Andalusia

Discussion in 'Travel' started by manuel_franz, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. After some twenty-odd years, I am finally returning to Spain's Andalusia region. Last time I went, I was
    young and more interested in partying than sight-seeing or photography. This time, I'd like that to be
    different.

    We'll by flying into Sevilla where we have two days. From there, we have a car and are thinking about going
    to Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, Gibraltar (with a day in Tangier, Morocco), Cadiz, and then back to Sevilla.

    From my previous trip, I do remember the Alhambra and I also know that Sevilla offers quite a bit in terms
    of beautiful sights. As we live in the Central American rainforest, access to guide books is unavailable. I've
    found several recommendations on-line but am wondering if anyone can give me first-hand tips and ideas
    about places to go, things to do, and sights to see?

    Thanks in adavance.
     
  2. For non-photography information like, were to sleep, eat, what to see and do, visit these website's forums MadridMan.com and Slow Talk. I have used these websites to help planned my trips to Spain. You will find people that live or just visited have visited Andalusia.
    One of the favorite things I did in Granada was visit the Alhambra but twice. Once during the day and then the next day then at night. It was not the same visit. Another was sitting at an outdoor cafe that is front of San Nicolas, having a very good lunch with a majestic view of the Alhambra and Serria Mountains in the background from my table. Then after lunch pull out my camera to photograph the Alhambra.
    Bill
     
  3. The apes / monkeys in Gibraltar are great.
     
  4. I've only been to Malaga out of those locations, but it was absolutely beautiful. The day we were there the med sea was a glowing jewel in the sunlight. We actually went to a small town about 30 minutes outside of Malaga. The town is called Mijas. It is largely a British national transplant town interestingly enough. It had a tiny bull ring that was charming, but was not open so we could not go inside to look at it (supposedly the smallest in Spain). The town itself was picturesque with the white washed buildings and narrow cobblestone streets.

    All in all the short trip (just for the day) really made it sink home as to why the call that part of Spain the Costa Del Sol.
     
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'd recommend cutting back on the "greatest tourist hits" travel and taking some time to stay in smaller villages without tourist traffic. There's usually a lot to photograph and you learn a lot more about the locals. Most villages have at least one hotel that will be a lot friendlier than the ones in the tourist cities. If you want to do the same in a city, try Jerez, which has little tourism outside the visits to the sherry factories. Also, I would recommend not going to Tangier for a day - it's a tourist trap mixed with crime, and it's not what Morocco is about. If you want to see Morocco, go to Fes and out into the middle Atlas, or to Marrakesh.
    That's not to say that the cities aren't beautiful, but the local flavor is really missing from the kind of tour you are talking about. Also, avoid the Costa del Sol, it's become high-rise beach cities for the Germans and the British.
    A typical village in the country...
    [​IMG]
    Osuna, Copyright 2005 Jeff Spirer [​IMG]
    Angel in Jerez, Copyright 2005 Jeff Spirer
     
  6. I lived in Granada for a year not too long ago and now in madrid. From my experience, Malaga has become really touristy and full of british and german people. IT's fun, but more for the parties. As far as Granada goes, the Alhambra is great, but try going further into the mountains to Las Alpujarras. They make their own white wine (bring your own container) and have some incredible little restaurants and artisan markets. Plus the houses there are around 300 years old at least.

    As for other cities, Sevilla and cordoba both have their own special feel and architecture, and I'd second going to Fes or Maracech when you go to Morrocco, more authentic and way safer. Cadiz and Tarifa are where some of the best beaches on the planet are and some areas even have dunes.

    If you want some more in depth advice, email me and I'll give you some more ideas after I talk to my wife who's from Andalucia.
     
  7. My family and I spent a week in Mijas Costa area back in Xmas time. It was a great vacation for the entire family. One area that hasn't been mentioned that we all enjoyed was Ronda, with its bridge etc. Very picturesque and quaint to spend the day and explore. Lots of places to enjoy tapas for a meal. My teen daughters still talk about the seafood tapas they had. It seems to me you have a lot of traveling and the areas you mention are spread out more then you might estimate from a map. I might suggest less traveling and enjoying fewer areas longer, but I would agree there is much to see. Enjoy and would love to go back soon....
     
  8. I loved Merrakech, but it is a bit of a tourist trap still, at least parts of it. The major source of income for the city is from tourism. However, from what I have heard compared to Tangiers there is not a tourist to be found. It is a great jumping off point for the Atlas mountains and I wish my wife and I had had more time there when we visited, but we only had the day.

    A picture of snake charmers outside of the Souks in Merrakech.

    http://www.photo.net/photo/5954132
     
  9. Sorry, here is the picture.
    00Lf2Z-37166384.jpg
     
  10. Thank you all for your responses - certainly some great ideas and tips. I'd prefer to go to Fez
    or Marrakesh but I'll have to find out if that is truly possible for just one day.
     
  11. My wife and I went to Merrakech from Casablanca and it did end up being a long day. We were on a cruise when we went and the cruise ship debarked at 8am and we returned to the cruise ship at about 9pm. Of that 13hr day we spent about 3hrs each way driving leaving us with about 7hrs in the city. From northern Morocco the drive would undoubtly be longer, but it might be possible to manage it in 4hrs. If you are prepared for a very long day leaving around sunrise (6-7am) and returning late (10-11pm) you would most likely have enough time to enjoy at least a good tour of the city.
     
  12. Manuel, I would definitely not recommend trying to go to Fes or Marrakesh for just one day. Driving from the North to Marrakech in one day is not doable (unless you are participating in the Paris-Dakar rally). To Fes, more or less the same. You would not have any time to enjoy the cities. These are worth a trip in itself. I would focus in Andalucia. If you want to see moorish architecture, you will have plenty in Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba (and better preserved than in Morocco). If you want some small-village flavour, the route of the white villages (you can google ruta de los pueblos blancos) in the mountains of Cadiz / Malaga can be very interesting and give good photo ops (some great jamon in the area too) Andalucia is great, enjoy your trip. Nacho VeniVidiPhoto
    00LhZX-37226684.jpg
     
  13. I would second Jeff's suggestions to visit the small towns and try to avoid the tourist traps. Some things, however touristy, are still very much worth it, e.g. the Alhambra in Granada and the Mezquita in Cordoba. In Sevilla take advantage of the great flamenco: try to find a bar that has locals playing flamenco far into the night. The touristy flamenco shows are nice but it is incredible to watch the locals play and sing and dance one song after another with everyone joining in. I don't know of anything comparable in the US. I would also second the suggestion of Rondo or any of the white hill towns: Grazelema, Frontos de la Fronteras, Sentinil. Very photogenic and fun to meet the locals. Makes me want to go back!!
     

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