Seville-Cordoba-Granada Drive

Old May 20th, 2002, 08:02 PM
  #1  
Maria
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Seville-Cordoba-Granada Drive

This is our first trip to Spain-we are a family of four (2 kids 13/14 years old).
We will take the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla
and stay 3-4 nights. Several questions:
Hotels: Either Hotel Casa Imperial or Las Casas del Rey de Baeza (Karen Browns Guide) or Hotel Los Seises all in Sevilla...any comments on the best choice with kids since these are the only places available that I can find for mid-July. Also, If I could get some assistance...We plan to drive, would you suggest the following route:
Sevilla to Cordoba (1 Night)
Cordoba to Granada (1 Night)
Granada to Arcos and Cadiz (2-3 Nights)
Ronda ??
Your comments would be so helpful since I am having difficulty deciding the simplest route and the best choices or locations with kids...Many thanks.
 
Old May 21st, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #2  
Bltz
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Maria,
Last year my husband and I did almost exactly what you are planning to do.
Took AVE from Madrid to Sevilla. There we took a car to Cordoba, then to Granada and finally to Barcelona.
Cordoba is a small city, people is very kind, the Mesquita is a must, 1 night is enough.
Granada is a big city, unfortunately it rained during our stay. Don´t miss Alhambra, it´s something you will never forget.
In Sevilla we stayed at Hostal Atenas, very clean and confortable, easy to reach the main atractions by foot (http://www.sol.com/hostal/atenas/index.htm).
Hope this help.
Have a nice trip. You will love Spain!!
 
Old May 21st, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #3  
Carol
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If you have time, stop for an hour or soat La Fortaleza de la Mota at Alcala la Real, about midway between Cordoba and Granada. You can't miss it; it stands out on its high hill on the lefthand side of the main highway. There is a castle and an old church, burned by Napoleon's troops, that shows five levels of occupation: neolithic, Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, and Christian. It is not at all touristy (yet), and the kids will enjoy being able to roam about at will. If you speak Spanish, you may enjoy a chat with Paco, the guard, who is very friendly and knowledgeable. It's open, I believe, between 10 and 1, then again from 3:30 until about 6 or 7.
Have fun,
Carol
 
Old May 21st, 2002, 02:32 PM
  #4  
chris norman
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while i don't have children and therefore can't know what it is like to travel with them, i just returned from a 2 and a half week trip to spain where the majority of the time was spent in andalucia.

yours sounds like a pretty good itinerary, however know that there is a good amount of distance between granada and arcos de la frontera (5 hours if you went straight there, no stops). you'll probably want to stop in ronda (definitely a must see for it's impossible locale and for the bull ring) or some of the other little white villages, however, so plan accordingly.

the drive between cordoba and granada is shorter, but you should take the karen brown route between those two cities which will take you a good part of the day with its leisurely stop and look itinerary (5 - 6 hours for us). it's a gorgeous drive through little hill towns (void of any other tourists ,in our experience, and full of charming locals), vineyards dotted with castle ruins and olive groves.

I LOVED staying in Arcos de la Frontera and I LOVED Arcos! Consider staying at a lovely pension called Casa Grande. This former palace is perched on the edge of the precipice overlooking the Guadalete river gorge, right next to an ancient church. The view from the rooftop and many of the rooms is stupendous and the price is right! check them out at: http://www.arrakis.es/~786grau/htm/ing2.htm

And, while there don't forget to eat at El Convento Restaurant -- it was the best meal we had in all of spain. So good that we went back for seconds the following night!

The Alhambra and adjoining General Life require and deserve a full day. Also, you should reserve tickets in advance on the web (highly, highly recommended as tickets very often sell out in advance for the day that you want...if not sold out the lines are insufferable) at: www.alhambratickets.com

good luck and have great fun (you can't go wrong in spain)!
 
Old May 21st, 2002, 02:41 PM
  #5  
patg
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I'm sorry that I don't know your hotels in Sevilla, but, having been there in July, I would make sure they have air-conditioning. It can be unbearable mid-day.
 
Old May 21st, 2002, 07:44 PM
  #6  
lisa
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Maria -- we stayed at Casa Imperial in Seville during our honeymoon. We enjoyed it immensely. It is a beautiful hotel, built in the hacienda style with fountains and gardens. It has a lovely indoor/outdoor breakfast area that doubles as a bar in the evenings. If you are staying with a family, I would be sure to ask about the type of room -- they are all different. I think we might have had a junior suite, but it wouldn't be big enough for a rollaway or other accommodations for children.

