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To Feria or not to Feria

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Phoenix
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To Feria or not to Feria

Our original plan was to arrive in Seville April 24 2010, then visit Granada, Cordoba, & Ronda (Our total vacation will be 7 days.) I just learned that April 24th is the next to the last day of Feria. My guess is that Feria will be insane with crowds and very expensive, tho extremely interesting. Should we start with Seville, as planned, even tho it's the tail end of Feria or start with one of the other destinations and then go to Seville once it's quieted down. Fortunately, our itinerary is still in the planning stages. Thx!

berkshire, england
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1. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

Haven't been to the Feria myself, although I did have a similar dilemma last year & also booked to avoid it.

The issues are less likely to be the crowds, since the Feria is situated on a special showground outside the historic centre. Hotel prices at least double, often triple during Feria week. Also, at a guess, many of the interesting small shops etc. will be closed up while their owners party, particularly on the last day - which would be your main day in Seville?

Unless you want to see the Feria, go the other way round.

Start in Granada, pass through Ronda on the way to Seville (are you driving?) and do Cordoba as a day trip (45 mins approx by fast train).

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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2. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

I agree with Littlerussell. Hotel prices usually go up during special occassions.

Phoenix
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3. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

Well, in view of what you two have said, we've decided to avoid the Feria. I hope there won't be any disadvantages to coming in afterwards. Here's a rough draft of our plan so far. I'm not liking it as it seems to tight. We really don't have time to drive from Seville to Madrid and catch a plane all in one day. AND-I'd like to see Ronda, but haven't figured out how to fit that in. Should we not rent a car? Or only part of the way? My husband says car rentals are more expensive if only one way. I do wish we had more than one week...but can't. I appreciate your input. Thx!

4/24 - Arrive late Madrid from Paris (actually we're coming in from Florence, but it looks like we have to connect thru Paris) -rent car

4/24 - Spend 2 nights in Toledo - first night arrive late then following day to visit Toledo

4/26 - Drive to Granada (How's this drive?) Spend 2 nights and one full day to see the city.

4/28 - Cordoba / Don't know how much time we'll have to see much with only a one night's stay

4/29 - 5/1 Sevilla / Actually 2 1/2 days once we get there. We're thinking of using this gentleman for the white village tour - www.theotherspain.galeon.com - please give input.

5/2 Fly out to US from Madrid.

Get home and collapse!

Boca Raton, Florida
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4. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

I actually have a different opinion on the Feria. I would DEFINITELY go! It is such a wonderful experience. I studied abroad in Seville during college and enjoyed every bit of the Feria. Yes, it can be busy for sure but it is SOOO worth it! This festival is such a tradition in Sevilla. Ask any Spaniard and they'll tell you you need to experience the Feria at least once in your life. Just the beauty of all the women dressed up in the flamenco dresses, men dressed in formal horseriding gear, all the great food, dance, music. And if my memory serves me right, the 2nd to last day really won't be that busy. Usually the big crowds are at the beginning of the Feria and the last night where they set off fireworks. You should be fine with the crowds at that time. Re: hotels - have you checked out www.sevilla5.com? They rent out apartments at reasonable rates. Might be worth checking out.

Re: stores being closed - yes, you might run into modified hours but for the most part the stores should be open. I'd recommend going shopping in the morning when they're more likely to be open. They'll probably close for siesta (around 1 or 2) and won't open until the next day.

Re: your side trips - Cordoba - definitely take the tour. I would factor in a few hours there and then go shopping at the local stores. There really isn't much to see in Cordoba other than the Mesquita so may not be worth spending a lot of time. Granada - go to the Alcazar - again - plan on spending some time there. Maybe even make a trip to go up to see the mountains. It is really breathtaking!

Hope this helps!

berkshire, england
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5. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

I was in Seville for the Mon-Fri after the 2008 Feria & life was going on as normal.

Your plan seems quite sensible.

I would make a couple of slight adjustments to the last part of your plan, though.

4/24 - Arrive late Madrid from Paris (actually we're coming in from Florence, but it looks like we have to connect thru Paris) -rent car

4/24 - Spend 2 nights in Toledo - first night arrive late then following day to visit Toledo

4/26 - Drive to Granada (How's this drive?) Spend 2 nights and one full day to see the city.

Great so far. Remember to book in advance to see the Alhambra, & choose your hotels carefully - somewhere slightly outside the city on a major route may be better than trying to navigate the narrow one way streets in both city centres.

