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Please Critique My Andalusia, Spain Agenda--and what about Morocco?

We are going to Spain in October. I have been reading some books and online forums and have come up with this plan.Everything is still flexible. So let me know if I am misinformed or in your opinion need to tweak it. But here is my plan:
Bold dates=overnite
Leave Oct 1 to Spain
Madrid--Oct 2, 3, 4
TRAIN--Toledo 4,5
TRAIN to Cordoba--5, 6, 7
TRAIN to Granada--7,8,9,10
CAR to Malaga--10, 11
CAR to Ronda--11, 12
CAR to Sevilla--12, 13, 14, 15
CAR to Lagos, Portugal--15, 16, 17
Now this is where it gets foggy…drive back to Sevilla and fly home OR ferry over to Tangier and do a tour of Marrakech, Fes, Casablanca, etc. So many tours and different prices. I know I can/should go to the Africa thread to get some ideas but I wondered if someone else had done anything similar. We are only thinking about another 7-9 days in Morocco. Haven't traveled for that many days before. Am I crazy? Should that just be another trip? Any thoughts or ideas? Thx for taking the time to respond. It is appreciated.

Posted by
16883 posts

Hi, Sharon. Lagos would be a relaxing break before you take that Moroccan adventure. I have enjoyed many Mediterranean beaches in October. We would not balk at spending three or four weeks on the road, if you have the time. 7 - 9 days in Morocco would be a very different and rewarding experience, enough time to see the three cities, and I highly recommend it.

Posted by
9110 posts

I'm unaware of a ferry from Lagos to Morocco. If I'm correct, you might want to rejigger your sequence so you don't bypass Algeciras / Tarifa enroute to Lagos only to have to double back. Additionally, I wouldn't bother with the ferry if you're going further down into Morocco. Get the car back into Spain to drop it and catch a flight down to wherever is cheapest and start from there - - you won't see anything more driving down the A1 that you won't see somewhere else in the country and it's a long slog.

If you're trying to scrunch time and need to cut part of Spain, it'd probably be Malaga.

If you stayed in Albufeira, you could make an excursion to Lagos and Cape St Vincent in one day and Faro on another. Staying all the way west kind of cramps your flexibility.

Casablanca has never rung my bell. You could use up the whole time in Fez and Marrakech with no trouble. If you'd scratched Malaga, Safi is a really good beach substitute. An excursion into the High Atlas is something a lot of people fail to explore.

Posted by
15037 posts

There are budget flights between several Spanish cities and both Marrakesh and Fez. If you have 7-9 days, go for it. I thought about it on my trip to Andalusia last year, but there were too many places in Spain that I wanted to explore.

Consider going from Cordoba to Seville by train (you won't want a car in Seville). You could even train (or bus - just as good) straight to Granada from Madrid. Then by car to Malaga, Ronda, Lagos and drop it in Seville). Check the airlines to see what your options are for flights to Morocco. For instance fly from Granada to Marrakesh, then Fez to Seville. By the way, where are you planning to spend nights 5 and 6?

I spent 3 nights in Ronda with a car. I loved Ronda and I also was able to explore the pueblos blancos and loved the scenic, scenic driving - though driving in the towns is tricky - steep and narrow. If you can drive hills with manual transmission, that's great. But if you need an automatic, choose your rental company and cities carefully. There aren't a lot of automatics to be had, and even if you reserve one, if it's a small outfit, you could find that they don't have one waiting for you. Or you may be forced to take a larger car, which may be more difficult to drive in those narrow lanes and to park.

I had 3 full days in Granada and thought it was one too many. I skipped Malaga, after researching.

Posted by
9110 posts

Chani's right about a couple days in Granada, I missed it on the first go.

Posted by
2 posts

I forgot to include Toledo after Madrid on the first edition. Thx for all of your ideas. It has given us a lot to consider. We don't mind driving but sometimes a car in these small towns isn't worth it. Perhaps a bus might be better. I think from Lagos we would need to get to Sevilla again to fly to Morocco. It sounds like we need to cut some time from Granada and perhaps Malaga. That would help us with 7-9 days in Morocco. So many people love Ronda. Do we need 2 nights in Ronda? It really helps me get a handle on these plans with your input. Muchas gracias.

Posted by
4535 posts

A few of my thoughts to add. You definitely don't want to drop the car off in Portugal due to the very heavy foreign drop-off fees that would be added. I also agree with the others, don't have a car in Sevilla as it is worthless and more of a hindrance. If you can do Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada by bus or train then pick up a car for seeing the hill towns and coastal region, that makes more sense. You can stay in Ronda for a couple of nights with a car and use it to see some of the other towns and explore the region. I also agree that Granada is not worth three nights, but then again some people love it. Malaga might be worth a night only if you need it for flying out of or as a stop before going to Morocco. It might be a bit of a letdown after seeing all the other sights.

Posted by
16883 posts

Your original message sounded like you did plan to return the car to Sevilla, as is necessary to avoid the drop-off fees. If you want to cut the travel time, then I would go to Morocco before Sevilla, as already suggested, and cut Lagos.

Posted by
15037 posts

Oh, good. I was going to suggest Toledo at that point in your itinerary!

Vueling has flights between Seville and Fez 3 times a week (albeit with a stop in Barcelona!) but the tickets are less than €100 each and it's about 8 hours due to the layover - still faster than anything else. RyanAir has frequent flights between Marrakesh and Seville. I found that with just a few minutes' searching. There may be a couple more options. It will probably work out best to fly to/from MOrocco and Spain and then home from Spain. An open-jaw into Madrid and back from Morocco may be either hard to find or expensive, or both. Or find a tour that's round-trip from Marrakesh, and fly there and back from Seville.

Posted by
3117 posts

We're doing something similar but opposite flying into Casablanca (from Atlanta via Paris) and then traveling to Rabat, Fez, and Marrakech. We'll take trains between cities in Morocco and rely on hotels for suggestions of tour guides as needed. From Marrakech we're flying to Seville and will continue our travels in Spain.

For a taste of Morocco you could delete Lagos or Malaga as suggested and spend time in Marrakech and Fez flying home from Casablanca. Another option would be to fly round trip from Seville to Marrakech. Spend 5 -6 days in Marrakech with a trip to Essaouira for a couple of nights. Essaouira is on the coast and about 3 hours from Marrakech.

It sounds like a great trip!