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Help with itinerary--Arcos-Tarifa-Ronda

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Apr 15th, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #1
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Help with itinerary--Arcos-Tarifa-Ronda

Hello Fodorites! My wife and I will be visiting southern Spain next week and we're still undecided about how best to spend our time. Following a stay in Seville, we currently have three nights in Arcos and two nights in Granada (Alhambra, etc.), with car rental to get around in between those two cities. Since we want to get to the coast--possibly even making the ferry trip to Morocco--would it be easier and better to stay only one night in Arcos and a night in Tarifa and a night in Ronda as well? Seems like a lot of moving around but we would see a lot too. Or would it better to headquarter in Arcos and make day trips from there, stopping in Ronda on the drive to Granada? Thank you!
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Apr 15th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Anyone?
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Apr 16th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Well, I'm not the best person to give you advice, since I haven't even been there yet, but I'm going to this area in May and have been thinking about routes too. My impression is that Arcos is quite small, and most people say "doable" in 2-3 hours, and maybe not the best base for this area. Since it's only 1.5 hours from Seville, I wonder if you'd be better to make a mid-day stop here and carry on towards Tarifa. You could spend one night in Tarifa and from there it's only about 2 hours to Ronda, where you could spend two nights. That would be less jumping around from hotel to hotel.

My own plan is to leave Seville in the morning, spend a few hours in Arcos, and carry on to Cadiz for the night. Then we'll drive to Tarifa (1.5hours by main road but if the weather's nice we'll loop down to some of the beaches along the way) spend the afternoon in Tarifa, and boot it up to Ronda in the evening. That will be a long day, but we have three nights in Ronda after that.

I'm using ViaMichelin for driving times, and it's a great resource. Have fun planning!
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Apr 17th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Headquarters in Arcos: it depends on what hotel you'll be staying, as those uptown have no parking facility and pk. there is very difficult.
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Apr 17th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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we did that circuit last summer and loved it, but had a lot more time... 4 days in arcos as a headquarters and still didn't have time to do all we wanted, like go to morocco. arcos is great (especially at night, when it's quiet) but i would never base there again-- ever. parking was unbelievable, even at 1 in the morning, we sat in the car for well over an hour hoping that someone would head out from a bar and open up a space. we would start dreading the tight drive up and the parking well be fore entering the town each evening... and we are adventurous. they have a huge, huge problem on their hands with that.

we found that travel times were generally longer than we had expected, perhaps because it's such beautiful country and we were distracted from just driving. (the roads there are wonderful and easy to drive... like they used to be in california decades ago... ) if we had it to do again, we would, of course, not make arcos our home base-- but would choose grazelima, which is between arcos and ronda. it is high in the mountains, and you will find yourself passing through, anyway. adorable little town (with plenty of parking.)

we fell in love with seville... hope you can spend a good amount of time there. two recommendations there--
"picatoste" which has all the allure of a dunkin' donuts, but had the best curros y chocolate of the trip. (we're grateful to a fodorite for that recommendation.) sit at the counter and have a blast. cheap and delicious. (only in the mornings and then again after 4pm) also, our favorite tapas place of the trip was at blanca paloma, which is just across the isabel bridge, then 2 blocks beyond (san jacinto 49) a lovely walk from seville center and really local and delicious! find a table and order at the bar and they will call out the order when ready. also, one for my future "ice creams of the world" blog, was la fiorenfina ice cream on zaragoza 16. only ice cream that could compete with stefino in bologna! amazing flavors by this guy... if you are lucky, he will have "azteca" which is deep deep chocolate with jalapeno kick at the end.

on our last day in arcos, we were heading out of town and decided we'd better eat while we could. (it was sunday) stopped at the first place with lots of cars and it was a fantastic lunch... only english speakers there. kind service. traditional food. it was at a hotel/motel cortijo, mesa de la plata. i kept their card, which says 11630 arcos de la frontera... it was on the highway out, toward seville.

hope you will find something here of use. have a wonderful time.
kawh.
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