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Trip to Andalucia

Old Aug 9th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Trip to Andalucia

I am planning a trip to Andalucia next month ( 2 weeks) and would like the advise of the experts at Fodor's. We are flying to Seville from the U.S. Is renting a car a good option?
We would like to visit Cordoba, Granada and Malaga (if possible). Also do some side trips.

We had been to Spain several times but never made it to the Andalucian region.
Can you suggest an itinerary somewhat relaxing?

Thanks in advance for you help.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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How long in total do you have for your trip?
If you just have time to visit Cordoba, Granada, Malaga & Sevilla you really don't need a car. But it really depends on how much time you have - ie. if you have time to visit the white villages then it may be good to have a car for this particular portion.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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We are going for 14 days. I would like to visit the white villages too. Should we plan to stay for a couple of days?
I would appreciate your advise on hotels also.
Thank you.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Ok - if you have 14 full days for Andalucia this is great! Personally I'd start with 4-5 days in Sevilla. This will give you time to get over jet lag and also perhaps do a day trip (sherry triangle, Cadiz, Carmona, etc...). My other don't miss would be 2-3 nights in Granada. For the remaining 6-8 nights I'd probably spend 2 in Malaga and 2 in Cordoba. This gives you 2-4 remaining nights. You could easily spend 2 nights in the white villages and this would finish the trip. Basically: Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, Malaga & the white villages. 5 base cities in 14 days. Question - are both legs of your flights from Sevilla? If you could arrange the return leg out of Malaga it would flow well logistically.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 03:21 AM
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This can definitelly be one of those really great trips, all the cities you mention are fantastic and very different!

If you want to see something besides the big cities and get somewhat under the skin of things, I recommend the local flamenco festival in Móron de la Frontera some 40 miles south-east of Sevilla. Goes on from the 7th to the 10th of September. Morón is rich in flamenco history, and the festival attracts only top artists, I've seen several of them live. "And the very setting itself plays a main role, since the offer includes visits to enclaves rich in history and monuments, natural reserves, oil mills, wineries, country estates, ranches and meadows.": http://www.flamenco-world.com/notici...a21072011.html
http://www.flamencoenlafrontera.com/index.php?lang=en

The "other" Córdoba around Plaza de las Tendillas, the Plaza Mayor-like Plaza de la Corredera, the Roman ruins etc can be highly recommended. All very close to the main tourist attractions but a totally different and more local atmosphere. Bustling outdoor cafés long into the small hours. We lived in modern Hotel Córdoba Centro a few weeks ago, just excellent, some 300 meters north of the Mezquita, next door to the main Tendillas Plaza. Some 60€ for a double. http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/cord...?rid=702348143

I know Sevilla and Málaga especially well, and these sites provide good info.

Sevilla: http://www.exploreseville.com/
Málaga: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/home.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ci...-treasure.html

If you're looking for something special when it comes to food, bars, restaurants, culture, art, sights, theaters, neighbourhoods etc, I'm more than happy to help.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 04:25 AM
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Hotel suggestions:

Málaga: Hotel Don Curro is a s central as it gets and good value: http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/mala...ncurro.en.html

Sevilla: I've been very happy staying in Hostal Museo some ten mins walk north of the Cathedral and the main tourist attractions. Close to the Fine Arts museum and in the centre of town: http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/host...-us.html?dva=0
Friends talk very nice of Apartamentos Murillo in the middle of the Santa Cruz district. http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/sevi...urillo.en.html
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 04:31 AM
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First of all, stay in Seville for 4 nights. There's a lot to see and do there.

I would then either train or drive to Cordoba.

After that, you should probably rent a car (and plan for a different drop-off location). I think it IS a good idea to have a car, even if it stays parked a bit while you are in larger cities. Those larger cities are also bases from which to explore outlying areas.

Try to work in 2 nights in Ronda and 2-3 nights in Granada. There are some very nice day trips to some beautiful white villages outside of Granada.

