Tell me about Andalucia(23 Posts)
We are considering a trip to Andalucia in maybe October or November..
We will probably only be able to manage one week (this time).
We would expect to hire a car.
What would be the must see things if you only have one week. I would assume Granada and Seville are top of the list but what else would you put there?
How long to spend in each place and what to do there?
Is it better to have a central location or to tour?
If you don't want to drive in to the city centres how easy is it to catch a train or do a "park and ride"?
What else can we do apart from city visits e.g. National Parks and walks?
Anything else anyone can think of. Share your wisdom and experiences with me!!
Start at Rhonda. Beautiful town with a breathtaking viaduct site. Then head east along the coast roaf past malaga towards Nerja. Head up into the mountains to a town called Competa. Fabulous walking in the natural park there. Visit the tiny village called Acebuchal - lots of history re Franco etc. Lovely family run cafe there too. Maybe an afternoon of horseriding? Then continue onto nerja and visit the caves. Nerja feria is in October. It's fab. If any of that appeals, pm me for more info. My dad lives in that area.
The Mesquita in Cordoba. A cathedral inside a mosque! Stunning.
The Nasrid Palaces at Alhambra are gorgeous.
I don't know about low season, but in high season Granada is one of those book-ahead-on-the-internet-or-you-won't-get-in places. You can get a ticket on the day but you have to start queuing soon after dawn, with no guarantees.
West of Seville, a village called El Rocio. Like a wild west town, sandy roads, cowboys on horseback, hitching posts outside the low-rise buildings. Truly different.
What Batman said - My Mum and dad have a place in Torrox and it is lovely around there...
Oh yes smc - they could have a lovely lunch at Rincon de Pepe on torrox Costa.
yy to Ronda, it's beautiful. The road up to it from the San Pedro side is erm... interesting.
Imagine a normal road. Now imagine 90 degree bends every few hundred yards. Then imagine slow moving vehicles and hordes of people desperate to overtake. Spanish drivers will overtake literally anywhere and more than once on that road I've been halfway around a bend with zero visibility to find another car coming towards me on my side of the road, the driver gripping the wheel with a determined expression. IIRC, there's just about enough room to squeeze through but it's not for nervous drivers.
You're right that the Alhambra would be top of the list when in Andalucia! Remarkably beautiful, even more so than in photos. October would be less busy than summer but still good to buy tickets online in advance from Ticketmaster here www.ticketmaster.es/nav/landings/en/mucho_mas/entradas_alhambra/ There is lots of parking at the Alhambra if you are driving in.
My other top choice would be Cordoba - the Mezquita is stunning as cecinestpasunepipe says. And Cordoba has a relatively compact centre, so you can see the Mezquita plus the Alcazar and wander through the whitewashed streets of the Juderia all in one day. Cordoba is good to visit by train and you can easily get a taxi to the centre.
And don't rule out Malaga - the historic centre is beautiful, overlooked by the Moorish castle. Amazing art galleries and fantastic fresh seafood!
Where to stay: you could tour around, staying in hotels (Paradors are fantastic, mostly in historic buildings - Jaen, Granada, Ubeda and the Malaga Gibralfaro are some of the best in Andalucia). Or choose a villa that is well located for where you want to visit. The Antequera area is lovely (we lived there for several years!) - not only is Antequera a lovely historic town in its own right, but the high speed train from Antequera Santa Ana gets you into Cordoba in 30 minutes and Malaga in 25 minutes, while Seville, Granada and Ronda are about an hour to 90 minutes' drive away. Locally the Torcal nature reserve is an incredible landscape to walk in and the 'lake district' at El Chorro is really beautiful.
We had 10 days in a villa in Competa last year in the school summer hols, and it was fab. We're not 'beach' people- we'll go and have a poke and a look-see, but we go for a) the weather, b) a bit of culture, c) the ability to sit by a pool with a glass of cheap local wine in one hand, kindle in the other .
Be aware that a small issue with Competa is that you have to spend at least 30 minutes on hairpin bends to go anywhere from it! Hint: Don't get a big hire car! Hair-raising enough without you meeting a builder's truck in the middle of the road coming the other way! But luckily our villa was within walking distance of the town square with 3 or 4 cafe/tavernas which met our 'evening needs', by and large.
We day tripped to Granada, a long way (on good roads, bar the first half hour!); drove to Ronda which really was similarly quite a long way away; Nerja caves, a coast drive to look at Torremolinos, down as far as Marbella (which was interesting, watching how certain areas are obviously going a bit more 'up market', encouraging fewer but wealthier clients?-and there's a good bonsai exhibition in a park in Marbella); a day's drive around the Alpujarras (sp?) towns and villages which was great, especially the local food; a long local walk to the other 3 white villages in the Competa area which it really was too hot for but we saw some good stuff; a drive to Frigiliana which is classic white hill town territory, a bit too clean and whitewashed!
We considered Cordoba, Seville and even Gib but realised they really were too far away from Competa.
I can entirely understand why Brits retire to Andalucia. It's now actually on our radar, though we're checking out Alicante next week. Won't be in the near future, sadly!
If you're still reading, you need to stay in Granada at least one or two nights to go out for tapas properly, ie free with drinks. You won't need to buy any food, although of course you can if you want to. Also Google el caminito del rey. It's a walk on a raised walkway in a gorge up in the mountains. The original walkway was for dam workers to get to work but it fell into disrepair but has just been rebuilt. DP and I did it ad part of s week touring andalucia earlier this year and it was such an amazing holiday. the walk is free but you have to get a pass in advance.
This was the first holiday I did with dh. We did
Fly to malaga
Drive to Tarifa
Boat to tangier - stayed overnight
Back to Malaga
Granada and the trip to Tangier were highlights for us. However we nearly came to blows driving/parking in Seville. Never again (driving in Seville that is, the rest was great). Maybe find a nice hotel on the outskirts with transport options.
It took a week btw and wasn't that hurried.
Forgot to say in Granada another must do is a walk up into the Albacin (moorish quarter) where there's a lovely square of tapas bars and a viewpoint for the Alhambra lit up at night.
Oh, and we did it all by train except the el caminito bit. Trains are excellent and much cheaper than the UK.
I would do it by train. We did a fly drive holiday and stayed in paradors, but the driving was not fun - and that was over 20 years ago.
I think I would just concentrate on Seville, Granada and Cordoba. If you do hire a car and want to drive round the white towns get a small car because the streets are very narrow. The one way system in Cordoba is terrifying.
We spent Easter week there. Flew into Jerez and based ourselves in Conil at the Hotel Fuerte Conil. We visited Seville, Cadiz, Jerez, Bolonia, Gibraltar and Vejer de la frontera. Loved it all!
I am still reading and there is great info here, thanks.
I googled El camino del rey - err, that looks a bit scary!!
don't bother with Gibraltar - it's really not worth a visit
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