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Oct 4th, 2012, 05:31 AM
  #1
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Southern Spain Itinerary Feedback?

Hello!

I am going to the South of Spain for 2 weeks at the end of October, early Nov. My husband is really into history and i'm really into food, so we're looking to create an itinerary that can match both of our likes. How does an itinerary like this sound:

Arrive in Madrid
Valencia: 2 nights
Granada: 2 nights
Near Zamoranos (Casa Olea): 2 nights
Malaga: 1 night
Seville: 3 nights
Cordoba: 2 nights
Return to Madrid

Re "Zamoranos" the idea there was to spend some time in the countryside and break up the city trips. There are also some olive groves and old Roman sites around there as well.

I know that seems like a lot of moving - or does it? - but we like driving and the distances between each place seem to average about 1h30-2h (aside from to/ from Madrid). We'd rather change hotels and then stay in a new place for a night than having a base to back and forth to.

Any thoughts or feedback on this? Are we missing something great? Is something too overrated?

Thanks!!
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Oct 4th, 2012, 05:46 AM
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Not too much to say about your itinerary. It is a lot of moving but you say you like driving. You're not leaving yourselves much time to just wander and get a feel for each destination. There are lots of great places you could visit but I wouldn't add anything - I might skip Malaga since you have left yourselves so little time there. All in all it is a doable itinerary and Andalucia is a wonderful place to visit.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I've been debating about Malaga. Perhaps it would be better to have more time elsewhere and add an extra day somewhere for just lingering.

Is there anything really cool must-see about Malaga? I was interested in the architecture but could do without.....
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Oct 4th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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The Alcazaba are great ancient ruins in Malaga. the old part of Malaga is a beautiful classic Andalucian city. The only "must sees" for me are the Alhambra and the city of Seville, I might add the mezquita in Cordoba. Much too much driving and traveling for me but it can be done.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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It's of course a bit hectic but perfectly doable. I would add a night to Málaga and perhaps take one off Córdoba if you just want to see the most famous sights in the city and have a great night out in the much more local feel "Roman Córdoba" a couple of hundred meters north of the Mezquita.

Málaga city is a true delight, genuine and laid-back Andalusian atmosphere. Great cafés, tapas bars, restaurants, culture, theaters, nightlife and sights. Within 300 meters in the city center you'll find the newly excavated Roman theater, the 8-11th century Moorish Alcazaba, the 16th century cathedral, Picasso's birth-place and the Picasso museum and the brand new Carmen Thyssen Museum. http://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/home.htm

A couple of articles about Málaga, one of my absolute favourite cities in Spain after some 25 years of intensive travelling in the country:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...pleasures.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/200...el?INTCMP=SRCH
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Oct 8th, 2012, 06:52 AM
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Hi
We just got back from 10 days in Spain. We also flew in and out of Madrid. Initially, we were going to get back to Madrid the day before we flew out, but ended up with an extra day. We spent 1/2 a day Saturday and all day Sunday in Madrid and I am so glad we did. We visited Madrid in the 70's as part of a 2.5 month tour and we were near the middle of our trip and were getting blase about some cities. However, this time we really loved Madrid. If you walk in Madrid you come on new neighborhoods every 3 or 4 blocks and it is a very livable city.
Our trip this time was 1 night in Toledo, 2 nights in Granada. 1 night in Torrelomenas (sp) (the beach), the rock of Gibraltar on the way to 1 night in Ronda, 2 nights in Sevilla. 1 night in Cordoba and 2 nights in Madrid. We enjoyed the Mesquite in Cordoba as well as the whole experience. We drove the whole way and dumped our car at the Madrid airport prior to going into madrid and put most of our luggage at a storage locker at the airport. We put 1600 kilometers on the car and renting it, tolls, gas and parking cake to about $450.
Good luck on your trip.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 12:51 PM
  #7
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This is all very interesting and helpful! So we're still working out the itinerary and your advice has been really useful.....I have taken Valencia out of the mix. We'll just stick to Andalusia. That said: Putting Malaga back on the agenda for now, do you think we should 1 or 2 nights in Malaga? And is Ronda well worth seeing for 1 night? I wasn't into it but I'm hearing a lot of extraordinary things.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 05:38 PM
  #8
kja
 
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> is Ronda well worth seeing for 1 night?

