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Spain Itinerary - Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia

Spain Itinerary - Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia

Old Sep 13th, 2013, 11:37 AM
  #1  
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Spain Itinerary - Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia

Hi need some advice,

Traveling to Spain in beginning october: 14 nights.
I'd like to go to Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps somewhere down south Andalusia area: Would this be sufficient timeframe: 4 nights Madrid, 4 Barcelona and 4nights Seville, 2 Malaga? Any suggestions would be welcoming.

I am going as a couple, we love to walk and see museums/history/cultural things; beaches, local markets and seeing any events/festivals if we can. Eating is essential and trying new things always welcoming.

Please provide any advice:
Which areas are best to stay in Madrid/Barcelona? (generally central is always good/ but hopefully not loud and of course safe area, which is the best area to stay? This would be our first time there.

As for Andalusia, where would you recommend/regions (I know i mentioned seville and malaga, i think that's where i'd like to go). Would it be better to have a car in the south or should I just train (doing day trips maybe to cordoba or granada?).

Is October even a good time to go? As well, does it heavily rain during this month?
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Where are you flying into and out of? And do you have a budget in mind for your lodging? Remember, 14 nights isn't much time when you have to travel every few days.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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arrive madrid, depart malaga -- I'm not sure what a good budget would be but decent hotel/apartment is what i'm looking for. or general areas that are best to stay in certain regions. Thanks for your response.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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I would drop Barcelona from this trip and concentrate around Madrid and Andalusia.

From Madrid, go to Toledo for at least one nite then head to Sevilla. From Sevilla, you can visit Cordoba and Granada. Granada is especially recommended.

Definitely get a car in the south when leaving Sevilla. You can then drive to Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and other neat places.

You don't want a car in Sevilla.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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The problem with spending the night in Toledo is that you have to return to Madrid if you want to take the train south to Sevilla. Otherwise, Toledo makes a good day-trip from Madrid.

A good budget would be what ever you can afford to spend on accommodations. If you're planning on spending a week at a time in one location, then an apartment might do the job, but if you're going to be on the go after only a few days, then a hotel would better fit your needs.

As noted, since you're flying into Madrid and out Malaga, you should save Barcelona for another time and just stick with the south.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Madrid is 550 km from Malaga. Barcelona is 1000km from Malaga. If you don't fly, that is a lot of driving. Be sure to budget that into your itinerary.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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You are not allowing enough time for Andalusia. You really need to see Seville, Cordoba and Granada at a minimum and I think that means at lest 7 nights there - plus any time you spend on the beach.

We have been to Andalusia twice - once for 10 days and once for 12 - and still have a LOT we want to see.

I am not a fan of Madrid and think 2 days there is plenty - 3 if you want a day trip to Toledo. If I had to choose that's what I would drop.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 04:04 PM
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I agree with nytraveler- Madrid was my least favorite place in Spain.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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I like your itinerary.
It is a personal preference....I like Madrid and small towns nearby, and love Barcelona.
Several days in Andalusia does it for me....
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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Personally, I think you are trying to do too much, but it depends on what you want to see and experience.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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P.s.
In Barcelona, close to Placa de Catlunya is central
In Madrid, close to Sol.
From Madrid, you can take a train to Barcelona, fly Vueling (cheap) to Seville from Barcelona
and train To Malaga from Seville or Cordoba.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Well traveling from destination to destination would be by Ave Rail. I noted its about say 3hrs from Madrid to Barcelona, Barcelona to Seville/or Cordoba about and then three hours from Seville to Cordoba.

Situating myself in Seville most likely as thought it be good to do day trips from there if I go to Cordoba.

I was contemplating whether to rent a car when in Andalusia?

I appreciate all your responses.

Where are the good beaches in Spain? Well I guess out of the areas I hoped to be in? Then I can make it central point to go to those and relax. And October, is it still warm or would it not be ideal?

Is there any special events or things I should do?
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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A good guide book or two should serve you very well.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 08:47 PM
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Has anyone had experience with Renfe Season Pass? Would it work for that route? Say Madrid-Barcelona-Seville-Malaga?

As well, where would be the best region to shop? I know each have their own charm; but which is more known to have better prices?

I am on a mission to buy guide books and read over the next week to become more familiar with the areas to see if its a good route to take. Thanks again for all recommendations.
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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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Trains/AVE:
Sevilla to Córdoba is only 50 minutes on the high speed AVE train, and Málaga to Córdoba is also only 50 minutes. 2h 30 min from Málaga/Sevilla to Madrid and 1h 40 min from Córdoba to Madrid. You can save about 50% if you by tickets online in advance on renfe.com.

I would leave Barcelona for another trip, or you can fly low cost Vueling from Barcelona to Málaga or Sevilla in about 90 minutes (40-70€).

