|Subject: Re: suggestions for Andalusia|
In response to a few of your questions related to Andalusia:
The Parador in Ronda is excellent. Although new, the location right on the edge of the El Tajo Ravine was breathtaking. We had a room on the top floor with a terrace overlooking the gorge. The dining room was lovely and the food delicious. This is one gorgeous town but usually filled with tourists. Hopefully it will be late enough in the season that you will have a chance to enjoy it.
If you continue along the Pueblo Blancos (white town route), you will eventually arrive in Arcos de la Frontera. Although we did not stay at the Parador, we did stop there for lunch which was sumptuous and very inexpensive. I would not hesitate to spend the night there.
Re-mortgage your house to stay at the Parador in Granada. It was stupendous - our room overlooked the Generalife (the summer palace & gardens). It was quite expensive but the experience was worth every cent. We had all our meals on the beautiful outdoor terrace - the food was fabulous and the ambience delightful. There are many common rooms that are so remarkable - it was a pleasure to wander the various sections and the grounds. I can still remember the sweet scent of jasmine emanating from the garden every time we walked by. While here, I suggest a walking tour (with a guide) of the Alhambra which is a few steps away from the Parador. Although our style is rarely with a guide, it was necessary here to reap the full benefit of the experience. The guide met us at the Parador where we were joined by others.
The Parador in Carmona was stunning as well. The only drawback for us was its proximity to Sevilla. It you plan to spend time in Sevilla (about 35 KM from Carmona), then I would suggest staying right in the town. Otherwise there is tremendous history in Carmona and the Parador is another one of those splendid converted palaces. It is perched on a hilltop overlooking the outstanding views of the flat cereal-growing plains of the Guadalquivir. The pool and surroundings are superb.
I can't comment on Cordoba - we chose to stay at a Karen Brown recommendation which, although inexpensive & well located, did not appeal to us.
If you are staying near Malaga for any length of time (not our first choice of places to be), I can recommend a gorgeous converted castle in Monda (see below), a few KM north of Marbella. This was also a recommendation from Karen Brown and the place and surroundings were magnificent.
I did a rather long report on most of our trip to Spain. There is a wealth of information including some of our wonderful experiences in Sevilla that may help you begin to plan your time there. I have included phone numbers and addresses of all of the above as well as restaurants that we enjoyed. I am sorry that it does not include web sites but I am sure it would be quite simple to find most of these places on the web. You can access my original message through the archives - message 20470. If you have trouble finding it, perhaps Linda can help you.
I am sure you will love whatever you do in this beautiful country.
Felice Toronto, Ontario CANADA
El Castillo de Monda Monda (Malaga - Andalusia) e-mail: mondas@ spa.es (close space after @) (this is not included in the archived message)