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My first trip to Spain

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Nov 9th, 2012, 12:14 PM
  #1
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My first trip to Spain

My husband and I are taking our first trip to Spain in January. We fly into Bilbao on the 2nd and on to Sevilla on the 4th and finally home from Sevilla on the 11th. I have decided since our time in the north is short to skip San Sebastián and spend the short time in Bilbao.
We are cattle ranchers in the US and live in a very rural area, so want to get out of the city while we are in southern Spain, and see the countryside. To accomplish this we plan to rent a car for the week, and drive to Granada for a night or two. My questions to you are this:
What other towns do you recommend, and should we stay or do a day trip? Our interests are history and really experiencing the country and the food.
We will be there for Epiphany, should we stay in Sevilla or is there a better town/village to spend this holiday?
And finally,how likely are we to run it to English speakers outside of the cities? I speak some Spanish but do not consider myself fluent.
Thank you!
DesertGal is offline  
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Nov 9th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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I'm not fluent in Japanese, but could navigate my way there - Spain will be far easier.

Cordoba is nice. And small - it's nowhere close to the size of Seville or Granada.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Cordoba is a logical stop between Seville and Granada. To see the countryside, avoid super highways, even if the small roads take more time and you must slow down while going through towns. www.viamichelin.com is useful for choosing an itinerary and finding out the costs of the travel (excluding the rental cost, of course).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...th/4174449691/
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Nov 9th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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Just be sure you have the proper clothing. Even in southern Spain it can get cold at night and/or in the mountains in January.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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I do not know of any direct flights to Bilbao form the US and from Sevilla to the US. Are you sure these are not connecting flights with stop overs somewhere?
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Nov 9th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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We connect through Madrid entering and leaving the country. Entering is longer than I would like but, still not worth doing something different and it is short when we leave the country. Okay, Cordoba is now on my list.
Thank you!
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Nov 9th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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If I understand you only have 6 nights in Andalucia and will spend 1-2 in Granada (I'd recommend 2). This really only leaves 4-5 days.

I understand you want to see the countryside but I really think you're missing out by not staying in Sevilla and just doing daytrips. You're already going to start off with only 2 nights in Bilbao and will just be getting over jetlag when you head to Sevilla. It's a very beautiful city and there are many daytrip possibilities.

Cordoba is nice but it is a large city, not as large as Sevilla or Granada but definately not country.

If you are determined not to stay in Sevilla and do a simple Sevilla/Granada combination for the 6 nights then perhaps you should just find a central spot and stay for 4 nights - somewhere in the white villages, Osuna, Carmona, Antequera, Priego de Cordoba, etc.....
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Nov 9th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Cordoba has a population of 330,000+ people. That is in no way a "large" city - it's only 10% larger than Corpus Christi, Texas.

And two nights in Granada is overkill - the city has the Alhambra and . . . a lot of noise and traffic.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 04:47 PM
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BigRuss:
To each his own....I personally believe a population of 330,000 people is a large city but I don't think there is an official definition of a large city! From the perspective of cattle ranchers who live in a rural area I'd guess 330,000 is probably large. For a little perspective the entire state of Wyoming has population of approx 560,000 and the largest city, Cheyanne, has a population less than 100,00 in the entire metropolitan area.

As for Granada, again everyone is entitled to their options and I believe that many people would disagree with you that 2 nights is overkill. There is noise and traffic, just as there are in any city. But 2 nights is usually just 1.5 days. The Alhambra easily takes 1/2 to 3/4 of a day. Besides, it may be nice for the OP to have a 2-night stay (avoiding a 1-nighter) after a very quick stay in Bilbao and an entire trip of only 8 nights.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Yes, but it in all in the eye of the beholder. There are more than 5,000 people on my block - so to me anything smaller than a million really isn't a city.

However, Cordoba is a charming town and you definitely need to leave time to explore the fascinating houses with courtyards and fountains - although in Jan not sure what there will be in the way of flowers or outdoor anything - or fountains running.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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nytraveler- I agree. Everyone has different opinions.That's why I generally try to preface my advice with key terms - in my opinion, I belive, I think, perhaps, etc.... I believe this is better than making blank statements about something that would make it sound like an undisputed fact.

Wow - one million really not a city. This would rule out alot of "cities" in Spain. After all Sevilla's metropolitan population is 750,000 and Granada less than 300,000. I remember a poster in the last year or so who was surprised San Sebastian was such a big city - and yet it has a population less than 200,000. This is exactly why I wanted to just point out the size of Cordoba. Deifnately not, at least what I would consider, rural or a small town.

I'm not sure if there will be flowers in Cordoba either in January. I usually visit Cordoba in April or May, a beautiful time to visit.
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Nov 10th, 2012, 08:07 PM
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My first question is why are you flying into Bilbao if you don't expect to spend any time in the Basque country? Your itinerary makes no sense.

Granada in early January will be cold. It's in the mountains and the southern most skiing area in Europe, so be prepared for a winter's blast.

I little head's up regarding driving from Bilbao to Andalucia. The days are very short at this time of the year with the sun going down around 4:21 (16:21) on 6 January and it will be pitch black out on the highway.
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Nov 11th, 2012, 12:59 AM
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Depending on where you live "in the West" you may find the countryside around Seville as well as the architecture in that city eerily familiar.
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