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4-5 day Andalucia Itinerary suggestions - sequence of travel

Hi all,

I am just about getting ready to plan my trip to Spain starting in Barcelona during Easter weekend. I will be flying in to Barcelona and flying out from Madrid. In between, my plan is to spend 4-5 days in Andalucia and cover glimpses of Seville, Cordoba and Granada.

At present I am not planning to rent a car due to lack of enough time to venture out to white hill towns in this trip. Absolutely plan to do that in my next trip to Spain.

Here's what I am hoping to accomplish in Andalucia and would like suggestions on the sequence of travel for the below:
1. Fly from Barcelona to either Seville or Granada (mostly an early morning or a late evening flight)
2. Spend 2 nights each in Seville and Granada
3. Day Trip to Cordoba
4. Train to Madrid

Can you please suggest if it might be better to fly to Granada vs Seville as some initial research indicates good train connectivity between Seville and Madrid on my return leg.

Thanks for all your help!!

Posted by
10114 posts

You definitely want to fly from Barcelona to Granada. Until the complete the high speed rail link (AVE) to Granada, it takes time to reach otehrwise.

From Granada, then go to Seville by bus or train (at this time, the "train" is actually a bus-train combo, all run by the train company Renfe). Then take a train to Cordoba. You can do this as a day trip from Seville, or do it as an overnight before you head to Madrid (Cordoba is between Seville and Madrid, and by AVE, it's 90 minutes from either one).

If you are just going from Seville to Cordoba, try to get AVANT tickets. These trains are as fast as the AVE, but cheaper.

Posted by
12036 posts

Harold, the current schedule shows Cordoba to be about 45 min. from Seville and about 1 hr. 45 minutes from Madrid. That doesn't make any difference if the traveler decides to see Cordoba in transit between the two larger cities, but if a day-trip is planned, it would be better tackled from Seville.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for your responses. As suggested, I will plan to visit Granada followed by Seville/Cordoba.

Typically how much in advance would you recommend to the train bookings?

Posted by
11839 posts

The earlier you book train tickets, the less you will pay. There are a limited numbers of discounted tickets at several levels. Tickets usually go on sale 62 days in advance but renfe.com is erratic. Some trains can be offered 3-4 months ahead, sometimes one or more trains on a specific day may only show up a couple weeks ahead. I think ALSA only sells bus tickets about 2 weeks ahead.

It sounds like you are planning to be in Andalucia at least partly during Semana Santa. Make sure you have places to stay before you buy no-refund, no-exchange train tickets. Also, if you plan to see the Alhambra, you need to balance flight availability, room availability and Alhambra ticket availability (they sell out, sometimes a month or more in advance for popular times, such as Easter week). If you can't get Alhambra tickets, save Granada for another trip and take the train from Barcelona to Sevilla. The trip is about 5.5 hours, so flying really won't save you time when you factor in travel to/from airports plus the lead time at BCN.

acraven is correct on train times. You can leave Sevilla in the morning, store your luggage at the bus station opposite the train station, and then continue to Madrid in the evening. That's likely to be more efficient than a day trip from Sevilla. If that puts you in Cordoba on Easter Sunday, check the hours for the Mezquita. It may have limited visiting hours because of the religious celebrations in the cathedral.

Posted by
10114 posts

Yes, I got the travel times from Cordoba wrong - that's what happens when I post without checking! Sorry.