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Southern Spain and Morocco- 2 weeks in June

Southern Spain and Morocco- 2 weeks in June

Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Southern Spain and Morocco- 2 weeks in June

Hello all! I'll be going to Southern Spain and hopefully Morocco for 2 weeks in the beginning of June with my boyfriend. I'd really appreciate your insights. I have been to Spain twice (Madrid, Salamanca, Barcelona, and small towns in Costa Brava), and I speak some Spanish. We are most interested in seeing historic architecture, visiting museums, eating great local food, staying away from tourist traps, buying authentic hand-made interesting things, and seeing scenic landscapes. I like bike riding, and maybe some beach would be nice (not heavily tourist-run and over-developed). I'd like some recommendations on the top cities/towns to visit, friendly and comfortable accommodations, and good restaurants where I'll really get the local experience. Also, I'd also like to know the best way to travel from Spain to Morocco. I am interested in seeing Fes and Meknes in Morocco because they look like they're closer to the port when traveling from Spain. Any compelling reasons to spend more time and go toward Marrakech or Casablanca would be appreciated. And any safety tips would also be great. Thank you so much!
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 02:19 AM
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Where in Spain are you flying into and how do you want to split your time between the two countries?

Travel to Morocco from Spain is either by air or ferry from near Gibraltar taking you to Tangier. Tangier ticks none of your boxes!

If you want to visit Morocco, I presume that you will be in Southern Spain?
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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Fantastic Sevilla would be on the top of the list for most people going to Andalucía. No need to go into the few tourist traps. Extensive information about Sevilla on this forum. But this is a good information site of perhaps the most attractive of all the immensely attractive Spanish cities. http://www.exploreseville.com/
Short presentation of Sevilla: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm

On the coast, I have a particularly soft spot for Málaga. Wonderful city with perhaps the most easy-going people in all of Andalucía. Spectacular sights in the center of town, excellent cafés, bars, restaurants, nightlife etc. Maybe go just east of the city center to Pedregalejo for the freshest fish and seafood in one of the many affordable waterfront restaurants. Also nice beaches. Both the restaurants and beaches are very popular with locals: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/home.htm

And in between Sevilla and Málaga, you'll find small Antequera (pop 40 000), the so called "heart of Andalucía". Five thousand years old dolmens (burial chambers), Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers. Antequera was the first of the Granada emirate towns to fall to the Christians in 1410.
http://www.andaluciacoastandcountry.com/antequera.html

Just outside Antequera: great hiking in the spectacular El Torcal Park Nature Reserve:
http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/torcal/home.htm

If you decide for any of these places, I could give lots of tips on great tapas bars and restaurants, good value accomodation, cultural events etc.

And by the way, if you want to experience something out of the ordinary, you should join the quintessential Andalusian El Rocío pilgrimage around the week-end 10-13th of June. Then about a million people end up in the small city El Rocío near Almonte in the Huelva region to celebrate the Virgen del Rocío in a party of music, dance and joyful madness. http://www.andalucia.com/festival/rocio.htm
http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/spani...s/el-rocio.htm
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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... and perhaps a couple of days in Nerja not far from Málaga with one of my absolute favourite beaches, the somewhat hidden Playa El Salón: http://www.nerjatoday.com/nerjabeachguide/el-salon/

Stay in friendly and famuily-owned Hostal Mena with some 50 years in the business. Sea-views and great value and right in the center of town, two minutes from El Salón beach. 39€ for a double room with terrace in June: http://www.hostalmena.es/hostal/eng/

In most restaurants/bars in Nerja you get free and delicious tapas to choose with every drink of wine, beer, water or whatever for some 1-1.50€. Great local atmosphere in most of the places up in the old part of town.

On this photo you see one of the nine beaches in front of the old town:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2622/...de6a8146_o.jpg

Nerja old town street:
http://www.minube.com/fotos/rincon/131879/629455
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 08:52 AM
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In addition to Sevilla (where I'd probably spend at least 4 nights with a daytrip to Cordoba), I wouldn't miss Granada. I'd spend at least 2 days in Granada. Sevilla, Granada & Cordoba would be my 3 "don't miss" cities. Then there are numerous other places to visit - probably in my favorites would be Malaga, Cadiz, Ronda & the white villages, a visit to the sherry triangle area, Ubeda, etc....

You could easily spend a month in Andalucia alone.

Just a warning though - it will be extremely hot. You'll need to plan your schedule to be in transit or siesta during the afternoons when the heat is at it's worst.
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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I would stay in Spain. If you really want to go to Morroco Marrakesh and/or Essouira are the only places I would recommend. Flying is best to those places as they are far.
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Thank you so much for your replies, fellow travelers! I will be flying into Madrid. Are there recommendations on how to get from Madrid to i.e. Sevilla and other towns in the south of Spain? Would car rental be best to visit small towns between Sevilla and Málaga? Would you rent the car from Madrid or elsewhere?

kimhe- thanks so much for the details about towns and the place to stay. The recommendations seem fantastic, and perfect for our interests. I will definitely consider them all for my itinerary!

Egbert- are Fes and Meknes not worth seeing?

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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Cathy- will it be extremely hot, even in the beginning of June? I thought I saw on some websites that the temperatures are around 80 F (high). What month(s) did you visit Andalucia?
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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I recommend the high speed AVE train from Madrid to Sevilla or Málaga. Just some 2 1/2 hours from city center to city center. Excellent public transportation in the area, but a car gives you of course more freedom to see places between Sevilla and Málaga.

June is starting to get really hot, espescially inlands (for example Sevilla, Córdoba). But it's usually still cooler than in the hottest months July and August. Sevilla is often about 100F and above in the summer months. http://www.andalusia-web.com/climate.htm
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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letsjetset-
I don't personally have experience visiting in June-Augst as I've been able to plan my trips around this time. I've visited in the beginning of May and it's still comfortable (but I like it warm) - low 80's. Maybe someone else can help you with the beginning of June. It may make a difference if your trip is at the beginning of June vs end. I wouldn't not go per se - unless you were particularly sensitive to the heat. But I just thought I'd mention it in case.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the important info, CathyM!
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