Travelling around pueblos blancos

Feb 20th, 2003, 02:46 AM
  #1  
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Travelling around pueblos blancos

This is such a dynamic forum!We have been sifting thru the travel tips and have found it very useful in planning our trip.

We are travelling around Andalucia in late march - early April, planning to travel from Seville to Ronda via Arcos de la Frontera, Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema.we are spending 2 nights in Ronda then heading off to Granada.

What is public transport like from Seville to Ronda and around this area? Are we better off hiring a car for a couple off days and dropping it off in Granada?

W
mich1 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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I cannot drive now because of a heart condition but I never drove in Andalucia when I could. The cities have pretty grim traffic. The train lines are great but the timetable is pretty thin. Even so a combination of train and bus should be perfectly OK with a bit of planning.
http://www.renfe.es/ingles/ is OK for trains and you will get a lot of help from http://www.andalucia.com/travel/bus/home.htm on buses. As far as I know Los Amarillos, who run the bus to Ubrique [form Malaga via Ronda] which serves Grazalema, do not have a website but their phone number is 231 59 78.
If you would like my notes on Andalucia, by all means e-mail me on
[email protected]

davidx is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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mich1,
To see the pueblos blancos well, not only Ronda and Arcos but also Zahara, Grazalema, Setenil, I think you really do want a car to maximize the time you have.

While there's bus service to Ronda and also to Arcos from Seville (Los Amarillos), from Seville to Arcos it's more limited. From Seville to Ronda by train, you need to change in Bobadilla.

From Ronda there are 4 daily busses to Arcos and 2 to Zahara and Grazalema.

If you don't drive a stick shift or really don't enjoy driving, yes, you can get to the two larger pueblos directly via bus, but if you can choose between a car or public transportation, a car allow you to explore the other towns and the whole area while in Ronda much more easily and fully, rather than be prisoner to the bus schedules.

I would pick up a rental car at Santa Justa train station or even the airport upon leaving Seville and take the ring road, the SE 30, NIV-E5 down to the autopista A 4 towards Cádiz to avoid the worst of the city congestion.
Maribel is online now  
Feb 20th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Highly recommend driving. You will want the flexibility to roam through the white towns and countryside which is beautiful. The roads are in good condition and weather is seldom a problem.

I was driving a manual-transmission car for the first time and managed fine, so if I could do that without any troubles, the driving can't be that bad. It can be a bit tricky in big cities, but the only big city you're comtemplating is Seville. We arrived in Seville last and drove directly to the train station and dropped the car, then stayed in Seville several days without the car which is completely unnecessary once you're in the city.
Bluejay is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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Bluejay--

We plan to pick up a car at the Seville train station. How difficult is it to find your way around there? thanks.
julies is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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I also support having a car to see the various Pueblos Blancos. You are not under the gun of a deadline to leave by a certain time . I have travelled to this area many times and always in March and unless things have changed since 2001 we found ourselves the only people at the "top of the hill" castle or cathedral in town after town.
duke6979 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 04:26 PM
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Have any of you also visited the hill towns just north of the coast from the Nice area? We visited 3 or 4 of them and felt that after a bit they all started to run together and that a taste of them was all we really needed. Is this the way you feel about the pueblos blancos, or are they all really so different that you need to see more than 2 or so? Thanks
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Feb 20th, 2003, 10:17 PM
  #8  
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Thank you davidx, Maribel, duke6979 and julies for all your suggestions. I think we will hire a car and drive.
What are the disatnces/ times of travel like?
Are there interesting towns to explore on the way from Ronda to Granada?


mich1 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 05:24 AM
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Gee mich1, should I be offended that everyone got thanked but me? You're making a good choice to drive. It's really not that difficult there and you'll be rewarded by goingto more remote places than you would go via rigid bus routes.

You asked about the trip from Granada to Ronda, which is exactly the route we drove. We did it in a day, which included a several-hour stop in Torremolinos on the coast. We spent some time at the beach there and wandered through the few streets of shops near the beach. I recall these were interesting, arty shops rather than typical tourist junk. Then we continued on to Ronda. To get from Granada to the coast, it's major highway all the way (and therefore a bit dull), then major highway continues along the coast until you turn north to go to Ronda. That's still a well-kept road but more interesting.

Julies, as for the train station in Seville, I recall that it's in an area of wide, modern streets rather than more typical narrow winding streets. This part of Seville is four- or six-lane roads and reasonably well signed. Getting from train station to highway should not be a problem since you don't have to go through the old city at all.

Have fun, all.
Bluejay is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 07:10 AM
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Julies,
We've found picking up a car at Santa Justa is much easier than dropping off, but we feel that way about car rental in most major Spanish cities. When departing the train station, we head straight for the ring road, the highway that takes you around the city and down to the autoroute to Jerez/Cádiz.

mich1,
We usually take the longer Granada-Ronda route that Bluejay did, along the coast, because we enjoy stops in the yacht harbour of Puerto Banús, then after Málaga, 2 more stops-in the highly picturesque perched Moorish pueblo blanco and artists' colony of Frigiliana (but it's now "discovered", but not as tour bus saturated as Mijas, above Torremolinos) and the seaside town of Nerja, another fine photo op. In summer we try to hit Nerja around lunch time for paella at one of the "chiringuitos" on Burriana beach below the Parador. Then from the coastal town of Salobreña, we head up to Granada through the Lecrín Valley and the dramatic mountain pass of Suspiro del Moro. From Salobreña to Granada they're widening this portion into an autovía to make it speedier (gets a lot of truck traffic), but I don't know if it's all 4 lanes now or not (patg, info please?).

An alternate, inland, "nature" route which we plan to take in April, is to drive from Ronda through 2 mountain passes and a few tiny white towns to Alora for a visit to the castle in ruins (now a cemetary), then a peek at the spectacular views around the deep canyon, the "Garganta del Chorro", then on to Antequera, then from Antequera we'll detour south 12 km to Villanueva de la Concepción, the entrance to the Natural Park of El Torcal, for a short walk through this nature reserve with its quite unusual limestone formations, then back up to the A92 and over to Granada.
Maribel is online now  
Feb 21st, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Me again, mich1
If you read a bit of Spanish, you can find more info and take a little virtual tour of these pueblos on their respective web pages, produced by the Diputación de Cádiz. They also have a handy festival canlendar.

www.zaharadelasierraweb.org
(click on "conoce Zahara...de un vistazo")

www.olveraweb.org

www.grazalemaweb.org

www.setenildelasbodegas.org

www.elbosqueweb.org

www.jimenadelafrontera.org

www.ayuntamientodeubrique.org
Maribel is online now  
Feb 21st, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Maribel I could not access any of these web sites....can you advise further since they look very interesting to me.
duke6979 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 06:20 PM
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duke6979,
I don't know why you can't access them, as I have no trouble on my IE. Try going thru the multimadrid.com site. It's the last post, 28 jan. by paulandirene on this thread:
http://www.multimadrid.com/ubbgrfx/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000109

Hope this works.
Maribel is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2003, 02:13 AM
  #14  
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Oops, sorry bluejay. Thank you and thanks Maribel, I will look up the websites.
mich1 is offline  
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