Questions about Andalucia

My husband and I will be arriving in Seville on July 25. We've allocated 5 days in Andalucia. 3 days in Seville, then 2 days driving through the white villages. Here are my questions. 1) what would be the best travel method to get to Seville. We will have an overnight flight from Miami to Lisbon on TAP. (Cheapest flight). Should we just take a connecting flight to Madrid, then AVE to Sev? 2). should we end our 2 day driving tour in Grenada or Cordoba? if we end in Granada, we would most likely drive ourselves to Barcelona, where we will spend the next 5 days of our trip. Is it a nice, easy drive? About how long would it take? if we end in Cordoba, we would take the AVE to Barcelona.(this actually sounds easier) we want to experience some of Andalucia's beautiful white villages, Which route would offer that better? (Sev-Gra or Sev-Cor)
3) I know it will be hot in Seville (and Andalucia) at the end of July, and a good thing to come from that will be a lot less people in the area. Will Seville still have the same sights, bars, restaurants, nightlife, flamenco, bullfights available in low season?

Posted by Kathryn
Tulsa, OK
241 posts

The AVE from Madrid is quick and easy. However, getting from the airport to the train station after the overnight flight might be a little taxing - or it would for me. Have you checked to see about flights from Madrid to Sevilla? It might be quicker and easier to not mess with luggage, etc. and just arrive in Sevilla by plane. I flew directly into Granada from Madrid after the long flight and it worked great.
There is a big difference between Cordoba and Granada in terms of distance from Sevilla. Cordoba is a quick train ride, but I believe the white villages are quite a bit south from Cordoba. The white villages are also quite a drive from Granada... But the route from Sevilla to Granada could take you through white villiage territory. You might check out distances on Via Michellin before making a decision about the driving. I would definitely not try to drive between Barcelona and anything in Andalucia.

Posted by Jeanette
Florida Keys
13 posts

Thank you for the suggestions. I'm going to look into TAP for a flight from Lisbon to Seville. After our 3 days in Seville, we will rent a car, and do our own 2 day driving tour of the white villages. It seems as if ending that tour in Grenada will be the way to go. Any suggestions for a route that is not too remote, but still allows us to see some villages?

Posted by Lou
San Jose, California, U.S.A.
116 posts

Jeanette, I would favor the plan you outlined in Question 1. There is an airport express bus which will take you Atocha for the AVE to Sevilla. The bus makes two stops before ending in Atocha. The bus is equipped with 3-tier luggage racks. Last October I went from Malaga to Atocha and then to the airport to fly to Lisbon. As the Brits would say, Easy-Peasy. By the way, I would hardly call end of July "low season". Bear mind that most of Europe goes on a month-long vacation in August.

Posted by Jeanette
Florida Keys
13 posts

I had read that summer was low season because it was so hot. So im glad to hear it wont be empty. (but hopefully not crowded!) I wanted to get Andalucia in before August, then the last 10 days of our trip, (Aug 1-10) will be in Barcelona (5 days), then San Sebastián/Basque (5 days). Figured we would start in the south and end in the north when it's hottest.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1007 posts

Kathryn is absolutely right about not driving between Andalucia and Barcelona. 1st of all, it's a long drive. Check on viamichelin.com for an optimistic estimate of the time. 2nd, it will be hot. Even with ac, the sun will beat down through any car windows; and you will fry any time you stop to stretch your legs. 3rd, as I recall, there are many fewer roadside restaurants for refreshment and toilet breaks than we are accustomed to in the U.S. I once flew from Granada to Barcelona, and my memory is that it was quite inexpensive. Check on vueling.com for low fares in Spain.

Posted by Jeff
Bend, OR, United States
1145 posts

I just looked at the TAP website and it looks like, least for the august date I checked, that it is actually cheaper to fly Miami-Seville than Miami-Lisbon. You might want to check that out, especially if you don't get hit with a big change fee.

Posted by Jeanette
Florida Keys
13 posts

Oh thank you for that tip! I will check the TAP website ASAP! How did I miss that?!! This is why I love Rick Steve's Travel Helpline. :)

Posted by Rachel
Jaen, Jaen, Spain
8 posts

In my thinking it would be better to hire a car in Lisbon and drive to Seville, around 4 hours, flying to Madrid and train to AVE is going in the wrong direction and wastes a lot of time. Driving also gives you much more freedom to explore en route. Although if you want to stay in Seville center having a car could be a problem unless you find a hotel with parking or stay outside Seville and take bus trips in. Also around Seville is the best stop to visit the white villages, they aren´t really en-route to either Cordoba or Granada. Another idea would to to stay nearer the white villages for a night or two, go to Granada, then to Cordoba then to Seville city, drop the car stay in the center and then fly 1.5 hours or train 6.5 hours to Barcelona. It will be hot, a lot of locals move out but it is a busy tourist time. Rachel Andalucia Explorer Blog
onlyspain.org]Only Spain