Help with itinerary in Andalusia

Old Feb 6th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Help with itinerary in Andalusia

We ( 2 active adults in their 40s-50s) will be going to Spain in mid-May for a couple of weeks.
Weve been to Barcelona and Catalonia before so this time we are gong to Madrid and
Andalusia. We are also looking to relax for a couple of days in one of the resort towns.

I need help in composing itinerary, please.

Madrid 3 days, pick up a car,
The rest of itinerary is driving
Toledo 1 day and 1 night
From there I know the places we definitely want to visit are:
Cordoba
Sevilla
Ronda and white villages
Granada
Resort at Costa del Sol or some other beach resort. Just looking for a place to relax for a couple of days after many days of driving/packing.Looking for a nice sand beaches.

Here is what I am trying to understand at this point.
I realize the drive between Toledo and Andalusia is between 4 and 5 hours. And there is at least couple of hours drive between Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada. So we cant base in one town and day trip to the other. But we wouldnt like to pack every night either. What would be a good base town in Andalusia for 3-4 nights with enough sightseeing and short drive for day trips?
How long is the drive from Costa del Sol to Ronda? To Granada?
I read there are some towns where its advisable to stay overnight (Toledo, for example) as oppose to day trip. Is Granada one of those towns? Or we can do it as a side trip from a beach town? Is there a lot to see (must-see) in Granada besides Alhambra?
Are beaches around Cadiz better than Costa del Sol? Are they remote in terms of distance from other sights? Is it possible to base there and do a day trip to Sevilla or it doesnt make sense.

And another question. One of our days in Madrid falls on Monday when lots of sights are closed. What is there to do on Monday?

Thanks in advance
kiramoli is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Without deciding where to base, let me know a few thoughts about the Cadiz region.

First, Cadiz has a great beach. The bars along the beach are near beatable. If you like fish, you've gone to heaven.

Puerto Santa Maria (across the bay of Cadiz) doesn't a great beach directly but there are a few good beaches nearby. But, again, Puerto has a great amount of Tapa bars. The streets are packed still around 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. It's a great place for a few days relaxing.

Sanlucar boasts a great beach and one of the Tapa Bar sites in Andalucia. Take a look at the site for the bar Bigote's.
http://www.restaurantecasabigote.com
If you like seafood, this is the place.

Also around the Cadiz region, visit Jerez and the bodegas. Arcos is nearby and certainly worth the visit. Puerto Real has the best fish restaurant I've ever eaten.

Okay, I guess I like this region. Give it a few days around Cadiz and it's worth spending the visit.

Blackduff
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Old Feb 6th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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Don't know how much help I can be, but I'll try to help out on some things.

It might help to know if you plan on arriving in Madrid and leaving from another city?? Or are you doing a loop? A little unsure from what you state here.

While we did a road trip last fall, we didn't do any of the coasts, so I don't think I can really help there. However, many people do seem to do daytrips from the coast to Ronda or Granada. Not sure how it works for them, though.

Places in Andalucia are rather spread out, so it is difficult to base and daytrip. You could pick a place in or close to Seville and "do" Seville and then daytrip to places around there. The hard part of that would be the car. It can be inconvenient. Not impossible, just an inconvenience. But it is reasonable to base there for a few days. I was unimpressed with Seville, personally, so a daytrip would have been fine. But then, I seem to have the minority opinion on that one.

We just stopped in Granada to visit the Alhambra and then moved on. I don't feel I missed anything. How many cathedrals can one possibly see in a 3 week period, anyway? Truly, we were not into the big city thing, so driving through, seeing the Alhambra, and then into the mountains worked for us. Others may say there is more to "must-sees" in Granada. (We also decided to skip Cordoba for the same reason after we had all plans to see it, so my advice? Reserve the right to change!)

As far as Madrid on Mondays? The Palace is open on Mondays and so is the Reina Sofia, I believe. I believe the Reina Sofia is also open later? It may seem like everything is closed, but you might be surprised. You could also go to Segovia, if you feel like going there. Or get in some shopping, as the stores will certainly be open.
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Old Feb 7th, 2006, 04:50 AM
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We did a similar itinerary this past summer - in reverse. For the beach part, we chose Nerja - Paraiso del Mar. Nerja is at the east end of the condo clusters that make up the coast. We were happy with our choice. It is an easy 2 hr drive to Granada. For other driving times (to help you plan): Nerja to Madrid 5-6 hrs, Granada to Sevilla 4 hrs, Sevilla to Nerja 3 hrs.

Ian
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Old Feb 7th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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gray_lady
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On a related note -- can anyone estimate the deive time between Nerja (or Malaga) and Tarifa?
 
Old Feb 7th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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Ian
 
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Sorry gray lady, I didn't drive that direction from Malaga. It looks like it's the same fast multi-lane E15 as far as Algeciras - maybe 2 hrs?? The highways in Spain are excellent. Just a guess though . . .

Oh & kiramoli - imho Granada needs 1 night. Stay at the Alhambra Parador (book now) or Hotel America - both inside the walls. We skipped Cordoba but stayed in Jaen - absolutely stunning locale but little to do in town. We relaxed . . .

Ian
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Old Feb 7th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Check out mappy.com or viamichelin.com for driving directions and estimated times. Looks like it is about 2.5 hr from Nerja to Tarifa.
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