Southern Spain Itinerary: Please Help

Old Aug 31st, 2007, 03:48 PM
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Southern Spain Itinerary: Please Help

My wife, mother-in-law, two children (ages 13 & 11), and I will be flying to Madrid next March over Spring Break. We will arrive in Madrid the morning of Saturday, March 29th and will be in Madrid until Sunday afternoon, April 6th (8 full days). We would like to visit southern Spain including Seville & Granada. For the first couple of days, we will probably stay in Madrid and then take the Ave to Seville.

How many days would you recommend in Seville? Can we rent a car in Seville and drive to Granada for a day or two or should we take a bus/train? Our flight home out of Madrid leaves at 1:40pm. Do we have time to take the train from Seville to Madrid that morning, or do we need to stay in Madrid the night before we leave? While in Madrid, what would be good day trips to take: Toledo, Avila, or Segovia?

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Google "maribel guides". It has excellent information. Read this article from NYT (today):

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/09/02...tml?ref=travel

and consider reading:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35001438
 
Old Aug 31st, 2007, 10:03 PM
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IMO you're trying to do too much in too short a time. I think you would be best concentrating on Madrid and surrounding areas with trips (possibly overnight) to Segovia, Toledo, and maybe Avila rather than trying to cram Seville and Granada into this trip unless you flew into Malaga and went to Seville, Granada, and Cordoba and possibly Ronda and other white villages. Do one or the other--too little time for both.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 10:58 PM
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I have done a similar trip. It can be done easily - provided you eliminate a land based back tracking.

If I were to do this, I would fly immediately to Granada upon arrival in Madrid. Granada is rather time consuming place to get to by land. It is a quick trip by air.

Presuming you aren't planning to stop between Granada and Sevilla, you can take a train between Granada and Sevilla.

How many days in Sevilla? Why are you going there? The answer determines how many days you should spend there.
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Old Sep 1st, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Greg,

Thanks for the reply. My mother-in-law's parents were Spanish and she has relatives living in Northern Spain. She has visited Madrid and Northern Spain several times, but has never been to Southern Spain. She really wants to see Granada and Seville.

We are flying in to Madrid early on Saturday, March 29th arriving around 8:00am. You suggest that we fly immediately to Granada. Is Iberia the best airline to use? How many days would you spend there before traveling to Seville? How many days would you stay in Seville?

From Seville, we would then visit Cordoba for a day and would eventually take the AVE back to Madrid for a couple of days. Back in Madrid, we would day trip to Avila, Toledo, or Segovia. Which of those three would be your first choice of places to visit?

Thank you!

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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Have you purchased your flights already? If you can purchase tickets from wherever you are coming from, to Granada, the connection in Madrid would have been the airline's responsibility. Otherwise, the connection becomes your responsibility.

Iberia would be a good flight if your arrival flight uses T4. I think Iberia uses T4. The Spanair and Air Europa, while cheaper, use T1.

How long to stay in Granada? What are you planning to do there? For me, it was all Alhambra. Two nights were sufficient for this purpose. On the arrival day, I went to the Alhambra night visit - spent about 90min until I had enough. On the next day, I spent about 5 hours including a lunch inside the Alhambra wall. I didn't care to stay longer than this. During the many hours left, I went to the St. Nicolas lookout to see the sunset view of the Alhambra, walked around and ate at the Plaza Nueva, visited the Royal chapel and walked around the market around the chapel.

Same question for Sevilla: what are you planning to do there? I again spent two nights. I had two main goals: Flamenco and Alcazar. Everything else was secondary. I arrived mid afternoon by train from Granada and went to the Flamenco Museum to learn about the art followed by a Flamenco show at Los Gallos. On the next day, I went to the Alcazar. During the hours that remained, I went to the old Royal Tabacco Factory (now a university,) Plaza de Espana (appears in the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and in Lawrence of Arabia) the Bullfight Museum, the Cathedral, and shopping at Sierpes, Tetuan, Cuna street areas, people watching at Plaza Nueva.

I did Cordoba as a 6 hour stop on the way from Sevilla to Madrid. The only goals were to visit Mezquita and eat at El Caballo Rojo but ended up visiting the Alcazar and a Roman bath museum as I had plenty of time left over until my train to Madrid.

Avila, Toledo, or Segovia? The choice depends on your taste. You probably have 4 nights in Madrid. I had 3 nights in Madrid this year and went to Toledo as a day trip. Why Toledo? First it was very easy to get to there by frequent AVE trains. Also, I have just visited Pont du Gard, so a Roman aqueduct (at Segovia) was not high on my priority. I wanted to see El Greco paintings (it is HARD to avoid El Greco here,) see an old hilltop walled city, see Damascene crafts, and eat Marzipans.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 07:11 AM
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I agree with Greg that what would make sense is to book a flight Madrid-Granada for your arrival day. What airline are you flying into Madrid? That will determine at what terminal you arrive and if it's the same terminal as flights leaving for Granada ( Spanair and Iberia).
I agree with Greg, the ideal situation is that the whole trip is booked in one ticket, that way you'll be able to check your lugagge through to Granada. If not, you might have to claim your lugagge in Madrid and recheck it into Granada. I have done it , so it's not the end of the world.
If you have to change terminals and claim lugagge, I would not book a flight with less than 3-4 hours connecting time.

Probably you'll need to stay in Granada two nights to allow plenty of time to see Alhambra. If you want more time at your other destinations, you could take a train or bus Granada to Sevilla ( approx 3 hrs) late in the day after seeing the Alhambra in the morning.

Depending how many nights you stay in Granada you could stay 3-4 nights in Sevilla. That should be plenty, even taking into account a day trip to Córdoba.

Then you can take the Ave to Madrid. I would allow at least 3 nights in Madrid . Probably that would allow you for one day trip ( that is , if you want to xperience what Madrid has to offer and not feel rushed). Of the places you mention, Segovia is my favorite. But that is very subjective . A lot of people prefer Toledo. I suggest you get a Spain guide book and see what each has to offer. See pictures of the 3 cities and decide which one appeals more to you and your family There are no right or wrong answers.
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