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Spain prelim itinerary help

Old Jul 29th, 2012, 03:11 PM
  #1  
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Spain prelim itinerary help

Hi,

I'm starting to book a trip to Spain for two weeks mid-end Oct. I have spent 3 days in Barcelona before and Ibiza, my wife hasn't. Madrid and Andalucia are both must visits for us. I don't want to be too rushed jumping all over the place, but not sure the next time I will be in Spain...

Considering: a) land in Barcelona--> San Sebastian --> Madrid and surroundings --> Andalucia -->Madrid to fly home
b)Barcelona-->Madrid-->Andalucia -->Madrid to fly home

c) Madrid-->San Sebastian--> Andalucia --> Madrid fly home

d) just Madrid and Andalucia

I guess its not the best time to visit San Sebaastian, but I'm really keen on trying the food there and seeing the Rijora region nearby.

THoughts? Any input would be great thanks!

Tim
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 05:35 PM
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Hi Tim,

When you say "Andalucía", which cities/ towns are a must for you?
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Sorry - you can;t do all of that in 2 weeks. In 2 weeks you should do either the south or Madrid and the north. Otherwise you will spend half of your time just getting from one place to another.

We have been to Andalusia twice - once for 10 days and once for 12 - and still have a lot we want to see.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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nytraveler,

One of his options is "Madrid and Andalucia". Even Madrid, Barcelona and Andalucia option (depending how he defines Andalucia) is doable. Not everybody needs/ wants to do in depth travel concentrating in one region.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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thanks for the feedback!

at this point was thinking seville, granada, cordova, maybe a few smaller towns, maybe cadiz. was thinking of staying 7ish days in the region. I understand that were not going to see everything, but is this enough to get a good feel for the area?

we have 15 days +travel. I probably will not be back in Spain for a few years, so only one region is not really an option. We comfortably did venice, florence, tuscnay, almafi and rome in the same amount of time last year.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 06:11 PM
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I would leave Cadiz out. If you have 15 days on the ground I don't see whay you couldn't divide 7-8 days between Madrid and Barcelona and 7-8 days in Sevilla and Granada (I recommend doing Cordoba as a day trip from Sevilla, its barely an hour by train from sevilla). Enjoy!
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 06:51 PM
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ok great, thanks for the tips. Do you think a return visit to barcelona (for me atleast) is 'better' than san seb + rijora? i found a direct flight from bilbao to seville that made me think that option c might be doable.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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San Sebastián is out of this world, and the Bilbao airport makes it very doable to combine it with Madrid, Sevilla etc. Direct bus from Bilbao airport to San Sebastián in 70 mins and 15€. The culinary capital of Spain (if not all of Europe) and European Capital of Culture 2016: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zTb7Eg9Lk

In New York Times a year ago:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/08/07...tin-spain.html

"Is San Sebastián the best place to eat in Europe?": http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rink.shopping2

Azahar lives in Sevilla and gives very knowledgeable tips on tapas bars and restaurants by district here. Be sure to visit places outside the beautiful but very touristy Santa Cruz district. http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/

And Córdoba is a wonderful city in itself, once the most advanced city in the western world. Lots more to offer than the obvious tourist atractions such as the Mezquita, the Alcazar etc. Go a little North of the major tourist atractions to find "Roman" Córdoba with excellent and affordable tabernas on every corner and a much more local atmosphere. Had excellent meals in some of them last summer. At night, the two of us used to pay some 30-35€ included a bottle of wine and a couple of brandys. Taberna Salinas is one of the more famous, recommended by the Michelin guide: http://www.tabernasalinas.com/

I loved Taberna El Gallo in C/Mária Cristina, 6, two minutes from Plaza de las Tendillas, and next door to the Roman temple ruins. Great wines - try the dry Amargoso - and excellent tapas. In one word: Genuine!
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
http://cordobapedia.wikanda.es/wiki/Taberna_El_Gallo
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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I flew Sevilla-Bilbao using Vueling, then took the bus direct to San Sebastian. Half the day is basically wasted though at the airport, plane, then bus but if you can spare it, do it!

