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Need advice for 12 day Andalucia stay in early May

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Apr 9th, 2015, 05:42 PM
  #1
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Need advice for 12 day Andalucia stay in early May

My husband and I are in our early-mid 30s and will be visiting from San Francisco, California from May 1-12 flying in and out of Malaga. We are hoping for a true second honeymoon, adventure/excitement also with some relaxation in beautiful nature all while enjoying a wonderful cultural experience. We will have a rental car for the entire visit. We were lucky enough to receive the gift of a free week stay at a small condo in Marbella from May 1-8, so housing is secure for that part of the trip but not the last 4 nights.

Our intention is to enjoy the immediate area and have Marbella as a home base but to definitely use our car for day trips and even an overnight away from the free condo if necessary, then to road trip for the last four nights.

We love pretty beaches, more for walking and enjoying nature than for lying around/getting tan/sitting still, also moderate hiking with great views. We also love food, architecture, culture, music, and getting a local feeling for a new place. We LOVE "off the beaten path" special, local types of adventures. So far these places/activities are on my list:

1. Enjoy Marbella a bit, as well as any neighboring towns that might be recommended

2. Drive east to Nerja, where the beach looks very lovely and a bit less touristy, also the caves look incredible: day trip from Marbella?

3. Drive to Granada and see the Alhambra getting in as early in AM as we can to avoid crowds: possible as a day trip or overnight depending on if we need to get tickets onsite
(online already sold out)

4. Drive to Rhonda; it looks so gorgeous and dramatic... Will a solid long day trip suffice during our week in Marbella?

5. A day trip to Morocco, I know it might be a hectic day, but we are interested in a true adventure. Preferably one that does not involve a bus with 50 other people... Any specific recommendations for this?

6. Playa Bolonia

7. We would adore an opportunity to take a cooking class so that we can bring home some new culinary skills Along those lines, I would also love to take a flamenco class or at least see a top notch performance in a special venue that is not too commercial.

For the final 4 days I'm thinking about driving further west to Cadiz.. But am wide open to suggestions for how/where to spend those day. We have to be back to sleep near Malaga airport on the night of the 11th as we fly out early on the 12th. Is Sevilla absolutely not to be missed? It is a very hectic bustling crowded city?

What would you suggest for the last 4 days if we do head westerly?

Thank you so much in advance

-Susannah
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Apr 9th, 2015, 07:38 PM
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Nothing like waiting until the last moment to seek advice.

I would head for Cádiz, but using Jerez de la Frontera as a base for a couple of days before heading back to Málaga to finish up your time. The food is better in both Jerez and Málaga, and there is more to see and do. In Málaga I would drop off the car and stay at the AC Málaga.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 07:41 PM
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"Drive to Granada and see the Alhambra getting in as early in AM as we can to avoid crowds: possible as a day trip or overnight depending on if we need to get tickets onsite
(online already sold out)"

If possible I recommend both a day and evening visit. BUT do keep checking before you go -- I would not be at all surprised if no tickets become available.

"Drive to Rhonda; it looks so gorgeous and dramatic... Will a solid long day trip suffice during our week in Marbella?"

I thought Ronda worth seeing after dark. Your call.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 07:52 PM
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1. You might have a look at Ojen which is just above Marbella.
2. Nerja is pretty but touristy. No swimming there till 2016. Sewage in the water.
3. Have you tried getting tickets to the Alhambra towards the end, the 10th or 11th ? Think they must be bought online.
4. Yes, Ronda can easily be done in a day.
5. Day trips to Tangiers can be arranged all over Marbella.
6. Yes, visit Playa Bolonia.
7. Head for Seville and Cordoba for your final days. Flamenco at Casa de la Memoria, Seville.

Have fun and try again for Alhambra tickets !!
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Apr 10th, 2015, 12:13 AM
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You should spend some time in 3000 year old Malaga city itself. Genuine and laid-back Andalucian atmosphere, fabulous sights, food, nightlife and museums.

International articles about Malaga city in the past couple of weeks:

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

Guardian: "City of museums: Málaga bets on culture to draw tourists and talent": http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-culture-spain

NYT: "Málaga, Spain’s Self-Appointed New Arts Hub": http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/ar...-hub.html?_r=0
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Apr 10th, 2015, 02:09 AM
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I also very much recommend Antequera, the so called heart of Andalucia, just north of Malaga city. First of the Granada emirate towns to fall to the Christians in 1410: http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry....era-spain.html
A tapas tour of Antequera: http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry.com/tapaspain.html

The spectacular Torcal is just outside Antequera, from up here you can see to Morroco on a clear day: http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

And speaking about spectacular, the close by Caminito del Rey has recently reopened: http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/#1
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Apr 10th, 2015, 02:37 AM
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Bookmarking for upcoming trip - I love your suggestions, kimhe!

Wow, I just checked the Alhambra ticket site and all of May is sold out!

Susala, there are private companies that sell tours, so it's still possible to see the Alhambra, if that's what you want. Others would have to chime in on how to do this if you are still interested, as we're also going to Andalucia in May. You might want to make some reservations for your hotels - May is definitely a high season here.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 02:47 AM
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If you do want to go to the Alhambra, you could buy the GRANADA card, but you should probably buy it sooner than later:

http://granadatur.com/en/uplevel-menu/granada-card/
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Apr 11th, 2015, 02:38 AM
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And there are nine small and large beautiful beaches among the cliffs in Nerja, and it's possible to walk most of the 4-5 kilometres in one stretch: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trondjs/3735908317/

The spectacular Nerja caves. Lived people here more than 30 000 years ago: http://www.cuevadenerja.es/index.php?lenguaje=en

The freshes fish and seafood in no fuss La Marina in Nerja. Very popular with locals. Have splurged here on many occacions: http://www.guideofnerja.com/pages/gu.../marina_en.htm

Delicious and free tapas with every glass of beer/wine in the bar area in fabulous El Pulguilla (some 1,60€). Fish, shellfish, meat skewers and burgers grilled on the spot: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

(this is the norm in Nerja, free tapas with every glass in the bar in most Places)

Also plenty of options for fine dining in Nerja. Oliva is excellent: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
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