Beaches:
October will normally still be beach time in the South. Statistics for mid October in Málaga says daily highs at 74-78F, average 7 hours sun/day and rainfall one in five days. (wetteronline.de)

Fine beaches in Pedregalejo, just east of Málaga city. Both the Acacias beaches and the many seafront restaurants along the La Chancla promenade are very popular with locals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhRcr9ckHdE

Four kilometers wide and sandy beach in Torre del Mar a little further to the east of Málaga city. Also plenty of great, typical seafood freidurías here. http://www.torredelmartoday.com/torre-del-mar-beaches/
La Cueva in Torre del Mar is as good as you get a no fuss freiduría in all of Andalucía: http://www.freidurialacueva.es/

And the Playa de Maro just outside Nerja, even a little further to the east of Málaga city, is in a lead to be voted best beach in Andalucía on the national tv channel Antena 3 competition. It will probably be in the final to be voted best beach in Spain 2013.
http://www.101tv.es/la-playa-de-maro...ejor-de-espana
Info: http://www.nerjatoday.com/nerjabeachguide/maro/

Close by you also find the Cañuelo beach: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/be...l-Canuelo.html
http://www.spain-holiday.com/Costa-d...aya-el-canuelo

Events:
A major flamenco festival in Sevilla from Sept 23 to Oct 14. Some of the finest flamenco artist in the world perform every night in Teatro Central. Mostly a local crowd at this Muestra de Flamenco festival, and this could be a great intro to this beautiful art so important for Sevilla and Andalucía. Info, program and tickets: http://www.flamenco-world.com/notici...092013ing.html

Some of the highlights in October are:

Cantaor (singer) Jésus Méndez on Oct 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLa5_NO8HwY

Bailaora (dancer) Rosario Toledo on Oct 6th. Together with singer José Valencia and tocaor (guitarist) Dani de Morón. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TnE_UQ2qGY

Father and daughter José and Pastora Galván on Oct 9. She was voted best female flamenco dancer 2010 by Spanish critics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2SBUcrJgeQ
And José, her father, is a flamenco legend in his own right, both as a teacher and an artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM3Tvvr8FIk

Cantaor El Torta on Oct 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP3QHxamyls

General info/articles:

Sevilla: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm
http://www.exploreseville.com/

Málaga:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...pleasures.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/200...el?INTCMP=SRCH

Córdoba: http://www.theguardian.com/spanish-t...-changed-world

Torre del Mar, some 20 miles east of Málaga city (pop 21 000):
http://www.torredelmartoday.com/

Nerja, some 30 miles east of Málaga city (pop 22 000).
http://www.nerjatoday.com/
Photo of Nerja: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2622/...de6a8146_o.jpg

The spectacular Nerja caves:
http://www.cuevadenerja.es/index.php?lenguaje=en
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Old Sep 15th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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This is great information. I will see the Seville Festival then just in time. Again appreciate the information.

Would you have any recommendations on where good accommodation/best place to stay in Seville and Malaga and Barcelona? As well, would like to try those apartment style types if its worthy (since I'll stay around 3-4nights); as I've heard many great things about rental units. However, I am uncertain the various legit sites to look upon.
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 12:51 AM
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In Sevilla I like the San Vicente/San Lorenzo area just north of the Fine Arts museum (one of the best in Spain) and on the edge of what the locals call centre. Quiet and local feel and very close to some of the best tapas bars and restaurants in town. Some 15 min walk to the beautiful but touristy Santa Cruz district with the Cathedral/La Giralda, Real Alcázar etc. http://www.aboutsevilla.com/sevilla/itinerary5.asp

In Málaga you can't find any more central location than these to great value places next door to eachother. Recommend to stay in the historic center.
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hoteldoncurro.en.html
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/victoria.en.html

In Barcelona, I like medieval El Born. Next door to the Gothic quarter, the cathedral and the fine Ciutadella Park. Ten-fifteen minutes walk to the famous Las Ramblas, landmark Placa Catalunya as well as to the Barceloneta beach. Plenty of great cafés, bars, tapas bars and restaurants long into the night. http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...s/el-born.html

I also like the area around Carrer Aribau in the Left Eixample close to the university. More modern, upscale restaurants, cafés, clubs and more local atmosphere. And still central: http://suitelife.com/2011/02/28/arib...treet-profile/
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 07:10 PM
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I'm again needing some help on deciding whether to drive in Andalusia?
How safe is it to drive in Spain? I was hoping to perhaps if I stay in Seville, I'll get a car to drive to Cordoba or Granada? As well, my concern is also I want to see Ronda along my way into Malaga? Would you recommend someone who has not driven in Europe before? Are the roads safe/are there cliffs without quadroils? ARe other drivers like oncoming traffic crazy and get pissed off if being more so on cautious side. This would be the first time driving in different country. I don't know if it's risky and perhaps I should just train and skip on driving.

Please any advice is welcomed.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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"I agree with nytraveler- Madrid was my least favorite place in Spain." To each his or her own. Madrid has long been one of my favorite stops, except in August.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Still uncertain whether going to drive from Seville to Malaga/granada on this trip.

But I have been checking Town Ronda, which looks gorgeous. Would you anyone know if the bus runs in October? I tried to look at the 'Yellow line' bus, I think I'm looking at it correctly, but seems when I punch in days for October, there say no sale. Can anyone clarify whether they have buses running to Ronda from Seville, and whether there is dropoff luggage at the station.
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