COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help with my Spain trip (23 Mar to 7 Apr)

Help with my Spain trip (23 Mar to 7 Apr)

Old Dec 3rd, 2017, 02:20 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
For info on the railpass check www.renfe.com - Spanish Railways site and sites I gave in a post above. Pass would be good probably only if you want flexibility to take which trains when there and not book in stone weeks ahead of time - and with pass you must still pay mandated seat reservation fees on fast trains at about $10-15 a pop.

Add it all up and if close go for the pass.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2017, 05:29 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 69
I just posted my trip report from several years ago that you might find helpful. Just click on my name above.
singercpa is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 02:53 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 969
Be aware that night visits of the Alhambra are available only on Friday and Saturday nights from October 15th through April 1 each year. So if you have your heart set on a night visit, you will have to rework your itinerary, perhaps by flipping Cordoba and Granada.
indyhiker is online now  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 03:24 AM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 24
^Oh wow. Thanks for the head's up! Will flip the 2 cities then.

I've checked the difference between rail passes. The trains for that time period are not out yet but it seems cheaper to buy the discounted tickets than the Spain Railpass.

I've checked and there seemed to be no direct way to head to Toledo from Granada. I'm not sure if I'm missing something though but it seems that I can only go there through Madrid. Any thoughts on this?
introvertadela is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 03:32 AM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 24
^But I did see KarenWoo's report where she took a train from Toledo to Cordoba. Will search more on this.
introvertadela is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 05:05 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 969
I'm almost positive that you have to stop in Madrid on the way to Toledo regardless of whether you're coming from Granada or Cordoba.

I'd further suggest looking at taking the ALSA bus between Cordoba and Granada. If memory serves, the bus may be a bit cheaper (we did a similar trip to yours this past March).
indyhiker is online now  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 05:12 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,370
Introvertadela, we did take the train from Toledo to Córdoba, but it is not a direct train. First we went by train from Toledo to Madrid; then we had to board another train from Madrid to Córdoba. We had about a half hour layover at the Madrid train station, which was plenty of time.

We took the ALSA bus from Córdoba to Granada because the train tracks aren't completed yet to Granada. If you take the train to Granada, you get off in Antiquera and then board a bus for the rest of the trip to Granada. The ALSA bus was fine. Prices are reasonable; bus is modern with AC and comfortable seats. I definitely recommend taking the ALSA bus all the way instead of the train and then changing to the bus. Hope this helps.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 06:53 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
We took the ALSA bus from Córdoba to Granada because the train tracks aren't completed yet to Granada>

tracks should have been finished but delays are rife and only sometime in 'early 2018' RENFE now says.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 11:18 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 969
I think the track upgrade was originally supposed to be done in the fall of 2016. I've not read anything lately explaining the long delay. I was in the OP's shoes this time last year trying to make train/bus reservations for mid-March/early-April and finally gave up hoping that the upgrade would be done in time for our trip.

As it turned out, it really wasn't that big of a deal. As already mentioned, we took the bus from Cordoba to Granada. The bus was comfortable and got us to Granada on time. We took the bus/train combination that Renfe is currently offering from Granada to Madrid and it too was fine. The bus wasn't quite as comfortable as the ALSA bus, but that leg wasn't all that long. Just make sure you go to the bathroom prior to boarding; you can't count on the bus having a bathroom unless it's designated as a "premium" bus.

To take the bus/train combo, just book with Renfe. If you want to take the bus instead (ALSA runs routes for Granada-Madrid and Seville-Granada as well), then book on ALSA. We did get our bus tickets in advance. If memory serves, you can't use a US credit card on their website, but you can use Paypal. The bus we took was completely booked, so I do think you have to book in advance; I'm just not sure how far in advance.
indyhiker is online now  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 01:17 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,370
We booked our bus tickets in advance, too, and both of our ALSA buses were full. We took the bus from Cordoba to Granada, and then from Granada to Malaga. The bus driver has a passenger list, and he checked off names as people boarded. The Granada to Malaga bus gave us bottled water and cookies! That was a surprise because it was a shorter trip (1.5 hours). The Cordoba to Granada trip was 2.5 hours. Our bus did not have a bathroom, so we made sure to use the bathroom before we boarded. Our trip was September 2017, and the train tracks were not finished at that time.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 02:32 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
The Cordoba to Granada trip was 2.5 hours. Our bus did not have a bathroom, so we made sure to use the bathroom before we boarded>

and per another thread there are no pit stops! Another reason to take train if possible.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 04:16 PM
  #32  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,981
Good catch by indyhiker. Seriously -- I strongly recommend that you check the hours for the things you want to visit and plot them on a calendar before committing to any specific itinerary.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 05:06 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 969
I learned this lesson the hard way re: the Alhambra’s evening hours, although in my defense they changed their calendar (spring/summer hours used to begin March 15th) after I booked everything. We opted not to alter our reservations, but it was disappointing. I’m glad the OP is in a position to move things around.
indyhiker is online now  
Old Dec 4th, 2017, 05:11 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 78
Hi there, we were in Seville 2016 for Semana Santa, its magic at that time, big crowds but everyone has a great time.Three points that might help: the roads in the centre of the city will be blocked off, and even as a pedestrian you will be redirected around at certain times, be prepared for that. Families eat out at this time of year so restaurants will be heavily booked, book a head if there are some you want to try. The last point is an observation.. the orange blossom is to die for, the perfume is everywhere and the trees look so beautiful.
misskdonkey is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2017, 12:55 AM
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 24
I've bought tickets for Alhambra for day and night visits for 30 March. Thank you so much for letting me know to buy very much in advance. I thought I could still wait for Jan/Feb as there would be tickets available.

With that, I've confirmed that I need to be in Granada from 29th onwards. I've changed to spending 3 nights in Granada and 4 nights in Madrid.

23 Mar - Land in Madrid, train to Seville
23 Mar to 27 Mar - Seville (4 nights)
27 Mar - 29 Mar - Cordoba (2 nights)
29 Mar to 1 Apr - Granada (3 nights)
1 Mar to 3 Apr - Toledo (2 nights)
3 Apr to 7 Apr - Madrid (4 nights)
7 Apr - Fly out from Madrid
introvertadela is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2017, 01:39 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 969
Glad you got tickets! From here, I'd urge you to secure accommodations right away in Granada and Toledo in particular (and perhaps Córdoba as well). You'll be in the thick of Semana Santa and the Easter Holiday. As others have pointed out, you can expect large crowds and higher prices. You should be able to view some processions though so I'd look at it as an interesting opportunity. We saw them practicing in Granada; it was fascinating.
indyhiker is online now  
Old Dec 5th, 2017, 05:51 PM
  #37  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,981
Congrats! Looks like a great plan -- I'm sure you will enjoy your time in Spain.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 6th, 2017, 11:13 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Yup a very good plan - so relaxed!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 6th, 2017, 01:06 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
You could probably stop for a few hours in Ronda, physically gorgeous Ronda between Cordoba and Granada.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 6th, 2017, 05:26 PM
  #40  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,981
@ PalenQ: You already said that, upthread, at Dec 3, 17 at 12:21pm
kja is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO