Help With Spain vacation itinerary

May 24th, 2010, 05:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7
Help With Spain vacation itinerary

My wife and I are planning a 12-day trip to Spain this summer. It’s the first time for me; my wife was there 30 years ago after college graduation.

We’re flying from NY to Madrid and want to spend about 4 nights there.

Then we’ll rent a car and drive south: to Cordoba, to Seville, then to Jerez where my wife (who is a horse person) wants to see the Spanish Riding School.

From there we would drive towards Malaga (with a stop at Ronda) from which we would fly home.

Any suggestions ? Is this too ambitious ?

I’ve seen articles that recommend traveling by train, but I’m thinking that a car gives us more flexibility to do what we want.


P.S. All the travel agents want to do is plug you into a pre-packaged tour.
Bob331 is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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Four days in Madrid with some daytrip to Segovia or Toledo is OK.
Later, driving south from Madrid really is NOT interesting, best take the AVE (high-speed train from Madrid to Seville).
Then, Seville itself!, a daytrip to Jerez, another daytrip to Cordoba's Mosque and its former Jewish quarter and then a trip to Granada's Alhambra, a really must-see for firstimers to Spain.
Revulgo is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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Take note there are not shows everyday at the Royal riding school.

If you are getting a car, do Toledo stop on your way down the road to Córdoba.

If you have a car also you can stop at Carmona, outside Sevilla towards Córdoba. It is a lovely small town with a parador and fine restaurant here and there.

I love the Oropesa castle Parador but it is a bit west of the logical route.. but with a car.. yu CAN go off a bit.

Looking now at a map, if you do decide to take a car, it would be useful only if you are going to do the following type of route. Otherwise, wise advice to just train down to Sevilla/Córdoba, and then bus/train to Granada.

Madrid-Toledo ( visit).. then continue on to Oropesa parador to sleep.

Then drive down to Trujillo, lunch, stroll, sleep in Cáceres. Also paradors in this area.

Along the way you have Mérida and its amazing amphitheater. And of curse Zafra.. so quite a rich trip if you have the extra time it would take to do it a bit of justice. Fabulous castles and photo opportunities abound in this area.. ( as in most of Spain).
One can't see it all.. but there is so much, that any trip you make will be satisfying.

then off towards Sevilla.
lincasanova is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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south of Spain in the summer....100 + degrees.. make sure you have good A/C hotels!
danon is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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Have you checked out or other site for mileage/time info?

It will take you about 4.5hrs to drive from Madrid to Cordoba. If you take the train you can be there in less than 2hrs. Driving from Cordoba to Seville takes about 2 hrs whereas the train gets you there in less than 1hr. And you save additional time because you do not need to drive (find) your hotel and park you can take a taxi from the station to your hotel.

But if you drive you can stop in Toledo and anywhere else you like for that matter, so you do gain in flexibility as you said.

IMHO you don't need a car for the Madrid/Cordoba/Seville but you do for Seville/Ronda/Malaga.
T4TX is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Driving in Spain is quite civilized - good roads/signs. But I agree with the other poster who said you should take the train south before you rent the car. You definitely don't want to rent a car while you're in Madrid. The train ride which is not the AVE (fast-3 hrs) from Madrid that we took was Madrid to Granada (5 hours, lovely trip through rolling hills and olive orchards). You don't need a car in Granada, but you could rent there. We trained from Sevilla to Granada as well, and again you don't need a car in Sevilla. I would do the car rental after Sevilla.
spcfa is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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A car anywhere practically is only interesting for smaller towns and rural areas. Parking in the big cities is expensive or hard to find nearby. Traffic violations also are quite steep and if you " go with the flow" of traffic, most likely you will receive a fine in the mail a few months later. Speed traps are the norm nowadays.. so do pay attention to the abrupt changes in speed along certain routes.

The trains and buses are excellent in Spain. Once you know your time allowances and stopovers it will be much easier to decide between the two.
lincasanova is offline  
May 24th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Thank you all very much.

This is incredibly helpful !!

Bob331 is offline  
May 25th, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Bob one of the more recent posters mentioned they did some ridig in Ronda.I did a quick search and found this althugh I certainly cannot recomened anyone from personal experience, you might add a horse riding experience to the plan..

In any case I would love to see the horses in Jerez When in the summer exactly are you going?
amsdon is offline  
May 26th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Cars are a hassle in Spain unless you are trying to get to very small towns without bus service. AVE train is great and buses are oddly tolerable compared to the US. 4 nights in Madrid (I like to end my trips in Madrid), 2 in Granada, 3 in Seville, and maybe a night or two in Jerez or Cadiz or Malaga.
Egbert is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 05:05 AM
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Response to amsdon:

Sorry for the delayed response:

We'll be in Jerez the second week in July.

Bob331 is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Link to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation. Read the opening window.
Revulgo is offline  

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