Honeymoon in Spain - Itinerary thoughts

Jun 10th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #1  
Kristin
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Honeymoon in Spain - Itinerary thoughts

Apologies to all of you who are sick of seeing the same questions over and over! I am planning our honeymoon to Spain next April - we will be there during Semana Santa and the following week, 12 days total. I lived in Sevilla for a year during college and have not been back to Spain since, so I am very excited! I want to take my fiance to all the places I fell in love with - Sevilla, Granada, Toledo - and also see Barcelona, which neither of us have visited before. We've been to Madrid already, so I'm not planning to make that a big part of our trip. So, here's what I'm thinking, and I would love any feedback, suggestions, critique, etc. I've been researching in guide books and checking archives on this site, but I would be grateful for any responses. Thanks so much - I don't know what I would do without this site!

Fly into Madrid and head straight for Toledo.
2 nights in Toledo, then train to Sevilla.
4 nights in Sevilla (renting a car while there for a couple of day trips).
Drive to Granada - 2 nights there.
Drop off car and fly to Barcelona.
4 nights in Barcelona, then fly home from there.

Sound feasible? Any problems I'm not thinking of? Thanks!!

 
Jun 10th, 2002, 01:38 PM
  #2  
Maira
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Kristin, Congratulations! Also, your plan sounds FABULOUS!

Semana Santa in Andalucia is high, high season. Give hotel reservations your outmost priority.

From Madrid arrival, are you taking the train into Toledo? Are you looking for hotel recomendations? In Toledo, the Parador is lovely, but it is somewhat away from the historical center (although the views of Toledo more than make up for the distance).

Definitely try to stay at the Parador in the Alhambra.

If driving to Malaga Airport from Granada, allow yourself extra time for traffic. It was pretty heavy around Granada heading on that direction.
 
Jun 10th, 2002, 01:55 PM
  #3  
Kristin
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Thanks! Yes, we plan to take the train from Madrid to Toledo when we get in. Do you happen to know whether we can get a train at the airport, or if it's better to taxi into town and get a train there? And we are definitely hoping to stay at the Parador in Granada - I am trying to nail down this itinerary so I can start making reservations right away. I am discovering that not only are hotels busy during holy week, they're also lots more expensive! As for Toledo, I think the Parador may be a little far away from the sights for us. I stayed at the Hostal del Cardenal years ago and adored it - does anyone know anything about it these days or have other recommendations?

Also, I guess i was assuming we would fly straight out of Granada to Barcelona - but you mentioned Malaga. Is that the closest airport, or a better airport?
 
Jun 10th, 2002, 05:54 PM
  #4  
patg
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mlaga is an international airport, Granada has a small airport, but it is only 20 minutes out of the city. (Malaga is 2-2.5 hours) There are a handful of daily flights from Granada to Barcelona, although it is a bit cheaper to fly out of Malaga.
 
Jun 10th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #5  
Jade
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Hi Kristin:

I have visited most of the places you mention in a similar itinerary, and your itinerary sounds great.
Maira's suggestions sounds spot on.
Have a fantastic time- I am so jealous!

Jade
 
Jun 10th, 2002, 07:30 PM
  #6  
Maribel
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Kristin,
Completely agree with Maira that you've done a very nice job in planning.

The Hostal del Cardenal is still the same- antique-filled, cozy, lovely gardens and gurgling fountains. Ask for one of the 2 suites with terrace. They cost about 120 euros in high season.

About getting to Madrid's Atocha station from Barajas airport. The newly extended metro line 8 from the airport, as of late May, is now up and running all the way to Nuevos Ministerios, so you could take the metro (cars with luggage racks) to N. M. then switch to a "cercanias" train from there to Atocha (with 1 stop at Recoletos). But if you've had a long flight and are carrying much luggage, it's a loooooong walk down to the metro station at Barajas, and you may not feel like that much exercise and bother. I'd vote for just grabbing a taxi to Atocha. Doesn't usually take more than 20 min., even in heavy traffic. After all, it's your honeymoon so enjoy those little luxuries.

I'd also opt for taking a flight to BCN from the small Granada airport rather than driving the 2 hrs. down to Malaga's int. airport. Much less hassle.
Iberia currently has 3 non-stops a day from Granada to BCN, the first leaving at 9:40 a.m. The flight will probably cost $140 (booking ahead), but then it's your honeymoon...

