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Spain Preferences - Seville / Cordoba / Granada

Spain Preferences - Seville / Cordoba / Granada

Old Oct 18th, 2020, 07:38 AM
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Spain Preferences - Seville / Cordoba / Granada

Hi Team,

Another question regarding my planning for a potential trip to Spain next summer. I've found a lovely looking rural, secluded hotel (La Bobadilla it's called) that is situated essentially equi-distance between Seville, Cordoba and Granada.

We plan on using the hotel as a base for exploring that part of Andulucia for maybe 5 days. Some of the days would be spent in the natural environs around the hotel that has ample hiking and biking trails as well as just lounging by the pool. Additionally we may spend a day on the beach if we can be bothered to drive the 90mins or so towards Malaga. We plan on having a vehicle during our stay.

So, if you could only choose say 2 towns to visit out of Seville, Cordoba and Granada.........which 2 would you visit as day trips?

For reference, we are a family of four with 2 children aged 12 and 10. We love strolling old towns and historical sites and architecture. We would also like some great food and wine, perhaps even some tapas and flamenco dancing as well.

Kind Regards.

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Old Oct 18th, 2020, 04:13 PM
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I’d find that a hard choice to make as I loved all three towns when we went to Spain. I think we had four nights in Seville, three in Granada and two in Cordoba, and found that just the right amount of time for us.

With four nights somewhere between the three, you could just do a day trip to each and see the most famous historical sights. We were there in March however, and the weather was already very warm in Seville. I wouldn’t like to be walking around the streets of these towns in summer. But if you just visited the most famous sights you could be indoors out of the sun most of the time.
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Old Oct 18th, 2020, 05:47 PM
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The Alhambra in Granada takes some careful planning & reserving - and is a tad difficult to get to by car. The city of Granada didn't appeal to us much. I would give the city (not the Alhambra) a C+. Make sure you & the kids will really enjoy the Alhambra before you chose it over the others.

The Mezquita in Cordoba was interesting - if you enjoy this kind of stuff. The town itself was smaller than Seville & Granada - and I would give it a C+ too (we enjoyed the flowered private courtyards).

Seville is a gem. More stuff of interest there than the other two, IMO. The church, Alcazar, and other homes you can visit will entertain you. I would give it an A-.

Stu Dudley

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Old Oct 18th, 2020, 06:56 PM
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Sevilla is one of my favorite cities in all of my travels. Granted, I was there for Semana Santa 2015 and so saw Sevilla at is most incredible. But it would be a waste to try to do it as as a day trip because you could never do it justice. Personally, I would skip pool day and give it the bare minimum of 2 nights, one full day.

The Alhambra is stunning and it would be possible to do it justice if that is the primary thing you visit that day in Granada. You would need to give it a minimum of 4 hours, which would also allow you enough time to visit the Capilla Real,

The Mezquitta/Cattedrale in Córdoba is beautiful. For me, that’s the only memory I have of my day trip to Córdoba.

In the end, I’d skip pool day and give 3 night/2 full days to the fascinating city of Sevilla.
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Old Oct 18th, 2020, 09:51 PM
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Personal, of course, and this applies specifically to Spain, as it would not to other places.

Rather than staying someplace where you would have to get up and drive to your sightseeing destination, I would want to be someplace where I could get up early, walk out and immediately go sightseeing before mid-day heat hits, have a pool in the afternoon, then walking and more sightseeing late in the afternoon or evening. Keep in mind that some things (restaurants and some sights) will be closed in the afternoon and heat in Summer in that part of Spain can be unbearable.

I personally love Granada, but over all think Seville would be first choice, especially with kids. I would stay in Seville and take the train to Córdoba one day. Parking is no fun in either place. Rent a car maybe for just a couple of days for perhaps a day of hiking and exploring, but I would not want to be driving someplace everyday.

By contrast, we often enjoyed sightseeing in Italy, Lunch, more sightseeing, then heading back to our hotel for a late afternoon swim before dinner. In Southern Spain, with the heat and things closing, we were done and ready for down time by 2:00. Things like closures have likely changed a lot since our last trip, but check and plan ahead for lunch and snacks. Take stuff with you for hiking, exploring. Don’t expect dinner before very late, 9:00 pm.
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Old Oct 18th, 2020, 11:57 PM
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For two our of three I would choose Cordoba and Granada:


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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 03:38 AM
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It’s so personal, is t it? We loved all 3 places, but for an extended stay, Seville would be my go-to place. We were in Seville for 4 nights, and could’ve easily stayed longer. It’s one of our favorite stays anywhere. It’s the perfect strolling city and the evenings are as delightful as the days, perhaps more so.