I thought so, and think it will provide a nice counterpoint to your other destinations. I spend just under a full day there.

I love that you are giving Granada and Cordoba 2 nights each! So many people rush through them, and I thought each worth 2 full days....

I'm not sure where your travel time falls; depending on whether 2 nights means 1 or 2 or 3 days, you might want to add to Granada, Cordoba, or Seville.

And do keep in mind that many, many things in Spain are closed on Mondays (and on Sunday afternoons).

Hope that helps!
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Oct 9th, 2012, 06:26 AM
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Yes, definitely helps! So here's what I'm thinking...(And below is broken down by nights):

Sat: Arrive Madrid
Sun: Mad-Cordoba (We'll arrive at Cordoba at night, in time for dinner but no sightseeing)
Mon: Cordoba (City tour, Mezquita)
Tues: Cordoba (Medina Azahara)
Wed: Malaga
Thursday: Casa Olea (near Zamoranos; Tours of Jaen, Olive oil mills, bodega)
Friday: Casa Olea (same as above)
Sat: Granada
Sun: Granada (Alhambra)
Mon: Ronda (Finca Naranja??)
Tues: Ronda
Wed: Carmona (Roman ruins)
Thurs: Seville
Friday: Seville
Sat: Seville-Madrid

Two disclaimers:

(1) I have been to Madrid several times before so am using it only for the airport

(2) I am locked into the Granada/ Casa Olea days because of hotels I pre-paid (oops). It makes the travel a little less logical but in the end only adds an extra 30 minutes to our overall travel time.

Does this sound about right? We seem to have a mix of countryside and cities, plus sightseeing mixed with more relaxed moments. And while it's a lot of moving around, the max time between places (Madrid being the exception) is 2 hours. We'd rather do that and then be able to have long dinners at night without having to worry about getting back into the car.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Would definitely stay two nights in Málaga city and cut down to one night in Ronda. Ten times more to see and do in wonderful and laid-back Málaga with genuine Andalucian atmosphere. But stay with the night in Ronda, a very different place when most of the day tourist have left.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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... and when speaking of Roman ruins close to Sevilla, Itálica (from 206 BC) is of course the place. Italica’s amphitheater seated 25,000 spectators, the third largest in the Roman empire, and it's very much intact. Roman emperors Trajan - allegedly the best of them all - and Hadrian were born here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italica

A nice little tapas bar/restaurant right across the street from the entrance.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 06:07 PM
  #12
kja
 
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I agree with kimhe - just one night in Ronda. (I loved my time there, but was ready to leave after a bit less than a full day.)

Are you planning to visit the Alhambra during both the day and the evening? I strongly encourage you to do so!
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Oct 10th, 2012, 07:03 AM
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I vote for 1 night in Ronda. We had trouble finding our hotel and did not get there until late. We toured Ronda the next morning until noon and that was plenty. My daughter also visited there in the past and she said that it is good to see the old bridge and gorge in Ronda at sunset.
I am kind of a dolt, but 3 hours in the Alhambra was plenty for me.
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Oct 10th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Seville deserves 3 nights at least!
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Oct 10th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I'd add more nights in Sevilla. It's a beautiful city and well situated for daytrips. You could visit Carmona as a daytrip from Sevilla. Sevilla really deserves at the least 3 nights. Cordoba is one of my favorites but I would consider dropping a night from Cordoba to add to Sevilla. I'd try to squeeze in a visit to the sherry triangle not only to visit a bodega but get an understand more of the sherry culture in this area.

