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Help with my October trip to Andalusia

Old Jul 9th, 2015, 04:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 278
Help with my October trip to Andalusia

Hi,
I'm finally getting into the finer details of our trip to Andalusia. I tried to read all the recent and /or recommended threads on the topic so it was easier to plan.
We're travelling from October 8th to 21st only using public transportation . At the moment the schedule is:
Land in Madrid and overnight stay
Train to Cordoba - 2 nights
Train or bus to Granada - 3 nights
Train or bus to Seville - 5 nights (maybe with an organized tour to the white villages and Ronda)
Train to Madrid - 2 nights with a day trip to Toledo
Flight home
I don't want to be rushed (well, not too much) because I know I want to go back to Southern Spain sometime. And then I can spend more time in any place that I missed.
Now for the questions:
1. October 12th is Hispanic Day - an important holiday in Spain from what I read. We'll be in Granada - will the sites (Alhambra etc...) be open? Are the restaurants open? What about public transportation? Or is this going to be a wasted day?
2. I planned travelling to Granada towards the beginning because the trips to and from Granada are not on the high speed train. My partner has health issues and tires easily and he will have more strength at the beginning of the trip . He'll be able to "rest" in Seville since we'll be there longer. Does anyone have experience travelling by train on these routes? I know that the bus is cheaper etc... but the train is more comfortable for long trips. I've researched this (yes, I've checked the man in seat 61. You see, I have done my homework!) but I'd like some first hand experience.
3. Can anyone recommend an organized tour to the white villages and Ronda?
4. Clothes - is it enough to take a light jacket or sweater for the evening? Can we wear sandals or will it get cooler towards the end of the trip? I know that we should take umbrellas since there might be some rain.
Thanks!
Taltul is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 05:46 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
I can help with 4. Even in the winter, a light jacket is all you really need so a light jacket and sweater is perfect (of course, it depends on what temps you are normally used to). Bring shoes just to be safe as you may not want to wear sandals every day.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 06:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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#2. Why not follow your original plan and go to Granada first ? So what if it's not on an AVE train ? Then go to Cordoba and finally to Seville. From there you can take the AVE back to Madrid. Do bring shoes. It may rain, and shoes are better for that.
Bedar is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 06:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 543
1. It's a holiday, certainly all eateries will open as usual. As far as I am aware the Alhambra only closes 31st December and 1st January.
2. Not sure what you are looking for here. As you are able to see it is a four or near four hour journey in a comfortable seat and you are able to move around. It may, when you go, because of network improvement, be a train and change to bus journey.
3. This is the only fellow I have ever come across with web presence - http://www.theotherspain.galeon.com/
Or ask your accommodation.
4. As sparkchaser for your time.
WomBatt is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:06 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 563
Whatever you do, don't miss Ronda. I don't know of any organized tours, though. We rented a car and toured from Sevilla to Granada in the spring and everything was beautiful.

One thing I could also observe (not sure if others experienced the same thing) is that central Sevilla had nothing useful in the way of public transportation. We did lots and lots of walking over cobblestone streets. I was hot, exhausted and had blistered feet (in April). I would research that a bit if your partner has limited stamina. You'll be using taxis a lot, though I don't recall seeing any which is why we walked.
LeslieC is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:43 AM
  #6  
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First of all,thanks for your quick replies. We know about cobblestone streets! We just came back from Prague, Dresden and Berlin. The first two were only cobblestoned. My partner has stamina but if he feels it's too much, he goes back to the hotel and takes a siesta (You don't have to be in Spain to do that!)
I decided to go the Cordoba - Granada route (rather than Madrid - Granada) because it's a much shorter train ride (3 trains a day where the trip is only 2 and a half hours). I just wondered if anyone had been on one of these trains.
Another question: We want to stay walking distance to the Atoche Station. What is the area like? Are there restaurants - people walking around in the evening?
Taltul is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:47 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Probably only loosely relevant but it was in October!

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-with-kids.cfm
indy_dad is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 08:12 AM
  #8  
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Has anybody gone an organized tour with Viator (http://www.viator.com/)?
Taltul is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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Dia de la Hispanidad - although it's the Spanish national day - is not a huge thing in most of Spain. Spain is a country with very regional identities, and lots of tension between centralism and regional culture/politics etc. etc. For example totally impossible to agree on text to the national anthem, and Dia de la Hispanidad is pretty low key most places. Some military parades and the Gaurdia Civil celebrates.

Close to Granada, the 12th of October is the highlight of the annual Feria de Nerja with processions, music, concerts, food and wine in abundance: http://www.explorenerja.com/fiestas/feria_de_nerja.htm
kimhe is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:14 AM
  #10  
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Thanks kimhe. We'll be pretty busy in Granada (first time) but I'll save the info about Feria de Nerja for my next trip to Southern Spain.
Taltul is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:46 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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We were in Cordoba/Ronda and Seville last year around the 3rd week of October. Temps during the day were all over 30 degrees Celsius (I think around 90 Fahrenheit). It did cool off at night to a temperature of needing a light sweater at most. I don't know if this is typical weather, all I know is that it was very hot during our visit - at least by what we're used to. The locals seemed to deal with the heat just fine - lol.
debinthepeg is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2015, 05:09 PM
  #12  
kja
 
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2. Yes, but not since 2004, so my info may be out of date. I did ride some of those trains and found them comfortable.

3. I don't know of a guide, but in case it helps, I'm pretty sure that you can take a train from Granada to Ronda and then a bus from Ronda to Sevilla. You'd probably want to stay overnight if you do that -- which can be delightful in Ronda!

4. I agree that you would be wise to have some comfortable shoes with you, not just sandals. YMMV.

I took a Viator tour from Madrid to the Valley of the Fallen and El Escorial and was satisfied with my experience. Again, though, that was in 2004.

I trust that you know that many things will be closed during the middle of the day, on Mondays, and perhaps on Sunday afternoons?

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2015, 05:25 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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The only real/big time celebrations I am aware of in a Spanish city for October 12th has nothing to do with National Day. In Zaragoza the weekend nearest 10/12 is their big festival honoring El Pilar. A very enjoyable event with parades, floats, etc...
jack333 is offline  
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