Personally, I would rather stay in these cities than making a day trip to them.
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 08:46 AM
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Agree with the last two posters, especially in summer, stay in town! One of my favorite experiences in Sevilla was happening upon a late-night neighborhood party. I would choose one of the cities, and contrast it with a rural stay for outdoors activity. I have always been able to get myself out of a city for nature, but I find it much harder to get into a city from nature (small town).
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 09:18 AM
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Thank you all for the replies so far, they have been helpful.........although they have also created additional options that I hadn't considered!!! That's the beauty of travel and exploring though, it's always a trade-off as I don't have infinite time or money so something is always going to have to give.

I am aware it will be warm in Andulucia in summer, however we are Australians who have been living in Dubai for the last 5 years so we can certainly handle the heat and there's no way in the world it will be hotter than northern Australia or Dubai is in the summer! Although, even with our familiarity with the heat it is always best to avoid exploring during the heat of the day. Likewise, while skipping 'pool days' or days exploring the farms natural surrounds does minimize opportunities to see the sights one must remember that the priority is a relaxing holiday - I don't want to return to work completely exhausted so not every day will be crammed with sight-seeing.
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 09:25 AM
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I hadn't really considered staying in Seville but that may be a great idea in order to get "the best of both worlds" in terms of the city experience and the rural, farm stay. Perhaps we could break up the stay by doing 3 nights in Seville and then 3 nights at the rural / farm hotel. Although, this would most likely mean that Cordoba might have to slip off the list of the towns to visit as I'm starting to feel like Granada and the Alhambra is a must-see site.

Can anyone suggest an ideal area to stay in Seville that would be walking distance to the old town and attractions while still being close to some great local, authentic restaurants? The only problem with this plan might also be what to do with the rental car while we are in Seville as I imagine we would have no use for it while there.

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 09:43 AM
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Do you think you will have the opportunity to return? I skipped Granada (twice), but I feel like I'll have an opportunity at some point. It's so hard to choose, but I would not trade Cordoba for anything, and it is so close to Sevilla that it is easier to pair the two while still having lots of time for leisure.
I rented a great apartment in Sevilla, too long ago to find that company, but I also bookmarked this company, which appears to have a great selection: https://www.sevilla5.com/apartments/seville.html
If you do end up preferring a rural stay, no problem with that! But I would look for something much closer if you want to visit Sevilla and Cordoba.It really just depends on what kind of trip you want, many posters came all the way from the US so of course chose the most "bang for the buck." I hate long day trips, so my advice tends to reflect that.
I looked at the place you had selected, and I don't see any reason to rule it out--you'd be close to Granada, and Antequera always looked interesting to me.
A plus in that plan's favor is that the day in Spain is long, so you don't have to necessarily get up early for your day trips, go in the late afternoon and enjoy the evenings in the cities. good luck!
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Old Oct 20th, 2020, 11:44 PM
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Last year (2019) we went to many cities in Spain, including Granada, Cordoba, Seville, and others. (You can see my partly complete trip report on here and more at https://leebruch.blogspot.com/2020/0...-overview.html - more to come shortly)

I enjoyed Granada, Cordoba, & Seville. I couldn't pick between them. But more importantly, I can't imagine how I could stay in a location between them and day trip to two of them - I found 2 days in each too short. But I do know that it's also great to stay in a small town, especially if you want to get into the outdoors or do active things.

Be aware of the driving time - that may make the decision for you. And it is very difficult (slow) driving in each town to get to the tourist site you may want to briefly look at. And parking is very difficult to find (less so in Cordoba). And then you would have to walk (or taxi) from wherever you park to the tourist site you want to visit.

I looked up the diving time using Google maps. From your accommodations at Carretera Salinas Villanueva 18300 Loja Spain (wow ... on the web they look great, way beyond my normal) to Granada would take about 1 hour each way. Add to that the time it takes to drive within Granada to wherever you may park - I'd add at least 1 hour, you'll spend 3 hours out of your day in your car.

To/from Cordoba would be about 1.5 hours each way, hence, including 1 hour driving in town and finding a place to park would be 4 hours in a car.

To/from Seville would be about 2 hours each way, hence, including 1 hour driving in town and finding a place to park would be 5 hours in a car.

