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Hoping Maribel and others can help-spain over Christmas

Hoping Maribel and others can help-spain over Christmas

Old Jan 19th, 2021, 07:01 AM
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Hoping Maribel and others can help-spain over Christmas

Hello all. Like many others, our 2 week Spain trip over Christmas got cancelled and we are hoping to rebook this year for Christmas 2021. I am trying to figure out best plan. WE are taking our 2 teens, 17 and 19, to Spain. Confused where to go first-Granada or Malaga. Is Malaga worth a visit in December? i know the decorations are amazing and there are a lot of museums. Or should we save Malaga for another trip?

Itinerary: land in either Granada or Malaga for 3 nights, then to either Granada or Malaga for 3 nights, Cordoba 1 night, Sevilla 4 nights (will be here for Christmas) then to Madrid for 5 nights.

Thanks all.

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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 10:58 AM
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As a personal friend of Maribel and her husband, Im glad to contribute. Malaga may be not that warm in December and its not beach weather, but the city (the Alcazaba, Larios street and the Christmas lights, the towns inland,...) is really worth a visit, if only for the great atmosphere of Spanish towns on this season. The same can be said for Granada, only that its smaller and one or two nights is more than enough. Youll be visiting some of the must-sees cities in southern Spain...save the north (where I live), so totally different, for your next visit!!
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 11:40 AM
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Mikelg, thanks for the response. So you think 2 nights is enough for Granada? And 3 for Malaga? Logistically, how would we do this? Fly into Malaga for 3 nights, then bus or train to Granada for 2 nights, 1 or 2 nights in Cordoba, 4 in Sevilla and then 5 or 6 in Madrid? Me encanta Espana. I studied in Madrid for a semester many moons ago and was there about 6 years ago with my husband. Can't wait to take our kids!
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 07:05 PM
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My daughter and I were in Madrid and Andalucia in December 2019. Malaga wasn't originally in our plans but we added it and enjoyed it. I think it makes sense to visit Malaga first, then Granada, then either Cordoba or Seville (either order would be okay) before finishing in Madrid. Or reverse all that. There are likely to be more flight options into Malaga than Granada. Whether two nights is enough for Granada depends on what you want to see - we liked our three nights. We loved Cordoba so suggest more than one night there. I would spend equal time in Seville and Madrid but it does depend on what you would like to see.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you that safe travel will be possible. We found December a great time to visit.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by plambers View Post
Mikelg, thanks for the response. So you think 2 nights is enough for Granada? And 3 for Malaga? Logistically, how would we do this? Fly into Malaga for 3 nights, then bus or train to Granada for 2 nights, 1 or 2 nights in Cordoba, 4 in Sevilla and then 5 or 6 in Madrid? Me encanta Espana. I studied in Madrid for a semester many moons ago and was there about 6 years ago with my husband. Can't wait to take our kids!
I agree with the previous post. Id probably do two nights in Malaga, while Cordoba may deserve more than one night. And take into account that public transport is excellent, so connections between these cities are not complicated. 5 nights in Madrid would be enough, as 4 in Sevilla. If in doubt, you still have Cdiz as a side option...
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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 08:21 AM
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Cordoba is the big question. Is there enough to do there for 2 nights? I hate the idea of 1 night anywhere.

Assuming I can get the flights we want with miles, this is how our trip will look with 2 options...

Arrive Granada Dec 17. 3 nights
Arrive Cordoba Dec 20 2 nights
Arrive Sevilla Dec 22 4 nights
Arrive Madrid Dec 26 with a day trip to Toledo Depart either Dec 30, 31 or Jan 1

OR

Arrive Malaga Dec 17 2 nights
Arrive Granada Dec 19 3 nights
Arrive Cordoba Dec 22 2 nights assuming I can check in Dec 24 in Sevilla. Am also concerned that much is closed Dec 24 so is this enough time in Sevilla?
Arrive Sevilla Dec 24 4 nights
Arrive Madrid Dec 28 4 or 5 nights

Good amount of time? Do I need more time anywhere? Am i missing anything? Thanks all.
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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 04:46 PM
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I hate one-nights also - but we thought that a full day (actually 2 half-days) was adequate in Cordoba. We were there in the fall with good weather, and roaming around and experiencing all the decorated courtyards was fun. But in winter - I don't know. We spent a lot of time at the Mesquito (I know - wrong spelling but dinner is ready & I don't have time to look up the correct spelling). Seville and Madrid were our favorites (Barcelona also). We loved the Alhambra, but were underwhelmed with the other parts of Grenada.

Here is my wife's Shutterfly of our trip. Click "Full Screen" Not much on Madrid - we were there for 5 nights on a prior trip.
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/29
Due to recent Shutterfly "enhancements", some captions & titles are missing or truncated.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; Jan 20th, 2021 at 05:02 PM.
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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 05:07 PM
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As I said, we really enjoyed our stay in Cordoba (one full day and two half days) and would have enjoyed staying longer. But if it really isn't a priority for you, then rather than a one night stay, you could consider a day trip from Seville. It's only about 45min by train and you could arrive early in the morning and leave late, after dinner.

I doubt you'd have problems checking into your hotel on the 24th but I suspect things will be very quiet on 24/25 December (but I've no experience of this as we'd left by then). Perhaps check opening hours for some key sites visited by tourists to see whether they are open or not? Is it possible to bring forward your plans by a few days?
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Old Jan 20th, 2021, 05:25 PM
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This was our itinerary for Madrid and Andalucia in September 2017:
Madrid - 4 nights
Toledo - 1 night
Cordoba - 2 nights
Granada - 2 nights
Malaga - 2 nights
Seville - 4 nights

I would definitely spend 2 nights in Cordoba, which is what we did and I actually wished we had a 3rd night. We visited the Mezquita, the Alcazar (although i don't know what the gardens will look like in December), the Palacio de Viana, and slowly strolled along the Roman Bridge. Cordoba is beautiful with its white-washed walls, narrow lanes, and patios with potted plants on the walls. I wished we had a 3rd night just for exploring the Juderia more. We also enjoyed a meal at the Mercado Victoria.

You need at least 2 nights in Granada, and again I wished we had a 3rd night for more leisurely exploring. If you can, please visit the Alhambra during the day and at night.

We loved Malaga and think it's an under-rated city. Again, it would have been nice to have an extra night there. December isn't beach weather, of course, but there are plenty of small museums. And we loved walking slowly uphill to the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress. There are towers, pathways, gateways, Roman columns, arches, and patios with fountains and a small Nasrid Palace. There are beautiful gardens with lush greenery and exotic flowers, but they may not be in bloom in December. And gorgeous views of the port and the Mediterranean.

You ask if you are missing anything. Are you interested in Toledo? It's another gorgeous city, the former capital of Spain. We had one night there, which was fine for us, but I know many people recommend 2 or 3 nights. And some people visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid.

If you wish, you can click on my name to read my trip report from this trip. Do you need hotel and restaurant recommendations?

We used trains and buses and all were wonderful, clean, comfortable, and on time. I understand the train tracks to/from Granada are finished, so you might not need to take a bus, but if you do, we used ALSA bus. No complaints at all.
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