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Post Vaccine Getaway - perhaps Southern coastal Spain?

Post Vaccine Getaway - perhaps Southern coastal Spain?

Old Feb 18th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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Post Vaccine Getaway - perhaps Southern coastal Spain?

Looking into trip in early September, assuming we'll be vaccinated by then (my husband already is, I'm just waiting to qualify), Thinking about southern Spain, along the coast. We've been to Sevilla/Granada/Cordoba/Ronda, so I was thinking about Malaga (for city sights, not beach) and maybe a few days at a beach spot, just to be outdoors and relax, Thinking of Conil de la Frontera. The trip would be about 8 days long. We'd fly from NYC, probably through Madrid, and take train or plane from there (we'll research this once itinerary is set). Would most likely spend last night In Madrid for convenience to airport, assuming we'll be flying home non stop from there, and don't mind spending a night in Madrid in any case.

We generally stay at boutique type hotels or B&Bs. Don't want hotel or resort that looks like it could be in the US. Prefer local charm, also want to be walking distance to a town where we can stop for a drink and grab a bite. Apartments are ok too. We are walkers, so that's not an issue. We'd probably also rent a car while in the area for day trips.

Any suggestions on which beach area to stay in combination with Malaga? How many days in Malaga would be adequate? Is early September swimming weather?

I was also Considering Valencia area (in lieu of Malaga area). Thoughts on that as alternative idea?

We haven't been to Valencia. Have been to Madrid, Barcelona and most recently Basque Country (adored it!). Want to try something different.

Last edited by MFNYC; Feb 18th, 2021 at 11:51 AM.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 12:56 PM
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We are retired military and love Rota and Cadiz. Old town Rota is beautiful and the beach is very nice. We trained from Madrid on the last visit. Nice beach hotels to pick from.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 02:39 PM
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What about the Algarve?



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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 03:39 PM
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Michael, I was thinking of Algarve, but Portugal has really strict travel restrictions right now, so was leaning towards places that currently aren't as strict. Hopefully by September things will be better everywhere. .

Macross, Cadiz looks good. I think I can fly to Jerez (transfer in Madrid). Jerez looks cute too, so maybe a night there as well, then rent a car.

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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 07:33 PM
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Valencia is nice. On the train line from Madrid. Valencia is bigger than I think all your other options.

September will be warm enough for swimming. Might even be hot. Later in the month if you get unlucky rain might factor in.

I would think about what sort of beach you're looking at.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 11:23 PM
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I´m a Basque and last year I spent 15 days in Huelva province, west of Cádiz and border with Portugal (such a big change from the landscapes, food, climate..in the Basque Country!!!). I just loved the places we visited. There´s an area, called the Andévalo, right next to the Portuguese border and following the Guadiana river, which is totally underrated (Alosno, Sanlúcar de Guadiana, Villanueva de los Castillejos...). Very little tourism, fantastic food, very affordable, white towns all over the place, and very close to the eastern part of the province, with fantastic towns such as Almonaster, Jabugo, the amazing mines of Riotinto, El Granado...Great DO wines Condado de Huelva in Bollullos Par del Condado, great orange wines and beautiful bodegas, Moguer (I want to retire there), Palos de la Frontera (departing point for Cristóbal Colón-Christopher Columbus)...

We stayed at Ayamonte, just across the river from Portugal. Loved it. Much less touristy than Cádiz and absolutely delightful.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 02:45 AM
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Portugal is very difficult to get to by air unless you go back to Madrid or drive across. Driving can cost a lot as you'd need to tell your hire company who may well put extra charges on your bill. In some cases they won't allow you to drive into Portugal at all.

If you go east of Malaga, you've got Nerja, Almunecar, Motril and other resorts up to Almeria. It's known as the Costa del Sol Oriental and is less commercial and lovely to visit. There are great hotels of all types and excellent restaurants all along the coast, as well as fabulous scenery and lovely beaches.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 07:12 AM
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Traveler_Nick, as far as beach, I'm not really thinking of a major beach vacation, but if it's warm, I wouldn't mind spending a couple of hours on the beach, and taking a dip. I prefer a soft, fine sand shoreline, not rocky. I also like picturesque places for photography.