None of the above give you a chance to do more than a quick visit to one tourist site and no chance at all to enjoy the town. Why don't you pick one of the two to stay 2 nights (one day) at the beginning of your trips and one of the others at the end of your trip?
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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by yorkshire View Post
Do you think you will have the opportunity to return? I skipped Granada (twice), but I feel like I'll have an opportunity at some point. It's so hard to choose, but I would not trade Cordoba for anything, and it is so close to Sevilla that it is easier to pair the two while still having lots of time for leisure.
I rented a great apartment in Sevilla, too long ago to find that company, but I also bookmarked this company, which appears to have a great selection: https://www.sevilla5.com/apartments/seville.html
If you do end up preferring a rural stay, no problem with that! But I would look for something much closer if you want to visit Sevilla and Cordoba.It really just depends on what kind of trip you want, many posters came all the way from the US so of course chose the most "bang for the buck." I hate long day trips, so my advice tends to reflect that.
I looked at the place you had selected, and I don't see any reason to rule it out--you'd be close to Granada, and Antequera always looked interesting to me.
A plus in that plan's favor is that the day in Spain is long, so you don't have to necessarily get up early for your day trips, go in the late afternoon and enjoy the evenings in the cities. good luck!

Good advice Yorkshire. I doubt that we will have the opportunity to return to Spain in the near future, so this may be our only trip. I don't think the distances between the towns are insurmountable but they are definitely an annoyance. Especially if we wished to have dinner in these towns..........and some wine.

I think perhaps the rural hotel location is acceptable for a trip into Granada but I think it may be prudent to stay somewhere in Seville for a few nights in order to do that justice.
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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 11:31 AM
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"Especially if we wished to have dinner in these towns""

Remember - dinner in Spain (at the "better" restaurants) doesn't start until 9:00PM. Quite often, restaurants don't open till 9PM. Two hours for dinner, 1/2 hr to get to the car, 1 1/2 to 2 hrs back to the apt - won't get you home until 1 or 1:30 AM. We spend 2 months in Europe every year (except this year), and we found Spain to be more difficult to drive in than France or Italy (where we spend most of our time).

Here is my wife's Shutterfly photo book of our trip to Barcelona, Grenada, Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz, and a one-nighter in Madrid (which we visited on the previous year's trip).
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/29
Click on "full screen"

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 01:43 PM
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Easy call for me. Grenada (3 nights) and Sevilla (4 nights) and a day trip from Sevilla to see the Mezquita in Cordoba.

Check out Chapters Six - Eight & Ten - Thirteen of trip report below. Lots of photos and ideas.

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/spain-2015/

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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 08:54 PM
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I will second many of the comments of others. We visited those three cities when our youngest was 11, and we all enjoyed the trip. We like to stay in cities, so it's easy to get to where we want to visit. And to walk back to the hotel after dinner.

Before visiting, everyone we talked to kept raving about Sevilla. And I kept saying, but what about it did you love so much! I didn't get much of an answer. But after visiting there, I would agree that it's a beautiful, entrancing city that's easy to get around in and has a lot to see. And fabulous food. Also, make sure to visit the Palacio de Lebrija, especially if you like Roman mosaics.

Next I would rate Cordoba, I was fascinated about going here, as the former capital of Moorish Spain. We ended up liking the Mezquita so much that we returned for another visit on the following day.

I agree with StuDudley about Granada, I didn't like it much except for the Alhambra. But that is one of those sites that's not much like anything else in Europe, so definitely worth visiting.

I've got to say, the prospect of hours of driving each day would not thrill me. Also, driving in the cities and finding parking is difficult. We drove to Granada, where we parked in a garage at the edge of town, then took a cab to our hotel. Drove from there to Cordoba, and dropped the car on arrival, and took the train from there to Sevilla (and then on to Madrid). That worked well for us. We visited in early October, and the weather wasn't too warm then.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2020, 01:17 PM
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I agree with the others that suggest using that rural hotel as a base for daytrips really isn't a great idea. I'm sure it's a lovely place to stay, but it's not a great base for visiting Sevilla or Cordoba, and would only be adequate for Granada and a beach excursion.

For me, a stay in Granada is built around seeing the Alhambra. That's not the only thing to see, but if you aren't going to do the Alhambra, then you should save Granada for another trip (or just skip it). In Cordoba, the Mezquita is the not to be missed sight--if time constraints are a problem, you can do a daytrip to Cordoba to see the Mezquita and whatever else time allows, and, to my mind, not feel like you've missed out completely. It's Sevilla, of the three, that merits the most time, and staying overnight allows you to plan things so as to avoid the worst of the heat. I'm from West Texas (average high in July here is 99 F), and went to Spain in October, and I can tell you that I would not particularly enjoy walking around Sevilla in the heat of the day in summertime.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2020, 01:31 PM
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We spent three nights in Granada and loved it. So much more than just the Alhambra.
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