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White Towns, esp Ronda, from where, without renting a car?

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Dec 2nd, 2011, 06:15 PM
  #1
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White Towns, esp Ronda, from where, without renting a car?

Possible? Practical? Stupid? Impossible?

Any and all thought welcome, please.

My wife and I are thinking about Spain in May 2012. In addition to daily museums and palaces and cathedrals and mosques and alcazars and alhambras, all of which are certainly on our itinerary, we'd like to get off the beaten path a bit, and the White Towns, esp. Ronda, are a possibility. But we also don't particularly fancy renting a car. I can't "see the sights" while I'm driving and simultaneously trying to figure out road signs in a foreign language, etc, (no offense intended). I've seen on www.renfe.com that trains btwn Madrid and cities in Andalusia such as Sevilla, Cordoba, and Malaga, are possible, but that would still leave us local transportation to work out. I'd like any and all feedback and suggestions, both pro and con, please!

ps. Pls don't just tell me to read a library book or Google! I got that flaming "response" once on a different travel forum that I no longer use because I don't need that crap! I know how to do that! And I have. And I will continue to do so. I'm using this forum specifically because I WANT feedback from people who have DONE what I'm THINKING of doing! Or who have suggestions for what you think I should NOT do! That's often even more valuable advice than "do this..." is!
tomseeley is offline  
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 06:40 PM
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I've traveled to Andalucia every spring for the last 10 years and in all but one trip I didn't have a car. Yes, it's more challenging to visit some of the smaller cities/villages without a car but it is possible. If you could rent a car to really efficiently tour the white villages I'd recommend it - but believe me I do understand!

My first question whould be how long do you have to explore the white villages?

If you have just a couple of days it may be best to just base yourself in Ronda OR Arcos and perhaps take a bus to one of the nearby villages. Buses are not frequent so the most you could probably visit is one village. Ronda isn't technically a white village (nor is Arcos) as they are more moderate size towns. But I've taken the bus from Sevilla to Ronda (and Arcos), spend a couple of nights and had a very enjoyable time. Arcos is another good base if you don't have a car. But Arcos is also doable as a daytrip from Sevilla by bus.

I've also based myself in Cadiz and visited by bus Medina Sidonia and Vejer de la Frontera, which are somewhat off the beaten track and in this area.

Another possibility, although again probably not technically a white village but a very nice town, is Antequera. I actually took a train from Ronda to Antequera and then to Malaga.

In addition to the white villages there loads of places that are not the "biggies" and are possible to visit without a car (not all inclusive,but just some examples):

-Osuna, Ecija, Carmona (all possible also as daytrips from Sevilla)
-Priego de Cordoba (one of my favorite places, between Cordoba & Granada by bus)
-Ubeda & Baeza
-Sanlucar de Barrameda (also a good daytrip from Cadiz or Sevilla)

So, don't worry too much. You can get around without a car. I just review the timetables before I work out my itinerary to ensure I'm not too ambitious (as I like a moderate to slow pace). Once I arrive in each town I verify the timetables at the bus station (the train timetables on renfe are reliable) and I'm set.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Tom, I love your choice of destinations---you seem to have done your homework. Now, what you need is a car to enjoy the places you hope to see. Why make it so hard?
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:21 PM
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kja
 
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Ronda can be reached by train or bus. It is lovely, but I wouldn't call if "off the beaten path" - instead, I would say it is decidedly ON the beaten tourist trail.

Some of the smaller white villages that are accessible by public transportation are in the Poqueira Gorge of Las Alpujarras; you can get there by bus from Granada. These villages are also geared to tourists, but they are much smaller than Ronda and much less touristed.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:23 PM
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We stayed in Sevilla for a week and one day we took a bus to Ronda for the day. Easy. It drove through the countryside and to a few other white villages since it was not a direct bus. Lovely day trip. I have been to Arcos but from Rota and we drove for that. Also great views and easy to get to.
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 01:15 AM
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If it helps.

Here is a link to the bus companies/schedules in and out of Ronda - http://www.turismoderonda.es/informa...oautobuses.pdf

You also have the three journeys a day, each way, by train Ronda to La Linea (on a scenic route). You can walk to several villages from halts nearby on this line and possibly work in with buses, (but I leave it to you to do the work).

Not a great deal wrong with Ronda the two single nights I have spent there, once the coaches/trippers have left.

As I have not done what you wish to do, I will not comment further. If you want to know your way around much of Andalucia, I probably have the public transport info., but it is, in the main, not scheduled to suit you, the tourist.
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 01:47 AM
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These off-the-beaten-path places are so because it is not easy to get to them. There might be only a bus per day early in the morning to, let's say, Grazalema, but you'll see the town in a short while, they are really small, and then you may not find transport till the evening. No taxis available. Besides, many places to make a stop along the way. Better get a car.
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 03:49 AM
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Perhaps visit Alhama de Granada between Granada and Málaga? Beautiful village on a gorge, population some 6000.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...d-of-town.html

Daily buses to/from Granada and Málaga, but you'll perhaps better get a car. The drive from Alhama towards the coast and Málaga goes through scenic mountains in the Axarquía region (Málaga). http://www.casadelhorno.eu/index.php?topic=gettinghere
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 05:29 AM
  #9
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Hey thanks! This is exactly the kind of personal advice and feedback I was hoping to find! We'll be in Spain about 3 weeks, and we don't want to get the feeling of "if it's Tuesday, this must be ---- museum or ---- cathedral, etc." We'll surely see many of the biggies in Madrid and Andalusia, but beyond that we're scouting out some smaller places too, which is why the Ronda idea came to mind.

I'm especially grateful (greatful? never did know how to spell that word) for the bus info. That's an option too.

Thx again.

One last slightly more specific question before I go: If we wanted to do the Ronda trip (not saying just Ronda; saying those kinds of towns in general) by guided bus tour, where should we look for good starting and ending points? I.e., which "larger" city? Sevilla? Cordoba? Cadiz? Malaga?

Tom
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Dec 4th, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Kimhe, the Alhama option is a very good idea, I've been there several times, a nice drive from Granada to Malaga avoiding the motorway. From Alhama to the coast you pass the "Zafarraya Hole", when you see it from a distance you understand the name. Then continue to Pantano La Viñuela and Velez-Malaga and the coastal highway.
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