Rubicund, I pretty much rules out Portugal for the reasons you give. I've been to Porto, Lisbon and some places in between, loved it and do want to return one of these days to explore other areas.

mikelg, I will look into your suggestions. I like a bit off the beaten path. We loved Basque country, loved the Pintxos, loved the scenery, loved just about everything about it. We stayed in San Sebastian and st jean de luz, but the beach, but it was in the later fall, and we had no plans to actually go to the beach. This time, we would like the option.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 07:17 AM
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I think that I am kind of an outlier here in that we didn't love Valencia. We much preferred the Malaga area and adore Seville. We also love beach towns like Roses near Barcelona in September just after most of the summer crowd has left. But it sounds like you might have explored that area already on previous trips.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 07:20 AM
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We really enjoyed Malaga and consider it an underrated city. We spent 2 nights there but I wish we had an extra night. We were there in late September and temps were in the 70's. The city center is really beautiful and walkable with gorgeous architecture, nice stores, and lots of cafes and restaurants. For sightseeing, we enjoyed the cathedral, Picasso Museum, and Atarazanas Market. One of our favorite days was when we walked up hill through the Alcazaba and to the Castillo de Gibralfaro. The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortress on a hilltop. There are towers, pathways, gateways, Roman columns, arches and patios with fountains and a small Nasrid Palace. There are beautiful gardens with lush greenery and exotic flowers, and stunning views of the port and the Mediterranean.

We stayed at Soho Malaga located in the Barrio Soho, next to the city center and very close to the pedestrianized Calle Marques de Larios. It's a small boutique hotel with 28 rooms.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Rubicund View Post
Portugal is very difficult to get to by air unless you go back to Madrid or drive across. Driving can cost a lot as you'd need to tell your hire company who may well put extra charges on your bill. In some cases they won't allow you to drive into Portugal at all.
This sounds far more discouraging than need be. My experience with Europcar is that there are no charges for cross-border driving as long as the car is returned to the country of origin. As for plane travel, there are international flights to Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 08:49 AM
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Michael, I think maybe Rubicund is referring to the Covid situation. Currently Portugal is not allowing people from US in via airports. Not sure how it is at borders.

Last edited by MFNYC; Feb 19th, 2021 at 08:58 AM.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 09:04 AM
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Yes be sure to check all airports--I have flown to/from Malaga, Jerez, and Sevilla, for not more than I would have to spend for Madrid flights, and it saved me the train travel. Small airports can be so pleasant too!
Malaga is great. While in Cadiz, we took a bus to Vejer de la Frontera, and the beaches looked great (pretty orange sand). There is a lot of great seafood near Barbate-Zahara (check out some of ekscunchy's posts about this area).
Sounds perfect for eight days--good luck!
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 02:40 PM
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Update on my thoughts....The more I look at all the cute towns, the less I care about the beach and want to see the towns. The beach is more for photo ops, than for spending the day.

Looks like flying into Jerez makes the most sense, and spending a night in Jerez de la Frontera, then renting a car to hit the road after that. We'd then spend a few days exploring costa del la luz. I just have to figure out what spots are day trips and which are overnights. After that we'd wind down in Malaga for 2-3 nights, then head to Madrid (train or fly, unless good flights from Malaga to NYC then skip Madrid), spend 1 night and fly home. Not sure how many days I can stretch this to, but would like to see Cadiz, vejer de la frontera, Roman ruins in Bolonia, and whatever else I can fit into this. Not that interested in Costa Del Sol except Malaga, and maybe making a stop in Estepona.

