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COSTA DEL SOL

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Oct 26th, 2015, 06:50 AM
  #1
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COSTA DEL SOL

We are planning a trip to Spain in early June.
We were thinking of flying into Barcelona and staying 2 days, then flying to Costa Del Sol and home base there for 7 days taking day trips, and the flying back to Madrid and staying 2 days before heading home. We are looking for some cultural experiences, without spending too much time in museums, just walking the city and visiting local artists. Hop on and off buses in Barcelona/Madrid.
We wanted to see Toledo (?) near Madrid , and Seville and Granada, maybe Cordoba, and Tangiers all day trips, does this work?. Just a few down days in Costa Del Sol to recoup and see the neighboring small villages.
We will have a car rental in Costa Del Sol. Staying in Costas-Mijas rather than high rise touristy area. Take tours or drive ourselves?
Are the stays in Barcelona and Madrid good in order/length, or do we fly into Madrid and then home from Barcelona?
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Oct 26th, 2015, 07:46 AM
  #2
 
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From Mijas Costa you can do day trips to Ronda, Cordoba, Sevilla, Tanger or Malaga. All places less than 2:30 from Mijas.

Rentin a car might be good but then you need parking place in big cities and might be difficult to find a free one.

By train you can go from Fuengirola to Malaga and then take Ave to Seville or Cordoba, to Granada you need to take a bus.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 08:11 AM
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Renting a car is best but the old city centers are generally NOT car friendly.

Definitely check out the hammams in Granada and Cordoba.The Mosque Cathedral in Cordoba is amazing plus there are some excellent Roman ruins around.

Costa del Sol is one of my favorite places.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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A base with day trips is often a good plan, but this part of Spain is an area that does not lend itself to that. IMHO, days trips from Mijas, especially, to those places are not good. It is roughly 2 hours each way to Granada and to Córdoba and nearly 3 hours to Seville.

That is 4 to 5 hours driving each day just to get where you want to go. That leaves little time for exploring. While a little driving in the area is nice, half your time sitting in a car is tiring.

The main thing in Granada is the fantastic Alhambra. It is best seen twice, day and evening. You need to spend at least one night or be staying somewhere closer than you will be staying.

Córdoba, also 4 hours RT, too much for a decent day trip, IMHO, but you could see the mosque in a few hours.

Seville is definitely not a good day trip. Drive time would be 5-6 hours RT and you would not have time to see much. Seville needs a couple of full days to see much. If you were staying there for two nights, so had one whole day, you could at least get a taste of the city.

Look at seeing Seville (or Granada) at the end of your time and taking the train back to Madrid. Flying, considering the wait time for the flight, and time getting into Madrid, might take about the same amount of time as the fast train from Seville, city center to city center.

Are your days in Barcelona and Madrid actually 2 full days, not part travel days? If they are part travel days, it just is not enough. With two whole days, you can get a little taste of each. In Madrid, you could do one in Madrid and one day as a day trip to Toledo.

To see towns listed, you could do
Barcelona, 3 nights - 2 days
Fly to Granada, 2 nights - 1 day
Rent car when departing Granada for time on Costa deal Sol
Costa deal Sol, ?
Drive to Seville, drop car. Seville, 2 nights - 1 day
Train to Madrid, stopping in Córdoba to see the Mosque, Madrid, 3 nights - 2 days with 1 day trip to Toledo.

I am not trying to tell you not to stay on Costa deal Sol, only that day trips from there to the places you mentioned are not a good idea, and if you want to see those places, you may have to stay in or close to them. You probably do not have time for both seeing much and time on the Coast.

You could also cut either Barcelona or Madrid, so you have time for Andalucia (Seville, etc).
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Oct 26th, 2015, 09:56 AM
  #5
 
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I think going into Barcelona makes sense as you can fly nonstop from BCN to Malaga on Vueling. I don't think anyone else does that. But they don't have a flight from Madrid to Malaga nonstop. SO you can fly, but with changes, and it costs more for that reason.

I think you might consider taking the train back to Madrid, however, the AVE. That would be very easy from Seville or Cordoba. Thus, you might consider ditching the car towards the end after going to one of those places to stay a few days (without the car), and then taking the AVE to Madrid. I don't know of any nonstops to Madrid from, sy Malaga (I presume your closest airport), and if you are staying in Madrid a couple days before leaving, flying doesn't make as much sense as the train, anyway.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 09:58 AM
  #6
 
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Sorry - but way too many places in too little time.

