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road trip in January?

San Francisco
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road trip in January?

Hello all,

Planning a January 2 week getaway and trying to assess if Spain would be an option. We recently were in Barcelona and loved it. But we don't well with heat so we didn't venture out much.

Considering doing a road trip in January. I am hoping to get feedback if this is a good idea? Is the weather OK, road conditions and such in January?

Where to start (I am assuming for US traveler it's either Madrid or Barcelona)?

I have read some about the North - but I think we would likely be more intersted in the south: granada, seville, cordoba..

Really appreciate any help and suggestions that would lead us in the right direction.

Thanks

Malaga, Spain
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1. Re: road trip in January?

timur:

Read the Driving Guide for Foreigners.

You can travel in January if you dress properly because it will be cold. Wear a warm coat and wear gloves.

You can start in Madrid. Do one day trip to Toledo and another to Segovia. Read about these day trips in the top questions of the Madrid forum.

Do not go to the north during winter because the weather will be bad. Better to see Andalusia.

Read Buying Alhambra Tickets Online and BOOK EARLY. A good hotel with a garage is the Vincci Albayzin. Stay a minimum of 2 days.

Cordoba - You can see it on the way from Madrid to Granada. Stay 2 days.

Seville - Stay 3 days minimum. A good hotel with a garage is the Hotel Becquer.

For Madrid hotels:

Downtown Madrid is the Gran Via, which has many hotels, restaurants and stores. You can use expedia.com to screen hotels in this area. An upscale barrio is Salamanca Barrio, where there is more security, and more elegant stores at Calle Serrano (the Fifth Avenue of Madrid). Use expedia.com to screen hotels in this area. Do not stay at an airport hotel because there is nothing to see there than other airport hotels.

You may want to visit 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 14 museums (among them the Glass and Crystal Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Automobile Museum, and the two Picasso Museums), 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. 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.

The natives have the great charm of Andalucia and are among the most friendly people in Spain. It is easy to do day trips to the white towns of Ronda, Mijas, and Nerja, since Malaga is the transportation hub of its province. Malaga Airport is the third largest airport in Spain and has direct connections with many European cities. One can take the AVE from Madrid to Malaga. Read the top questions in the Malaga forum.

Shopping is wonderful and most stores are walkable from downtown. Downtown has Calle Larios, Calle Nueva, and Calle Granada and surrounding streets, with many boutiques. El Corte Ingles is a large department store near downtown. Two shopping malls near downtown are the Larios Center and Vialia.

Good hotels in good locations:

5-star: Vincci Posada del Patio

4-star: Hotel AC Malaga Palacio – Good location near Calle Larios. The rooftop restaurant is a romantic place during twilight with a great view of the port.

4-star: Hotel Molina Lario – Good location near Calle Larios with parking. The hotel restaurant Café de Bolsa is a very good restaurant.

4-star: Hotel NH Malaga – Good hotel with a large parking space.

3-star: Hotel Don Curro – Good hotel near Calle Larios.

2-star: Ibis Malaga Centro Ciudad

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). This is the restaurant that celebrities are brought to. Movie stars and members of royalty have all been here.

Malaga was named by Trip Advisor as the 7th best destination in the “Traveler’s Choice 2013 – Top 10 Destinations of Spain” list.

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: road trip in January?

the north (and especially the center) of spain are the coldest. Usually road conditions are ok but you can get some road cuts especially if you try to access remote places in central spain due to snow. if you are limiting yourself to cities as you say, i would forget about the car and use public transportation instead (train/plane)

San Francisco
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3. Re: road trip in January?

Thanks guys for your reply.. I was thinking road trip because you can actually see small towns along the way, which often is s real treat.. I don't want to just explore big cities if possible. I was under impression that renting a car would be easy, give me more flexibility and allow me to see amazing sites outside of the large destinations.

Am I wrong and it's better to rely on public transport or plane? I thought for 2 weeks driving from Madrid down to places mentioned and perhaps fly out of Malaga back home would be a nice approach?

Certainly don't want added stress if roads are bad, cities are full of traffic with no parking and such..

Malaga, Spain
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4. Re: road trip in January?

timur:

The problem with a car is that there is no free parking in Spanish cities. Hotels charge 11 to 25 euros a day for parking.

Roads in Spain are very good, especially the main routes. Secondary roads may not be too good.

San Francisco
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5. Re: road trip in January?

That makes sense ... thanks for all the great information...

6. Re: road trip in January?

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