Just got back a couple weeks ago and already looking for a flight back to San Sebastian for October!
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 06:11 AM
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Sorry, assumed for some reason that sicne your wife had not seen Barcelona you wanted to fit that in. Frankly, I'm not a big Barcelona fan so, by all means, substitute San Se for Barcelona.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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You need a month to see all of that.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Thanks a lot. We fly into Seville on a Saturday night and have a week to see the area.
We would like to spend time in Seville, a day trip to Cordoba to see La Mezquita, see Granada and also Acros de la Frontera/Pueblos Blancos. We don't have a lot of time but fitting in a national park would also be great. How long should we stay in these places and since we are starting in seville, in which order is best to visit the places? Thanks again.
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Old Sep 12th, 2012, 07:11 PM
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It will be rushed, but doable. Sevilla-Córdoba-Granada-Ronda (instead of Arcos)-Sevilla. Forget about the National parks, except you go through and in between several of them. http://andalucianatural.com/

Sevilla to Córdoba with the high speed AVE train in 50 minutes (renfe.com). Bus or train from Córdoba to Granada(alsa.es, 2h 45 mins), train from Granada to Ronda (renfe.com, 2h 30 min) and bus from Ronda to Sevilla (losamarillos.es, 1h 45 min).

I would have done two days Sevilla (the undisputed queen of the cities in Andalucía), one overnight each in Córdoba, Granada and Ronda and then two nights in Sevilla.

I find it a good way to travel to have lunch in one city (from about 1.30, the main meal for most Spanish) and dinner in the next (from about 9). Make it quite seemless as you relax on the bus/train after a solid lunch.

Córdoba, once the most advanced city in the western world, has got lots more to offer than the obvious tourist atractions such as the Mezquita, the Alcazar etc. Go a little North of the major tourist atractions to find "Roman" Córdoba with excellent and affordable tabernas on every corner and a much more local atmosphere.

I highly recommend the area around the 1st century AD Roman temple between the two main plazas: Plaza de las Tendillas and the huge Plaza de la Corredera. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_t...f_C%C3%B3rdoba

The two plazas are five minutes walking apart and some 300 meters north of the Mezquita. About Plaza de la Tendillas: http://www.artencordoba.co.uk/SQUARE...as-Square.html
About Plaza de la Corredera: http://www.artencordoba.co.uk/SQUARE...as-Square.html

About Roman Córdoba: http://www.artencordoba.co.uk/ROMAN-...n-Cordoba.html

Plaza de la Tendillas is, as said, only some 300 meters north of the Mezquita, but it's a lot more local atmosphere up here. Loads of affordable and traditional tabernas. Had excellent meals in some of them last summer. At night, the two of us used to pay some 30-35€ included a bottle of wine and a couple of brandys. Taberna Salinas is one of the more famous, recommended by the Michelin guide: http://www.tabernasalinas.com/

I loved Taberna El Gallo in C/Mária Cristina, 6, two minutes from Plaza de las Tendillas, and next door to the Roman temple ruins. Great wines - try the dry Amargoso - and excellent tapas. In one word: Genuine!
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html
http://cordobapedia.wikanda.es/wiki/Taberna_El_Gallo

Here's a list of more tabernas in Córdoba. http://www.cordoba24.info/tavernen/h...vernen_en.html
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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thank you for the helpful information kimhe. We will do Sevilla-Cordoba-Granada-Ronda-Sevilla. Is it best to rent a car in Sevilla and drive from place to place?
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Sorry kimhe, I know you mentioned public transport options but we had thought of renting a car. Is that not advisable? Thank you again.
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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You can pick up your car the day you are leaving Sevilla.
We just used www.kemwel.com for one way Madrid-Barcelona rental. The car was from AVIS at half of AVIS price.
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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If you plan to explore some of the beautiful countryside, a car would be a good idea, but it's mostly a hassle in Córdoba and Granada, at least if you take it into the inner city with tiny, narrow streets, one way driven, expensive parking etc. But of course perfectly doable. You will have no need for a car in when you are in neither Sevilla, Córdoba or Granada though.