In June it will be VERY hot in Andalusia except right on the coast. By the time you get to the various cities it will almost be time for the afternoon siesta (many places shut in the afternoon due to the heat) and sightseeing then with temps in the upper 90s can be hellish.

You really need to pick and choose - and I would not try to do all of these as day trips - but spend a couple of days on the coast, definitely drop Tangiers (which is quite unpleasant any way) and spend at least one night in Granada and 2 in Seville.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 11:29 AM
  #7
 
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Sorry, Stefanie, but you will not escape "high rise touristy" places by staying in Mijas-Costa. That's all the Costa del Sol now is. But, you may be using a time share there so make the most of beach life. As others have said, aside from Ronda, day trips are difficult to the other places. There are companies that offer such trips, and maybe you should sign on for those. Nearby Malaga would also be a day trip. I'd park the car in Fuengirola and take the train in. Hey, it's Spain !! You'll have fun no matter where you go !
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:22 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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High rise touristy is Seville with Santa Cruz that looks a place made for tourists willing to pay many Euros for a bad Flamenco show...

You tell STEFANIENY like Mijas Costa is the end of the world...when Mijas is touristy but actually really quiet compare to Benidorm, Magaluf or Ibiza...

And I´ve driving from there to Granada and only 1:40 minutes by car...if you leave from Mijas at 7 you can arrive there at 9 and spend 11 hours in Granada and back in Mijas by 22:00

https://www.google.es/maps/dir/Grana...1!2d36.5968205


Many many people use Costa del Sol for day trips...is nothing strange on that.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 12:22 PM
  #9
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thank you.. a lot to consider. I hadn't realized that the end of May or early June is that hot.
I know we are cramming so much in and a short period of time. We have contemplated taking two days in Seville on the way to Mijas, cutting our week there shorter. (yes home-basing with a timeshare on the coast I thought would be great and a cost saving)
Is Toledo and Cordoba similar? We are looking for the history, the landscape, the older Jewish Quarters/Synagogues. If we should pick one area over the other?
I hadn't thought about the parking either. Something to consider and possibly think of doing specialized bus tours instead. It just seems like you need a car for Costa Del Sol. I was there over 40 years ago, and I am sure a lot has changed, it was magnificent, but spread out, and I had done group day trips to Granada and Tangiers then. Husband has never been and is looking forward to this trip to Spain.
We are trying to cram a lot in, I know. (Thought to change to basing up more by Barcelona?)

If you care to comment on 12 day schedule that would be awesome. We did Paris and Rome in 12 days with day trips outside the city (Versailles, Normandy and then Amalfi coast), long days and it worked fine. (*Thanks for the info on Barcelona to Malaga, we didn't know about that airline, but now I may tuck in Seville on the way to Mijas). Or eliminate Barcelona or Madrid?
There just is so much to see and so little time! That's what us newbies do... overbook.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 02:37 PM
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Veuling and Air Nostrum are owned by Iberia. Were I you, I'd skip Barcelona. Save it for a trip to the north. Since you want to go to Toledo (no, it's not similar to Cordoba), I'd keep Madrid. Don't worry about parking - there are garages everywhere. If you were on the Costa del Sol 40 yrs ago, you are going to be blown away by it today. We certainly were last June. BTW, it was hot then but not unbearable.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 05:24 PM
  #11
 
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Toledo and Córdoba are not at all alike. Do read as much about Toledo as you can and it will be more meaningful. If you can do a night there, it is even more so. It kind of seeps into your bones.

Landscape - Toledo sits on a rocky promontory with the Tagus river flowing on three sides. The views are incredible and were captured by El Greco in one of his famous paintings.

History - The actual city began about the fifth century and was the Capitol of Spain until Madrid became the Capitol in the 1500s.

Culture - Toledo was a marvelous center for artists, poets, writers, etc. and populated by Christians, Moors and Jews, who, to all appearance, lived and worked together peaceably. A great example of this is the old Synagogue building, the oldest still standing in Western Europe. It was a Synagogue built for Jews for religious purpose, but designed by an Arab architect and built by Arab workers (so very Moorish in decorations - looking like a mosque), and now maintained by the Catholic Church as a museum. How cool is that?

Architecture - The beauty and ingenuity of the Cathedral of Toledo is absolutely mind blowing. IMHO, one of the greats in W. Europe. Even though I know what to expect, my jaw still drops open on first look up at the transparente surrounded by sculptures that seem to float above you.

