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Avignon to San Sebastian then onwards - how to travel and where to stop

Avignon to San Sebastian then onwards - how to travel and where to stop

Jul 12th, 2007, 08:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 31
Avignon to San Sebastian then onwards - how to travel and where to stop

Hello helpful fodorites,
Hubby and I have booked accommodation in Provence (Bonnieux) from 16/9 checkin to 22/9 checkout. We'd like to end up in Barcelona on 27/9. The trouble is the bit in between. We essentially have 5 nights. We'd like to stay in or around San Sebastian for at least 3 of those nights. The tricky bit is how to travel between Provence and SS, then onwards.

What do you think of this plan?
Drive from Provence to SS with two night stops along the way. After spending 3 nights in SS visiting that area, drop the car off at Hendaye and take a train to Barcelona. (This is to avoid the exorbitant drop-off fee of 500Euro.)

Can you recommend 1 or 2 places along the way to stop for the night enroute from Avignon to San Sebastian? We're definitely stopping at Carcassonne for a visit, don't necessarily have to stay there though. I would also love to spend a night at a castle or chateaux along the way. I saw a lovely abbey at Camon but they are booked up.

Perhaps we should just forget driving, drop car off at Avignon, take a train to San Sebastian then pick another car up?

Any suggestions on best way to take train from Hendaye/San Sebastian to Barcelona?

Any suggestion on a place to stay in or near San Sebastian with character?

Thank you so much for the help. It's been fodor forums that has taken me even this far.
effe88 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,712
What kind of hotel budget do you have?

I like the Pays Basque very much..you might consider one night in a town like St. Jean Pied de Port before heading to SS. (If you have the budget, Les Pyrenees is a great place to stay, with a fantastic restaurant). We only stayed one night but wished we had had more time there. See the Relais Chateaux site for details.

In SS I stayed at the Hotel Niza and while it has a good location on the beach, I would not say it is filled with character.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965
I believe there is an overnight train from Donostia to Barcelona
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 31
Thanks ekscrunchy. I searched for Les Pyrenees and it looks beautiful. It is within my price range according to the website as my budget is 150 Euros per night. The beautiful thing about your answer is that I had not previously thought of stopping at St Jean Pied de Port. My original plan was to go the "Cathars" route through Toulouse. But I read up some more about Pays Basque after checking out Les Pyrenees, and downloaded Maribel's guide on this. I will change our route now.

Thanks PalenQ, I will look further into that night train. P.S. Thanks for your answer to my question re accommodation in Lyon and Dijon.
effe88 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965
www.renfe.es Spanish rail web site for train schedules and booking

though some folks have trouble actually booking on the site. I believe these trains can fill up so reserve as early as possible - up to 60 days before i believe.

You could check with raileurope.com for prices in US $ and get your tickets here and just have to board but you may pay a bit more but at times in the past they have been surprisingly competitive on Spanish night trains so compare both. (Instead of RailEurope i advise calling one of their agents - BETS - 800-441-9413 as you can talk to someone knowledgeable and they won't charge some of RE's mailing fees. I don't think you can book this train at French stations but give it a try as well.
PalenQ is offline  

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