I would have done Sevilla to Córdoba with the high speed AVE train in 50 minutes (renfe.com). Bus or train from Córdoba to Granada(alsa.es, 2h 45 mins), train from Granada to Ronda (renfe.com, 2h 30 min) and bus from Ronda to Sevilla (losamarillos.es, 1h 45 min).
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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I don't think you have enough time to explore small villages by car. Parking is a major hassle in Seville, Granada and Cordoba and public transport is so good. If you must rent a car upon leaving Seville make sure to reserve well ahead of time on line or you might pay 3 times as much.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Trip report:
4 days in Madrid, saw all the sights, went to el Prado which was a real highlight. Did some shopping. Was disappointing to see most of the small local boutiques/designers seemed to have closed down due to the recession. We took a day trip to Toledo, had a great lunch there overlooking the whole town. In Madrid we ate at dantxeri, arce, quintanna 30, had one night of tapas on cava Baja and had a really nice meal at el club allard.
We then rented a car (autoeurope)and drove up to la rioja, stayed at a small winery in abalos (bodega Puelles-highly recommend), ate at hector oribe. We drove around, saw a few more wineries, the region was much prettier than I imagined, really glad we stopped in. On to San Sebastian for 2 nights, we stayed right near the old town on the beach (hotel londres, which was under construction). The setting was spectacular with all the lush green mountains and beautiful beaches, reminded me of a smaller version of Rio. We did one night of pintxo hopping, really fun, clearly in a class of its own compared to tapas elsewhere. We had reservations in advance for Arzak, and Akellare for lunch before we drove over to bilbao. They did not disappoint, truly world class meals. In Bilbao we just had time to see the Guggenheim before dropping off our car and flying to sevilla.
We spent 2 days in sevilla, the first we waled around Santa Cruz, casa de pilatos, saw the cathedral, and dined at az-zait. It seemed like a charming enough restaurant, until the next day when my fiancé got food poisoning. That put a damper on sevilla, I went alone to visit the real alcazar, while she was resting, it was quite impressive.
We then picked up another rental car and headed for arcos de la frontera. We spent one night there near the old own, explored and drove off the next day. We took a scenic route through the mountains of the park grzalema, stopped for lunch in the epinonymous town, headed up to zaharra across a mountain pass, then drove into Ronda. We stayed at the parador, got upgraded to a room with a View of the gorge. It was a lovely hotel, glad we chose this parador as it seemed the best value for the experience compared to arcos or Grenada. We really enjoyed Ronda, walked all around the old town, went to a Spanish guitar performance and had some great tapas.
we stayed in Granada the following night. Hotel america inside the Alhambra was a big disappointment. The alhambra itself was spectacular, and we lucked out with the weather. That night we went to hamman, (which was better than the one in Cordoba) explored the old Islamic district, and went to a flamenco show.
We took the scenic route to Cordoba, via priegio. We saw the mesquita, walked around the old quarter, saw the alcazar, roman bridge etc. Ate at choco, really nice meal, a change from traditional, also puerta sevilla and el churrasco. Really enjoyed Cordoba, best food we had in the south, not sure why everyone seems to recommended it as a day trip only.
Finally took the ave train back to Madrid, stopped in to see guernica and dalis at renia sofia, went out for dinner at DiverXO, and flew home the next morning.
Thanks for everyone's suggestion. We had a great time. A bit of feedback if anyone else is reading this looking for ideas.
We had a friend in Madrid, and I had already been to Barcelona otherwise we could have cut one day from south and done an open jaw barcelona--> San seb by car and then continued on as above. The whole trip did not feel overly rushed at all. We are in our early thirties, take cabs etc whenever convenient, and have shortish attention spans, so maybe that explains it haha I must say that we found the car really crucial for really getting a sense of the countryside. I did not think driving in Seville or Cordoba was bad at all and we didn't even have GPS. Driving in central Grenada looked more challenging, but getting to Alhambra was straightforward. If your thinking of renting a car and are a decent driver, I would go for it. Finally, as I mentioned above I thought Cordoba was underrated.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Nice report! You saw a lot !

Why don´t you copy it and post it as trip report.. you can link to your previous posts here, too.
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