Just back from Spain and Lisbon......

Jun 18th, 2001, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Monica
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Just back from Spain and Lisbon......

Our itinerary included Barcelona, Granada, Nerja, Malaga, Marbella,Ronda, Seville,Madrid, Lisbon(in that order)....any question I will be glad to help with what I know.
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 03:47 PM
  #2  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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HELLO MONICA, I have a friend doing a similar itinerary in Oct. minus Barcelona and Madrid. Where did you stay in Granada, Nerja, Marbella, Seville and Ronda? What do you suggest for 3 star accomodations? Sounds like a fun trip---tell us more.
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 04:57 PM
  #3  
Tammy
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Monica, I'm going to Spain in October with a similar itinerary: Madrid, Seville, Granada, Ronda, and Toledo. I'd love to hear about your trip. Where did you stay in Madrid? I'm having a bit of trouble hearing back from hotels in Madrid. Either they aren't taking reservations until August or they don't reply to my fax. All the other hotels are booked. Tammy
 
Jun 18th, 2001, 07:57 PM
  #4  
Stephen
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Hi, I would be interested in your in country transportation between these cities. Thanks.
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 10:44 AM
  #5  
Monica
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I will attach a list of the hotels we stayed in and the information like phone numbers, fax etc. I have to do it from home so I will get to it later today. As for the mode of transportation between these cities here goes...From Barcelona to Granada we took a overnight train with a reservation made in advance for a sleeping compartment. We spent 1 day and one night in Granada which I believe is adequate. We rented a car from Avis(all pre arranged) and drove down to the Costa Del sol to Nerja....the easiest drive in the world...we almost didn't even use a map.I highly recommend driving to taking buses and relying on the bus schedules. We mostly drove around the costa del sol all the way to Gibraltor and hit all the cities on the coast that looked or sounded interesting like Marbella, Malaga,torremolinos. We spent 2 days in Malaga and mostly used it as a base to go to the other cities. Malaga was fairly easy to drive in...a big city always has traffic. We then drove from Malaga to Ronda which is a very scenic and beautiful drive. I recommend not driving this at night since it is a little curvy and most of all because you would miss all the sites on the way. Having a car in Ronda was great because we drove around the lands and saw things most wouldn't get to with a bus. We then drove from Ronda to Seville and we dropped our car off at the train station which is a little on the outside of town...You DON'T want to drive in Seville. It's busy and can get confusing. So it was perfect that we didn't have a car there. From Seville to Madrid we took the Ave(high speed) and we loved it. From Madrid we flew to Lisbon with Iberian airlines...not too bad considering all the horror stories I had heard about them. I already wrote a ton so if you need more let me know...
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 12:26 PM
  #6  
Armando
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Hi Monica,
I'd like to get all your hotel info from you if possible, and any info you have on paradores also. We are planning a trip in early October --- driving all over Spain and Portugal. Thanks for your help!
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 04:51 PM
  #7  
JD
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Message: Monica
In July I will be visiting a friend in Madrid for a period of 4-5 days. She has been in Spain for most of her summer on a college exchange program so I'm sure she'll be able to equip us with a nice itinerary but what would you suggest? We will be free to travel and stay wherever or we can stay with her "exchange family." Should we travel to different cities or stay mainly in Madrid? If you suggest traveling, where to stay, hotels or hostels? This may be off the subject but I'm 20 years old. I enjoy the art and museum scene but what else is there to do, maybe something at bit more outgoing! Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 10:01 PM
  #8  
Monica
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As promised here is the list of the hotels and cities we stayed in...let me know if you have a question about the hotel.

Barcelona
Gran Via Hotel- Gran Via 642, 08007
Phone#011 34 93 318-1900
Fax# 011 3493 318-9997

Granada
Hotel America- Real De la Alhambra 53, 18009
Phone011 34# 95 822 7471
Fax#011 34 95 822 7470
Includes Breakfast

Nerja
Hotel Paraiso Del Mar Calle Prolongacion de Carabeo 22,29780
Fax#011 34 95 252-2309
Includes Breakfast

Ronda
Parador de Ronda- Plaza de Espana ,29400
Phone# 011 3495 287 7500
Fax# 011 34 95 287-8188

Seville
Hotel Simon- Garcia de Vinuesa 19,41001
Phone #011 34 95 422-6660
Fax#011 34 95 456-2241
Includes Breakfast


Madrid
Hotel Mora- Paseo Del Prado 32, 28014
Phone#011 34 91 420-1569
Fax# 011 34 91 420- 0564


Lisbon
Hotel Eduardo VII(Best Western)-
Av. Fontes De Melo 5,1069-114
Phone# 011 351-21-356-8800
Fax# 011 351-21-356-8833
Includes Breakfast
 
Jun 19th, 2001, 10:07 PM
  #9  
Monica
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Hi JD...well I think you need at least 2 or 3 days to see Madrid and the rest could be spent doing day trips to Seville or orther cities around Madrid. I didn't really go outside of Madrid so i'm not the expert on that. As for clubs there seemed to be few..but we are from LA and there is a lot of clubs here so we didn't think that was a priority for us..... just hanging out in the squares which, are filled with a lot of young people. I'm sure you will have fun not matter what you do.
 
Jun 20th, 2001, 03:20 PM
  #10  
maureen
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How was Hotel America?
 
