We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
459 posts
43 reviews
Save Topic
June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

I’m starting my planning process for a return trip to Spain at the end of June 2014. I’ve been to Barcelona twice and to Andalucía in 2011. On the 2011 trip I visited Seville, Cadiz, Ronda, and Granada. I did not make it to Cordoba and do want to see the Mezquita. I can spend 11 or 12 nights on this trip. Here’s my thoughts on an itinerary.

Chicago to Malaga. Spend 3 nights in Malaga. Arrival day is recovering from jet lag in Malaga. Then on day 2 either exploring Malaga or taking public transportation to Nerja for the day. Day 3 will be either Malaga or Nerja depending on day 2.

Then onto Cordoba for either 2 or 3 nights.

Then onto Madrid for either 5 or 6 nights with day trips to Toledo and possibly Segovia.

Here’s my questions:

1- What is recommended for Cordoba, 2 or 3 nights?

I really feel like I will need 6 nights in Madrid as this will translate into 5 full days. This would allow for 3 full days in Madrid and 2 day trips.

2-Transportation - On my 2011 trip to Andalucía, I rented a car to go from town to town. This time I am seriously considering using the train to get from Malaga to Cordoba to Madrid and also using the train for the day trips out of Madrid. However, after reading the very comprehensive article on purchasing Renfe tickets, I am a little worried about the luggage situation. My husband and I will each have 1 large suitcase and I’m concerned about how to manage the 2 of them on the train. This then led me to consider hiring a private driver for the transfers between cities (but not the day trips). I haven’t been able to locate any so far and read a post from a few years ago that indicated that this is not very common in Spain. Last summer I hired drivers for getting between Prague and Krakow and Krakow and Budapest and it worked out great. Not really that expensive either. So does anyone have a recommendation for private transports or shall I let this one go and either take the train or rent a car?

A side note on starting and ending cities. I’d really prefer to start in Madrid and end in Malaga but the flight times did not work out.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Mentioned in this post
Spain
Spain
Europe
Barcelona
Barcelona
Province of Barcelona, Spain
Seville
Seville
Province of Seville, Spain
Cadiz
Cadiz
Costa de la Luz, Spain
Ronda
Ronda
Costa del Sol, Spain
Granada
Granada
Province of Granada, Spain
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Hotel Mezquita
Hotel Mezquita
578 Reviews
Cordoba, Spain
Malaga
Malaga
Costa del Sol, Spain
Nerja
Nerja
Costa del Sol, Spain
Madrid
Madrid
Community of Madrid, Spain
Toledo
Toledo
Province of Toledo, Spain
Segovia
Segovia
Province of Segovia, Spain
Prague
Prague
Bohemia, Czech Republic
Krakow
Krakow
Lesser Poland Province, Poland
Budapest
Budapest
Central Hungary, Hungary
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
66,243 posts
3,764 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

m&m56:

With 3 days in Cordoba you will be able to see the main sights:

1. Cathedral/Mezquita

2. Alcazar and its gardens

3. Viana Palace

4. Medina Azahara

The train is the best way to travel in Spain. Be at the station about 35 minutes before your train leaves. When your train is announced on the TV monitors, go right away to the platform. If you are among the first people to enter the train, you will be able to put your luggage on the luggage rack at the end of the car. If not you will have to put your luggage on the overhead rack. Ask any young man to help you do this. The Spanish men are very gallant and strong and will help you do this.

Here is some info on Malaga:

Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol and has beaches, plenty of sunshine, 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 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. Shopping is wonderful and the city is very safe. The Malaga Park is 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. 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.

Good hotels:

5-star: Vincci Posada del Patio

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

4-star: Hotel Molina Lario – The hotel restaurant Café de Bolsa is a very good restaurant.

