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Tentative itinerary for Andalucia for April/May 2015

Tentative itinerary for Andalucia for April/May 2015

Old Apr 17th, 2014, 03:36 AM
  #1  
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Tentative itinerary for Andalucia for April/May 2015

Hi, all,
I'm planning a trip for Andalucia for the Spring of 2015 and have come up with a tentative itinerary. I want to avoid Santa Semana and the feria de Sevilla, although we'd love to see some of patios in Cordoba during the May festival. We'll stop briefly in Madrid, but the focus of our trip is on the south, so we're not really planning to explore Madrid. My current plan is to fly into Madrid, and fly home from Malaga, although we'll see how reality unfolds when I book airline tickets!

Itinerary (tent):
Madrid (3 nights, with day trip to Toledo)
Cordoba (2 nights)
Seville (4 nights)
Granada (2 nights)
(Pick up car when leaving Granada)
Ronda -1 night
White town to be determined/stay in Ronda again?- 1 night
Cadiz - 1 night (drop car)
Malaga - 1/2 nights
Fly home from Malaga

Q: Is it better to stay in Ronda for 2 nights and explore the region by car, or to stay in another town to explore the White towns? If so, which one would you recommend?

I'm not sure yet how many days I'll be able to take from work; it can vary but I'm planning on 16 or 17 nights in Spain. Any suggestions or feedback on the itinerary as of now?

Many thanks!
Paule
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 05:35 AM
  #2  
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Or, how about this: travel from Ronda to Cadiz, stopping in Arcos de Frontera for lunch, then staying in Cadiz for 2 nights?

Any changes or recommendations you would make?

Thanks,
Paule
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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If you focus on the South, cut two days from Madrid and leave at least one night for wonderful Málaga city. "Picasso's city of hidden treasures": http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...-breaks-travel

Málaga is 3000 years of history and genuine and laid-back Andalusian atmosphere. Great tapas bars, cafés, terraces, restaurants, theaters, nightlife. Within 300 meters in the city center you'll find the newly excavated Roman theater just beyond the 8-11 century Moorish Alcazaba, the 16th century cathedral, Picasso's birth place, the Picasso museum and the new Carmen Thyssen museum etc etc. "Secret Spanish pleasures": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...pleasures.html

"Exploring Málaga, from the Phoenicians to Picasso":
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/tr...o-picasso.html

Some suggestions for Málaga city center:

- lunch in one of the tapas bars at the Atarazanas food market: http://www.sarahmelamed.com/2012/11/...overed-market/

- Coffee or chocolate con churros in next door Casa Aranda. One of my favourite cafés in all of Spain.
http://www.casa-aranda.net/

Málaga wine at Antigua Casa de Guardia from 1840. Not much have changed since then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muTxTGr13PE

Tapas at La Campana, as genuine as it gets: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

Dinner in El Mesón de Cervantes, close to the Cervantes theater: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

Later in the night (or anytime) at Bodega El Pimpi, an institution in town: http://www.elpimpi.com/en/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzLkFsVJdhc

And when in Málaga, be sure to taste the local and fabulous Conchas Finas, a mix of pure heaven and pure sea: https://www.google.no/search?q=conch...iw=935&bih=486
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Many thanks, Kimhe! I will definitely make sure to add at least one more night to Malaga. We have time to tweak the itinerary; once I get the tickets, I'll begin to firm up the plans.
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 04:55 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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In general, sounds like a great trip to me!

FWIW, I thought Toledo deserved at least 2 full days. Since you've noted that Madrid is not the focus of this trip, you might want to go straight from Madrid to Toledo for 2 days and then move on. Or skip both Madrid and Toledo this trip! As kimhe notes, you could easily add time to Andalucia.

Given your interest in seeing the patio festival in Cordoba, you might consider adding another night there. I spent 2 full and very busy, enjoyable days in Cordoba, and it wasn't even during the patio festival! But of course, it depends on what you want to see and experience and your preferred pace of travel.

Two nights in Granada gives you time to see the Alhambra (book early, and book tickets for both the afternoon and the evening!) and just a tiny bit of the rest of Granada. I found enough to see there to keep me happily busy for another day. Not everyone gives it more than a day.

I though 1 night / less than a full day sufficient for gorgeous Ronda, but I didn't have a car at the time and I'm sure that would make a difference.

Its a beautiful part of the world -- enjoy!
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Old Apr 18th, 2014, 03:09 AM
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Many thanks for your suggestions, kja.

I think we might just stay 2 nights and get a "flavor" of Madrid, although I do like your idea of going directly to Toledo and bypassing Madrid altogether. For the moment, I'll leave it as 2 nights, undecided. It's early days yet.

I don't think we'll spend 2 nights in Ronda, but whether to go on to Cadiz and spend 2 nights or to stop in another town is something I'm wondering about.

Overall, though I think I like the flow of this. Anything else that anyone can recommend that is a "can't miss"?

Thanks for your help -
Paule
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Old May 11th, 2014, 05:03 AM
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Current thinking for itinerary:

Madrid-2 nights
Toledo-1 night
Cordoba-2 nights
Granada-3 nights
Seville-4 nights
(Pick up car for White Towns exploration)
Ronda-1 night
Cadiz or another location? - 1 night
Malaga-2 nights

1) Is it better to go Cordoba-Seville-Granada, then pick up the car to tour? Or is it better to go Cordoba-Granada-Seville? I'm inclined to do the first, but would like to know what others think.

2) Should we eliminate Cadiz? I don't want to be too spread thin and I think by this point we might be saturated. Perhaps add this day elsewhere or a stop in another town among the white villages?