And it's not too early to book your rm in Seville for Semana Santa. I'm going to be in Sevilla during Holy Week too and am working right now on my own reservations.

Hope you can snag a rm at the Parador in Granada! The ultimate in a romantic stay.
And congratulations!
 
Jun 11th, 2002, 06:14 AM
  #7  
Kristin
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Thanks everyone!! One more transportation question... we're planning to rent a car while in Sevilla and drop it off on our way out of Granada. Would it be worth it to instead rent the car as soon as we arrive in Madrid, and drive ourselves to Toledo, then down to Sevilla, then to Granada? I know the train is relatively quick, but is the drive from Toledo to Sevilla very long? Just trying to figure out whether having the car for the first few days would be more of a convenience or more of a hassle.
 
Jun 11th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #8  
Maribel
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Kristin,
If you don't drive from Toledo, you'll need to take the train back into Madrid's Atocha station from your night at the Cardenal to catch the AVE down to Seville.

The drive from Toledo to Seville is easy but will take 5 hrs. (actually slower probably than training back to Madrid to catch the 2 1/2 hr. AVE with a good connection) You certainly won't want a car AT ALL in Sevilla, and especially during S.S. It's a definite liability in normal situations. So you'd need to drop it off, then pick one up again when you leave Seville to drive to Granada then dump it once again upon arrival in Granada. Won't want it there either.

The pick up/drop off process will be time consuming and take precious time away from your 12 days in 4 cities where there's lots and lots to see. And I strongly suspect there will be shorter hrs. at the car rental counters during Semana Santa! And consider the crowds.
I'd certainly buy my AVE tickets down to Seville far in advance. The trains will be packed.

Hope this helps a bit.
 
Jun 11th, 2002, 10:58 AM
  #9  
lisa
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If you don't have a hotel in Seville, I can recommend Casa Imperial. They have a website. We stayed there on our honeymoon in Andalucia and really liked it. It is built in the hacienda style with fountains and a garden area in the middle. Each room is different. It was very relaxing and the staff was gracious and helpful.
 
Jun 11th, 2002, 01:22 PM
  #10  
Kristin
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Darn - this trip was coming together so nicely, I knew it was too good to be true You bring up good points about the hassles of car pick-ups and driving in the towns. Hmmm, I'll have to keep thinking about this one... if anyone has any suggestions on how best to work the transportation, I'm all ears! One problem is we'd like to do a day trip or two from Sevilla and/or Granada, so it would be nice to have a car. But it sounds like it would be easier to just stop in a town or two on the day we drive from Sevilla to Granada, and only have the car for that day. By the way, anyone know how long the drive is between the two?

And Lisa, thanks for the hotel tip - I have inquired at 5 places, and Imperial was one of them. Fingers crossed that there are still some good rooms in Sevilla during that week!
 
Jun 11th, 2002, 06:29 PM
  #11  
Maribel
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Kristin,
For a honeymoon, I'd choose Casa Imperial. As a second in the romantic Barrio, look at Casas del Rey de Baeza. We stay at a tiny little jewel, Casa 7, (just perfection for us-we stay in the "blue room"-very private) but only 6 rms.
 
Jun 14th, 2002, 06:27 AM
  #12  
Kristin
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Thanks, you guys are the best! Well, I confirmed my reservation at the Parador in Granada - I'm so excited!

Haven't heard from several of the Sevilla hotels yet, altho Casas de la Juderia said to e-mail again in July because they haven't released new rates yet. Maribel, where did you decide to stay for Semana Santa?

I can get a room at Los Seises for 290E, which seems outrageous, but I suppose everything will be expensive that week. Still waiting to hear from Taberna del Alabardero, Casa Imperial, and Casas del Rey de Baeza.

Anyone have thoughts on how these Sevilla hotels compare?
 
Jun 18th, 2002, 10:12 AM
  #13  
Maribel
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Kristin,
I´ll either rent an apt. for the week or stay at the Casa 7 again. It´s really special but not hotel like at all. More like staying in an aristocratic, antique filled home (which it is).
You can´t go wrong with those 3 choices you have. All nice. Of the 3, I´d probably choose Casa Imperial if budget were to allow (but wil be very exp!) or Casas del Rey de Baeza because it´s just been recently refurbished, brought up a notch, according to Olga. The Taberna isn´t in the Barrio Santa Cruz.
 

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