Keep the car and eventually return it either at the Granada or Malaga airport on your way home.

I know that's not very specific - but do feel it may help you plan for yourself.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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Great advice so far. Cars are a real hassle in Seville and Granada. You really only need it to visit the "white villages" around Ronda.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate your advise!

cathym- Great itinerary. That is perfect for us. Both legs of our flights are from Sevilla.

kimhe- What a wealth of information! Flamenco is definitely in my plans. I'll be checking the websites today.
Any information that you could give me on sights, art,
culture, restaurants etc., will help me a lot on my "late" planning.
I can send you my email address if you prefer to do it that way.

bardo-We will rent a car as you suggest. The white villages and Ronda seem to be a must.

This trip has a special meaning to me. My father was born in Cordoba and left when he was 20. I treasure the stories of these beautiful places when I was growing up.

Thank you again for making this journey more special to me.

Teresita
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 08:08 AM
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Your father was born in Cordoba - wow, how amazing you'll be able to return to his home town. Many people visit as just a daytrip from Sevilla. It can be done and most people often don't have enought time for more than a daytrip. But since you had 14 days I recommended 2 nights in Cordoba as it really is a special place. Like kimhe I prefer the area outside of the main tourist area. Everyone swarms to the Mezquita and the Juderia leaving much of the rest of the city devoid of tourists. So you have lots of local character and a several beautiful churches (if you can catch them when they're open).

If you're in Sevilla from Sept 10-18 you may want to head to Jerez for the wine harvest festival. I've never been but it's supposed to be great and is on my radar for a future trip.

With the trip coming up next month you probably need to start booking hotels ASAP especially if you have a particular price point or want to stay in a particular area.

Please let us know if you need anything else.

http://english.turismodecordoba.org/index2.cfm

http://www.jerez.es/areas_tematicas/...e_la_vendimia/
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Suosa,

We too are planning a trip to Andalucia (Sept 22) for 16 days and also land in Seville (from Boston). We are renting a car and heading directly to the Algarve Region of Portugal (2 hours by car)which has some beautiful beaches/fishing villages, castles, ect for 4 nights. Then a 3.5 hour drive to Montejacque, amongst the white villages (15 minutes to Ronda)for 5 nights, then off to Nerja on the Costa Del Sol for 5 nights....then to Seville for 2 nights (return home from Seville). Cant help with hotels as we have four different apartments. This would include day trips to Granada and Malaga, and several white villages, caves, hiking areas, ect. In my opinion, a car is the best way to explore this region, giving the the comforts to go at your leisure instead of being restricted to somewhat limited public transportation.

Have a great trip,

Mike
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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mike1728-
Other than the white villages area all of the places the OP mentioned are easily accessed by very frequent public transportation. Not sure what you mean by limited public transportation.
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Some fresh Córdoba impressions:

Several fine bodegas/tabernas in the area around Plaza de las Tendillas and Plaza de las Correderas just North of the old town. Here you'll find great local places on every corner. Just had some excellent meals in a couple of them a few weeks ago. Taberna Salinas comes recommended in the Michelin guide, and we were perfectly happy after two raciones, a bottle of wine and a couple of brandys for some 35€. http://www.tabernasalinas.com/

Bar Santos in Calle Magistral González Francés, 3 along the eastern side of the Mezquita is a laid-back and small respite in this heavily touristy area. Wonderful Jamón Ibérico.