Jun 20th, 2001, 03:41 PM
  #11  
Tammy
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Thanks Monica for the list of hotels. I have reservations at both the Hotel America and Hotel Simon. The Hotel Mora is at the top of my list, I'll try to contact them again. Thanks. Tammy
 
Jun 21st, 2001, 12:20 PM
  #12  
Monica
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Ok now this was my experience...I loved the location of hotel america.....can't beat the fact that it is just 100 feet from the back enterance to the Alhambra and right next to the Parador. It's a very charming and cute bed and breakfast type. Ok...here are the bad points...Our room was great...I believe it was the largest they have in the front part of the hotel. I sneaked a peek into 7 of the rooms when the cleaning lady was cleaning and they were rather small and ordinary compared to our room. Ours was room number 11 (I hope I got that right).
The bigggggg problem with our room was that since it is one of the ones in the front part of the hotel we could hear all the thousands of people outside walking by or driving by to go to the other parts of the Alhambra. This was not an issue after 7 pm... but during the morinig and afternoon it's LOUD!. The service at the front desk could be improved...But since it was such a cute place I would stay there again.

Hotel Simon in Seville....great location near the cathedral ...less than two small blocks..the lobby area is very nice and interesting...Our room didn't have a great view unless you consider a courtyard of no windows and a roof line a view. It was clean and had a arabic feel to it...the window was pretty and the staff was very helpfull in booking Flamenco show tickets for us.

Hotel Mora...can't beat the price but the hotel room is kind of standard to dingy but clean...at least ours was...and we had a room in the back not looking at the main street but it was still loud enough so you could hear the traffic.. even with the double windows closed....The lobby was very nice. The location is very close to the train station and across the street from the Prado..but it's a little bit of a walk from most other things...

hope this all helps...
 
Jun 21st, 2001, 12:52 PM
  #13  
Graziella
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Hi Monica thank you for your imput regarding Spain.
I wish to add that for me the America is one of the most blown up, over rated places in Spain.... having stayed both up or down the cuesta Gomerez, I personally prefer staying in the city , and go up to the Alambra may be for a full day and have lunch there either in the AMerica or the Parador.
I had a room in the back, and frankly it was overpriced due to all this
over rating of this hotel. It might be charming but not that charming and the rooms are really nothing.
Adios.
 
Jun 22nd, 2001, 01:00 PM
  #14  
Becky
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Monica: I was curious about Nerja. I understand that it is has gorgeous rocky cave beaches. Was Nerja worth your time? What would you recommend in this town and travel in it? What did you think of the hotel you stayed at in Nerja?
 
Jun 22nd, 2001, 02:39 PM
  #15  
Monica
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Hi Becky,

I actually liked Nerja more than Marbella and the other coastal town because it's not as touristy and snobby. It has beautiful beaches and there is the " Cuevas Nerja" that is not on the beach but closer to the mountain. It is an amazing cave with the largest stalagtite in the world. I have heard that they have concerts in the cave in the summer. Our hotel was great...our room was in the back with no ocean view but I understand most of the rooms have great view. the hotel is great...has a great pool and since breakfast is included you can sit outside and look at the amazing views. They have a website so you can see what it looks like...I have to get it for you if I still have it. Nerja is slower paced and I believe 2 or 3 days is fine. Depends on what you are looking for. It is right next door to the Parador which is undergoing contruction.
 
Jun 25th, 2001, 06:34 PM
  #16  
lisa
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hi monica,
thanks so much for sharing your experiences with the rest of us. i actually emailed you directly, before reading this posting, so please disregard my redundant questions.
we'll be doing virtually the same itinerary as you did, except we starting in madrid, ending up in barcelona and will not visit lisbon. i do have a couple questions for you:
where did you pick up your car in granada? was it the train station as well? would you recommend dropping off our car where you picked yours up? also, what route (highways/roads) did you take to go from granada, through nerja and up to seville? did you have problems with road signs (have heard some complaints about this, and would just like to be prepared)? how about fueling up on gasoline? are the gas stations easy to access?
regarding hotels, did you happen to notice the hotel guadalupe nearby the hotel america? we have reservations at the guadalupe, but i've heard that the america is nicer than the guadalupe. if you didn't care too much for the america, i'm wondering if we should upgrade a notch. did you see any other granada hotels that you think would be a better choice than the america (at a decent value--i'd be willing to pay a little more, for satisfactory accomodations)?
by the way, i noticed that are from l.a. my husband and i are also l.a. residents, so it'd be interesting to hear how andalusia driving compares to the 405 or 10 freeways. = )
thanks monica!
 
Jun 27th, 2001, 09:05 AM
  #17  
Monica
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Lisa, I don't have all the info here at work so I will go home and get all the detail for the driving(I hope I still have it.) I can tell you that drive was so amazingly easy that we were surprised. The roads where great...better than most here. There is construction and a few round abouts that may seem a little confusing but the signs will get you there. We really didn't even need a map since the signes were so evident. As for dropping your car off in Granada...it depends on what you are doing after Granada. We rented from Avis which is in the down town part of Granada. I don't think there was any car rental company at the train station...which was small. The roads where a lot better than the 405 and definitly better than the 10 as far as traffic. I actually liked Hotel america because we were only there for 1 night and it was so close to the Alhambra. I never saw the Guadalupe so I couldn't comment.
 
Jun 27th, 2001, 11:14 AM
  #18  
Pat
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Monica, How was the Gran Via in Barcelona? I have reservations for next week. Thanks.
Pat
 
Jun 27th, 2001, 12:28 PM
  #19  
Aggie
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Hello, Monica. Your trip sounds awesome! Thanks for all the good advice.
 
Jun 27th, 2001, 03:50 PM
  #20  
E
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Hi Monica:
I am interested in the hotel in Barcelona and Lisbon? How were these
two hotels price wise closeness to the cities and your opinion of both of them?
Thanks,
Ellen
 

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