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Must-See Cities in Andalusia... in February ... with kids

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Sep 8th, 2016, 11:27 AM
  #1
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Must-See Cities in Andalusia... in February ... with kids

We've got eight days in southern Spain in February and are trying to figure out our priorities so we can work on our itinerary. Our girls are 8 and 11.

Granada is a must because I'm desperate to see the Alhambra. Seville is a must, too. Other than that, we're unsure. Maybe a day trip to the Nerja Caves, which I'm certain my kids will love? Possibly Ronda, Malaga or Cordoba? We love ancient buildings, natural beauty,medieval cities.

Wise Spain experts, what's your pleasure?

Thanks!
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Sep 8th, 2016, 12:44 PM
  #2
 
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The Musts of Andalucia are:- Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. Ronda and Malaga are second tier places. The Nerja caves don't interest us, but they might children. Wherever you go will be fine but be sire to hit those three places.
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Sep 8th, 2016, 03:06 PM
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Check out Jerez-de-la-Frontera - home of sherry - tour the caves but the draw for kids would be the practice sessions of the iconic Andalusian Horses held many days. Just a short train or car ride south of Seville.
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Sep 8th, 2016, 03:15 PM
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Definitely see Cueva la Pileta, with ancient cave paintings (35,000 years old!) My girls were fascinated, thought it was one of the best things in our three weeks in Spain.
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Sep 8th, 2016, 05:52 PM
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Oy, now I'm adding cities instead of narrowing them down!
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Sep 8th, 2016, 06:06 PM
  #6
kja
 
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Yes, with only 8 days, you will find it hard to fit everything in!

I agree with Bedar that Granada (at LEAST two nights if the Alhambra is a priority), Cordoba (many people visit as a day trip from Sevilla; I was glad I gave it 2 full days), and Sevilla are the cities that deserve the most serious consideration.

If you haven't already done so, I strongly recommend that you consult some really good guidebooks -- I found the Michelin Green Guide and Rough Guide most useful.

Enjoy!
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Sep 9th, 2016, 06:34 AM
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3000 year old Málaga is now one of three Spanish cities recommended by New York Times in their 2016 "Places to go" list. The two other are Barcelona and San Sebastián. "Beauty, but now a cultural capital too": http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...isit.html?_r=1

Tons of things happening in Málaga now, "Spain's new creative heart". http://www.cntraveller.com/recommend...u-centre-guide

And you have all the historic sights right in the city center - the Roman theater, the Moorish Alcazaba palace fortress (much older than Alhambra), the huge 16th century cathedral, Picasso's birth house, all the fabulous museums, great tapas bars, cafés, terraces and restaurants, theaters, concerts etc. etc. http://www.malagaturismo.com/en

And the kids will love it. http://blog.solaga.co.uk/10-things-t...aga-with-kids/

The ferris wheel down in the harbour, spectacular views of both the city and the sea, both at daytime and at night: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/mala...heel-noria.htm

Perhaps a lunch or dinner in the newly reopened five star Gran Hotel Miramar from 1926 right on the Malagueta beach. Five "culinary spaces" inside the hotel: http://www.granhotelmiramarmalaga.com/en/
Video intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s6t-9Rsl7s

"Málaga: Spain's best kept Secret": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...pt-secret.html

And all the natural beauty: http://www.rusticblue.com/andalucia_...a_axarquia.php
http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

And the Nerja Cave is quite spectacular, lived people here more than 30 000 years ago: http://www.cuevadenerja.es/index.php?lenguaje=en

Nerja itself with the nine beaches among the cliffs, and maybe a lunch in one of the most famous beach restaurants/chiringuitos in Spain, Ayo's on the Burriana beach: http://www.nerjatoday.com/
On a good Sunday they serve around 2000 portions of paella in Ayo's. Sunday lunch here with family and friends is a highlight of the week for many nerjeños, but open and crowded every day all year round.: http://www.ayonerja.com/chiringuito_en.html
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Sep 9th, 2016, 06:58 AM
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We really liked walking around Cadiz and its seawall, but we are adults. I think though that the water aspect might appeal to kids.

We made a really, really long day of Granada so we could see the Alhambra both by day and night (unnecessary as we learned) and found Granada not nearly as appealing as Sevilla. I would not balance out the time equally in these cities and definitely weight it in favor of Sevilla.
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Sep 9th, 2016, 09:03 AM
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3 nights in Seville, 2 in Granada and 2 in Cordoba or Malaga.
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Sep 9th, 2016, 12:54 PM
  #10
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Thanks, everyone! Lots to chew on. We are thinking of concentrating on Seville, Granada and Cordoba and might visit Malaga on our way to one of the other cities. Tough choices!! I wish we had all the time in the world.
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Sep 9th, 2016, 02:14 PM
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I thought Granada is a great city to visit. Great tapas bar scene, clean and elegant town squares, and a beautifully preserved Moorish quarter. What's not to like?
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Sep 9th, 2016, 02:17 PM
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I would stay in Seville and do Cordoba as a day trip. Cordoba's historic center is really tiny, and the rest of the city leaves a lot to be desired.
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Sep 9th, 2016, 06:52 PM
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Loacker, we are thinking of doing just that. One idea is to base ourselves in Seville and then Granada and do day trips from those two locations. Possibly a day trip to the Nerja Caves, day trip to Cordoba, possibly Malaga. Thoughts?
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Sep 10th, 2016, 02:53 AM
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Much better to base yourself in Málaga, only 50 mins to Córdoba with the high speed AVE Train, 90 mins to Granada with the Alsa bus and 40 mins drive to the Nerja Cave and Nerja itself.

