Spain Itinerary - June 2012 Honeymoon

Mar 14th, 2012, 07:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Spain Itinerary - June 2012 Honeymoon

My fiance and I have purchased tickets to go to Spain for our first time in June. We will fly into Madrid and home from Barcelona. My main job in organizing the wedding is to sort out the honeymoon so I need to nail this! This is what I am thinking for our 14 days:

- Madrid: 2 nights (Westin Palace)
- Ave Train to Seville: Possible hop off day trip to Corbona
- 4 nights in Seville (apartment rented)
- Rent car on final day in Seville, drive through Arcos de la Frontera and other White Villages and stay 1 night in Ronda
- Drive to Granada visiting El Torcal along way
- 2 nights in Granada including day trip to Sierra Nevada (fiance is very excited to do some hiking)
- Fly to Barcelona (return car at Granada airport).
- 4 nights in Barcelona (Pullman Hotel) before flying home to Toronto.

Hopefully these plans aren't too aggressive as I imagine we'll want to relax after the big day. I realize our time in Madrid is short but neither of us are art buffs or interested in the late night seen so I thought we'd prefer additional time in Seville.

Any tips on things to do/see in Seville. Should I plan a day trip or will I find plenty of things in town to keep busy for a few days?

Am I crazy to take a car into Granada? Any better way to do this and still be able to visit Sierra Nevada's? I enjoy driving but only drive standard on my trips to Europe so it could get exciting if it's too hectic.

Any tips/comments on our itinerary would be very much appreciated!

holy1990 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Sounds VERY nice, great way to start off your marriage. I don't know if it is possible at this point as you mention the aprt. is rented but my opinion would be to add a day to Madrid to use as a daytrip to Toledo, plus this gives you an extra day / night to settle gently into your trip. I'd not be inclined to spend 4 nights in Seville but if you do, I'd suggest doing a full day trip to Cordoba instead of a pop-in on the way to Seville.

I'll let others comment on the driving into Granada - we rented a car and drove OUT of Seville - it was a bit challenging as was the parking situation in the white towns we attempted to visit. Overall I prefer not driving most of the time for the above reasons but for sightseeing places like the white villages I guess it is the best option as public transportation is limited.

Have a wondeful honeymoon!
suec1 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Sevilla is tons of Roman, Moslem, Jewish, Gypsy and Christian history and culture and the queen of the Andalusian cities, if not of all Spanish cities. Four days here may give you time to absorb the atmosphere of a magical city.

Azahar lives in Sevilla and has got excellent tips on tapas bars and restaurants by district:

Be sure to visit places outside the beautiful and touristy Santa Cruz district. I very much like the local feel Arenal area west/north-west of Santa Cruz, the San Lorenzo district in the center or Triana - a cradle of flamenco culture - just across the bridge over the river Guadalquivir. Some examples:
Enrique Becerra in Arenal:
Eslava in San Lorenzo:
Bodega Dos de Mayo in San Lorenzo:

... and the oldest in the country, El Rinconcillo from 1670:

Sevilla is flamenco, and you can experience real deal flamenco at Casa de la Memória in the Santa Cruz district. Popular with tourists, but some of the finest flamenco artists perform here on a regular basis. Would at least give you a glimpse of how wonderful the art form can be:

Perhaps go to the Arab bath house Aire de Sevilla, a friend of mine went five times in a week:

You could easily fill four days with a great variety of sights. The Cathedral/Giralda, the Reales Alcazares, the old tobacco factory (now the main building of the university), the Indian archives (Sevilla was the "center of the world" after Columbus' journey to America), Torre del Oro, Plaza de España are some of the most obvious.

Most of the Reales Alcazares was constructed in Arab style by Christian rulers in the 14th Century (Sevilla fell to the Christians in 1248 but there was apparantly no question about architectural ideals), and the Alcazar thus stands as one of the best examples of mudejar architecture in all of Spain. Stunningly beautiful. You could easily spend several hours here, and you could completely loose yourself in the gardens. It's now the residence of the king and queen when in Sevilla.

One of my other favourites is the ruins of the Roman city Italica, some 25 mins by bus from the Plaza de Armas bus station. The Roman theater was the third largest in the empire, seating some 25 000 spectators. A fine, little restaurant in front of the entrance to Itálica.

