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Scenic drive: Seville-Granada-Barcelona

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May 26th, 2015, 05:45 AM
  #1
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Scenic drive: Seville-Granada-Barcelona

Please can you suggest a scenic/interesting drive from:
Seville-Granada: Leaving Seville in the morning but need to be in Alhambra around 4:00 pm. (Ticket is for 5:00 pm)
Granada-Barcelona: We have two nights to spend somewhere. Nevertheless, we have to be in Barcelona train station on Sunday 10:0 am to return a car. My friend would love to see/ stay in smaller/quaint towns.
I was thinking first night in Alicante and second night Cambrils? May be? Cambrils is 120 km south of Barcelona and IF we leave at 7:30 am we could be in Barcelona at 10:00 am. Would the traffic in Barcelona be bad on Sunday morning?
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May 26th, 2015, 06:35 AM
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Not what you asked but 'need to be in Alhambra around 4:00 pm. (Ticket is for 5:00 pm)' does not make quite make sense. Do you understand you have a 2.00 p.m. entry afternoon ticket to the ticketed parts of the complex and the entry time is solely for the Nasrid palace?
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May 26th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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Dear WomBatt,

gosh, thank you. I really did not know I can enter at 2:00 pm. The confirmation only says' We recommend you pick up tickets one hour before the scheduled time of entry to the Nasrid Palaces'.

This means we should be in Alhambra before 2:00 pm.
IF we leave Seville at 10:00 am then we have to go straight to Alhambra. (I estimate 330 km about 4 hours)

Which means that the only sightseeing will be:

Granada-Barcelona (2 days).
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May 26th, 2015, 07:48 AM
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I would not try to do any scenic route, but drive straight from Seville to Granada. Highway is very good. It should be a bit under three hours, but you may need a stop.

I hope you are staying the night in Granada. It is very pretty and atmospheric at night.

It is a very long drive from Granada to Barcelona, 9 hours at best, more depending on route and traffic. Have you considered turning the car in, in Granada and flying from Granada to Barcelona? Or, Perhaps driving to Malaga the next morning and catching a flight from there to Barcelona?
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May 26th, 2015, 08:24 AM
  #5
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Sassafrass,

yes, I have considered not renting a car at all and going from Granada (2 nights) to Malaga and then fly to Barcelona. However, my friend, who has never been to Europe wants to drive from Granada to Barcelona hoping for an interesting scenery. For us driving 6 hours/day is not problem in the US that is. Although I have been to Portugal (no car) I have never been to Spain and just hope we will manage, somehow.
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May 26th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Spending your first night in Alicante would work, but I would add a stop in Cartagena along the way. My next stop would be in Falset, in the Priorat, which would put you less then 1-1/2 hours drive to Barcelona–El Prat Airport.

Traffic shouldn't be bad on a Sunday morning, but you never know. I would change the drop off to the airport and take a taxi, bus or the train in from there.
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May 26th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Scenery around Granada is very nice. Mountains in the distance and beautiful skies. Beaches and Andalusia coast are gorgeous.

How much time do you have in Seville? Any time for the white villages? The gorges and terrain is picturesque. If you left Seville the afternoon before, you could do a more scenic drive along the coast, spend the night in/near Malaga and continue on to Granada the next day. Just an idea.

How much scenery does your friend want to see! To me, there is a big difference between 6 hours driving and 9.

I am not quite clear on your exact days and dates. Could possibly give better advice if I was certain.

I quite like Alicante. The Beach is nice and a long walking area is tiled beautifully with huge trees. Lots of little cafes and great ice-cream. However, I would not do a super long drive to get there, unless I had a whole day or more to spend there. I don't think it is a place you could enjoy much with little time and just a quick overnight. In the end, though, it is what you will enjoy.
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May 26th, 2015, 10:50 AM
  #8
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Robert,

your suggestion to spend a night in Falset and dropping the car at the airport is great and makes a lot of sense. Will try to stop at Cartagena also.

Sassafrass,

I bet there are many places worth seeing but we have only 15 days. I have tried my best to put something together within a few days.

Day 1. Thursday: Arrive to Madrid
Day 2. Friday: Madrid
Day 3. Saturday: Madrid-Cordoba (reserved morning train)
Day 4. Sunday: Cordoba-Seville (train or bus?)
Day 5: Monday: Seville
Day 6: Tuesday: Seville
Day 7: Wednesday: Rent a car: Seville-Alhambra-Granada
Day 8: Thursday: Granada
Day 9: Friday: Granada - Cartagena - Alicante
Day 10: Saturday: Alicante- Falset
Day 11: Sunday: Falset-Barcelona airport (drop-off car)
Day 12: Monday: Barcelona
Day 13: Tuesday Barcelona
Day 14: Wednesday: Barcelona
Day 15: Thursday AM: Fly home
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May 26th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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You'll want to check the Hotel Sport in Falset to see if they have accommodations available (www.hotelpriorat-hostalsport.com/en). It's popular and one of the best spots in the area.
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May 26th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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Cordoba - Sevilla , definitely the high speed AVE train in 40 mins. Bus takes 2h 15 mins.

