Madrid area and Andalucia questions

Old Jul 14th, 2018, 07:47 PM
  #21  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
4 days in Seville is plenty - well 3 days with day trip to Cordoba.
To each his/her own! that would NOT have been enough time for me! I wanted 4 days for Sevilla itself and wish I'd had more than 2 full days for Cordoba -- and there's much more I would have done in the area if I had had the time.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 12:31 PM
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Yes I should have said IME and always nice to spend several days each place but then at expense of other places - but yes that is a very subjective take - for me 5 nights in Seville was great but I also did a day trip to Jerez-de-la-Frontera and Cordoba - nice to spend few nights in say Cordoba - really really neat city but I hate relocating hotels as it takes so much time. But certainly Cordoba would be worth more than a day - though it depends on your travel style -I walked miles in that day and saw so much neat stuff.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 01:27 PM
  #23  
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How strict is Air Nostrum with carry on bags? Our luggage seems to be 1 inch taller than the size listed on Iberia's site. If we try to carry on and it is determined not to fit at the gate or even onboard, will they check the bag for free or charge a fee? I'm trying to decide to purchase checked bag during ticket purchase or wait and see at the airport. The train from Granada to Madrid takes 4 hours and I think part of that route is on a bus. Renfe shows Bus-Ave and two prices per train and route. Taking a bus direct all the way to Madrid is a much better price than the train or flying, but it takes over 4 hours. Looks like we will pay over $400 (for 2) for the convenience of a 1 hour flight booked 2 months in advance. Live and learn.

Last edited by castlesANDfalls; Jul 15th, 2018 at 02:01 PM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 02:49 PM
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The train from Granada to Madrid takes 4 hours and I think part of that route is on a bus.>

