travel in Spain

Jun 21st, 2009, 05:30 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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travel in Spain

We are planning a two-week trip in the fall to Spain. Towns include Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, Seville and possibly Barcelona. We are looking for hotels (small preferably) and ideas as to how much time to spend in each place. We will have a car and possibly will take a high-speed train to or from Barcelona.
NancyOsborne is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 06:15 AM
  #2  
 
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Please check Spain in the view by country box above. This has been discussed at length.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 07:20 AM
  #3  
 
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How much time to spend in each place depends on your interest. For example : Madrid is a huge city with world class museums. If you are not interested in art and just wish to have a view of the city from a tourist bus - the time needed will certainly be shorter.
If you are planing to visit seven cities in two weeks , you will have to move a lot. For some people it is the only way to travel. For others - it is a nightmare scenario.
Re: hotels - it would help if you indicated the price range. Also, take a look at

http://www.maribelsguides.com/
danon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 09:00 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Nancy, I see you are new, welcome.

I would peruse the trip reports and see how others have done with the itinerary. For me your Madrid & Andalucia plan is more than enough. Barcelona too..maybe too much IMO.

Tell us more about your interests please so we can help.

If I were to just get the ball rolling for you some small places I would consider La Fructuosa in Gaucin neat Ronda
http://www.lafructuosa.com/index_en.html
and La Alcubilla del Caracol in Granada http://www.alcubilladelcaracol.com/index_en.htm
(But I have not stayed at either one, but they come recommended here)

Madrid, well you need soundproof windows so study the forums & Trip Advisor. There is also a current thread on Cordoba that may help you. For Sevilla there are alot of posts & recs here on Fodors. Depends on where you want to be and how much your budget is.
amsdon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 09:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Nancy,
I'm far from an experienced traveller, but having just returned from 1 1/2 weeks and Barcelona and Catalonia, I can tell you that you are planning too much. Forget about Barcelona because you won't have time to enjoy it, given everything else on your agenda.
beebs is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 06:36 PM
  #6  
 
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I agree with those who recommend you read through the trip reports in this forum - they were invaluable in helping plan our recent 10 day trip to Spain.
My husband and I had a similar itinerary a couple of months ago. We landed in Madrid 9AM, rented a car at the airport and drove to Segovia, where we stayed 2 nights. (You don't mention Segovia, so I won't dwell on small hotels there, or the side trips we took, except to say that Pedraza was one of the highlights of the 10 days).

We drove from Segovia to Toledo and stayed 2 nights, with side trips to Aranjuez and Chinchon, but did not stay in a small hotel, so no recommendation from me ... But DO visit Toledo. It's impressive, people are very friendly, food was great, but a few of the places we wanted to visit were closed for maintenance and/or construction. Still, a great city.

We left Toledo and headed towards Jaen stopping at Consuegra and are we glad we did that! The sight of those windmills is unforgetable. The drive was long, but the countryside is so beautiful, wild flowers and olive groves all along the way ...

Jaen was our base for trips to Cordoba and Granada. I chose to do a day trip to Cordoba because too many people in this forum said that there wasn't much to see there. After being in Cordoba, I disagree and wished we had stayed overnight.

Eventually we ditched the car in Cordoba and took the AVE to Madrid were we stayed 2 nights before flying back home. In Madrid we stayed at the Room Mate Alicia - small, hip, great hotel near the 3 major museums, right on Plaza Sta Ana. Great location.

The only hotel I can recommend, with no qualms, is the one in Madrid. We had an interior room, no street noise at all, and I had the windows wide open the whole time. The whole place was impecably clean, and the staff was very helpful and always smiling.

We purposely did not go to Sevilla or Barcelona. We felt we would be too rushed and would not be able to enjoy either city the way we want to. So, next trip to Spain will include both of them, and the Malaga area with some Pueblos Blancos. Can't wait!

