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1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Vancouver, Canada
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1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

I'm planning a one-week driving trip through Andalucia May 15-22 (23 in Toledo, 24 & 25 in Madrid)- it's hard to choose what to see! I've plotted out a trip that starts at the Malaga airport, where we'll rent a car. To see all the "big" highlights I'm thinking we'll go first towards Granada - but I would love a suggestion on where to stop since we'll get into the airport at 5:30 (coming from Ibiza) & probably hit the road at 6 pm with the car: I was hoping to find somewhere cool to stop for dinner & possibly to spend the night - or does it make more sense to just keep going to Granada? Is Nerja a good spot to stop in for dinner? Night? When we leave Granada we'll head to Ronda, then Arcos (where I think we'll spend the night) what towns to stop in en route? BTW, after Cordoba we go to Toledo where we'll leave the car, spend the night & then take the 33 minute train into Madrid for our last two nights. SO: May 15 arv in Malaga, spend that night somewhere en route to Granada, 1 or 2 nights Granada, 1 night in Arcos, 1 night in Jerez, 2 nights in Sevilla, 1 night in Cordoba, 1 night in Toledo, 2 nights in Madrid (we fly out of MAD May 26 at 8 a.m.)

Olvera, Spain
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1. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Hi, personally I would leave the airport and drive straight to Granada, the journey time should be about an hour and a half, it is 126 kms roughly and 6.00 pm is not 'rush hour' in Málaga. The Spanish tend to eat their evening meal late by comparison to northern Europeans and so 8.30 pm is the earliest you would be likely to see a Spanish family eating out, more likely to be after 9.00 pm. Eating at this time I quite like a selection of tapas dishes rather than a large plate, many Spanish still have their main meal of the day shortly after 1.00 pm.

Granada to Ronda will take you a little over two hours the journey is about 180 kms. My son and I were in Ronda last October, the town is very walkable. We spent about four hours wandering around plus the time we spent eating lunch and then sitting on the steps beside the Tourist Information office eating ice cream. We did not see all that there is to see and will be back again this October. The drive on to Arcos de la Frontera should take you about an hour and a quarter the distance is about 87 kms. Being perfectly honest although there are a multitude of pueblos a small distance from the main route you will take where you could stop, I think the two sections of driving and the walkabout Ronda will more or less fill the day for you. One route would take you via the A-384 and then south onto the A-372 at El Bosque. An alternative would be to pick up the A-372 when you leave Ronda which would take you through Grazalema and El Bosque. Grazalema is a very pretty little pueblo.

The drive from Arcos to Jerez will take just over half an hour, it is only 37 kms. Are you sure it is worth changing hotel and bed for such a short journey. The other alternative would be on leaving Ronda to take the A-384 to Arcos, spend some time in Arcos and then drive on down to Jerez de la Frontera and spend two nights there. In Jerez you will find the major sherry bodegas and also the Royal Spanish Riding School. Additionally you could do the 25 minute drive down to El Puerto de Santa Maria and take the ferry across to Cádiz city.

All in all I would say you are going to have a very busy holiday. With two nights in Sevilla you will be able to see some of the sights but not all of them. Leave them for another trip.

Saludos. Lindsay

Hermosa Beach...
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2. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Wow - this is way too hectic at least for me - 11 nights and over 1/2 of them 1-nighters. It's alot of moving around, packing/unpacking, etc.....

You'll see alot of the road and do quick walk through's of the highlights. It's doable. But 2 nights in Sevilla and 2 in Madrid will barely scratch the surface of these cities. You'll find with the 1-nighters that by the time you arrive in the cities, park and get settled in you'll have at most 1/2 day to visit. It just seems a shame to be rushing through such beautiful places in a lovely time of year to visit and not really have time to relax and savor. But if you like an extremely fast paced vacation this would logistically work.

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3. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

I will throw a spanner in the works. Ronda is very nice in the evening and early mornings before those tourists come up from the coast. So maybe drive to Ronda first and stay overnight enjoying a dinner around 9pm or later then see Ronda in the best part of the day. I love the walk around the top of the cliff "tajo" in the morning light then have a look round the old part over the bridge ...the "new" bridge which is old over the gorge. Then perhaps move on during the day/afternoon to Arcos stopping at Grazalema. I do enjoy those mountain passes and one that is a must if you don't mind a few bends is from Grazalema to Zahara de los Atunes over the Palomas Pass. At Zahara find the road to Prado del Rey going through farmland and pick up the road for Arcos. Overnight in Aros and later that day head for Jerez where again you can overnight although the road from Arcos into Jerez is easy and you can park up centrally then return to Arcos. From Arcos to Seville I either use the main motorway and pay a Toll of about €6 or use the country route passing a very small place called Gibaldin then later you pick up the old main road N-IV which leads eventually into Seville.

After Seville (try to stay 3 nights, leave early and drive to Cordoba staying to see all the sights in the old part, then head for Granada. Quite a bit of driving in one day but maybe worth it. Granada 2 nights BUT make sure you book Alhambra tickets - see Granada Forum etc so as not to be disappointed. . Granada north to Toledo stopping at the famous Don Quixote windmills at Consuegra off the Toledo road.

