Help with Southern Spain

Old Feb 9th, 2020, 10:19 PM
  #1  
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Help with Southern Spain

Hello,

I am hoping to get recommendations for a driver and guide for a trip to Southern Spain this fall. We'll be focusing on the Seville, Grenada, Cordoba areas and would like to schedule some cooking classes along with sightseeing. I know that we could drive ourselves or train to destinations, but we'd prefer to relax and not have to worry about anything except where to eat our next great meal! We are 4 people (2 couples).

Recommendations for hotel accommodations and restaurants in these cities would also be very welcome!

Thanks so much in advance!

NancyLA
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 01:49 AM
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So you ask for accommodation plus a car with driver and guide for a 1 week trip through Morocco and for 1 week in Andalucia.
I think that travel offices can much better offer this kind of packages than the individual travellers who usually give advice to other individual travellers in this forum.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 08:41 AM
  #3  
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Yes, for many previous trips I have found the personal recommendations on the travel forum to be much more helpful than working with travel agencies. This has been particularly true when looking for a local operator who can help us plan a trip that is geared to our interests. We have then been able to fold in the individual suggestions on accommodations, restaurants and sights into our trip plans. I don't see this as a conflict with the forum's intentions.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 08:54 AM
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We were happy with the following accommodations:

Cordoba - Las Casas de la Juderia
https://www.lascasasdelajuderiadecordoba.com/

Granada - El Ladron D'Agua
https://www.ladrondeagua.com/

Seville - Apartamentos Suites Santa Cruz
Apartamentos Suites Santa Cruz - Descuentos Exclusivos

Restaurants:
Cordoba - Regadera - must make reservations
Mercado Victoria

Granada -
El Trillo Restaurante

Seville - La Azotea - We ate here twice because we liked it so much!
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 09:17 AM
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In Seville we were traveling as three people, my DH and myself and my sister. We stayed in a nice room at the Eurostars Regina that is a duplex suite-it has 2 bedrooms on 2 floors connected by a circular staircase with a beautiful deck as well on the top floor. It turned out to be much cheaper than getting 2 separate rooms. Here is how they describe it on their website:

QUADRUPLE ROOM
Room size: 27 m2
Enjoy a family holiday staying in one of our family rooms Regina independent quadruple rooms on two levels.

Here are a couple of photos of the upper floor. The lower floor in our case had 2 beds-doubles I think.


Eurostars Regina Seville

Looking towards the deck

Our favorite tapas place in Seville is a 2 minute walk from that hotel and is called Eslava. They also rent apartments above the restaurant-so that might interest you

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...Andalucia.html
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 06:11 PM
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Another vote for the Hotel Las Casas de La Judería in Sevilla.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 07:26 PM
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our trip to Cordoba and Sevilla

Hi Nancy, here is our trip report from several years ago. Looks like the hotel in Cordoba we loved was the Hospes Palacio de Baillo. and there are a lot of restaurant ideas in here as well. enjoy - Laura and Steve's Spanish Adventure
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 09:43 PM
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Thank you all for the great recommendations! I'm still really hoping to find some kind of private guide/driving service that can accommodate us. I've had great experiences in South American and New Zealand with operators recommended by Fodor's travel forum writers. I notice a reluctance to share that information this time around. I'm curious about why that is, maybe there is a concern that posters are not real travelers? Anyway, if anyone cares to share information about guide/driver services, I'd be most appreciative.

Thanks again. The information you supplied is really helpful!
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 09:53 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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I've been reading Fodor's threads on Andalusia since before I joined in 2006 and I am not sure I've ever seen a reference to a private service of the type you are seeking. Doesn't mean there haven't been such mentions, but it doesn't seem like a common request. I could be wrong, but I don't think it's reluctance -- I think it's just not a part of the world where people who post here have felt the need for those services. It is, after all, a very easy area to travel using convenient and comfortable public transportation.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 10:00 PM
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Ah, maybe that's the issue. I've had great luck with recommendations for drivers/guides from Fodor's posters for trips we've made to S. America, India, SE Asia and NZ. Truth is, in many previous trips to Europe weve always used public transportation or rented a car and driven ourselves. We were just hoping for a different kind of trip...getting lazy I guess! Thanks for the insights.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 03:53 AM
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<<Another vote for the Hotel Las Casas de La Judería in Sevilla. >>

And another here, but I'm confused because KarenWoo cited the Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba, not Sevilla. Of course both could exist...

Agree with kja about private driver/guide as well. Don't recall ever seeing such a request here. I imagine the tourist office in Sevilla might have some suggestions, though.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
<<Another vote for the Hotel Las Casas de La Judería in Sevilla. >>

And another here, but I'm confused because KarenWoo cited the Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba, not Sevilla. Of course both could exist...

Agree with kja about private driver/guide as well. Don't recall ever seeing such a request here. I imagine the tourist office in Sevilla might have some suggestions, though.
St. Cirq is correct. We did stay at the Las Casas de La Juderia in Cordoba. There are two: one in Cordoba and one in Sevilla. I assume they are owned by the same people/corporation.

And KJA and St. Cirq are correct that people traveling in Spain don't hire private drivers because the train and bus system is so convenient and efficient. Another alternative is to rent a car but they are a real nuisance in the cities. We did our whole trip by train and ALSA bus.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 07:07 AM
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And I will add that our experiences with ALSA buses have been wonderful. It may seem like a big leap between a private driver and taking the bus (and I'll admit I have used a private driver only in India and the wilds of Morocco), but we could not have been happier with the ALSA service. Plan to use them again in May when we return to the Basque country.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 08:25 AM
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tour guides

Hi Nancy, somehow it looks like the reply I wrote last night didn't post. Although we did drive ourselves between Cordoba and Sevilla which was fine (except the part finding the car return in Sevilla), we have taken more and more recently using a guide/driver. It allows us to get out of the city and see wonderful out of the way places without the stress of driving in a different country. We have had great success with toursbylocals. There are a lot of guides available for the areas you are interested in. What we do is find someone whose vibe appeals to them, write to them and ask them about designing a tour to the places that interest us. You can tell by their response whether you will like working with them. In Spain we did two tours out of Barcelona - a local one with Lydia to Girona, and then designed a tour with a guide by the name of Miguel (he no longer seems to be working with them) who put together an amazing trip between Barcelona and Madrid (see our trip report), the highlight of which was visiting the civil war ruin of Belchite - I will never forget that. So don't give up - we are going on a four day tour this May with a guide from toursbylocals through Tuscany.

I think this was the hotel in Cordoba I mentioned above

with our guide in Belchite

Belchite

Girona
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 04:04 PM
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NancyLA,
Another reason why you haven't read here any suggestions for a licensed private guide/driver may be because of the expense.

Emily Matthews of South Olé Tours, based in Estepona (Málaga), offers this service. I know because I received a quote from her for a private driver/guide from Granada to Seville with a sightseeing stop either in Ronda or Antequera.

https://southolespaintours.com/desti...outhern-spain/

For cooking class, check the offerings of Taller Andaluz de Cocina in Seville's Triana market.
https://tallerandaluzdecocina.com/co..._cooking_class.

Mimo Food also offers a 3.5 hour tapas cooking class at their outpost in the Hotel Alfonso XIII.

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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 05:50 PM
  #16  
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Thank you so much for the great information. I've been soaking it all in and will return with more questions as I put the itinerary together.

Many thanks!

Nancy
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 08:51 PM
  #17  
kja
 
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Sorry for the confusion -- the Hotel Las Casas de La Judería in which I stayed was the one in Sevilla
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