This is a little too much moving around for my tastes, 14 nights and 8 different overnight stops. But if you like a more hectic pace and moving around it may work for you.
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Oct 10th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Thanks this is great! Okay so I'll take one night off of Ronda and put one night in Seville back on. That would also allow us to stay still for a bit at the end of the trip, which is a nice way to end. We'll definitely put Italica on the itinerary. Sounds perfect.

We do like driving and moving around and the distances between places is 1h30 or 2h so nothing extraordinary for our style

Re Alhambra: I was thinking of going for the morning, maybe stopping in the Arab baths in the afternoon but I was not planning on heading back at night. Well worth it??

I also wanted to try and book a guide for the Alhambra. My mom found one on Viator. Any experience with that or any other guide recommendations?

Thanks a million again!
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Oct 10th, 2012, 05:56 PM
  #17
kja
 
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> Okay so I'll take one night off of Ronda and put one night in Seville back on.

I think that's a good choice!

> Re Alhambra: I was thinking of ... not planning on heading back at night. Well worth it??

i thought it very definitely well worth it - absolutely enchanting, and among my most treasured memories of many wonderful travels. Not everyone agrees. If you search this board you'll find plenty of threads on the topic.

> I also wanted to try and book a guide for the Alhambra.

I thought the audio guide quite good, but that's a personal choice. Again, a search of this board should yield a wealth of information.
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Oct 10th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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We had a guide for the Alhambra. She was absolutely wonderful and made the place come alive for us. If I remember correctly we got her at the ticket area and were in a group of about 8.
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Oct 19th, 2012, 03:30 AM
  #19
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I'm leaving in a few days for this trip and wanted to follow up on what we decided based on the feedback here.

The only thing we weren't able to do was change Ronda to 1 night and add on an extra night in Seville because of an annoying hotel issue. But, other than that here is the gist of it all!

What do you think? And/or hope it helps someone else with their trip planning

Day 1: Madrid. Arrival, stay for one night at Silken Puerta America. Dinner at El Mollette.
Day 2: Madrid-to-Cordoba. Stop at the windmills of Consuegra on the way. Stay at Stay at Hospes Palacio del Bailio.
Day 3: Cordoba. City tour, including the Mezquita. Dinner at El Choco.
Day 4: Cordoba. Tour Medina Azahara.
Day 5: Cordoba-Malaga. Hotel Molin Alario. City tour.
Day 6: Casa Olea. Bodega tour at Bodegas Alvear, Montilla
Day 7: Casa Olea. Food tour stuff (micro-brewery, olive oil mill, etc).
Day 8: Granada. Stay at Villa Oniria. City tour during the day. Bathhouse at night.
Day 9: Granada. Full day at the Alhambra. Tours booked through the Alhambra.
Day 10: Granada-Ronda. Stay at Catalonia Reina Victoria. City tour.
Day 11: Ronda. Ruins at Acinipo. Prehistoric caves. Dinner at Tragabuches.
Day 12: Casa de Carmona. Roman necropolis and amphitheater.
Day 13: Seville. Hotel Elizira Plaza. City tour.
Day 14: Seville. Italica.
Day 15: Seville-Madrid -Home.
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Oct 19th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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You really need to find a way to add time to Sevilla. 2 days will not do it justice. I don't know what the hotel issue is but I'd find another hotel. I'd forego even visiting Ronda for 2 additional nights in Sevilla. With your husbands love of history Sevilla will hold much more interest than pituresque Ronda. Ronda is nice but wouldn't be on my must-sees for a first visit to this area. You may even consider just heading to Sevilla from Granada and then having all kinds of flexibility for Daytrips in the region using Sevilla as a base.

I'd also consider not picking up a car until tou're leaving Cordoba. It will be a major hassle driving into Cordoba with it and the AVE will be a big timesaver - but perhaps it's more cost effective at the last minute since the AVE tickets probably won't be discounted. I assume you're getting rid of the car on arrival in Sevilla and taking the AVE back to Madrid. You definately won't need for this part of the trip.
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