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Arcos to Ronda

I need advice on the best route to drive from Seville to Arcos de la Fronterra then to Ronda and Granada. It looks like there are 3 different routes. I have read that one way is very windy and difficult driving, but don't know which one. Is it worth seeing some of the smaller towns in between Arcos and Ronda, and which ones would you recommend? We are starting in Seville, then driving to Arcos, spending one night. The next night we are in Ronda, then on the Granada for 4 nights. Is it too far to go down to Nerja on the way to Granada?
Thanks for the advice.

Posted by
79 posts

Karen, we were in Spain last month and took a side trip from Seville to Arcos. Honestly, if I had it to do over, I wouldn't bother with Arcos. It's a tiny town that you can see in an hour...it's pretty and it has nice views but compared to Seville it's not worth the time. How long will you be in Seville? There is so much to see and do there.

Posted by
1159 posts

Second the motion to skip arcos. The drive from seville to ronda is simple. From ronda to granada is another ez drive. Driving the coast to nerja will add about an hour, but it is scenic. Nerja, meh. But that is our opinion more about beach quality (or lack of). Ditch the car upon arrival in granada as it is a royal pain attempting to drive in old town and a virtual guarantee of a ticket.
Btw: have you obtained the required international drivers permit (available at AAA for $20)?

Posted by
3696 posts

I was in Arcos a few years ago, and while I loved the group of photographers I was traveling with, and we have a good time most anywhere....we absolutely loved Arcos. We stayed at the hotel next to the church (can't remember name) but there was a huge veranda with a fabulous view... a little wine, a beautiful evening, and a rather quiet town... one perfect evening. We loved wandering around the streets and just enjoying being in Spain.

Posted by
14454 posts

I took the bus to Arcos, from Jerez as a day trip. I would leave the car below and either walk or take local transportation up to the top - Old Town. The roads are pretty steep and narrow, especially the side streets. Parking is pretty limited - unless you are staying in a hotel that has their own parking area.

A couple days later I drove from Jerez to Ronda, stopping in Bornos and Grazalema, but the best part of the drive was the views. I didn't find the driving difficult, except in a couple of the towns (Olvera and Setenil de las Bodegas - maybe). Like Arcos, the streets are very narrow and very steep (and this from someone who used to drive regularly in San Francisco).

I loved the Alhambra, but not much else in Granada. Consider staying a night in Antequera on the way to Granada. It's a lovely town. I wish I'd had more than 1/2 day there. Marbella was recommended to me by friends, but it wasn't on my route, nor was Nerja. Again, if you give up one of your Granada days, you'll have time for one or both of them.

Posted by
16878 posts

Rick's Spain tour visits both Arcos and Ronda and both have been appreciated by tour members. I also enjoyed both on a trip by public bus. But the beauty of driving is the option to get a little further off the beaten path. When driving in Europe, get good, regional driving maps that show all the small roads. A Michelin Spain atlas (or separate regional map) at 1:400,000 scale is better than a Michelin Spain map at 1:1,000,000 scale. www.viamichelin.com can also offer driving directions with a choice of fast, scenic, no tolls, etc.

Posted by
3696 posts

Second Chani's advice on Antequera... we stayed there 2 nights and loved it. Went to a production of Carmen there in the bull fighting ring and it was wonderful. Beautiful warm night, full moon...

Posted by
11798 posts

Antequera is on the way between Ronda and Granada, it has some great passage tombs from 5-20 thousand years old and a decent museum - all free. I liked Ronda as a stop, but skipped Arcos so can't comment on it.

I also liked Jerez, it's the only place I found in Spain where you can visit a Bodega without booking it at least a day or two in advance. Jerez is between Cadiz and Seville. Cadiz was a disappointment, it's goes back to the Phoenicians but everything is really run down.

I avoided the Costa del Sol in favor of Costa de la Luz (Tarifa to the Portuguese border) because it's less developed and populated. Costa del Sol is condos, resorts and golf courses - skipable for me.

Posted by
3612 posts

We too are going to Andalucía this fall. I found this site and like it because you can click on the map and it

brings up the town. http://www.rusticblue.com/andalucia_guide.php#towns

Take a look at Zahara.

For maps, use Via Michelin. What we have done in France and Italy is print out directions between towns.

Best option is a gramin if you have one.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks Gerri, Rustic Blue is a nice website.