3) I might switch the first 2 days to be 1 night Madrid/2 nights Toledo. Not sure, yet.

Any comments/thoughts?



Thanks!
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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:18 AM
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Do you know the actual dates (not just "the second week in May") of the 2015 Cordoba Patios Festival? I am really struggling to find them! I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me. I don't want to book accommodation and then discover I've got the dates wrong!
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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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Deborah,
It looks like the dates aren't published until January, but I found this unofficial website that "predicts" the dates that it will be held:

http://www.infocordoba.com/spain/and...o_festival.htm

IF that is correct, it looks like the Crosses festival would take place around April 29 or 30 through May 3, and the Patio Festival would begin around May 6 or 7 for the next 12 days.

At the moment, I'm inclined to travel before the actual festivals as I really want to minimize traveling crowds.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 05:13 AM
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Um, that should read "minimize traveling with large crowds".

So now that this thread is awake again, here's my latest thoughts:


Current thinking for itinerary:

Madrid-2/3 nights
Toledo-1 night
Cordoba-2 nights
Granada-3 nights
Seville-4 nights
(Pick up car for White Towns exploration)
Ronda-1 night
Cadiz or another location? - 1 night
Malaga-2 nights

Even though it's too short, I don't want to bypass Madrid completely, so I think we will stay there for 2-3 nights at the beginning of our stay, I'd also like to include Toledo since so many people have told us not to miss it.

I do plan on ending the trip with 2 nights in Malaga. I'm still thinking about whether to stay in Ronda for 2 nights or drive to Cadiz (I lean toward the latter). I'm thinking we'll explore towns such as Arcos de la Frontera on the way.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 05:16 AM
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And I'm also thinking about Toledo as a day trip vs. sleeping there so we don't have to pack up our stuff. I generally prefer sleeping in a town, but it can see where that is a hassle for a short stay. Well then be coming back to Madrid to take the train, so perhaps the day trip might make more sense?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 05:53 AM
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If you are flying home from Madrid, you might consider putting the Madrid stay at the end of your trip and going directly to Toledo upon arrival. Or fly open-jaw into Madrid and out of Malaga.

You can gain a night for Toledo or Madrid by shortening your stay to 2 nights in Granada. We found 2 nights to be plenty in Granada.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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Thanks, mamcalice, for your suggestions. I'll consider ending the trip in Madrid as you say, altho right now I'm planning to start the trip in Madrid and fly home from Malaga.

I added a third night to Granada because many folks said that there was a lot to see. I realize that we all have different feelings about places - many people also say that Cordoba should be a day trip, but I like the idea of staying in the town and having a full day to explore. I'm also trying to minimize the 1- nighties, but Cordoba is one of the places I thought I could cut one night.

This is hard!

Thanks again, I do appreciate the feedback!
Paule
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Old May 18th, 2014, 06:44 AM
  #14  
kja
 
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I spent 2 full days in both Toledo and Granada (which meant 2 and 3 nights, respectively). If I had to choose just one of those two destinations to give only one day, it would be Granada, no question about it -- I'd give Toledo as much time as you can! And it is one of those places that really seems different after day trippers leave -- much more evocative. YMMV. I also spent 2 days (2 nights) in Cordoba, and again would spend more time there rather than Granada. To be clear, I loved Granada, and I think it needs at least two nights so one can see the Alhambra during the day and the evening, and also see the cathedral, walk through the Albacin, etc. IME, you can do that in a day, and while there are certainly other things to enjoy there, they didn't compare - IMO - to things you can see in Toledo or Cordoba. Also, I thought one night sufficient for Ronda. Hope that helps!
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Old May 18th, 2014, 06:46 AM
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Yes. It does, and I'm more torn than ever! But it is very helpful, too.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:34 AM
  #16  
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So how about this?

-Toledo- 2nights
-Madrid-2nights
Early train from Madrid
-Cordoba-2 nights
-Granada-3 nights
-Seville-4 nights
(Pick up car for White Towns exploration)
-Ronda-1 night
Cadiz or another location? -1 night
Malaga-2 nights
Fly home

I'm still inclined to leave the 3 nights in Granada because it does have more sites. But I'll keep on revising.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:40 AM
  #17  
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Or should the itinerary be Cordoba-Seville-Granada?
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Old May 19th, 2014, 05:01 AM
  #18  
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I think I've got it!

17 nights in Spain:
Arrive in Madrid from US
(train to
-Toledo - 2 nights
-Madrid - 2 nights
(Train to
-Cordoba - 3 nights
-Seville - 4 nights
(Bus to)
-Cadiz - 1 night
(Pick up car for drive thru White towns)
-Ronda (stop in Arcos, Grazalema)- 1 night
(Drive, stop in Antequera, drop off car in
-Granada - 2 nights
(Bus to
-Malaga - 2 nights
Fly home.

This seems to work the best for avoiding criss-crossing the region; although the "typical" drive seems like it goes toward the west, this looks like it works better for my itinerary. Is there any reason why this doesn't work?

I know Madrid is short-changed; this will be a very brief taste, and hopefully, whet our appetite for a future visit.

Feedback, anyone?

Many thanks!
Paule
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Old May 19th, 2014, 05:02 AM
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I've no idea where the silly smiley faces are coming from! Sorry about that.
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Old May 19th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #20  
kja
 
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Looks Better to me! Given that you have to short change something, short changing Madrid makes sense since it has an international airport and is thus easier to reach than most of your other destinations. Enjoy!
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