Have lost count of the nights but that route could be nice.

http://goo.gl/maps/OjB4s

ati
cordoba, spain
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4. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Cordoba deserves a night stay, especially with such an intensive driving plan, to enjoy the main sights.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

I agree with you all about this being a bit of a rushed trip. Originally we were only going to spend three nights on Ibiza leaving us from May 13-26 for the mainland - but then our son (who is studying in Switzerland) wanted to come down to Ibiza so we lengthened that part of the trip -- cutting off days in the mainland. I'm 50/50 thinking that maybe we should forget about one of these cities: Granada/Sevilla/Toledo to create a more leisurely trip -- but I can't bear to drop any of them.

That being said - doesn't sound as though anyone thinks we should bother with a day in Malaga.

So, that being said: skip Malaga & go straight to Granada May 15 & 16, leisurely drive through the mountain villages to Ronda, spend May 17 there, leisurely drive to Arcos, spend May 18 there, skip Jerez, May 19 & 20 in Sevilla, May 21 & 22 in Granada, 23 in Toledo, 24 & 25 in Madrid?

BTW the main reason for Madrid is that I have a family reuinon on the 25th!

Olvera, Spain
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6. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

As your trip is next month Ronda will be very enjoyable. I have avoided visiting for years because I wouldn't go during July or August when the town literally heaves with tourists on day trips from the Costa del Sol hence my first visit was last October with my son. It is a great pity you can't see everything you would like to see but to do this really needs return trips or an extended stay. In other words you will just need to come back.

I can understand the bit about changing the number of days in Ibiza to allow your son a longer visit, we had this the opposite way around two summers ago. Although our youngest was well capable of jumping on a flight and coming over after he had attended a music festival in Scotland my husband insisted on staying at home while myself and our other son and daughter headed off to Cádiz. Two years on hubby is still moaning about only getting a nine day holiday that year to accommodate a music festival to which he was not invited, not that he would have gone if he had been.

Saludos. Lindsay

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7. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Is there a reason why you're visiting Granada twice - May 15/16 and 21/22? I'd skip the second stay in Granada (2 nights will work fine) and this would give you 4 nights in Sevilla. You could even stop in Jerez in route from Arcos to Sevilla if you like if you had 4 nights in Sevilla. Or better yet do a daytrip to Cordoba from Sevilla.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Thanks for all the feedback! Our trip is actually May 3-May 26: a week driving from Toulouse to Marseille, five nights on Ibiza, and then 11 from Malaga to Madrid -- yes, it sounds nuts to the Brits for whom Spain or France a short flight away -- but for us coming from Vancouver BC it's a long trip and we try to gobble up what we can! That being said, I do enjoy smaller places rather than larger cities (last year we did northern Italy and we saw quite a bit in our 24 days: Venice, Padova, Ferrara, Gubbio, Assisi, Bettona, Montefalco, Spoleto, Norcia, Todi, Cortona, Montalcino, Siena, Panzano, Florence, Lucca, Riomaggiore, Monterosso, Parma, Modena, Verona and finally Munich). But many of those were day trips! I will absorb all of this & try to figure out a do-able loop!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

Typo! I have been wrestling with Malga - Ronda and winding up in Granada at the end or Malaga - Granada then doubling back to go to Ronda. BTW, I lived for a couple years in Hermosa Beach on 2nd Ave -- many moons ago!

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: 1 Week drive Malaga/Granda/Ronda/Arcos/Jerez/Sevilla/Cordoba

OK, having absorbed all these ideas, here is a plan that I hope will get some positive feedback! Yes, there are lots of stops, but the drives are mostly little hops: 30M to 1H. The only two long drives will be from Cordova to Granada (2H) and from Granada to Toledo (3H20M)

This means: 2 nights in Sevilla, 2 nights in Granada, 2 nights in Toledo, 2 nights in Madrid (1 night each in Ronda, Arcos, Cordoba).

My BIG question here: two nights in Toledo or have a night in Jerez and just one night in Toledo?

We arrive in Malaga at 5 PM. Rent the car, drive 35 min along the coast to Marbella for drinks and a walk-around. From there1 hour drive through the mountains on the AP397 to Ronda. Arrive around 7:30, Have dinner, spend May 15 in Ronda.

11 AM morning of 16th, breakfast, then head out towards Arcos not sure if via the A-384 (1H10M) or the A-372 (1H30M) with stops en route. Spend May 16th in Arcos.

11 AM on 17th drive to Jerez & spend the afternoon there, lunch, tapas & sherry.

Evening of the 17th one hour drive to Sevilla for two nights of 17th & 18th.

On the 19th, 90 min drive to Cordova, have lunch, spend the night.

On the 20th, 2 hour drive from Cordova to Granada, on the N432? Villages to stop in? Spend the 20th & 21st in Granada.

On the 22nd leave around 11 a.m. for Toledo, allowing time to stop en route for lunch in Manzanares around 1 PM & getting to Toledo around 3 PM. Leave the car. Spend the 22nd & 23rd in Toledo.

Morning of the 24th train into Madrid at 11 a.m. - Spend 24th & 25th in Madrid. Fly home on the 26th.

That adds up to 1,000Km, 11 hours of driving spread out over nine days...

Edited: 5:18 pm, April 23, 2013