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6 days in southern spain

Hi everyone,

I am planning a trip to Spain (maybe via Portugal?) arriving March 4th and departing to Morocco on March 11th.
I don't want to spend a great deal of time traveling and instead prefer checking out local restaurants, shopping and sight seeing.

I am considering flying into Seville and taking day trips to Jerez - for the sherry and Ronda - for their wine museum and spectacular gorge location.
I heard that Ronda is difficult to get to and don't know whether I should cross it off my list in favor of another night in Portugal? Or take some type of tour to Ronda to cut the learning curve to get there more easily.

Do you think it is too much to add in Portugal to this equation? I could actually fly into Portugal (from the US) and spend 2 nights there then head to seville for 3 nights and take day trips to Jerez and Ronda?

I do not know much about Portugal but my fiends say it is wonderful so might add it into the agenda if it makes sense.

This part of the world is new to me and I would love your suggestions about where to land and what cities to see. We love wormer climes so not interested in Barcelona or northern Spain, We definitely want to stay south since our trip is in early March- hence Morocco as our final destination!

Posted by
6408 posts

Do you think it is too much to add in Portugal to this equation? I could actually fly into Portugal (from the US) and spend 2 nights there then head to seville for 3 nights and take day trips to Jerez and Ronda?

Yes this is too much. Being able to fly direct into Portugal is a bad reason to squeeze it in with Southern Spain when you have only 6 nights based on what friends say.

I do not know much about Portugal but my fiends say it is wonderful so might add it into the agenda if it makes sense.

The worse thing is to go by hearsay than what you are interested in.
You should get a guide book on Portugal and make your own decision instead what your friends say (obviously since you are asking here on this forum you have doubts).

I would just go with your original plan a week in Southern Spain (Andalucia) on your way to Morocco and do Portugal on another trip.

Posted by
16726 posts

Three nights in Seville with day-trips to Jerez and Tonda would leave you only a few hours in Seville, a city where you could easily enjoy three full days.

Although I like Ronda, I think few would recommend it (or Jerez) rather than Cordoba, which is easy to reach via fast train. However, I know nothing about the wine museum in Ronda and don't like wine. It's definitely important to consider your own interests in developing your itinerary.

A two-night stop in Portugal would get you only one full, non-jetlagged day there and require you to spend a good chunk of your Day 3 going back to the airport and flying to Spain. That's too much traveling and not enough sightseeing.

Weather-wise, Southern Spain is a better March destination than most other European options. That's where I'd spend the pre-Morocco time. I suspect that if you check weather statistcs you'll find that Barcelona is rather mild at that tine of year. It may well be warmer than Lisbon as well as much drier.

Edited to add: The Barcelona/Portugal weather comparison was included for the sake of accuracy, not because I recommend splitting 6 days between Andalucia and Barcelona. They are both great destinations, but 6 days is not long enough to contemplate combining them. Way too much time would be wasted on transportation.

Posted by
569 posts

I agree with everyone that you don't have the time to visit Portugal on this trip. You will have only one day there, and as acraven says, then you waste a day traveling from Portugal (presumably Lisbon) to Seville. Not Worth it. Save it for a separate trip.

I would also choose Cordoba over Ronda or Jerez. It is a more important city historically and culturally. Cordoba has the Mezquita, and it's a lovely city to spend a night or two. And then there is the Alhambra in Granada, which is amazing!! And Cordoba and Granada are easier to get to via bus or train to/from Seville.

Posted by
13927 posts

I did a quick google search for buses to Ronda - looks like you might need to leave at 7 am and arrive back in Sevilla at 9.30 pm, with 4-5 hours of bus time round-trip. I don't know where the stations are in either city so you may need to take taxis. On a sunny day, the gorge is very scenic but it would need to be a lot more spectacular for me to spend that much time on the bus. The ride to Ronda will probably be scenic, but returning it will be dark. The wine museum (Centro de Interpretacion del Vino) is mostly about the history of wine-making in the area, more about ethnography, less about wine production today. When I went in 2013, I was the only visitor at the time. They had some wines in barrels (so-so) and they gave me a small plastic cup and told me to taste any/all as much as I liked. At the end of my visit, I had a wine tasting with 3 of their bottled wines (good). All the wines (barrel and bottle) were reds. I like Ronda, have been twice for 3 night stays. I can't say I would recommend a day trip there from Sevilla, especially if it meant short-changing the delights of Sevilla itself. BTW Sevilla is known as having the best tapas in Spain, hence in the world.

A day trip to Jerez is much more "doable." There are several bodegas you can tour without a reservation. I went to Pedro Domencq (where they make Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry as well) and Tio Pepe (fun tour). There are also other bodegas where you have to make a reservation.

Are you interested in seeing any sights while you're in Spain? As for weather, I've been to Barcelona and Andalucia in February and in March several times in recent years. The weather's about the same.

Posted by
638 posts

While Ronda is nice enough it doesn't compare to Cordoba or Granada. But with only 6 days I don't think you really have time for Seville plus both Cordoba and Granada. Cordoba, which 'deserves' an overnight, can be done as a day trip from Seville which might simplify things. Granada is further but if you really want to see it you could do 4 nights Seville and 2 Granada (assuming flights and such work out the same).

But if you need to fly out of Seville to Morocco I would spend the entire time based there, do one day trip to Cordoba and then if you find you have time for another day trip you could do Jerez or Ronda.

You all are so very helpful! I so appreciate your comments!