Sevilla is of course a great city, but much longer traveling time to your other destinations (Córdoba 45 mins, Granada 3 hours, Nerja 3 hours, forget Granada and Nerja as day-trips), and you will get your inland Andalucía experience more than covered in fabulous Córdoba with the world famous Mezquita and in Granada with the world famous Alhambra.

And after traveling in Andalucía every year for the past fourteen years, I hold Málaga as my favourite city in the region. Málaga is genuine, laid-back Andalucian atmosphere and at the same time as cutting edge as it gets. And the Med. And more fun for the kids. You have the fabulous beach restaurants (chiringuitos), the new marina with all the shops, restaurants and sports activities, the huge seafront ferris wheel, the Tivoli World in close by Benalmádena and the spectacular nature in Axarquía, Torcal and the Ronda mountains. And all the historic sights within some 3-400 meters right in the city center.

The chiringuitos: https://www.spain-holiday.com/Malaga...nt-restaurants
The new marina, Muelle Uno (Quay One): http://www.muelleuno.com/
Tivoli world: http://www.tivoli.es/
The fabulous old food market: https://eastofmalaga.net/2014/07/25/...ry-perception/
The new gastro market: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...odie-traveller
The Pompidou centre: http://malagaexpo.es/english-centre-pompidou-malaga/
and all the other great museums: https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-culture-spain

And experience flamenco, the powerful and beautiful art so important for Málaga and all of Andalucía, in Kelipé. The kids will be blown away: http://www.kelipe.net/
http://www.flamencotickets.com/kelipe-malaga
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...Andalucia.html

And here's Córdoba, "vida y genio" (life and spirit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfGdpF55Uk
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Sep 10th, 2016, 03:40 AM
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DO NOT MISS OUT ON SEVILLA. It's just magical, especially at night. With a lot more to see than Granada and Cordoba.

On my last trip I spent 5 days in Seville, including a day trip to Cordoba, and 2 nights in Granada.
It worked out just fine.

Cordoba can be easily done as a day trip from Sevilla. You take the train to Cordoba then a taxi (very cheap by the way) to Mezquita.

I haven't been to Malaga. But Kimhe seems in the minority of people who prefer it to Sevilla.

Yes, it does have a beach but what good is it in February?
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Sep 10th, 2016, 03:47 AM
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Malaga is full of concrete residential buildings. Seville has beautiful traditional houses, narrow streets and mazes, and hasn't lost its Andalusian character. It's like a trip back in time.

Absolute must-sees:
1-The Cathedral and La Giralda (hard to miss)
2-Alcazar
3-Plaza Espagnol
4-Maria Luisa Park
5-A flamenco show at Casa de La Memoria
6-Barrio Santa Cruz
7-Alameda de Hercules
8-Basilica dd La Macarena
9-Iglesia del Salvador
10-Metrosol Parasol
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Sep 10th, 2016, 05:10 AM
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Love Sevilla also, but too many people get stuck in the tourist cliche Santa Cruz district. Santa Cruz is beautiful and old but also perhaps the most touristy neighbourhood in all of Andalucia's major cities. It went through a heavy make-over under the dictator Primo de Rivera to fit the stereotype image of Andalusian romanticism before the great Ibero-American expo in Sevilla in 1929, and it seems to have worked perhaps too well ;-)
http://www.sevilla.org/ciudad/histor...rio-santa-cruz

But can't wait to come back to Sevilla in a couple of weeks, to the center of town around Plaza de la Encarnación and the Metropol Parasol, to Triana, to Alameda de Hercules and the Macarena district.

Loacker, you should visit Málaga some time, you obviously have great misconceptions of the city. New York Times knows very much what they talk about when they recommend 3000 years old and cutting edge Málaga together with fabulous Barcelona and San Sebastián as the three cities too visit in Spain now.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 05:16 AM
  #18
 
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Kimhe, you actually got me interested in Malaga. Planning to visit on my next trip to Andalusia.

I'm disappointed to know that Barrio Santa Cruz was reconstructed. It looked quite authentic to me. But that won't change the fact it's beautiful.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 05:59 AM
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Yes, Santa Cruz is beautiful. And glad you also recommend Alameda de Hercules as one of the musts in Sevilla. Very fun part of the city with a great history. When it was constructed in 1574 it was the first public park/promenade in Europe. Went into heavy decline during the Franco years, and until some 15-20 years ago it was a no-go-area for most tourists. But magic has happened up here since the turn of the century, and now we always stay in or close to the Alameda when in Sevilla. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WJkTCpbp8w
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