name right) is at Calle Levies, 18. It's been mentioned a few times on this board as the hard to find, doesn't have a name, has a red door place. It's a bar that on some nights has flamenco. On our first night there, there was no flamenco, just a mediocre piano player. On the 2nd night, there was a guitar player and singer who were absolutely wonderful. I don't know how often there are dancers. Definitely not the same as going to one of the scheduled shows at other places, but we enjoyed it.

Vera...We could definitely see the appeal of Sevilla. We just felt much more hustle and bustle there than we wanted to for this trip. What we saw was was just time to move on.


marigross May 26th, 2004 03:47 AM

I fully agree with your preferences. We were scheduled for four days in Sevilla and stayed two. It was very nice but...

Ronda was supposed to be a short stop and we stayed three nights (could have stayed at least a couple more). That is the wonderful part of independent travel!!! I thought it was an amazing place. Since we arrived during Holy Week (without reservations) we had to settle for whatever place would give us shelter but for the next trip I would love to stay in the Parador. The hiking around Ronda was beautiful. Another wondeful place I dicovered during that trip was Cuenca.

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