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Pls critique my itinerary - Ribera del Duero + Andalucia in July


Jan 25th, 2016, 09:20 PM
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Pls critique my itinerary - Ribera del Duero + Andalucia in July

Dear Fodorites,

Hi! I am a lurker who has browsed on this site for years to help plan my own trips. I first want to thank StuDudley, ekscruchy plus a number of other avid posters who have provided so much helpful information in the past. I have successfully planned trips to Provence, Piedmont/Lake Como, Mosel/Bavaria and Norway based on the posts and notes on this forum. Now I need your help again. I am currently planning a summer trip to Spain. Travelers on this trip includes my husband and I (mid-thirties) and our seven years old son. Husband loves wines, while I am into a bit of everything (arts, history, natural scenery, architecture, outdoor). The seven years old, being a first grader, is vain and has no interest in history or the arts. He enjoys theme parks, water parks, science/children museums and anything to do with cars. Both my husband and I are pretty much set on seeing Andalucia. My husband’s fascination originates from stumbling upon an Anthony Bourdain show on Granada. All of a sudden he wants to see Moorish architecture and dine on tapas! Meanwhile I have always wanted to visit Morocco, unfortunately the opportunity never materializes, and so visiting Andalucia will be close enough. I try to fit a bit of everything into the trip, to make sure everyone gets a taste of what s/he wants to see/do. We can’t change the timeframe of the trip, as we can only travel further afield in the summer while the child is on summer vacation from school. I thought the last 2 weeks of July would be a better choice, comparing to travelling in Europe in August. We don’t need night life. Please critique my itinerary, and feel free to make suggestions!


Fri Jul 15 – Depart Asia at midnight

Sat Jul 16 – Arrive Madrid at noon via Munich, get rental car and drive to Segovia. Overnight Segovia

Sun Jul 17 – Open day

Mon Jul 18 – Husband goes to Ribera del Duero to visit wineries, while I take my son to Parque de Atracciones in Madrid (I plan to take AVE train then transfer to metro. Spend half day in park then leave using the same method) Overnight Segovia

Tues Jul 19 – Full day drive from Segovia to Seville. Overnight Seville

Wed Jul 20 – Full day in Seville. Overnight Seville

Thurs Jul 21 – Full day in Seville. Overnight Seville

Fri Jul 22 – Day trip to Cordoba from Seville. Overnight Seville

Sat Jul 23 – Drive to Granada, stopping in Antequera en route. Overnight Granada

Sun Jul 24 – Seeing the Alhambra and Generalife garden. Overnight Granada

Mon Jul 25 – Drive to Malaga area, stopping to see La Alpujarras villages (Lanjaron,
Pampaneira, Bubion, Capileira, Trevélez). Overnight Malaga area

Tues Jul 26 – Day trip to Aqualand Torremolinos. Overnight Malaga area

Wed Jul 27 – Day trip to Ronda (visit bull and horse farm, lunch at Ronda center and Cueva de la Pileta) . Overnight Malaga area

Thurs Jul 28 – Do go kart in Fuengirola in the morning and visit Caminito Del Rey in afternoon / or day trip to Tarifa. Overnight Malaga area

Fri Jul 29 – Visit Picasso museum in Malaga in the morning, depart from Malaga airport at 3pm to return home

Sat Jul 30 – Arrive in Asia in the afternoon

1) Regarding the first part of the trip, I know it totally doesn’t make sense to stay in Segovia for 2 days, but my husband is very dead set on visiting one or two wineries in Ribera del Duero. He will make that tour by himself, while I take my son to do some other activities for the day. I am not worried about my husband being the only driver, since he never drinks when he goes on winery visits (he always spits out the wine after tasting). I picked Segovia only because it’s relatively close to the Ribera del Duero area (within one hour’s drive). I actually can’t think of really good attraction for my son in that area. I am just keying Parque de Atracciones into the itinerary for now. Any suggestions welcome! We don’t even need to stay in Segovia if anyone can think of a better suggestion!

2) I currently have a problem finding rental apartments with air conditioning in Segovia (only proper hotels have air-conditioning there, very strange). Is Segovia cool enough in July sans A/C? Do note that my son will need to nap or sleep very early the first couple of nights in Europe, due to a 6 hours’ time difference between Asia and Europe.

3) I welcome any suggestions for Tues Jul 19 (Drive from Segovia to Seville) – which route to take, some good stopovers for sightseeing and/or lunch?

4) Any suggestions for area/town to stay along Costa de Sol? We have a car and don’t mind paying for parking fee for a couple of nights. We are willing to stay in Malaga city if the food scene in Malaga area are significantly better than its counterparts in Torremolinos/Fuengirola/Marbella. For convenience’s sake, I find it more suitable to stay in apartment-style lodging when one’s travelling with a child.

5) Is Ronda a better daytrip from Costa de Sol or from Seville? I can easily switch that.

6) Is end of July too hot for hiking in the Alpujarras? Originally I wanted to do a short hike when driving through the villages on Jul 25.

7) Does anyone know if “Aqualand Torremolinos” or “Parque Acuático Mijas” is better for a day out in the water park?
Sharka is offline  
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Jan 25th, 2016, 11:40 PM
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If your husband does not speak Spanish, he needs to plan his wine touring carefully in the Ribera. Wineries will close for lunch (13h30) and some do not reopen. He can also arrange for tour with a local guide, which would make it much better.