Whatever you end up doing, have as good a trip as we did!
screen_name_taken is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 12:18 AM
  #7  
 
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Hi Nancy!
I just visited Barcelona out of the cities you're planning to see and I strangly recommend Hotel Lleo: it's located near the Rambla, very close to Plaza Catalunya and the public transportation stops. The hotel itself is very comfy and the staff is very friendly and helpful, providing you with all the information you need!
The room I got was quite big and with wi-fi connection. The hotel also has a swimming pool, even if I didn't try it (I went there on February, the weather wasn't that warm yet!)
Hope this will help.
Hotel Lleó
C/ Pelai, 22-24
8001 Barcelona - Spain
Tel. +34 933181312
[email protected]
http://www.hotel-lleo.com/
beautifulanddoomed is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9
Nancy--depending on your budget, you might want to consider a Parador for your lodging in Spain. They are a series of historic buildings (castles, palaces, convents, etc.) that have been converted into hotels and are run by the Spanish government. The concept is fabulous and some are very affordable (under 100 EURO per night), but most are extremely well appointed and you feel like you are immersing yourself in the history of the country. They're spread out throughout the country, link to their website below.

http://www.parador.es/en/interstitia...A8652154DE384E

My husband and I have stayed in several during past trips. We'll return in July and have a room booked at the Toledo Parador--based on your original posting, it looks like Toledo is one of your planned stops (definitely a worthwhile stop, it's a breath-taking city) so I'll be sure to report back with my impressions, as it will be our first time spending the night at that particular Parador.
sandrabalboa is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 08:47 AM
  #9  
 
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Nancy,

Just another vote for staying in Paradors. We have traveled extensively in Spain and have tried to stay in the Paradors as much as possible. We have never been disappointed. for that matter, when in the smaller cities, we have taken half board at the Paradors and have been very happy with the dinners. All of them include a buffet breakfast in their rates.

We book Paradors throug Petrabx in Woodland Hills, CA and have been happy with those services as well.
Jeff801 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
  #10  
 
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me again - after reading Sandra's and Jeff's comments, I can vouch for Paradores too. We stayed at the one in Segovia, the one in Toledo, and the one in Jaen. All beautiful, different from each other, very comfortable, extremely clean, excellent service, but be aware that they are not located in the heart of the city - they are a few miles away, but with a car you should have no problem getting to them or to the towns you'll visit. And if you do your homework you can get great rates.

[we did have a problem following signs to each and evry one of them. we thought signage was not great once you exited the highways throughout Spain, because we are used to great signage in NY), but we found the Paradores and the second time we drove to them was a lot easier. Should you book any one of them, the sign you look for is in the shape of an arrow, white background, black letters].

I suggest you look at those who accept Bancotel vouchers - the discounts are impressive. I learned about them through maribel's guides, another fabulous source of information.
http://maribelsguides.com
screen_name_taken is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:59 PM
  #11  
 
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Please note there are no paradores in Madrid, Barcelona, or Sevilla and it is very hard to secure reservations for the one in Granada
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 12:06 AM
  #12  
 
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Hi Nancy, it is goig to be a nice trip around Spain. Seville and Granada have not to be missed (in Granada have a stroll at Albaycin an hill that face the beautiful Alhambra)and Barcelona too.Both of city at least required 2 days to be visited.

From the South to Barcelona you can travel with AVE (high speed train) that connects Seville to Barcelona. If you need cosy place to stay close the train station in Barcelona I would suggest you this accomodation:
www.theurbansuites.com
Bacelona, anyway, takes at least 3 days to be visited, and I would raccomend its History Museum to get to know why Barcelona it's so special:
www.museuhistoria.bcn.cat
Sants is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 04:39 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Nancy,
I spent a week in Granada this April and stayed at
La Alcubilla del Caracol http://www.alcubilladelcaracol.com/index_en.htm
Couldn't recommend it highly enough. The location is superb; about 10 mins walk to the Alhambra and similar down through cobbled streets & laneways to the Plaza Nueve. The only caveat I would have is that the street on which the hotel is situated is extremely narrow and one needs to be able to walk approx 100m to the Hotel Alhambra Palace to the bus stop. If you have your car in Granada, I am sure the owner would be able to advise you where to park nearby, but there is no parking space on the property itself. The views from "the Carmen" are spectacular and the house and accommodation beautifully appointed.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 11:27 AM
  #14  
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Bokhara2,

We have booked a room at La Alcubilla del Caracol and the manager has indicated there is parking on the street. Thanks for t he recommendation.
NancyOsborne is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 01:32 PM
  #15  
 
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Nancy-
Have you finalized your itinerary?
CathyM is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:26 AM
  #16  
 
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Hi Nancy,
I'm sure you will be delighted. Manuel, the owner, is a charming and erudite host, who will do anything he can to make your visit to Granada a pleasant one. Good source of restaurant recommendtions, too.

The Hotel Alhambra Palace has a balcony overlooking part of the city, and is quite a good spot for a drink and a casual meal in the evening.
Bokhara2 is offline  
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