Need advice for Andalusia in April

Old Jan 25th, 2014, 05:25 AM
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Need advice for Andalusia in April

We are planning a trip in Spain for around 15 nights in April, there are 7 nights will be spent in Barcelona and Madrid, the itinerary is pretty easy to draw, however Andalusia is a bit tough for us, and we don't drive.

I will travel with my parents who are around 50+, they have been to Europe before however first time in Spain. I would like to find a city where can entertain myself and my parents. So, we will base in Granada for few nights for Alhambra, and Nerja. And after this I am not sure which city is the best to stay.

Sevilla, Cordoba, Ronda, Malaga are on and off on my list, we are coming only for 2 weeks so we wish to see as much as possible, not very interested in art or museum, but those historical sites, beautiful garden, nature, and of course local market, shops are all interesting.

So I am asking advice for this trip. Thank you
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 05:28 AM
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I would base in seville- a larger city with much more to see and do - and from there add Crodoba and granada. With only 7 days this is already rushed - and I do;t really see any time for the beach - unles youtake time from Madrid - which IMHO you really need only 1 or 2 days for.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 05:53 AM
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thank you for your opinion !

I also tend to base in Seville since April still not hot enough for beach. If I want to see a white village, from Granada or Seville has more choices?
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 06:14 AM
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I have been to Spain on two occasions, and Seville stands out as one of the loveliest cities I have ever seen in any part of the world. And Ronda is absolutely breathtaking, especially as the sun is going down, it is golden. I only spent one night in Ronda, but the time there was lovely. We visited villages on the outskirts and walked the town. Stayed at an old hotel where we woke up to breakfast on the veranda looking out over the valley.

I was on the coast in March, and it was lovely and warm but of course not for swimming. From our base on the coast we drove to Gibralter, Ronda, Cordoba and Granada. It all depends on your travel style. Enjoy!
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 06:18 AM
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Sevilla is the capital and undisputed queen of the cities in Andalucía. One of the most important cities in the world for a couple of centuries after the "discovery" of America in 1492. Old and new side by side, and lots of Roman, Christian, Jewish, Moslem and Gitano historey and culture. Great restaurants and tapas bars and excellent nightlife. http://www.andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm
http://www.exploreseville.com/

You can get completely lost in the Real Alcázar and its gardens:
http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/?p=129
Video presentation of Sevilla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnV7IkZU-OY

I recommend an intro to flamenco, the powerful and beautiful art so important for Sevilla and Andalucía, in either Casa de la Memória or La casa del Flamenco. Both places are popular with tourists, but only top artists that perform on the most important stages and in the most important festivals perform here. Changing artists every night.
- Casa de la Memória: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Andalucia.html
- La Casa del Flamenco: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Andalucia.html

You should be aware that Semana Santa/Holy week is celebrated April 13 to 20. A big thing in all of Spain, but huge! in Andalucía. All the major cities will be packed. The celebrations in Sevilla and Málaga are the most famous, but every little town or village in Andalucía will be all about Semana Santa for the whole week. Devotion and fiesta hand in hand: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/easter/home.htm

Great info about Nerja: http://www.nerjatoday.com/

You should know that almost all bars and restaurants in Nerja serves free tapas to choose with every drink of wine, beer, etc in the bar area for some 1,50-2€. Plenty of excellent and local atmosphere places. Here are some of my favourites in town, they all serve delicious free tapas with every drink in the bar:
- La Marina: http://www.guideofnerja.com/pages/gu.../marina_en.htm
- El Pulguilla: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
- La Puntilla: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
- El Niño: http://restaurante-elnino.com/

Lan Sang is a great Thai/Lao restaurant in Nerja:
http://www.lansang.com/

Excellent Italian pizza, pasta etc. in Vitaliano, run by Italians. Consistent and great quality for some ten years:
http://ristorantevitaliano.com/us.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

Sollun for top end Andalusian cuisine:
http://www.sollunrestaurante.com/UK/index.html http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Thanks Bex1956 and Kimhe for those detail informations!

So I made up my mind to stay 2 to 3 nights in Granada and 3 nights in Sevilla, I don't think my parents are interested to stay too long in small town, will will visit Nerja and Ronda as a day trip! We never experience holyweek, this sounds interesting !

Now another question, any classical theater (like the one in Barcelona however we can't meet their date) worth visit ?
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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You should book hotels as soon as possible if you are going to stay in Andalucía during Semana Santa/Holy Week. Expect high prices.