I could go on and on about Sevilla, but it is very much about just walking around and get the atmosphere and feel under your skin. All the info you could dream of:

Córdoba is excellent as a daytrip with the high speed AVE/AVANT train. Only some 50 minutes. Buy tickets on-line in advance, would save you more than 50 % compared to buying tickets at the station.

The "other" Córdoba around Plaza de las Tendillas, the Plaza Mayor-like Plaza de la Corredera, the Roman ruins etc can be highly recommended. All very close to the main tourist attractions but a totally different and more local atmosphere. Several great tabernas, and bustling outdoor cafés long into the night.

Old, small and charming Carmona just outside Sevilla would also be a good option for a day trip:
kimhe is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,283
I would have just stayed in Andalucia and Madrid for a more relaxing trip. Going to Barcelona adds almost a day of traveling. 4 nights in Seville is perfect, you won't be bored and you can do a daytrip to Cordoba easily. I would find a parking garage as soon as you arrive in Granada and leave your car there for the duration. Plan on paying about $20 per night.
Egbert is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Some honeymoon suggestions for Madrid:

Have breakfast or lunch at Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes in down town Calle Alcalá, 42. One of the city's most emblematic cafés. Grab a window table and watch Madrid life on bustling Calle Alcalá. Take the lift up to the roof topp terrace (the azotea) for the most spectacular views of the city.

Watch the sunset over the Guadarrama mountains from the terrace at El Ventorrillo in the Vistillas park. Great pollo al ajillo, some say the best in town. Map, video and some pictures:

Have lunch or some tapas at Casa Granada, on the 6th floor of an apartment building just off Plaza Tirso de Molina. Hard to find and a great terrace.

Café Central, just off bustling Plaza Santa Ana, is a fabulous jazz venue with live performances from the best artists every night at 10. Good food also. Populart, a little further down the street, is also a great place.

Experience world class flamenco at one of the best tablaos. Madrid is arguably the flamenco capital of the world. Although the art form comes from the South (Andalucía), everybody has to conquer Madrid to get to the top. On their way there, or as an opportunity to try out new things and get an up close audience, many of them work the top tablaos. Try Casa Patas - the best in town in recent years - or legendary Villa Rosa.

A stroll in the beautiful Retiro Park.

Txirimiri in Calle del Humilladero, 6 gives you an idea of why the Basque kitchen is considered among the best in the world. In the midst of one of the best tapas/restaurant districts in town, in and around Calle Cava Baja in La Latina.

This is the best Madrid guide, always updatede info on theaters, concerts and virually everything:
kimhe is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You will have more than plenty to see and do everywhere.

If yuo haven't been to Spain before a couple of notes:

The south is incredibly hot (often temps more than 100 in the summer) so be sure your lodging has good AC and a great pool. Carry water at all times and stay well-hydrated.

When drivng in small towns or city centers be prepared for narrow streets and tiny parking places. Whenever you park fold in the side mirrors on the car to avoid them being knocked off.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks Everyone - very helpful information!

I really like the suggestion of doing Cordoba as a day trip from Seville as opposed to stopping in on the way down from Madrid (luggage in hand...).

Has anyone done a day trip to Sierra Nevada's from Granada? Is driving to Capileira and hiking from that point our best bet? Climbing Mulhacen is likely a bit much given the commute to and from Granada so I'm hoping for suggestions for an alternate place to spend the day outside hiking for 4-5 hrs as opposed to 8-10.

Thanks again!
holy1990 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2012, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I don't know the Granada area, but there is a nice walk easily reached from Ronda on bus and train.
yorkshire is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Has anyone spent any time in Nerja? I've done some research and am thinking of including this as a day trip from Granada as opposed to visiting Sierra Nevada's.

- Drive to Nerja Caves
- Walk up Rio Chillar river (bring picnic)
- Visit one of the beaches (Alberquillas?).

It looks to be about a 1.5hr drive each way which will make for a full but doable day. Any suggestions/additions I should make?
holy1990 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 50
Just an opinion ...I dont know Nerja very well but in June it will be quite hot for hiking..better bet to do Sierra Nevada or maybe Alpujarras which are just south of SN.They are higher and cooler.Try Lanjaron...and around there.if you google Lanjaron there are several local companies and English guides..maybe you could get a guide for a day? I think Lanjaron is less than an an hour from Granada from memory.EG guides:
Cehegin is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2012, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,283
Yes I have been to Nerja and it was not what I was hoping for. With 2 days in Granada it does not make sense to take a daytrip anywhere.
Egbert is offline  
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