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Road trip Toledo to Granada

I’m planning what I hope to be a laidback trip to Spain for 10 days in October. The only requirements on this trip are to visit the Alhambra and Trevelez. The plan is to start in Toledo, road trip to Granada, and spend the rest of the time relaxing in Granada and exploring the surrounding area. I envision the road trip taking a couple of days as I’d like to stop at any town that piques my interest.

  • Day 1 – arrive Madrid and take the train to Toledo
  • Day 2 – Toledo
  • Day 3 – begin road trip to Granada
  • Day 4 – continue road trip to Granada
  • Day 5 – Granada
  • Day 6 – explore towns around Granada via car or bus
  • Day 7 – Granada
  • Day 8 – explore towns around Granada via car or bus
  • Day 9 – Granada
  • Day 10 – depart Granada

Is 2 days enough time for the road trip? Will I have trouble finding a last minute hotel along the way, generally speaking?

Posted by
3439 posts

It’s only 228 miles between Toledo and Granada, and most of that is interstate, so it can be done in a day. We did it in a day. I drove between the two a few years ago and stopped in Consuegra to see the castle and windmills there, and also Campo de Criptana to see those windmills. The windmills at Campo de Criptana were the giants in Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Both towns are off the same road (CM-42) when leaving Toledo and about 30 minutes apart. Easy to get to the interstate (E5) after visiting them. If you are going to do it in two days, then look into things to do in Manzanares, Jaen, Linares, or Ubeda since they are close to the half way point. I haven’t stayed in any of them. If you like castles, east of Granada is La Calahorra. There is another south of Granada in Lanjaron. While the castle there isn't spectacular, the town is worth walking around. If you get down to Almeria, it has a nice castle/alcazar. We spent a couple hours walking around it and another couple hours walking around the town.

Posted by
5 posts

Jaime, thanks for the suggestions. I’m hoping to avoid the major highway, but I haven’t studied the map, yet. I saw the windmills in Criptana many years ago on my first trip to Spain. It will be nice to see them again. Love castles and exploring via foot. Let the research begin. Did you drive to La Calahorra, Lanjaron, and Almeria from Granada or take the bus/train?

Posted by
3439 posts

We drove. On that trip, the day we left Granada we drove to La Calahorra (couldn’t go in it), then Lanjaron, down to Salobrena (there is a castle there too), then over to Almeria where we spent 2 nights. Then we went along the coast to Mojacar, Lorca, and Murcia, before heading north to Cuenca. Unless we’re staying in one place, we always drive in Spain.

Posted by
454 posts

I second the recommendations for Baeza and Úbeda not too far from Granada. They are both World Heritage sites. I first heard about them here on this forum and after seeing photos of them on internet and Instagram, I decided that I had to visit them someday. I just got back from a long trip to Europe and when in Spain spent three nights in Baeza. Both towns are beautiful, with lots of alleyways and wonderful buildings to explore. The historic old town areas are not too big and easily walkable. We chose to stay in Baeza, the smaller of the two and enjoyed it very much but either would be great for a stay. They are only a few miles apart. We took a short bus ride over to explore Úbeda for the day and it was also fascinating. Both towns are surrounded by olive groves as far as the eye can see. Baeza has a "mirador" - look out point- with wonderful panoramic views of the Guadalquivir valley. We also visited an olive oil plant in Begíjar, right outside of Baeza, and it was very interesting to learn about olive oil production and taste different types of olive oil. From Baeza we took a bus to Jaén and stayed there just one night, but that gave us enough time to walk to the major sites in town and the next morning we took a cab up the mountainside to the castle and parador ( no public transport up there) for more great views.

From Toledo, Consuegra and its windmills and castle is a great visit and on the way there you pass through or close to the tiny town of Orgaz. In Toledo, the famous Goya painting of the Burial of the Count of Orgaz is on display at the Santo Tomé church. A few years ago, on the way to Consuegra, we decided to stop in the town and walk around. They were having some kind of festival there at the plaza and it turned into a very pleasant stop.

I did not get to Córdoba on this trip but if you do go there, look into exploring the nearby town of Écija.

Posted by
454 posts

Ooooops, I need to correct myself. That famous painting in Toledo is by El Greco, I absentmindedly wrote Goya.

Posted by
7124 posts

From Toledo to Granada ....
- Consuegra - windmill country
- Almagro - https://www.lospueblosmasbonitosdeespana.org/castilla-la-mancha/almagro
https://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/otros-destinos/almagro.html
- Villanueva de los Infantes - https://www.lospueblosmasbonitosdeespana.org/castilla-la-mancha/villanueva-de-los-infantes
https://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/otros-destinos/villanueva_de_los_infantes.html
- Baeza & Ubeda - UNESCO listed Renaissance twins (buy some Tito pottery)
- Jaen - famous cathedral

Day 1 – arrive Madrid and take the train to Toledo
Day 2 – Toledo
Day 3 – via Consuegra to Almagro
Day 4 – via Villanueva de los Infantes to Baeza & Ubeda
Day 5 – via Jaen to Granada
Day 6 – Granada - Alhambra
Day 7 – by car to Las Alpujarras (Trevelez)
Day 8 – by car to visit an olive oil co-op, Sierra Nevada mountain drive, Guadix (for trogolodyte dwellings)
Day 9 – Granada - Albaicin, cathedral & royal tombs
Day 10 – depart Granada

Posted by
5 posts

I've been contemplating a visit to an olive grove. I think I'll work it in the trip. Thanks for all the great information.

Posted by
14449 posts

What is the attraction of an olive grove? Unless you want to see some really oddly shaped tree trunks and for that you need to find a very old grove, centuries-old, not decades old.

Posted by
3439 posts

Lots of olive groves that can be from the interstates all over the country. It’s the cork trees right after the cork has been harvested that I like to see.