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One week itinerary for Southern Spain - need your help

I am planning a one week trip touring Andalucia in late May. Will be leaving Barcelona on a Saturday and the trip will end on the following Saturday most likely in Madrid. Interested in seeing Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla and Jerez. Would like to be in Jerez on a Tuesday or Thursday for the horse show. I have the following draft itinerary:

Saturday fly from Barcelona to Granada, stay Saturday and Sunday in Granada

Monday - go to Sevilla, stay three nights including day trip to Cordoba

Thursday and Friday - overnight in Jerez

Saturday head to Madrid

Any thoughts on this? Open to changing the order of cities or cutting something out, or moving Jerez from Thursday to Tuesday. Should I add Cadiz?/

Posted by
532 posts

you might be trying to do too much in one week.

flight from Barcelona to Granada is nice, but you will spend a good half day on the flight, getting to Granada, etc. It's a 3 hours bus ride from Granada to Seville, so that is another day gone. You can easily spend 3 nights in Seville without doing Cordoba.

Here is what we did:
flight Barcelona to Granada, 1 night
bus Granada to Seville, 3 nights
train from Seville to Madrid, with stop for the day in Cordoba.

I wouldn't add Cadiz, and you might consider extending your base in Seville and doing a day trip to Jerez. Or you could go to Jerez first then back to Seville, then to Cordoba and Madrid.

Posted by
21314 posts

You don't have time for Cadiz. You really don't even have time for the places you already have penciled in. The one I'd drop would be Jerez, but I'm guessing you have a special interest in horses so it is a must. What I'd do is try to minimize the time in Jerez, which from all I've read is horses and sherry bodegas, with nothing like the world-class sights of Granada, Seville and Cordoba.

The train from Jerez to Madrid goes through Cordoba. I hope you can find a way to leverage that into some time in Cordoba so you don't have to use part of your bare-minimum of 2-1/2 days in Seville to take a day-trip to Cordoba. Seville is a rather large place with many and scattered worthwhile sights. 1-1/2 days there is seriously not enough--yet you shouldn't skip Cordoba if you can manage to fit it in.

I don't know the timing of the horse shows, but the train from Seville to Jerez takes only a bit over an hour, and there are departures every one or two hours. I don't think you need two nights in Jerez, do you? I believe some people treat Jerez as a day trip from Seville (I'm not necessarily recommending that; I haven't been to Jerez myself.)

Then from Jerez to Cordoba the train takes 1-1/2 to 3 hours. Could you leave Jerez for Cordoba either late Thursday or early Friday?

Posted by
21314 posts

I spent several nights in Cordoba so had no need of luggage-storage facilities. I'd recommend at least one night there rather than just stopping in transit. However, the guidebooks say there's luggage storage (I think it's lockers) at the bus station, which is very near the train station. If you arrive in town early, I'd expect lockers to be available. I'd be a bit nervous about later arrival, because Cordoba gets a lot of folks who do stop there for the day on the way from Madrid to Seville or vice versa. With lockers, once the last one is rented you're out of luck.

I assume there are alternative luggage-storage locations in Cordoba, however. You can probably find them easily via Google. I would want to have that information with me, just in case.

Posted by
21314 posts

That's better than 3 nights in Seville with a day trip to Cordoba.

Posted by
879 posts

I agree that spending 4 nights in Seville with a day trip to Cordoba is better than spending 3 nights in Seville with a daytrip to Cordoba.

Or, would you consider spending 3 nights in Seville and one night in Cordoba? I realize this entails checking in/out of an additional hotel which some people like to avoid. Cordoba is one of my favorite cities. The Mezquita is magnificent but there is more to Cordoba than just the Mezquita. And Cordoba is so charming and lovely at night when the daytrippers have left and the city is illuminated.

So I think spending a night in Cordoba is the better way to see it than a daytrip. However, my philosophy is that visiting a place as a daytrip is better than not seeing it at all.

Posted by
84 posts

Actually, Jerez de la Frontera is not just "horses and sherry bodegas," as mentioned above. There is also an active flamenco scene; an intriguing, fantastic historic center; and an overall feel of authenticity. My early December visit (2019) was not a great time to judge its summer "tourism quotient," but the city impressed me as a place you may want to visit for the "real" as opposed to "tourist" Spain: visiting Jerez may be what visiting any historic Spanish city might have been like before the recent quantum leaps in global horde tourism. On that same trip I visited Cordoba, which I liked very much, but even in December, I could tell it was was more of a tourist-oriented town than Jerez. Perhaps the more conventional tourist wouldn't give Jerez priority, but the deeper your interest in Spain, the more you may want to consider it.

Posted by
21314 posts

Granada is too far from Seville to be a good day-trip destination. The cities are over 150 miles apart.

Posted by
15053 posts

In Cordoba, the bus station is right across the street from the train station if you want to leave luggage there. Something like a 1.5 minute walk.

You can day trip from Sevilla to Jerez. Yes, there's more to see in Jerez than the horse show, but so much more in Cordoba and Sevilla. After the horse show you could even take a taxi to the train station and still have a half-day to see either Cadiz by train or Arcos by bus, or taxi into town for a bodega tour (Tio Pepe's is the most fun) before going back to see more Sevilla.

As has been said, Cordoba is worth more than a day trip.

Posted by
8 posts

The itinerary now is fly from Barcelona to Granada then 1 night in Granada, 1 night in Cordoba, and 4 nights in Seville with a day trip to Jerez for a sherry tour in the morning followed by horse show.

Posted by
21314 posts

It doesn't seem like you're going to have more than a few hours in Granada; depending on ticket availability, you might not even be able to see the Alhambra; you want the Alhambra General ticket, not the cheaper one that doesn't include the Nasrid Palaces. There are definitely other things to see in Granada, but I wouldn't make a beyond-rushed trip to Granada that also limits me to a rushed trip to Cordoba if I was going to miss out on the Alhambra.

Perhaps the best you'll be able to do is get the cheap daytime ticket (excluding the Nasrid Palaces) and use it in the afternoon, then supplement that with a nighttime ticket to the Nasrid Palaces.

Posted by
8 posts

Chani, I see the train from Jerez to Cadiz leaves at 1:53 pm. The horse show ends at 1:30 pm. Do you think I will have time to catch the 1:53 train or do I have to wait for the next train which isn't until 3:48 pm?

Posted by
8 posts

As an update, it turned out to be 2 days/1 night in Granada, 2 nights in Cordoba, 4 nights in Seville with Jerez as a day trip. If I had more time, I would add another night in Granada. Granada and Cordoba were my favourites. I will try to write a trip report.

Posted by
15053 posts

Hi Samantha. Glad it all worked out. Thanks for coming back to let us know. That's always appreciated. As will be a trip report, if you do one.