Looks like a great plan!
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May 26th, 2015, 11:15 AM
  #11
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Robert,

I did immediately check the Hotel Sport but they are booked. Will try to check frequently just in the event they have a cancellation.
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May 26th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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If possible, I would make one change. If you could, change the train reservation from Madrid to Sunday and make Cordoba just a stop for the day, and on to Seville late that afternoon. I would do that so from Madrid, you could go to Toledo. As a matter of fact, I would give up Cordoba altogether to visit Toledo. The cathedral is so stunning, one of the greats in the world, and the surrounding landscape is, of course, an El Greco painting.

An even better option, IMHO, would be to change Alhambra tickets to Thursday, and visit Cordoba on Wednesday on the way from Seville to Granada. That would give you the extra day in Madrid for Toledo if you could change the train ticket and go straight from Madrid to Seville. I should think changing the train ticket would be easy, but depends on kind of ticket and changing the Alhambra might be harder. Anyway, my suggestion now, knowing your schedule.

1, Arrive Madrid
2&3, Madrid (day trip to Toledo)
4, early train to Seville
5&6, Seville
7, drive to Granada with stop in Cordoba
8, Granada
9, continue
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May 26th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Want to add, Spain is such a wonderful country. Any plan you do might not be perfect, but it will be great!
You will go back.

Also, when you are going someplace else in Europe, it is easy to sometimes stop in Madrid for a couple of days and do a day trip or two, so you can make a point of doing that later. Getting to Seville and the Coast is more of a pain, so including more of that now, as you are doing, makes sense in some ways.

It usually makes sense anyplace to see the most you can of outlaying areas, knowing it is easier to visit major cities on other trips.
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May 26th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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Instead of Alicante, I would spend the night in Valencia. This city is so underrated, yet so beautiful. It's also the city of Santiago Calatrava, and his 'Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències' is a MUST visit IMO.
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May 26th, 2015, 02:27 PM
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Sassafrass,

I know exactly what you are saying. I wanted to see Toledo and I wanted to see Malaga. Looking back, I should have skipped Cordova and go to Toledo instead. I think, too late now, since I have train reservations to Cordova also. I may have to go to Prague - probably in October - and could fly thru Madrid and see Toledo, etc. then.

Myriam,

am thinking about Valencia instead of Alicante. Just am not sure, if my friend can take all the big cities - one after another. I though Alicante boardwalk would give her a break from the culture shock and big cities which -as you know- can be overwhelming. You know, she is 10 years younger than me, but grew up in a small town and has never been to Europe. I need to be understanding and try to make her trip as pleasant as possible. We have never traveled together and her husband did not want to go and my husband is no longer with us. So, this is the story in a nutshell. I just hope I did not make too many mistakes planning this trip.
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May 26th, 2015, 03:20 PM
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You will most likely not regret going to Córdoba.

I especially like the local atmosphere "Roman Córdoba" around central Plaza de las Tendillas and the Plaza-Mayor-in-Madrid-like Plaza de la Corredera. Genuine and affordable tabernas on every corner. Have had some excellent late nights in terraces on Plaza de las Tendillas, the absolute best atmosphere and crowded with groups of friends and families as late as 3am in the weekends.

Outside the Mezquita area, Córdoba is much less touristy than Granada and even Sevilla, and you can easily get a very pleasant and laid-back Andalucian feel for life here. I think there are perhaps no better place in Andalucía to reflect upon what this very special and almost mythical region is and how it developed.

Few other cities in Europe beats the history of Córdoba, from Roman Corduba to the capital of Muslim al-Andalus after 766 AD, and then through Christian times after the 1236 reconquista capture and eventual steep decline. Córdoba was the most advanced city in Europe during caliphate times about 1000AD, some 500 000 inhabitants, and a great cultural, political and economic centre with 300 public baths and the greatest library in the world.

I have visited Córdoba in relation to magnificent theater performances, ended up in never to forget flamenco nights, had some of the best no fuss meals ever and met brilliant people. Perhaps the best description would be to say that Córdoba - outside the absolute most beaten track - is a place where Andalucía just tend to happen.

The video "Córdoba - vida y genio" (life and spirit) gives you an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfGdpF55Uk
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May 26th, 2015, 04:18 PM
  #17
 
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I'm so glad I came across this thread as it's very close to the itinerary that my husband & I will do in September. We have 21 days so will have a bit more time in each place. I hope you post how it worked out for you and your friend. Happy Travels!
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May 26th, 2015, 04:21 PM
  #18
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Kimhe,

I can be happy almost everywhere especially if I have a glass of good Spanish wine. LOL. Just kidding. Yes, Flamingo in Cordoba is on the list, although I have not had the energy to look for any particular show offered on Saturday June 6th.

BTW why do you think bus from Cordova to Seville is a bad option? I have not traveled by bus for some 30 years and one 1 1/2 hour difference would not be a problem, providing we would see more? It truly is not important as long as we get there.
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May 26th, 2015, 04:57 PM
  #19
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Kimhe,
the Cordova video is great. Are you in Oslo? I am asking, because my next trip (dream) is to Scandinavian countries including Bergen. NO need to answer now.
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May 26th, 2015, 05:06 PM
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Yes, in Oslo. Just come back with questions.
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