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zwho Jun 22nd, 2006 12:30 PM

More Questions about Granada
My stupid computer is very sensitive and sent the question out before I was finished asking it. So, since I don't think we will need a car in Granada or Sevilla, (we'll take the train to daytrip to Cordoba from Sevilla)does it make sense to ditch the rental in Malaga and then rent a car when we leave Sevilla, so we can stop in some white villages and Ronda on our way back to Malaga for the flight home? Or money wise, does it make more sense to keep the rental the whole time we're in Spain, which is 7 full days. There are 4 of us splitting the cost. Also, I went to Renfe and found trains from Granada to Sevilla, but can't find a train from Malaga to Granada. There's got to be one, doesn't there? One last Granada question. Should we buy tickets to the Alhambra over the internet now and use the audio guides or Rick Steves written guide, or should we book a day tour with a guide now or when we get to our hotel, which will be the day before we want to see it. I realize, the its subjective. We are only tourists, not historians or scholars, but if we're going we want the best option of seeing it. Thanks in advance.

Eloise Jun 22nd, 2006 12:47 PM

I can't comment on your other questions, but definitely reserve for the Alhambra in advance. If possible, try to see it both during the day and at night, when it is truly magical.

handmaiden Jun 22nd, 2006 12:58 PM

My boss replies:

I would get my tickets to the Alhambra beforehand. The lines can be unbelievable, not to mention that you could be standing in the HOT sun (100F the last time I was there) for a long time.

You really don't need a guide for the Alhambra, as there is not much that has to be explained. You are mostly viewing the Court of Lions and the fabulous gardens. There is a baroque palace on the grounds, but I did not venture inside (my guide told me it was not that impressive).

If you are going in the summer months, please wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring an umbrella with you as you walk around the gardens because it is very easy to get sunstroke.

You have to walk up a BIG hill to get to the Alhambra. I hope you are not elderly, out of shape, or frail.

Sorry, I can't answer your other questions.


hanl Jun 22nd, 2006 01:09 PM

The easiest way to get from Malaga to Granada is by coach - there is a regular, inexpensive service operated by a coach company called Alsina Graells ( The journey takes between 1 and a half and two hours. The buses are comfortable and air conditioned.

kayd Jun 22nd, 2006 01:41 PM

Are you flying in and out of Malaga? If so, here's a possibility, because a car is a headache in Granada or Seville:

Bus from Malaga to Granada, stay two nights with earliest possible Alhambra ticket on your first morning (take the bus up the hill from the central plaza; no need to exhaust yourselves walking up but it can be a pleasant stroll back down to town.)

Bus from Granada to Seville (service similar to what hanl describes above), stay three or more nights with one daytrip to Cordoba.

Rent car in Seville for meandering back to Malaga, with overnight stop(s) en route.

As for cost, compare two days car rental with fuel and dropoff fee plus bus fares, against seven days rental plus fuel and $15/day parking (after you get lost for an hour trying to find it) in Granada and Seville.

Dukey Jun 22nd, 2006 02:41 PM

I would definitely second the idea of reserving tickets for the Alhambra over the internet in advance. You'll still have to wait in a separate line to pick up those tickets once you arrive. That line can be long, depending on the season.

You will not need a guide to see it.

zwho Jun 22nd, 2006 03:47 PM

Thank you for your replies. We have driven to Sevilla before and rather then get lost, we did turn in the rental and taxi to our hotel. On tripadvisor, everyone keeps talking about getting lost trying to find their Granada hotels, so maybe, yes, the bus makes more sense. Now, I'll have to see what my friends think about that! The gas costs are really up there and I'm sure the overnight parking in those towns are'nt cheap. We also have to rent a car that is bigger then compact economy and it has to be an automatic, which I know increases the price in Europe quite a bit (how much, I wonder?), so all in all, renting for a few days may be wiser. Do you suggest a bus over the train, even when there is a train availab;le? Thanks again.

laclaire Jun 22nd, 2006 03:57 PM

You have a lot of questions that have already been answered, but here is my input on the original question.

Unless you want to see the white villages, you have no reason to rent a car while in Spain. It looks like you fly in and out of Malaga, so I would arrive there, take the bus to Granada, then the train to Sevilla, day trip to Cordoba from there, then train it back to Malaga to catch your flight. All very easy trips and much easier on public transport. If you want to, just rent the car for 2 days and pass through the villages on your way from Sevilla to Malaga.

If you do not book your Alhambra tix before hand, you will most likely not get to see it at all. They sell out all summer long. You don't need a tour guide or an audio guide. Just read up before hand.

zwho Jun 22nd, 2006 04:39 PM

Thank to all who answered. I left out a part of the puzzle. We will be in Malaga the 1st 2 days of our trip. We were going to rent a car for the 1st full day so we could daytrip to Gibraltor and stop in Marbella on the way back for dinner in the old section and some walking around. The next day I thought we could drive to Nerja and Frigliana for the morning and have lunch and then drop off the car and get to Granada by bus(?) from there. I don't know how we can do these daytrips without a car. Can we? Again, thanks in advance.

kayd Jun 23rd, 2006 06:07 AM

You could rent the car for Malaga and the drive to Seville, and see Granada last--just reversing the original order so you'll only rent a car once.

zwho Jun 23rd, 2006 06:27 AM

I'm trying to wrap my brain around your suggestion. Rent the car in Malaga, do the day trips and then drive to Sevilla and drop the car off? What about Nerja? Before we leave Malaga or on the return? We can't take a full day for Nerja, it has to be on the way to either Granada, Sevilla or back home to Malaga. Thanks

abbydog Jun 23rd, 2006 07:29 AM

My head is spinning, but I have two VERY strong opinions to offer.

First, please do get the audioguide to Granada. It's true you can "see" it without one, but the audioguide makes sense of it and provides extremely interesting information about the history of each component. The layout is so confusing and the history so complex I would have been lost without it -- and would have failed to understand the significance of many small elements. For example, why do windows come down to within a foot of the floor, and how did the Spanish wreck some of the vistas that had been so carefully planned?

Written guides are good, I'm sure, but you spend half your time reading instead of looking and the other half trying to figure out where the heck you are. And some audioguides (like the one for Cordoba's Mezquite) offer useless information or fail to provide decent directions from one spot to another. But the Granada audioguide is GREAT!

Re: a car, I don't think there's an easy way to see Ronda without one and it was one of the most memorable sights of our trip. We also loved Arcos de la Frontera, also easily accessible by car.

Suelynne Jun 24th, 2006 05:47 AM

We did a day trip to Ronda from Granada by train, and had plenty of time to walk around the sights.

The Alhambra [Granada] is up a big hill, but there's a bus from the city centre that delivers you to the front gate.

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