I have decided to forgo Portugal and base our trip in Seville,

Now - next step is lodging and activities!

Does anyone have a recommendation for lodging?

Also I might want to use a few trip coordinators / tour guides/ tours for a few of the days while in Spain?

Thanks again - it is so helpful to hear from people who have actually been to Andalusia!

Posted by
4192 posts

I think you've made a wise choice. Base in Sevilla and take day trips, maybe, to Jerez and Cordoba.

I took some tours with Concepcion Delgado of Sevilla Walking Tours. She was outstanding and I expect the other guides are also good.

Posted by
197 posts

We were there in October and also took a couple tours with Concepcion's company listed above. Marina was our guide for the city walking tour and the Alcazar (we added on the Game of Throne's extension), and she was very good. We also took a tapas tour with Devour Tours that was fantastic - https://devoursevillefoodtours.com - we did the Tapas like a Local in Triana. Went back for dinner one night to one of the restaurants as it was so delicious, and we really enjoyed Triana. They have others.

Posted by
17 posts

Hello,
Why not fly into Jerez (great small airport-easy connections from Madrid). Base out of Jerez or travel to a favorite destination of mine (El Puerto de Santa Maria) a great beach side town with a great old town and nice beaches....take a 30 minute ferry to the gem of the region Cadiz....Cadiz is a must see of Andalucia. From Cadiz head south to Zahara de los Atunes for the best beach in Spain (you can see Morocco on a clear day from Zahara) then to Tarifa (great old town and beaches) and where you get the ferries to Morocco (30 min).

Seville is beautiful and is a must for an Andalusian holiday but continue South and explore Jerez, El Puerto and Cadiz....a little more quaint and without the crowds.

In any event, we love Andalucia the people are super friendly, the food and wine are delicious and soooo affordable

Posted by
13927 posts

I've been to Sevilla 3 times, stayed at the Amadeus each visit. It's very special, comfortable, friendly knowledgeable staff, great location. BTW RS uses it on their tours.

Day trips to Jerez (on a day when there;s a horse show at the Royal Equestrian School), Cadiz, Cordoba, by train. You can combine Jerez and Cadiz in one long day. Allow a full day for Cordoba's many delights. If you want to visit a hill town, you could combine Jerez with Arcos or just go to Arcos via Jerez. There is regular bus service between them from the train staiton in Arcos.

Lots to see and do in Sevilla itself. Start with a walking tour to get oriented. The Alcazar is one of my favorite sights in Andalucia. La Casa de Flamenco for an early evening performance. The Palacio de las Dueñas is a relatively newly opened sight, very pretty and very interesting.

Ok - plans ar enow a little more firmly in place! At least I have flights and know exact dates! My friend and I will fly in and out of Seville Feb 24 - March 2nd

With only 7 days we thought we would stay the entire time in Seville but am now wondering if we should do Seville for 4 nights and another place for 3?

Also wondering whether it is difficult to rent a car and drive from seville on our own to other cities - ie Jerez, Ronda, Cadiz etc or if it is better to take transported day trips. Are there special drivers licenses needed to rent a car? We are US citizens.

I would really like to see Jerez and Cadiz but I don't think Cadiz is a day trip from Seville?

Also does anyone have a favorite place to stay in Seville ?

Posted by
16726 posts

Jerez is 1 hour from Seville by train; driving would take longer (per ViaMichelin.com). Cadiz is 1 hr. 40 min. from Seville by train; while ViaMichelin estimates a driving time of 1 hr. 26 min., that doesn't include the time you'd spend at the rental car office or looking for a parking place (often a significant issue in European cities).

My top-priority side-trip would be Cordoba, which is only 45 min. from Seville by train (but about 1 hr. 40 min. by car--that train is extremely fast).

A car would be very useful if you wanted to see a few of the white villages southeast of Seville. If you contemplate renting a car, you should get an International Driver's Permit at your local AAA or CAA office; the cost is about $20, and it doesn't take long. You'll need 2 passport-size photos. The IDP is used in conjunction with your regular driver's license.

Alternatively, you could take a bus from Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera, one of the white villages; you'd probably want to spend at least one night in Jerez in that case. But I would rate Cordoba a lot higher.

Posted by
569 posts

You could spend 4 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Granada, and one night in Cordoba. These are the most important Andalusian cities, historically and culturally. I can't imagine going to Andalucia and not seeing the Alhambra in Granada, and the Mezquita in Cordoba, unless you absolutely don't have the time. And I recommend reading some good guidebooks, such as Michelin Green Guide, Rough Guides, and Lonely Planet.

I am in awe with how much information you all have shared to hel me with this trip!

Thanks so much for your generosity.

I booked the Hotel Puerto Sherry for two nights in El Puerto de Santa María and am excited to see the coastline and take the ferry to Cadiz.

I also booked Sevilla Central Suites Apartamentos Fabiola in the heart of old city center.

If you think there are better choices for lodging, feel free to chime in!

Posted by
17 posts

Spice,
we stayed at the Hotel Puerto Sherry last year....great hotel. Overlooks the marina and is a about a 10 minute walk along the ocean road to a great secluded beach with some nice restaurants and coffee shops....for the ferry to Cadiz its a nice walk along several beaches to to the ferry area. (30 min ferry to Cadiz). Make sure you explore El Puerto old town with a famous 12th century castle and great old town with numerous restaurants, tapas bars and shops.....not a lot of tourists....real old feel Spain. We have returned 4 times and base it to other areas of Andulsia. Cadiz! a gem.

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