Some world class paintings in the collections there.
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Oct 29th, 2015, 06:39 AM
  #12
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Thank you all. You have given us much insight. We are still playing with the idea and the route, and the trains are a good option. Also the direct flight on Vueling to Malaga.
We are contemplating changing our stay to 5 days in Mijas, driving to the Alahambra for the day and maybe Cordoba as day trips (via drive or tour, letting someone else drive), Thus, cutting our stay and going and staying in Seville for an overnight (in historic Jewish quarter maybe), giving us two days there via early morning train. Thanks for the suggestions. Also do a train to Madrid, morning train.
Madrid we will do the day trip to Toledo, the second day, probably thru a tour.
Anything else would be appreciated. We are still in the planning stages.
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Oct 30th, 2015, 12:51 AM
  #13
 
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Not THAT hot in Mijas Costa/Malaga end of May/early June. Statistics says average highs at 77-82F and night lows at 60-64F (wetteronline.de).

In Mijas, you are only some 15 miles west of genuine Malaga city itself, my favourite city in Andalucia after much traveling in the region the past thirteen years.
Telegraph: "Malaga - Spains best kept secret": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...pt-secret.html
Guardian: "Picasso's city of hidden treasures": http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...-breaks-travel
NYT, "Málaga, Spain’s Self-Appointed New Arts Hub": http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/ar...-hub.html?_r=0
Guardian, "Málaga holiday guide: what to see plus the best bars, hotels and restaurants": http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...rs-restaurants

You are also close to Antequera, just North of Malaga city. Known as "the heart of Andalucía" or "the crossroads of Andalucía". Here you'll find dolmens (some 5000 years old burial chambers), Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and Baroque bell towers. Antequera was the first of the Granada emirate towns to fall to the Christians in 1410.
http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry....era-spain.html

I love the terrace in the corner of the peaceful square in front of the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor, the first partly Renaissance-style church in Spain (built 1514-1550). Up here it's totally peace and quiet. Next to the recently excavated Roman baths beneath and looking up on the 13th century Moorish alcazaba/fortress. Great views over unique landscapes (the spectacular Torcal limestone mountain etc.). http://www.wild-about-travel.com/201...ing-antequera/

Close by Torcal limestone rock formations. You can drive up here and do several walks, and on a clear day you can see to Morocco:
http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

A tapas tour of Antequera:
http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry.com/tapaspain.html
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Oct 30th, 2015, 02:54 AM
  #14
 
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And of course, the high speed AVE train takes you from Malaga to Madrid in 2h 30mins, city center to city center. http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

Plenty of direct flights from Malaga to Madrid (Iberia and Air Europe).

Malaga to Cordoba is 50 minutes on the high speed AVE Train.

Malaga to Granada is 90 mins with the ALSA bus. https://www.alsa.es/en/home

Malaga to Antequera is 40 mins with the ALSA bus.

And don't skip wonderful Cordoba. It's much more than the Mezquita, Alcazar and Juderia. This "Cordoba, Life and Spirit" video will get you in the Cordoba mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfGdpF55Uk
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Oct 30th, 2015, 07:01 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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kimhe once again is right, and more to added, if you write on google Malaga underrated you can read many travel blogs talking about Malaga and what people expected was not much but finally they said Malaga is a worthy Spanish city to visit.


http://goglobaltravel.blogspot.com.e...nish-city.html

http://iwandered.net/2012/12/09/thin...ity-of-malaga/

http://www.roughguides.com/article/t...-do-in-malaga/

http://seattlestravels.com/why-malag...r-travel-list/

http://www.mytravelaffairs.com/under...ations-europe/

http://www.passengerconners.com/2015...t-viva-malaga/


Just some examples written by people who tend to travel around the world.

Malaga is the 5th biggest city in Spain and has much more to offer that people tend to think.
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Nov 10th, 2015, 06:08 AM
  #16
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Thank you. We have decided to take Vueling into Malaga, but to take the AVE train back to Madrid. thanks for the input.
Renting a car from Malaga and drop at Enterprise at Zambrano train station. Any helpful car dropoff information? I cant tell if the Enterprise office is at the terminal or where to drop the car? Advice from someone who has dropped the car off at the Maria Zambrano station?

If we take the train to Cordoba, are we in good place for a self tour or should we find a tour group? Points of interests, great leather shopping? train station near hop on off tour buses, or better to walk it? suggestions. Would be a day trip.
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