Hi, DH and I are taking a land/cruise trip next November. We're starting in Barcelona (previously been there) and staying for 2 nights pre-cruise. We end the cruise in Malaga and had planned on staying 2-3 nights there and a few nights in either Granada or Seville and flying home from Seville. However, after reading that most people don't think Malaga is worth that much time, I'm wondering what to do. We've also considered flying to Lisbon and DH wouldn't mind seeing Gibraltar.... so, if you had 6-7 nights in that area and we'll say roughly $3000 for the 6 nights, where would you go?
I have stayed in Malaga a few days and really enjoyed it. Maybe it was because I was with people I liked being with, but we liked wandering around, shopping, eating, and found it to be a very friendly town. There was also a nice view from the top. From there we also went to Tarifa and took the ferry over to Morocco and spent a few days there... We also stayed in Antequerra, Seville and one of the hill towns. Will you have a car? We also drove to the southern coast of Portugal and that was interesting as we had a few days to relax on the beach. I loved the south of Spain.
Tim, It's the whole "spirit of Christmas".. the liveliness, the decorations, the mulled wine, plus Germany in the winter (not that we've been there yet.. but castles in the snow?!). We don't spend a lot of time shopping on vacation, I know for some people that's a huge attraction :) We're hitting Casablanca, Funchal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Arricife. We've been to Europe in November and know that it's a little slower, but we prefer off season.
Jennifer, having cruised from Rome to Barcelona in October, I urge you to find out just how active your Southern Spain destinations are in November. I shouldn't compare Mediterranean islands to major cities like Malaga, but we found many shops closed and pedestrian traffic light in October. It might be wise, at that time of year, to concentrate on places that aren't quite so seasonal, like Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. You should also study tourist temperature charts, widely available in travel books and on the internet. There's a reason that cruise was attractively priced!
Thanks Tim! We're hitting the Canary Islands and renting a car to see the sights. Not too worried about shops being open, since we aren't huge shoppers. I may have actually convinced my hubby to fly from Malaga to Munich and take me to the Christmas Markets instead of staying in Spain. Christmas is my favorite holiday, his family is from Germany, and its on our travel list (and the right time of year!)....
Hey Jennifer, I'm confused about the conflict between: >>Not too worried about shops being open, since we aren't huge shoppers. and >>take me to the Christmas Markets
but you don't owe anyone a reply on that. What I meant by the shops not being open was that the only reason for walking around a town in Sardninia, Corsica, or the Ballearics is to enjoy the heat and bustle, the smells of local sardines grilling, and proximity to beautiful people in skimpy clothing. But some places, we couldn't buy a snack, or even get a taxi to explore the countryside ... I had a TI call three taxis and they all refused .... of course, that was before the Great Recession. I will say that Palma was decently lively, but you can't walk from the ship, you have to take their shuttle bus or a cab. I've only been to the Malaga Airport, so I don't know what the city is like. An outdoor Sangria in Seville would be different with a jacket zipped up, even if the tables are still being put out. (We went right to Madrid from our Windstar ship in Barcelona, and had a nice few days before flying home. Plenty of action there.)
Since you're going to Funchal, be prepared with trail-ready shoes (not "wilderness" shoes) to walk the levadas. My wife had a sore ankle, so we couldn't do it. No crowds are a plus for that excursion. But the hills can get foggy.