Felt immediately at home in Plaza de las Tendillas. The thousands of people gathering here for the midnight eating of the grapes on New Years eve is traditionally directly televised on national tv. The clock on Plaza de las Tendillas has got no bells. Since 1961 the hours has been chimed in by recorded flamenco chords from the guitarist Juanito Serrano. Great atmospehere and good spirit well into the small hours, at least in the week-ends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fexMbX4EsRE&NR=1

Check out the program in majestic Gran Teatro de Córdoba from the 1870's, close to the Tendillas plaza. Had a major experience here recently when the flamenco dancer Rocío Molina staged her "Vinática": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfSclwEVzGk

Sevilla is much, much, but here are some things I've enjoyed:

Triana, on the other side of the Guadalquivir river, is a cradle of flamenco culture and one of the liveliest areas in the city. Start the evening along riverside Calle Betis and then move on to some of the bars/clubs.
http://www.sevilla5.com/activities/goingout/betis.html

For live music I would suggest El Rejoneo in Calle Bétis, 33. Often Samara Amador, the flamenco singer daughter of living legend dancer Manuela Carrasco, gets into action here. No need to come before midninght. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPZT3ADgWsw

Or extremely popular Casa Anselma in C/Pagés del Corro, 49.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw1atBQq_u0

If you are really serious about flamenco, go late at night to the bar El Mantoncillo in Alfarería, 104. Here anything can happen. Also in Triana.

Casa de la Memoria in the Santa Cruz district is also the real deal. Popular with tourists, but some of the finest flamenco artists in the world perform here on a regular basis. They will at least give you a hint of how wonderful this art form can be.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Andalusia.html

Here are some very well informed tapas bar/restaurant suggestions for Sevilla, Azahar knows what she's talking about. http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/

Look especially into the Arenal and San Lorenzo areas. Enrique Becerra and Eslava is a must. Bodega Diaz Salazar in C/García de Vinuesa, 20 (in the atmosperic Arenal area) is one of my favourites in town.
http://www.minube.com/fotos/rincon/1...slideshow-mode

A friend of mine went five days in a week to the Arab bath-house Aire de Sevilla: http://www.airedesevilla.com/

Check out the program at the old world Lope de Vega theater or the modern Maestranza theater.

You probably know of all the "normal" sights in Sevilla, but I will suggest you go and see the "Hospital de la Caridad". As Sevilla as it gets. The 17th century main sponsor of this hospital for the old and sick, the repenting Miguel Mañara, was - according to himself - "the most evil man that ever lived". All the paintings he commisioned from some of the most famous golden-age arists for the hospital and its adjoining church dealt with the theme of death and redemption. The hospital, the church, the paintings and Mañara's grave are all in Calle Temprado, 3.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/seville/sights/411842

Málaga is vibrant Andalusian atmosphere, excellent tapas bars, cafés, shopping and perhaps the most easy-going people in all of Andalucía. Within three hundred meters in the center, you'll find the recently excavated Roman theater, the 8-11th century Moorish Alcazaba, the great 16th century Cathedral and both Picasso's birth-place and the new Picasso museum (2003).
"Málaga: Authentic charm of an overlooked treasure".
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ci...-treasure.html
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/home.htm

I always live in Hostal Victoria, as central as it gets and excellent value.
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/victoria.en.html

Nezt door Don Curro is a bit more up-scale and gets great reviews: http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/mala...ncurro.en.html

In Pedregalejo, just east of the city center, you'll find both beaches and affordable waterfront seafood restaurants that are very popular with locals.

You should also have a look at tapas bars in the center of town such as excellent La Campana, traditional El Cortijo de Pepe at Plaza la Merced 2 and innovative El Tapeo de Cervantes.
La Campana: http://11870.com/pro/la-campana-malaga
El Tapeo de Cervantes: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalusia.html

Start the evening with a couple of Málaga wines from the barrel at Antigua Casa de Guardia in Alameda Principal, and when things start to get late be sure to drop by Bodegas El Pimpi in Calle Granada, an institution in town.

Check out the program at Teatro Cervantes or Teatro Cánovas, both in the center of town.

Updates on major flamenco performances in theaters around Andalucía. Expect to meet a predominantly local crowd: deflamenco.com

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 04:44 PM
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If you are interested in Roman ruins, there are some outside of Seville. Here is a link: http://www.idealspain.com/Pages/Plac...ns/italica.htm
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Old Aug 12th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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