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10 day road trip in Andalucia

My husband and I are heading to Seville in just a couple weeks and we are trying to finalize our itinerary. I would appreciate your feedback mostly on driving and where to stop and stay along the way. We are looking to relax, love to take in scenery, hang at a tapas bar and just enjoy people watching. We also like hiking to beautiful nature, absorb the Spanish culture (bullfights, flamenco) and some museums/cathedrals but not every day.

Day 1 arrive in Seville around noon
(Night 1 Seville, Santa Cruz neighborhood)

Day 2 Seville
(Night 2 Seville)

Day 3 Seville,
(Night 3 Seville)

Day 4 Seville, rent car (should we rent from Seville airport or the rail station?), begin road trip
Night 4 Possibly Ronda? Open to other suggestions, perhaps Cordoba or south to Cadiz

Day 4-7 is where we need the most help! Do we stay in Ronda for three nights and do day trips from there? Or is there a specific route we should take and to stop in different towns and decide where to stay overnight along the way?

Day 7 Drive to Granada
(Night 7 Granada)

Day 8 Granada - Alhambra (we already purchased tickets and an audio guide!)
(Night 8 Granada)

Day 9 Drive back to Seville - Stops along the way? Best route to take?
(Night 9 Seville - Triana neighborhood)

Day 10 Flight back to US from Seville at 11:30am

Posted by
7124 posts

This would seem a good fit if you are keen to include Cadiz. If not, spend a 2nd night in Ronda and explore a couple of white villages - Zahara, Grazalema.

Day
1-3. Seville (3N)
4. Pick up car. Drive to Jerez (2N)
5. Day to Cadiz
6. Drive via Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda (1N)
7. Drive to Granada (2N)
8. Alhambra
9. Drive to Cordoba. Return car.
Evening train to Seville (1N)
10. Depart Seville

Posted by
9 posts

THank you! I'll look into this. Are there alot of vineyards and olive farms along the way too? We want to make sure we go to some of those!

Posted by
14210 posts

I would go to Cordoba as a day trip from Sevilla. Actually I would spend a night or two there, but that's me.

Rent the car at the train station, there's no reason to schlep out to the airport. Do have good directions to get out of the city (or GPS). I didn't and had trouble getting on the right freeway (it's a city, not a little town). Drop the car when you get to Granada and take the train or bus back to Sevilla - or even better spend your last night in Cordoba and go to the airport from there.

Whether you stay in different towns in the pueblos blancos or base in Ronda depends on your travel style. I prefer not to change hotels and I enjoyed the driving. There are several roads through the hills and all are easy to drive and scenic. There are frequent pull-outs where you can stop to admire the view and take photos. I spent 3 nights in Ronda, one to get there, one full day in the town, another exploring the nearby pueblos blancos and on the last day, I went to the Pink Lagoon (there should be lots of flamingos there now) and then a hike in El Torcal on the way to Granada. Another option is to see Antequera on the way. There are prehistoric dolmens on the outskirts of Antequera and a historic old city up on the hill.

If Cadiz is high on your list, you can visit as a day trip by train from Sevilla. It's out of your way for the pueblos blancos and Granada.

Posted by
2922 posts

Before heading down to Cadiz you may want to see what all it has to offer. I used to live across the bay in Rota and found no must sees in the city. It's good for a few hours, but other than the cathedral it's much like many other cities.

Posted by
9 posts

We'll consider Cordoba as a day trip for sure. I'd love to spend a night there too but we can only do so much and dont want to feel like we are squeezing too much in and try to relax and enjoy the vacation too.

We will definitely rent the car from the Seville train station that sounds best. And we asked for a GPS so that should help.
Is it prettier to take the train back from Granada to Spain vs driving back? I looked and it seems the train ride is longer, and with driving we can stop at different places along the way too. Thoughts? We have parking for 14euros in Seville if needed for that last night

I think the suggestion of staying three nights in Ronda sounds right up our alley (especially the Pink Lagoon and El Torcal hike), but that may limit us from getting to the coast at all! It'd be nice to see th coast but i dont think we'll be jumping in the water or hanging on the beach at the end of March, do you? Are the coastal towns quaint, special or unique enough that we should make it a point to get there too?

Posted by
17871 posts

If you do go to the coast, do careful research here and elsewhere to make the best choice of destination for your interests. Much of the Spanish coast has been grossly overdeveloped and is full of ugly apartment blocks, English pubs and German sausage joints. With limited time, I'd skip it on this trip. But I am not a fan of beaches even in good weather. To me they are just to look at (briefly), whereas places like Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Ronda are very special destinations.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks acraven - thats kinda what im concerned of about the coastal towns; we appreciate the spanish culture, even just sitting and drinking/eating tapas all day vs being among the hustle bustle and partying (at least for this trip!)

Posted by
9 posts

Do the Atlantic coast and Med side have really different feels in regards to coastal towns?

Posted by
17871 posts

I'm sorry; I haven't been to Jerez. It does sound, from posts on this forum, as if it has some points of interest (sherry bodegas, horse show, maybe more). That's the frustrating thing: Just about any town or city in Europe turns out to have things to see. Life is just too short!

Posted by
14210 posts

There's not much to see along the coast, a fisherman here and there, a few people walking their dogs and a (sorry) boring blue expanse. The road is very slow going, frequent traffic lights and roundabouts. If you take the (expensive) toll road, you have even less of a view. The hills are the place to be for scenery!

If you keep the car - which you won't need in Granada or Sevilla - you will be probably be paying for parking and, of course, the rental days. The train from Granada to Sevilla takes 3.25-3.5 hours. I looked at Google and viamichelin.com and neither gives a faster time - and that's without traffic delays. You'd be driving back pretty much the same way you came. I just don't see any advantage to spending the extra money for a car when you don't need it.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Chani! If we take the train from Granada to Seville, can we stop in Cordoba or at olive farms along the way? (and do this all in one day!) Or is it a straight shot to seville?

Posted by
14210 posts

Why not take the train to Cordoba? You can spend your last night there and go to the Sevilla airport early in the morning. Or you can spend the day in Cordoba (there's luggage storage at the bus station across the street from the train station) and then train to Sevilla before or after dinner.

If you go to Sevilla, check the bus schedules. The bus may be a better option, since there's no fast train.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks again Chani! I think we like this idea. Drop the rental car off in Granada and take the train to cordoba, bus to seville!

Posted by
14210 posts

I meant to check the bus schedules if you go from Granada straight to Sevilla. If you go to Cordoba, take the train to Sevilla from there.