That bus due to trackwork making a high-speed line all the way was due to be back to train by now but things can drag on.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 05:56 PM
  #25  
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Thanks, folks. We would like more time in all the places mentioned in this thread, but we only have 14 nights this trip. This is our first trip to Spain, but not our first 2 week trip in Europe. We usually drive some and take advantage of trains when it works into our plans. We used a bus some in Italy too. We are safe, courteous drivers. In my research, I always learn of more places I want to see than I have time for. (Reading this forum gives me tons of ideas and insight) I know our visits are spread thin and the quick travel style is odd to many. Does anyone have a preference for Malaga, Marabella or Antequera ? Malaga looks like a big city and Antequera maybe too small and we might have one evening to walk along a beach, so any thoughts there?
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Old Jul 17th, 2018, 07:39 AM
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Malaga is fairly large but the old town felt quaint. I only know Marabella by reputation (not one I'd be inclined to investigate). I'm a hiker like you, so I am interested in Antequera, but then I have never found a place too small. What about Ronda?--it has the location, and it has all the good qualities of old and new.
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Old Jul 17th, 2018, 08:23 AM
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Ronda is physically impressive with deep gorge bisecting old from new towns but not much there really - nice one-night stay IMO.
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Old Jul 17th, 2018, 08:54 AM
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We loved our 2-night stay in Malaga last September. Yorkshire is right in that the old town feels quaint. And you can walk on the beach or along the promenade along the harbor. have drinks in outdoor cafes overlooking the harbor and watch the sunset. I think Malaga is underrated.
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Old Jul 26th, 2018, 03:04 PM
  #29  
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Yorkshire, PalenQ and KarenWoo, your responses were helpful. I think we will use Ronda as our base. We will plan to drive from Sevilla Tuesday morning and hike a few hours in The Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve then drive on to Ronda for the night. Spend the next day (Wednesday) in Ronda and sleep there again. Thursday, we plan to hike half a day at El Caminito del Rey in El Charro in the Malaga Mountains then, either return to Ronda for the night or move on to Nerja for 1 night planning to kayak the next morning (Friday) on a 2 hour route between Burriana and Maro beaches. I've read there are guided tours to do this and snorkel at the end. Later Friday, we will drive to Granada and turn in the rental car and sleep in Granada. We have early morning tickets for the Alhambra the following day (Saturday). We also will have Sunday to finish up in Granada before flying to Madrid (6:20pm departure). Does anyone have favorite hotels in Ronda?
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Old Jul 26th, 2018, 08:19 PM
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We loved Hotel San Gabriel in Ronda. Itís in the historic section and itís a lovely restored mansion. Excellent service too!
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 01:36 PM
  #31  
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For the first 4 nights in Madrid, I am allowing 2 days for Madrid with a day trip to Toledo. After considering your thoughts, I did not book anything yet for the 3rd day in Madrid but am torn. Madrid has a lot to offer and the pace would be more relaxed to stay in town. But, I would really like to see El Escorial, Valley of the Fallen and Segovia. If we rented a car for one day, would it be possible to see all three? 5 hour tours are offered from Madrid to El Escorial (opens at 10am) and Valley of the Fallen . The drive from there to Segovia is about an hour. I see the Alcazar is open until 8pm and the Cathedral until 9:30 in Segovia. Has anyone done all 3 in one day?
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 02:46 PM
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I easily did Segovia and El Escorial in one day by train so car would be easier - did not go to Valley of Fallen but again with car easy and from reports not a whole lot there but the sobering place itself.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 04:58 PM
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Don't be mistaken by Malaga as a big city. The historic district is very self contained. We spent a month there, and never ran out of things to do. There are great day trips to Cordoba, Granada, Ronda.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 07:49 PM
  #34  
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2 days is not much for Madrid. A day trip is not much for Toledo (I wanted 2 full days there). You can decide once there whether you have time for El Escorial, the Valley of the Fallen, and/or Segovia. And no reason to drive – you can use public transportation.
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 04:26 AM
  #35  
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Thank you PalenQ, and kja. I like having options but fear train and bus schedules for that one day would force us to constantly watch the clock. At least I know the packed Day Trip is possible. I ended up booking one night in Cordoba and decided to visit Toledo as a Day Trip from Madrid. jeterray, Malaga sounds like a nice place but since we want to hike in the mountains 2 days, we will stay at the lovely looking Hotel Convento De La Magdalena near Antequera for that part of this trip. I booked an apartment in Granada with a washer and dryer to stay and do laundry after our hiking days and to visit the Alhambra. We would like to drive out to a beach near Nerja, I think, from Granada for a day trip. I would love to see Cabo de Gata but it is a 4 hour, roundtrip drive so I think we will opt for the 2 hr roundtrip drive to Maro or Burriana beach and see the rock formations in the sea there.
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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I will answer this question, "Should we stop in Cordoba in route to Seville or day trip from Seville?"
My answer is to do a day trip. We found Cordoba pretty but not worth the hassle of packing and unpacking. I thought there were too many tour groups and not enough of a local buzz. I would have rather spent an extra day in Seville or Granada (which I find to be underrated). Here are my pictures of Cordoba from April of this year.
https://flic.kr/s/aHskzFStx9
I would also recommend you make day trips to Toledo and Segovia, partly I am not a fan of packing and unpacking. That way your itinerary will be flexible, and if like me, you end up liking Madrid, you can spend more time there.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 11:26 AM
  #37  
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Thank you vipsha for your answers. Since we are only a week away from the trip, I already booked rooms and will stay 1 night in Cordoba in route to Seville. I am still working on things to do at each location though and am finding a day trip to Cordoba may have been a better choice. Many say Cordoba is much nicer at night so I will soon find out. We are planning day trips from Madrid though.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 12:08 PM
  #38  
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I found more than enough to keep me happily busy in Cordoba for more than 2 full days, and could have used more time. And I'm someone who is on the move the whole day. But of course, it depends on your interests.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 02:40 PM
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by castlesANDfalls View Post
Thank you vipsha for your answers. Since we are only a week away from the trip, I already booked rooms and will stay 1 night in Cordoba in route to Seville. I am still working on things to do at each location though and am finding a day trip to Cordoba may have been a better choice. Many say Cordoba is much nicer at night so I will soon find out. We are planning day trips from Madrid though.
We stayed 2 nights in Cordoba and LOVED it. I wish we had a 3rd night. What we did: Mezquita, Alcazar, Palacio de Viana, Roman Bridge, There were a few smaller sites we didn't have time to visit, and I would have enjoyed wandering around the Juderia more. If you wish, you can click on my name to read my trip report from last September.
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Old Aug 26th, 2018, 05:41 AM
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Karen, I agree with most of your observations in your trip report and found it very useful. Like you, we also stayed 2 nights in Cordoba! It did rain a lot during our entire visit, which was uncharacteristic for the area apparently, but Cordoba is small enough that we were able to do most of the sights on the day that it did not rain.
I keep reading about the Roman bridge on a number of posts so I feel compelled to post a picture. Areas around the bridge were not entirely clean, and again, this could have been due the rain but I did not observe this in Seville and Granada. I realize the OP has finalized plans but thought I should provide an additional perspective for others reading this post. We found Cordoba to be rather dead at night. We tried catching a flamenco show on one night, and going to another well rated restaurant on another and found one to be closed early that evening and the other to have closed permanently. We would have liked 'quieter' to mean having more unhurried choices in the evening when the day trippers were gone, as opposed to having far fewer choices. We visited 11April - 13 April of this year.
Also found 4 nights in Seville and 2 in Granada too short .

Last edited by vipsha; Aug 26th, 2018 at 06:01 AM.
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