Thoughts? I'm thinking 8-9 nights max. Is this doable? We're pretty organized travelers, and are ok with moving around, but don't want to overdo it.
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Old Feb 20th, 2021, 09:05 AM
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A nice option on the Costa de la Luz is El Puerto de Santa Maria, a beautiful, non touristy town situated across the Bay of Cadiz from Cadiz. We visit every September for 2-3 days prior to a 10 day stay in Zahara de los Atunes (a terrific beach town with miles of beautiful beaches beach and very few tourists in September (absolutely crammed in June-Aug). El Puerto has it all, nice beaches, old world Spanish feel, museums, sherry bodegas and tons of restaurants/tapas bars, history (Christopher Columbus sailed from here en route to the Americas) and a great castle to explore right in the middle of town built in 1260. The town has a Moorish feel and also has a terrific bullring to visit (not a bull fight just a tour of the ring with a small museum inside). A great day trip from El Puerto is to Cadiz via a catamaran across the bay which only takes 30 minutes and you sit outside the boat enjoying the views.
You mention the Roman Ruins in Bolonia (highly recommended) that is an easy ride of ninety minutes in which you could also stop in Zahara de los Atunes and/or Tarifa. We fly into Jerez thru Madrid (45 min flight) and rent a car there. Recommended day trips include Conil de la Frontera (40 min), Rota (20 min), and of course Jerez (35 min). Have you thought about a day trip from this area to Gibraltar?
The weather should be perfect in September we have been nine times now to this area and I don't remember it ever raining! Maybe we will see you we will be there in September as well.
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 06:38 AM
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You might want to have a look at a couple of the photos I posted on another thread; here's the link - Winter trip to Spain with teens- first time there

The photos were taken in late February; September is likely to be a lot hotter, as this is one of Spain's warmest regions year-round. But the region is pretty terrific.
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 07:22 AM
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Lovely photos! I'm always looking for a good photo op. I've been posting (at least) a photo a day on my Instagram (@marjfz) since 2013. Fall 2019 has a bunch from Basque country (extremely photogenic). This past year of the pandemic and social unrest, gave me some great material, and through my Instagram, I have photos on exhibit at 2 museums/galleries in NYC, and virtually. So now I'm even more motivated to get that Kodak moment captured. Right now, it's just NYC street photography..
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 07:32 AM
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Nice photos! I'm always looking for photo ops. I've been posting (at least) a photo a day on my instagram (marjfz) since 2013 (fall 2019 has a bunch from Basque country, VERY photogenic place). This past year with the pandemic and social unrest, 3 of my IG photos ended up in museums in NYC, and I have to admit, I'm quite proud and a bit verklempt. I'm always looking for that next Kodak moment.
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MFNYC View Post
Looking into trip in early September, assuming we'll be vaccinated by then (my husband already is, I'm just waiting to qualify), Thinking about southern Spain, along the coast. We've been to Sevilla/Granada/Cordoba/Ronda, so I was thinking about Malaga (for city sights, not beach) and maybe a few days at a beach spot, just to be outdoors and relax, Thinking of Conil de la Frontera. The trip would be about 8 days long. We'd fly from NYC, probably through Madrid, and take train or plane from there (we'll research this once itinerary is set). Would most likely spend last night In Madrid for convenience to airport, assuming we'll be flying home non stop from there, and don't mind spending a night in Madrid in any case.

We generally stay at boutique type hotels or B&Bs. Don't want hotel or resort that looks like it could be in the US. Prefer local charm, also want to be walking distance to a town where we can stop for a drink and grab a bite. Apartments are ok too. We are walkers, so that's not an issue. We'd probably also rent a car while in the area for day trips.

Any suggestions on which beach area to stay in combination with Malaga? How many days in Malaga would be adequate? Is early September swimming weather?

I was also Considering Valencia area (in lieu of Malaga area). Thoughts on that as alternative idea?

We haven't been to Valencia. Have been to Madrid, Barcelona and most recently Basque Country (adored it!). Want to try something different.
I will say more, we even take our own pillows and towels. We don't really trust hotel services. Because many (as far as I know) use ordinary washing machines, without any special antibacterial devices/detergent. This bothers us a lot when traveling, so we try to take more of our things.

Also, until recently, we stayed in small non-chain hotels where we often cleaned carelessly. One could find stains on towels of unknown origin, hair, and a lot of dust everywhere.

But then we started renting apartments for short strings, from the locals not on booking.com. There we even paid for bills (most often only for electricity). And in order to save money, we tried to use alternative methods of cooling ht tps://bit.ly/3blJs08
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 10:43 AM
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oops...Please excuse my double post. After I submitted the first i didn't see it, so did it again. Did realize it didn't show up right away.
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