I agree that Cordoba is only a one night stay. The mezquita is something to behold and we really enjoyed a flamenco show there (touristy, but fun). We found the Jewish Quarter (the historic area) to be somewhat creepy -- buildings are very close to street (no sidewalks), streets are winding, easy to see how you could get mugged. It is a small town and you can cover it in one day.

Personally, I'd spend more than one day in Granada. It was our favorite.

I also agree that you might consider a stop in Ronda. The kids will love the bullfighting ring and the museum (unfortunately, most of the plaques are in Spanish, but the costumes, etc, are cool). The gorge is simply beautiful and you can walk down to the bottom.

Enjoy!
 
Old May 22nd, 2002, 04:06 AM
  #7  
Stacey
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Maria - have you found any hotel in Sevilla that has connecting rooms? I am having the toughest time finding accommodations for my family of 5. I am even looking at the Cortijos within an hour of Sevilla, but have been unable (as yet) to come up with a place to house us all?

For Lisa or anyone else who has already been to Spain - do you recommend Ronda and Arcos over Nerja/Almunecar/Solabrena? Are they similar in terms of being pueblos blanco? Thanks for any help and ideas.
 
Old May 22nd, 2002, 06:06 AM
  #8  
lisa
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Unfortunately, I can't compare Ronda to Nerja or the others because I've only been to Ronda. Ronda is not a "white town" -- although you will see many white towns on the way. Ronda is a pretty city, though, built over a huge gorge. The parador is on one side of the gorge with a fabulous view. There are ancient bridges and homes you can visit that will take you down into the deep parts of the gorge (lots of stairs on the way back up!). It is also a famed bullfighting city with a beautiful old ring (where they host the Goya bullfight each year -- people dress in period costumes) and an interesting bullfighting museum. The drive to Ronda, while treacherous, is beautiful -- we could see Africa on a clear day.
 
Old May 22nd, 2002, 06:48 AM
  #9  
l
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Make sure (if it's a clear day), you drive up the Pico Veleta in the Sierra Nevada (just outside Granada)
 
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:17 AM
  #10  
Maribel
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Maria,
With kids in July, I'd really choose a Seville hotel with pool because of the heat factor. You'll need to go back to your hotel after lunch and rest during siesta when the heat is at its most intense-it will be a veritable oven-that's when the pool will come in extremly handy. The last time we toured Andalucia with teenagers (7 of them!) we booked hotels with pools for each overnight, and they were a God send!

Las Casas del Rey de Baeza and Los Seises both have pools. The advantage of Las Casas del Rey de Baeza is that most accomodations also have a living rm., I believe, which would give your family much more space.
But Los Seises has the advantage of the convenient downtown location very near the Cathedral and the Alcazar and handy to many tapas bars/restaurants. Las Casas is further afield, tucked into a quiet northeast corner of the Santa Cruz district, a longer walk from the sights.

I agree with Lisa and chris that you would enjoy a night in Ronda. Although the distance between Ronda and Arcos is short, you'll have a long drive from Granada if you stop for sightseeing, and with the July heat, you'll want to rest. Both the Parador right at the gorge and the Alavera de los Baños in La Ciudad (the old Arab quarter) have pools, but the Parador is handier. And as Lisa says, your kids will enjoy seeing and having their picture taken in the middle of the historic bull ring, one of the oldest in Spain and the cradle of modern bullfighting (also where Madonna shot one of her music videos).

You might want to consider 2 nights in Granada, again because of the heat and the huge crowds at the Alhambra in July. It will take the major portion of the day to do the Alhambra justice, and it might be a more relaxed visit for your family to have the second night. Only the large tour group/convention type hotels (Saray, Luna de Granada-where we stayed with teenagers-Corona de Granada, Carmen) have pools in Granada (except for the just average Alixares up on the Alhambra hill), but the Alhambra Palace, also on the Alhambra hill, is a somewhat cooler spot during the summer, has an extravagant Moorish interior, a nice restaurant, great buffet brkf. and good service.

If you were to add the extra night, you could visit Arcos on the way to Cadiz without the overnight there. It won't take long to reach Cádiz from Ronda.
Just some thoughts...
 
Old May 28th, 2002, 08:34 AM
  #11  
Maria
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Thanks for all your great responses. Question regarding Los Seisse, I have read many negative comments on this hotel and am leary...anyone got any further comments. Also what is the best itinerary, logical, from Madrid...to cover Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Ronda, Cadiz...i., Train to Cordoba (l night) then on to Sevilla (3 nights) drive to Granada (is it safe?) and then tour area
(Ronda, Arcos de frontera, Cadiz, etc.
Also, regarding comments on Hotel Seisse, many negative responses on the net on this location... I do not want to be disappointed...any comments. Again, this information is invaluable and I surely appreciate all your input. Thanks.
 
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