Car necessary for 1-week in Andalucia?

Old Aug 11th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Car necessary for 1-week in Andalucia?

Plan would be to fly in and out of Malaga but focus on Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla as well as day trips nearby those towns or on the way to those towns.

This would be the 3rd week of September so sun wouldn't set until 8 PM. Flying into AGP but the idea is to go immediately to one of these 3 big cities. Seville seems to be too far, especially if I take one of the flight options, which arrives at 4:10 PM.

I'm open to renting a car but wouldn't mind doing it with trains. Of course, if trains take too long and prevent getting to as many places as otherwise, a car would make sense.

For instance, on renfe.es, a search between Malaga and Granada returns no results. So there's no train service between these cities?
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 05:28 AM
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>>For instance, on renfe.es, a search between Malaga and Granada returns no results. So there's no train service between these cities?
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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If it were me I'd use a bus from Malaga to Granada. Then another bus from Granada to Cordoba. Train Cordoba to Seville. Train back from Seville to Granada and bus back to Malaga. From my experience trains and buses take about the same time and cost about the same (not much). Buses are more frequent.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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I checked for Sunday afternoon. It shows schedules to Cordoba or Seville but not Granada.

I understand the issue with parking and traffic. About the main advantage of having a car might be to stop by places in between the 3 cities. Also possibly go to Cadiz or the Costa del Sol on the way back to Malaga.

The other issue might be how easy or hard to take a couple of suitcases on these trains and buses, especially if they're full in the 3rd week of September.

I guess the AVE from Madrid would get me to Cordoba/Seville just as quickly as a regular train from Malaga.

But if I did get a car, it seems like a much longer drive, especially after a long trip to get to Spain. With one-week, spending a day at the start and/or end of the trip in Madrid would take days away from Andalucia.

I did notice though that many of the hotels which are supposedly in city centers have parking options. Not cheap but not too expensive either, about 15-20 Euro a day.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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I took the train & bus in Andalucia a couple months ago. I don't know if this is typical, but neither the train nor the bus was more than half full so there was plenty of room for my suitcase.

If you don't want to stay in Malaga, why don't you fly directly to Seville or Granada?
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Driving & parking is not as big an issue as many here make it out to be. We easily found a parking lot in old Sevilla just 2 blocks from our hotel. The hwys are very good & the mobility a car allows can't be beaten. We visited Jaen, Granada, Nerja & Sevilla - all by car.

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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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If you only have a week I don't think it warrants renting a car. I'd budget 4 nights in Sevilla, particularly if you want to do daytrips to Cordoba and Cadiz. You could use Sevilla as your base - that would only give you 2 full days in Sevilla and 1 each in Cordoba & Cadiz. You don't need a car to get to Cadiz or Cordoba from Sevilla. If you don't use Sevilla as a base and want to spend the night in Cordoba or Sevilla it's basically the same idea - take a night from Sevilla and add there. (With only one week I'd prefer to base myself in Sevilla though). Note: Cadiz is too long of a daytrip (for me at least - 2 hours each way) from Sevilla and I'd probably drop it with only a week in Andalucia. I'd budget 2 nights in Granada. Bus service is frequent from Sevilla to Granada so you really wouldn't need a car for this. That's 6 nights already and you will probably need to get back to Malaga for your last night. If you had more than a week and wanted to explore the Pueblos Blancos a car would be useful. But for this one week trip it would really be more of a hinderance dealing with driving in cities and parking fees than a benefit.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Apparently there are more international flights to and from AGP than SVQ or GRX. Looked like fewer connections from hubs like CDG to those other airports than AGP. The flights to those other airports would take as much as 10 hours more. It would really be easier to fly into MAD and either take another flight or get on the AVE.


I found one site which returned reasonable prices for car rental. But they all include CDW, which I don't want because Amex will provide that and I have to decline it from the agency.

But when I try to contact them, the US office doesn't answer the phone and there is no email address. There is a info. submission form on their web site but it doesn't load when you submit a question. The site is spaincarrental.net. Anyone use them?
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Have done 2 road trips in Andalusia - one 10 days and 1 12 - and still haven;t seen everything we want. Don;t understand why people discourage driving - it's not really a problem. Yes, the center city streets are narrow - but you won;t be driving a 747. As for parking - there are always lots and garages if there isn;t a street spot nearby.

We found driving gave us much more freedom to make your own schedules and the chance to see Ronda, Marbella etc -without painfully complicated train schedules.
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Old Aug 13th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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On the Andalusia portion of our trip to Spain, we stayed 2 nights in Granada, 3 in Ronda and 2 in Sevilla. We rented a car through Avis in Granada, kept it for the 3 days in Ronda (our favorite place in Spain), then turned it in at the Avis location at the train station (very easy to get to) when we arrived in Sevilla. We took the AVE train from Sevilla to Madrid and stopped at Cordoba on our way. You certainly don't need a car in Granada or Sevilla but we really enjoyed the flexibilty it gave us to easily visit many of the villages on day trips from Ronda. The roads are easy to navigate and there was underground parking at the parador in Ronda where we stayed. If you plan to spend time going to the smaller villages, I would recommend getting a car.
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Old Aug 13th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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I'll have to see if I have time for the smaller villages after hitting the major sites in the 3 cities.

Would have liked to stay at a Parador, especially the one in Carmona but they're all booked through Oct.

Last minute planning for a quick 1-week trip may not be the best way to go about things.
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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I don't know if you've come across Paul McGrath's tour of the white villages which originates in Seville.

It's just a day trip, but you'll see quite a bit. We're planning to take a trip with him this winter, as several other Fodorites have recommended him: http://www.theotherspain.galeon.com/
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Thanks, TBH, I have to plot out the itinerary and see if there's time but I've only heard of the white villages here, need to do more research.

That seems a pretty reasonable price for an almost all-day tour.
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