Holy Week in Sevilla: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/se...emanasanta.htm

In Granada: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/easter/granada.htm

Less tourists and perhaps the best Semana Santa atmosphere in Málaga: http://www.semana-santa-malaga.com/e...ek-malaga.html

Málaga native Antonio Banderas opened Semana Santa in his hometown in 2011, a "pregón" (opening announcement/speech) that "everybody" agreed was one of the best ever. Serious business, nearly two hours speech/performance in the Cervantes theater. The 2 min resume in the news gives you an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpjeDKTnKQQ

Saetas - a mournful flamenco style song of probably Jewish origins - are often sung in the streets or from balconies during the processions in all Andalusian towns during Semana Santa. Here the malagueña Diana Navarro sings a typical saeta during Holy Week in Málaga 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0OkpfhZntY

Regarding theaters, I love old world Teatro Lope de Vega in Sevilla: http://teatrolopedevega.org/
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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Thanks a lot ! I checked those links and that look really interesting for us, this will be our first time to experience holy week in Europe. So you mentioned the holy week is 13 to 20 Apr, which day is the most important date through this week?
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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The processions through the night of Thursday into Good Friday morning is the absolute highlight (the madrugá). But serious celebrations and more or less constant processions through all of the week (except Saturday). More detailed about the program each day: http://www.catholicdigest.com/articl...eek-in-seville
And here, click on the different days to the left to see the program: http://www.semana-santa-malaga.com/e...ek-malaga.html

This should give you an idea of the "Madrugá": http://sevillanlife.com/2012/04/08/h...na-la-madruga/

Madrugá in Sevilla: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJN7JFou9Is
and in Málaga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQfhQD0RTgY

And don't be shocked by the ku-klux-clan looking hats, the capirote is part of the traditional nazarenos religious associations outfit, predating the clan by some centuries: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/easter/nazarenes.htm
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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I've just returned from Nerja. If you tire of Spanish food, check out Fusion Restaurant: http://www.fusionfood.es . It's pricey but well worth it - and remember to book, they were busy even in mid-January.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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April is plenty warm enough for the beach. We have been twice then and both time the temps have been well into the 80s. Southern Spain has a VERY hot climate - in mid summer temps are typically 100 plus.

I just son;t know if you have the time to spend on a beach.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 02:45 PM
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Do consider visiting Cordoba. The Mezquita is amazing. I thought Cordoba deserved 2 full days; others visit as a day trip from Sevilla.

Be sure to book tickets for the Alhambra for both day and evening, in that order, well in advance.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for advice !! I have only 3 nights in Sevilla and the possible hotel for us is the one next to the train station called Ayre, around 180USD per night.

I found another hotel called Silken Al-Andalusia Palace, this one also not situated in city, that's the only affordable and look 'OK' hotel during April....Which one is better? Ayre is around 50 USD more expensive each day. (but I don't drive)

After Kimhe's advice I search for hotel immediately, wow even hostal in April cost around 200 usd a night, and to be honest, it is shared bathroom with creepy setup, does it worth to stay in center for the holyweek? Do they have festival-street market-celebration those kind of events I can see in evening? If the city will get quiet at night then I better back to a star hotel
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for advice !! I have only 3 nights in Sevilla and the possible hotel for us is the one next to the train station called Ayre, around 180USD per night.

I found another hotel called Silken Al-Andalusia Palace, this one also not situated in city, that's the only affordable and look 'OK' hotel during April....Which one is better? Ayre is around 50 USD more expensive each day. (but I don't drive)

After Kimhe's advice I search for hotel immediately, wow even hostal in April cost around 200 usd a night, and to be honest, it is shared bathroom with creepy setup, does it worth to stay in center for the holyweek? Do they have festival-street market-celebration those kind of events I can see in evening? If the city will get quiet at night then I better back to a star hotel
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 04:22 PM
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I have visited Andalusia last April during Feria week (Cordoba (as a day stop over on the way from Madrid to Sevilla),2 days in Sevilla, 2 nights in Granada, 3 nights Torremolinos (as a base for coastal explorations to Marbella, Nerja and Gibraltar and also to rest after working hard as tourists and before going back to our day jobs in the US). we also traveled with my parents (in their 60-s, experienced European travelers) and kids (ages 13 and 3). I have posted our detailed itineraries and some links to private tour guides (recommend for family groups!) at my blog www.celebratetheweekend.com -

http://celebratetheweekend.com/spain...accross-spain/
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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in Seville we stayed in Novotel. I think it was 115 euros a night (Feria week). you have to get a taxi to town- about 15 mins about 7-10 euros each way (and we did couple of times each day, because we were returning for siesta to the hotel); so do the math. still, it was very comfortable accommodation, about a mile from train station. I went back to the city for night strolls, have not seen any processions (those happen during HOly week). more at my blog (see above comment)
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:05 AM
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Thank you I have read your blog ! The information is very useful for me. That give me confidence to go with my parents
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 03:24 AM
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I like great value and basic hotel standard Hostal Museo (private bathroom, heater, AC, safe, tv, 24 desk etc.) Both central and quiet in the local atmosphere San Lorenzo area. Some of the best tapas bars in town almost on your doorstep.
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hostal-museo.html

Now some 175 hotels in Sevilla with availability on booking.com Wed 16 to Sat 19 April during Holy Week. Remember a hostal in Spain is often a great value, basic hotel standard and family-owned establishment with private bathroom etc. etc: http://www.booking.com/city/es/sevilla.html
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