4/28 - Cordoba / Don't know how much time we'll have to see much with only a one night's stay

4/29 - 5/1 Sevilla / Actually 2 1/2 days once we get there. We're thinking of using this gentleman for the white village tour - www.theotherspain.galeon.com - please give input.

I would change this part. Drive directly to Seville on 4/28 - with an early start you can detour via the white villages & Ronda along the way. Drop the car off at either Seville airport or Santa Justa railway station and then take a taxi on to your hotel. You definitely won't need a car in Seville. Use one of your Seville days for a day trip to Cordoba - 45 minutes by the AVE fast train. If you stick with the original plan, then drop the car in Cordoba & take the AVE to Seville.

I don't think that one way rentals are particularly more expensive in Spain.

5/2 Fly out to US from Madrid.

It may be worth trying to find a connecting flight to take you to Madrid on the same day. The flight is only about an hour, with a shorter check-in time for internal flights, so, if you had let's say a 12 noon flight out of Madrid, you could be arriving at SVQ at 8.15am for a 9.30 flight etc. Madrid is fantastic for connections (assuming both flights are through the main T4) - it's one huge concourse with the gates/planes directly off the shopping areas, no waiting rooms or long corridors - a bit like a giant bus station. IBERIA have sold me flights in the past with 45 minutes connection times through Madrid Barajas, which worried me a little at the time, but I even managed to go for a coffee!

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

I agree with littlerussell; I've never paid a one-way dropoff charge in Spain like you'd pay in the US. Seems quite reasonable to do your short stops and touring while you have the car, then lose the car in Sevilla and fly or take the train to Madrid.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

"4/24 - Arrive late Madrid from Paris (actually we're coming in from Florence, but it looks like we have to connect thru Paris) -rent car"

If you haven't already booked your air tickets you may want to check out Meridiana Airlines. I believe they have a direct flight from Florence to Madrid, but their April 2010 schedule isn't available yet (think they are only doing reservations to the end of March). Might be worth a look to pick up a few more hours in Spain on the first day (and avoid spending precious vacation time doing a highlights tour of European airports).

Netherlands
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8. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

are you sure that the feria is in april.

traditionally the feria is always the last week of may.

besides that: the feria is an event you may not mis. is one of the cultural traditions of Andalusia.

Boca Raton, Florida
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9. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

Actually the Feria is ALWAYS in April. The rule is that at least one day must fall in April. They call it the Feria de Abril for a reason. Usually most of the Feria is in May but it must start in April. See link:

http://www.spain.info/TourSpain/Eventos/Fiestas/A/RW/0/Feria+de+abril?Language=en

Phoenix
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10 posts
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10. Re: To Feria or not to Feria

Well, it looks like this is the current version of the plan. (BTW: We will have a European maps GPS with us. Her name is "Mandy.") I've added some lodging notes. Please feel free to comment if you've heard of or have comments on the lodging:

4/24 - Arrive late Madrid from Paris - rent car

4/24 - Spend 2 nights in Toledo - first night arrive late / following day visit Toledo. Considering lodging at Hotel Eurico in the center of the historic section. (http://www.hoteleurico.com/)

4/26 - Drive to Granada Spend 2 nights and one full day to see the city. We are considering lodging at Villa Marques (http://www.villamarques.nl/) 6 miles outside Granada. Only thing is, then we still have to drive to the city and are stuck parking the car.

((BTW: That only leave 4/27 for our reservation to Alhambra. Hopefully, that's not their one day a year that they close.))

4/28 - Ronda/Seville / Leave early that morning and visit Ronda and white villages before going to Seville. Drop of car in Seville.

4/28 - 5/1 Seville / We will take the AVE to Cordoba one of the days. That only leaves one full day to explore Seville. I hope that's enough time. I'm hoping to squeeze in time for a visit to the spa (http://www.airedesevilla.com/) as well. No lodging ideas yet. Any recommendations for a place in the historic section that is quaint yet reasonably priced?

5/1 Madrid/ (Take he AVE) Figure we need to spend a night in Madrid so we're nearby to catch our early flight out. Also gives us a few hours to explore Madrid. Any recommendations for quaint, reasonably priced lodging in the historic section where we can walk around and see a bunch in the few hours we have there?

I*** Tried checking on some places for room rates. Evidently, many places don't have their 2010 rates out and so are not booking. : (

BTW: I can't tell you how much I appreciate the help you all re giving us. Muchos Gracias! : ))