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Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

new york
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Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

I am planning a trip for the first 2 weeks in October and was really hoping for some expert input on my tentative itinerary. I will be flying from the US to Malaga. Here is the first attempt of an itinerary and really appreciate any and all advice:

Fly USA to Malaga- stay in Malaga 1 or 2 nights (do you think 1 or 2 nights makes more sense?)

Drive to Granada - 2 nights at Carmen de la Alcubilla del Caracol (should we keep the rental car? I have read there is no need for a car in Granada, but don't know how else to get there from Malaga with all our stuff)

Drive/Train to Sevilla stay 3 nights (is it better to drive to Sevilla or take the train? Is 3 nights enough? We would like to do day trips to Andalusian cities (Which would you say are must sees? Cadiz, Cordoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Ronda?) so we will want to have a car.

Fly Sevilla to Bilbao on Vueling- 3 nights in San Sebastian after visiting the Guggenheim of course.

Drive San Sebastian to Bordeaux- 3 nights in Bordeaux and fly back to USA.

I have done a bit of my research, but greatly appreciate your help on planning our perfect trip!!!!

Oswestry, United...
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1. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

rogi8,

Thoughts.

' I (am planning)' + ' should we' + ' all our stuff' - may need clarification.

No, you do not need a car in Granada city and the brightest way from Malaga to Granada is by bus (read coach), if that is all you need, but depends on your 'stuff'.

Do you have detail of, possibly extraordinary, repatriation costs for the drop off of a rental car in another country? Is it within budget?

Best wishes.

London, United...
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for Costa de la Luz
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2. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

Some of the nicest hotels in Malaga are in the city centre and it is easy enough to get in a taxi to take you. This saves hassle after arrival. Malaga city to Granada is reached best by car or bus. It sounds as though you travel with a lot. So maybe getting a car from Malaga city is a good idea. You can then drive along the coast and up through the Sierra to Granada.

Your hotel can give you directions for arrival. Maybe you will decide to book your visit to the Alhambra on your first morning and the hotel can help you here. The car may be worthwhile if you wanted to see more of Granada but it is more of a hindrance to be frank.Driving over to Seville could also involve going via Cordoba - I use Google Maps for driving directions and suggestions. Or instead of going via Cordoba better still drive to Ronda (use Google Maps and they show best way) then on to Seville maybe detouring to Grazalema and over the Palomas pass to Zahara before continuing to Seville.

You then have option to return the car and see Seville without. You could get to Jerez or Cordoba and of course Cadiz using the trains.`

Much nicer really as the trains are very comfortable.

new york
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3. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

Appreciate your prompt response.

We will not have an excessive amount of "stuff" but imagine we will have 2 large suitcases (by large, I mean not carry-on) as we will be traveling for 2 weeks. I am happy to take a coach, but wasn't sure if that is doable with our luggage. I suppose it doesn't make sense to rent a car just to drive from Malaga to Grenada, right?

Thank you for pointing out that it might be more expensive to rent a car in Spain and return in France, in fact it is, so it may make sense to take a taxi across the border and rent in France instead. Then it appears to drop the price and would be within budget.

Is there anything you would change in the overall itinerary? As we have done the big cities in Spain we wanted to focus on Andalusia and then the area around San Sebastian. We love France and are able to find an easy flight back to the US from Bordeaux instead of a 30 hour flight with 2 connections from San Sebastian/Biarritz.

Thank you again!

new york
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4. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

Cadiz_lover- I like your suggestion for renting a car and driving along the coast and up through the Sierra to Granada. I took a look and it looks like I can do it for about $100 USD. From both your suggestions and all that I have read I agree it doesn't make sense to keep the car in Granada, however it looks like it is actually cheaper to rent the car in Malaga and return in Sevilla even if we don't want the car in Granada. I love the idea of taking the scenic drive through Ronda, with the detour to Grazalema and over the Palomas pass to Zahara on the way to Seville, sounds like a fabulous day. We are quite happy taking the train for the other day trips around the area.

Do you think it is worth spending 1 or 2 nights in Malaga? Does it make sense to spend longer in Seville?

Hermosa Beach...
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5. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

Honestly I think you're trying to do way too much for 2 weeks. I'd stay 2 nights in Malaga since your first day will likely be quite jetlagged and you woon't appreciate fully the city. I don't see a need to rent a car to drive from Malaga to Granada and just let the car sit for 2 days (paying for parking and having the hassle of driving in Granada). Sevilla is where your trip really gets fast-paced. With 3 nights in Sevilla you really won't have time for any other cities. I generally advise 3 nights in Sevilla not including daytrips. So, I'd not even get a car until you head North. I just don't see enough time to warrant exploring by car. If you do decide to daytrip somewhere I'd choose Cordoba and take the train. You will be just getting a "taste" of Andalucia with these 7 nights.

3 nights is good for San Sebastian but again you're barely getting a feel for this beautiful area. I'd definately get a car for this part of the trip.

6. Re: Itinerary Help- Andalusia/San Sebastian/Bordeaux

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