3-star: Hotel Don Curro

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

Mentioned in this post
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Hotel Mezquita
Hotel Mezquita
578 Reviews
Cordoba, Spain
Spain
Spain
Europe
Malaga
Malaga
Costa del Sol, Spain
Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol
Province of Malaga, Spain
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
8,351 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
Muelle Uno
Muelle Uno
297 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
Ronda
Ronda
Costa del Sol, Spain
Mijas
Mijas
Costa del Sol, Spain
Nerja
Nerja
Costa del Sol, Spain
Malaga Airport
Malaga Airport
Malaga, Spain
Madrid
Madrid
Community of Madrid, Spain
Vincci Malaga
Vincci Malaga
1,126 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
Hotel Molina Lario
Hotel Molina Lario
2,040 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
Don Curro Hotel
Don Curro Hotel
1,319 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
El Pimpi
El Pimpi
10,534 Reviews
Malaga, Spain
Granada
Granada
Province of Granada, Spain
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
459 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

Benny,

Thanks for the advice. You helped me out on my last trip in 2011 as well. If I stay in Cordoba for 3 nights that will give me 2-1/2 days for site seeing. Any opinions on the length of stay in 'Madrid?

Mentioned in this post
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27,287 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

We were just in Madrid for 6 nights at the end of a 3 week trip -- if you are at all interested in museums, Madrid has some of the top ones in the world. We spent three of our 5 full days just on the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza. We just did a day trip from Sevilla to Cordoba for the Mezquita; here is our visit:

…wordpress.com/2013/…

Cordoba is a charming town and so staying 2 or 3 nights would be nice.

In Madrid, don't miss the San Francisco el Grande

…wordpress.com/2013/…

Mentioned in this post
Madrid
Madrid
Community of Madrid, Spain
Prado National Museum
Prado National Museum
46,650 Reviews
Madrid, Spain
Reina Sofia
Reina Sofia
154 Reviews
Almunecar, Spain
Hotel Sevilla
Hotel Sevilla
391 Reviews
Seville, Spain
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Hotel Mezquita
Hotel Mezquita
578 Reviews
Cordoba, Spain
Hotel San Francisco - Ronda
Hotel San Francisco...
402 Reviews
Ronda, Spain
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
459 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

Janet,

Thanks so much for the tips. I've just taken a quick look at your posts and they are fabulous. I too loved Ronda, we stayed there for 2 nights on our 2011 trip and I wished that I had stayed longer. You managed to cover a lot of ground on your stay there. Now I just need to decide whether to spend 2 or 3 nights in Cordoba.

Mentioned in this post
Ronda
Ronda
Costa del Sol, Spain
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Northampton, MA
Level Contributor
4,142 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

Why not spend 3 in Cordoba? I'm not a huge fan of Nerja although the view of the Med is nice and the caves are an attraction. I love Malaga though. You could take a night off Malaga and Cordoba though and spend them in Toledo, Segovia or Avila. 5 nights in Madrid is good although I'd be happy with 6 too.

Mentioned in this post
Cordoba
Cordoba
Province of Cordoba, Spain
Nerja
Nerja
Costa del Sol, Spain
Malaga
Malaga
Costa del Sol, Spain
Toledo
Toledo
Province of Toledo, Spain
Segovia
Segovia
Province of Segovia, Spain
Avila
Avila
Province of Avila, Spain
Madrid
Madrid
Community of Madrid, Spain
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
459 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

Cuthberth,

I thought of spending a night or 2 in Toledo but wanted to limit my overnight stays as I find it rather hectic to continuously check in and out of hotels. I learned from my 2011 trip that I really prefer to spend at least 3 nights in a town. I think the 3 nights in Malaga will be good, Nerja was planned as a day trip. I'm hoping that a day trip to Toledo out of Madrid will be good. That's why I think it's better to do 6 nights in Madrid to leave options open for day trips.

Are you also a fan of public transportation, i.e., the train?

Thanks for your input.

Mentioned in this post
Toledo
Toledo
Province of Toledo, Spain
Malaga
Malaga
Costa del Sol, Spain
Nerja
Nerja
Costa del Sol, Spain
Madrid
Madrid
Community of Madrid, Spain
7. Re: June 2014 Trip Planning Advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 November 2014, 06:18