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10 days in Spain during August, itinerary guidance needed!

Travel Forums Europe 10 days in Spain during August, itinerary guidance needed!

1. Posted by STRsparkle (Budding Member, 8 posts) 12 Jul '10 12:38

STRsparkle has indicated that this thread is about Spain

I am off to Spain around the 18th of August and have roughly put together an itinerary to see the mostly the sites of the Andalucia region - as I've read that this is the Spain you dream of, with stunning scenery, exquisite Islamic-era architecture and passionate flamenco.

I need advice on travel methods, tips and if the trip itinerary looks like it will work. The goal is not to be rushed and really enjoy the sites, food, culture and people. Where would you go if you had 10 days to explore the Andalucia and only 2 places that you must hit that are not in this area?

I am travelling with one other female and we want to participate in the la tomatina festival on the 25th of August & spend time at least 3 days/2 nights in Barcelona.

My idea:

Fly into Madrid> 1 day/1 night
Train to Seville> 2 days/1 night and then hire a car
Cadiz>1 day/1 night road trip to Arcos De La Frontera> Ronda> Spend the night in Marbella.
Granda> 1 day/1night
Fly into Vanlencia (from Malaga), base for la tomatina festival stay - should we join a tour for this festival or make our own way?
Train to Barcelona> 3 days/2 nights.
Fly back to UK

Any advice on a car rental company as well??

Look forward to your advice and tips. I am super excited! Cheers, Sarah

2. Posted by fmorales (Budding Member, 5 posts) 12 Jul '10 13:45

Sarah,

Sounds like you have a solid and aggressive itinerary. The only things I would do different are:

Get a rental car for the entire period and skip the trains/planes. There are many beautiful out-of-the-way villages in Spain that are not (reasonably) accessible by other than a car. You can get a rental car from any of the major providers (Avis, Hertz, Europcar, etc) with pick-up at Madrid and return at Barcelona for no additional fee.

Look at nearby cities/towns from the main attractions for your lodging and such. You'll get better lodging value and enjoy another part of Spain (for instance: stay in Torrejon de Ardoz or Alcala de Henarez for you Madrid visit. Alcala is a World Heritage site and both towns are well served by commuter train service into the Atocha train/metro station in the middle of Madrid)

Try and include Cordoba in your Andalucia visit. The Grand Mosque is as impressive (in a different way) as the Alhambra.

Not sure about the tomatina thing (I'm sure I am a bit older than you). I ran the bulls during the fiestas patronales of a Spanish town (not Pamplona) many years ago and have sworn off drunken revelry that involves hundreds of other intoxicated folk and narrow streets!!

Take care,

Frank

3. Posted by hallyally (Budding Member, 15 posts) 12 Jul '10 15:11

Hi!
I agree with Frank about Cordoba - The Mosque is something you will never forget!

Don't miss the Generalife when visiting the Alhambra - we actually preferred these gardens.

We did the Spanish leg of a trip in over 2 weeks by campervan - it's a fantastic way to travel.
As Frank said, you will find so many out of the way places if you go by road. The main routes are good, and away from large cities, fairly empty.

Have great time and keep safe!
Allie

4. Posted by elsebas (Budding Member, 51 posts) 12 Jul '10 15:37

Hi Sarah,

I would suggest you a slightly different itinerary. I would rent the car in madrid at the airport (check amigoautos.es and google it before choosing one of the big names).

I would start in Toledo, spend two days in Sevilla, one in Cordoba and another one in Granada. From there you can drive to Malaga and take the plane or drive directly to Valencia (5-6 hours).

La Tomatina takes place in Buñol, just a few miles from my hometown Turis, in case you drive with your car you will have to leave it on the road (depending when you get there you may have to leave it just a a few meters from twon or 1-2 Km away) and walk to the towncentre, otherwise you can reach Buñol with bus and train , from Valencia there are trains each 30 minutes and the fare is around 3 euro.

The party itself begins the night before, not sure about this year but the last ones they had llive music from 10 pm until 6 am. Then you have breakfast, and get ready for the tomatina, which starts at noon and is finished at 1 pm.

Something you should know about it: You will need a shower when it's over, you may want to throw every piece of cloth away after it so put in some shorts, flip flops, bikini and an old t-shirt (swiming or diving glasses would be ideal too).

There are only a couple of small hotels in town and I'm not sure if they will have available rooms these days. If I was there I could give you a lift because I wouldn't miss it but I'll spend the summer in Ireland and Germany and won't be there until the end of the month.

You should spend at least one day in Valencia and then 2 or 3 in Barcelona.

For trains www.renfe.es for buses www.alsa.es, the latter is cheaper and the former faster.

Any other question, just ask.

Sebas

5. Posted by LittleHote (Inactive, 78 posts) 12 Jul '10 15:51

That's too much for 10 days: you said "The goal is not to be rushed and really enjoy the sites, food, culture and people."

Skip Madrid and fly straight to Andalucia. Then remember that the villages and countryside are much better than the cities (though it's hard to argue against the Alhambra and the Córdoba Mosque). Hire a car (-snip-) and drive around Andalucia. Spanish cities are not car-friendly, but a car is the only sensible way to see the vast bulk of the country.

To get the best out of the country, stay off the main roads and motorways, and allow three times the journey time that you expected. As well as the Alhambra, the Mosque in Córdoba and Barcelona, a few random suggestions I would make are La Cueva de Gatos near Ronda, Ronda itself, Gaucín, the road from Gaucín down to the coast, the Alpujarras, Cabo de Gata, the mountain road from Nijar to Lucainena and the cave houses in either Guadix or Cuevas de Almanzora.

Ten days will just fly by.

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6. Posted by Adavant (Budding Member, 31 posts) 12 Jul '10 21:25

I would add the Granada coast to your itinerary and skip Marbella, all foreigners and british bars.. no thanks.. South of Granada one hour you can be in any number of small towns.. Salobreña, Almuñecar, and Nerja, while both Nerja and Almuñecar have lots of expats, they also have lots to see and very pretty places. Especially Salobrena, check out my blog, -snip-. Remember, any towns inland will be much hotter than those towns on the coast.

Cheers and Enjoy Andalucia!

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7. Posted by Alan1950 (Budding Member, 10 posts) 13 Jul '10 01:50

Sarah
Check out online version of The Guardian
Don Boyd
Top Ten
Barcelona
Enjoy train
Alan
Glasgow

8. Posted by Medsummer (Budding Member, 18 posts) 13 Jul '10 17:12

www.novacarhire.com/car-hire/spain/
www.europcar.com/
www.autoeurope.com
www.carrentals.co.uk/car-hire/spain.html

I've had good luck renting from all of these agencies. Nova seems to be a good one for me followed by europcar.

9. Posted by STRsparkle (Budding Member, 8 posts) 14 Jul '10 16:39

WOW! Thank you everyone for your suggestions and assistance. I have become that much more excited after reading your replies and feel like I have a better grasp of what to do! Yahoo!

My friend and I have decided to skip Madrid and fly right into Seville and we have also extended our trip by 4 days and decided to road trip it too! We have now booked our flights and are working on the in between details... Are there good camping sites in Spain or are hostels the best/cheapest option?? If so do you know of any good campervan sites?

It looks like the mosque in Cordoba is on the list too now -- I am just a bit worried it might be to hot?? But I am sure we will find an out of the way town to crash instead now that we will have our own car.

Other things i have read about that sound appealing and would love a Yeah or Nah on is:

[*]Killer whale watching at the straight of gibraltar and
[*]looks like the Feria de Malaga summer fair will be happening as well.

Thanks so much everyone, your advice has been simply fabulous!! Cheers, Sarah