If he begins his visits with Bodegas Ismael Arroyo in Sotillo de la Ribera, just under a two hour drive from Segovia, he can add a second tour Bodegas Valduero in nearby Gumiel de Mercado before heading back to Segovia. Bodegas Portia in Gumiel de Izán, just off the highway, does have an afternoon visit at 16h30 he might be able to do, but he'll have to check.

Note that few wineries offer tours for only one person unless it's for someone in the business. He would have to join a group tour.
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Jan 26th, 2016, 02:03 AM
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I would perhaps recommend to go down to Almuñecar and the Aquatropic water park there after Las Alpujarras, Almuñecar is almost exactly where you'll meet the Med after Alpujarras. http://www.aqua-tropic.com/en/
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Jan 26th, 2016, 09:34 AM
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"Arrive Madrid at noon via Munich, get rental car and drive to Segovia."

If there is ANY chance that you will experience jet lag, then please do NOT pick up your rental upon arrival! One consequence of jet lag is a substantial increase in microsleep episodes, which are so short that you aren't even aware of them, but they are strongly associated with car accidents. You can't will yourself to not have them, or use caffeine to eliminate them. It doesn't matter how long the drive is -- microsleeps can be less than a second and are almost always less than a minute. And it can take just seconds to set an accident in motion -- one in which not only you, but anyone else on the road, could be injured. Please consider your options for using public transportation for at least a day or two! Fortunately, it is easy to get from Madrid to Segovia by public transportation, so by all means, take advantage of that option.

"Segovia... I actually can’t think of really good attraction for my son in that area."

I've heard that children like the Alcazar. I could be wrong!
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Jan 27th, 2016, 11:08 PM
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Robert2533: Thanks for the tips on the winery visits! To be honest I am totally not in charged of that part of the trip, but I will forward this information to my husband. He is aware that you cannot just show up at a winery and expect someone to give you a tour. He is currently working on contacting wineries and see which one will give him a visit.

kimhe: Thanks, I will think about heading down to Almuñecar.

I am actually considering switching my first base from Segovia to Valladolid, just because I still cannot find any suite or apartment style lodging that offers air conditioning in Segovia! Very strange! Is Segovia that much cooler than the rest of Spain in the summer?
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Jan 27th, 2016, 11:17 PM
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"I still cannot find any suite or apartment style lodging that offers air conditioning in Segovia!"

How are you searching? I see quite a few options on booking.com
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Jan 28th, 2016, 04:41 AM
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air conditioning?
outside of the city.

I have to say that if you find an older building built out of stone then air conn is not always needed the stone acts as insulation from the heat.
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Jan 28th, 2016, 07:30 PM
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Thanks ribeirasacra! I did manage to find one apartment with air conditioning in the end. Some of the apts you've mentioned are not available for my dates.

Do anyone have recommendations for drive from Segovia to Seville? Which route to take? Good stops for lunch?

Also how is the food scene in Costa del Sol? Would Marbella or Malaga make a better base for dining?
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Jan 29th, 2016, 12:40 AM
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>Would Marbella or Malaga make a better base for dining?< Malaga, without a doubt!

La Cosmopolita, Calle José Denis Belgrano, 3
Gorki, C/ Strachan, 6 (Basque - has opend another restaurant in Sevilla)
José Carlos Garcia, Puerto de Málaga, Plaza de la Capilla, 1 - 1 Michelin star
Los Mellizos, Calle Sancha de Lara, 7

For tapas, start with Lamoraga on Calle Fresco. Next try El Trillo, Calle Esparteros, 8. And then, maybe El Pimpi Bodega Bar, with entrances at Calle Granada, 62 and Calle Alcazabilla.

The fastest driving route would take you south on the E-5, about 6 hours without stops. I'd plan on spening the night somewhere before reaching Jaén, maybe at the Pardor in Úbeda.
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Jan 30th, 2016, 03:16 AM
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I go to Malaga all the time, and the food - especially the seafood - is excellent. Robert has given you great suggestions. I also strongly recommend to have lunch in one or more of the tapas bars inside the fabulous Atarazanas food market (in Cafe Bar Atarazanas and/or El Yerno), conchas finas, oysters, razor clams, prawn skewers etc. etc, much fish and seafood, but also great vegetable and meat tapas. Full of groups of friends and families, loud, crowded, but still very laid-back and the people running the bars are in full control. And Saturday lunch is more crowded than usual and a very special experience, the best atmosphere and many GTs around...
Cafe Bar Atarazanas: http://azahar-spain.com/azahartapas/...do-atarazanas/
El Yerno: http://azahar-spain.com/azahartapas/el-yerno/

El Botijo was the great food find on our last trip here in September. Great steaks, roast lamb etc. Had the lamb leg of my life here, and the solomillo with the house mushroom sauce was also spot on. Genuine place with no molecular gastronomy pretensions, and not many tourists find their way out here, a 7-8€ taxi ride from the heart of town: http://www.tripadvisor.es/Restaurant...Andalucia.html http://www.restauranteelbotijo.com/M...tacion_ma.html

"The emerging fine food scene in Málaga and around": http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...taurants-tapas
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