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Andalucia Itinerary Suggestions

Labrador City...
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Andalucia Itinerary Suggestions

Travelling to Spain in 2019. Looking for some advise on recommended lengths of stay. We will be spending 22-23 days in Spain with the concentration of our time in Andalucia. Both my wife and I are photographers.

Madrid: 3 Nights. (No Car)

We arrive early in the morning, from Canada. We figured we could spend a few days exploring Madrid, and adjusting our jet lag a bit. We have been looking into some day trips around Madrid as well.

Seville: 3 Nights. (No Car)

Cordoba: 3 Nights. (Rental Car the entire time).

Granada: 3 Nights. (Rental Car the entire time).

Malaga/ El Chorro: 2 Nights. (Rental Car the entire time). Looking to do the Cam. Del Rey. Looking for a few suggestions on where to staying the area.

Ronda: 3 Nights. (Rental Car the entire time).

Cadiz Area: 4 Nights. (Rental Car the entire time).

Madrid; 1 Night. AT Airport to return to Canada the following day.

Are we spending too much time/ not enough time in some areas? And is it suggested to have a car rental the whole time. (We would probably pickup and return in Seville). We enjoy stopping at remote towns while travelling.We always end up finding a few gems. We did this all through Tuscany, Sicily and Southern France and Brittany. But maybe the public transit system is just as good in Southern Spain, or maybe parking is terrible there? Looking for some input.

Thanks in Advance!

2 replies to this topic
Malaga, Spain
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1. Re: Andalucia Itinerary Suggestions

For trains:


For Madrid:

Downtown Madrid is the Gran Via, which has many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most of the biggest attractions are all within a 2 km radius of each other. You can use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in this area (Madrid City Center). The most upscale area is the Barrio Salamanca (the safest barrio) and Calle Serrano is the 5th Avenue of Madrid. It is suggested to stay in Madrid for at least 4 days. One can do day trips to Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial. Read about these day trips in the top questions of the Madrid forum.

Must see places are the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Sorolla Museum, Cerralbo Museum, Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, Basilica of San Francisco El Grande.

Good Restaurants:

1. Botin (Calle Cuchilleros 17-19; Tel. 913-664-217) is the oldest restaurant in the world, since 1725 and has good Castilian food. Roast suckling pig is the specialty. There are many other traditional dishes such as lamb. This was Hemingway’s favorite restaurant.

2. Casa Lucio (Calle Cava Baja, 35; Tel. 913-653-252) is famous for its "huevos rotos" (broken eggs).

There are many good tapas bars at Calle Cava Baja. Do your own tapas tour here.

3. Platea (Calle Goya, 5-7) is a new gastronomic site with about 20 restaurants that are open every day, where one can eat tapas and different types of food in the food courts.

Shopping in the Barrio Salamanca: Calle Serrano, Claudio Coello, Ortega y Gassett, Calle Goya.

Shopping downtown: Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle Fuencarral.

Shopping in the Barrio Chueca: Calle del Barquillo has many good small boutiques.

El Corte Ingles is a large department store chain with branches at Calle Preciados, 3; Calle Serrano, 70.

For Seville:

Seville is one of the cities in Spain with the most charm. A very good hotel in Seville is the Hotel Becquer (which has a garage), walkable to most sights. Use Booking.com to look at other hotels.

Must see places in Seville:

1. Church of El Salvador - One of the most beautiful Baroque churches. The ticket from this church allows one to also see the Cathedral and one can skip the queue there. Tickets available at 11 am.

2. Cathedral/Giralda Tower - The Cathedral is the third biggest church in Europe.

3. Alcazar - The palace rivals the Alhambra. See the King’s apartments.

4. Plaza de España - The most beautiful plaza in Spain.

5. Palacio de las Dueñas - This palace is beautiful and has just opened up for the public. This is the residence of the Duke of Alba. A wonderful place to see.

6. Casa de Pilatos - Beautiful palace with wonderful gardens. See the upstairs apartment.

7. Museo de Bellas Artes - One of the most important art museums in Spain.

8. Museum-Palace of the Countess of Lebrija - Has some of the best Roman mosaics in Spain. See the upstairs apartment.

A good flamenco place is Los Gallos (Plaza de Santa Cruz, 11). The main shopping streets are Calle Tetuan and Calle Sierpes. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department store at Plaza del Duque de la Victoria.

Good restaurants:

1. Cuna 2 (Calle Cuna, 2;Tel 954-211-107) - A large, elegant restaurant with traditional Andalusian decoration and with beautiful ceramic tiles lining the walls of the dining rooms. There is a beautiful bar at the top of the building.

2. Casa Robles (Calle Alvarez Quintero, 58; Tel: 954-213-150) - An elegant restaurant near the Cathedral.

3. For tapas, go to Mercado Lonja del Baranco (Calle Arjona, 24; Tel. 917-582-420).

For Cordoba:

Use Booking.com to look for hotels and apartments in The Real Heart of Cordoba. For those making a day trip to Cordoba, the train station does not have luggage lockers but the bus station beside it has luggage lockers. A taxi to the Mezquita will cost only about 6 euros because the distance from the train station is only 1.8 km.

The best sights in Cordoba:

1. Mezquita/Cathedral - The most important architectural feature of the Mezquita are the double horseshoe arches, made of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. There are 856 columns in the church and they seem to be a sea of arches and columns to the visitor.

2. Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos - Has beautiful gardens.

3. Palacio de Viana - The palace has important artwork and there are 12 different patios, all beautiful.

Good restaurants near the Mezquita:

1. Casa Pepe de la Juderia (Calle Romero, 3; Tel: 957-200-744).

2. El Caballo Rojo (Calle del Cardenal Herrero, 28; Tel: 957-475-375).

Shopping streets are the area around the Mezquita, Calle Jose Cruz Conde, Ronda de los Tejares, Conde de Gondomar and Avenida de Gran Capitan.

Dress code for churches: Shorts or bare shoulders are not allowed for either women or men. The Mezquita is a Catholic church.

For Granada:

For Alhambra Tickets (Book early- at least 3 months in advance):


If you are too late in buying tickets for the date you want, you can try calling your hotel and ask them to buy tickets for you, since the Alhambra allocates tickets to hotels for their clients. If this fails, you can buy the Granada Card for 40 euros, which includes a ticket for the Alhambra.

Downtown Granada is Calle Reyes Catolicos. Use Booking.com to screen hotels and apartments in the Granada City Center. A good hotel downtown with parking is the Vincci Albayzin. Shopping streets are Calle Reyes Catolicos, Calle Zacatin, and Calle Recogidas. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department Store at Carrera de la Virgen, 20. The Alcaiceria is beside the Cathedral and has many shops.

Good restaurant: Restaurante Chikito (Plaza del Campillo, 9; Tel: 958-223-364) - A gastronomic restaurant that has won many prizes for its food. Reservations are a must.

For Malaga:

Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol and has beaches, plenty of sunshine (320 days of sunshine a year), and one of the best climates in Spain. It is also one of the most beautiful and relaxing cities in Spain, and 100% Spanish. Malaga has 23 museums (among them the Glass and Crystal Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Automobile Museum, two Picasso Museums, Collection of the Russian Museum, and the Centre Pompidou Malaga). The Museo de Malaga has just opened and is the largest in Andalucia and the 5th largest in Spain. There are historic churches (four founded by the Catholic Kings), and monuments that include two castles (Alcazaba and Gibralfaro). The sights are mostly downtown and completely walkable. There are very good restaurants, tapas bars, and nightlife. The city is very safe. The Malaga Park is a very large semi-tropical park and beside it is a new park called the

Palmeral de las Sorpresas at the port. Muelle Uno is a new shopping/restaurant complex at the port with 23 restaurants. The Gardens of La Concepcion are the largest tropical plant gardens in Europe. There are about 1000 buildings from the 19th century downtown, one of the largest and best conserved collections in Spain. Use Booking.com to find hotels.

The Restaurant El Pimpi at Calle Granada, 62, has Andalusian decoration and music and one can have tapas and try Malaga’s sweet wine here (the Malaga Virgen moscatel is delicious).

For Ronda:

Hemingway said that Ronda was the most romantic town in Spain. Orson Welles loved Ronda so much that he asked to be buried there. The views in this town are unforgettable. This is the most important and most beautiful white town in Andalusia.

Things to See:

1. New Bridge

2. Mondragon Palace

3. Church of Santa Maria La Mayor

4. Alameda del Tajo Park - Has great views of the countryside.

5. Carrera Espinel shopping street (also called Calle La Bola).

The Parador is a very good hotel beside the New Bridge and has marvelous views and a large parking garage. A good restaurant is Restaurante Doña Pepa at Plaza del Socorro, 10.

Cordoba is between Madrid and Seville. So after Madrid you can see Cordoba before Seville so that you do not backtrack.

Buy Caminito del Rey tickets way ahead of time:


New England
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2. Re: Andalucia Itinerary Suggestions

Sharing my 3+ weeks Andalucia trip experience, November, 2016. Took trains and buses most of the time. Picked up a car in Seville, drove through a few pueblos blancos for four days, and dropped off in Malaga.

Public transportation between Spain's big cities was a joy. Frequent, speedy, clean, comfortable and inexpensive. Driving and parking in big cities can be a nightmare. Congested, costly parking if you can find them.

Compared to most of Europe, traveling in Andalucia was a bargain. Plenty of great food and good hotels can be indulged at very reasonable prices.

I kept this initial itinerary, added Ubeda and Baeza due to the helpful website mentioned at the end of this post.


Favorite cities, in order: Seville > Granada > Cordoba > Malaga

Favorite pueblos blancos, in order: Grazalema > Olvera > Zahara > Ronda > Setenil de las Bodegas



Car rental, post #7:


Car pick up in Seville, post #7:


Road condition and parking:

- I only drove in the cities to pick up and drop off the car, avoiding the city traffic and parking.

- I drove on a few highways, but mostly on rural roads. All were in excellent condition, not much different from those in the US. Roads through the mountains can be narrow and winding, reminding me of California' Route 1.

- I drove mostly early in the mornings, with hardly any other cars on the roads.

- When I reached a white village, I immediately parked my car, and walked the rest of the way. But Ronda was an exception. I had to drive through many roundabouts, and hair raising narrow two way streets to reach my hotel. Not for the faint of heart. Glad to have my GPS with me.

Returning car in Malaga (complicated!), post #4:


My driving routes, post #11:


Ronda and Oleva, posts #13:


Granada, posts #8 and #9




Ubeda and Baeza:


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