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choc Mar 13th, 2008 08:45 PM

barcelona and basque region
I am planning a summer trip with 2 friends and would appreciate any suggestions. We are going to fly into Barcelona mid july and stay 3 nights. We were then thinking of travelling either north to san sebastian and bilbao with stops along the way or along the costa brava and then into the pyrennes. We are planning to travel for about 3 weeks and thought of renting a car for part of the time. Looking for suggested must visit places, what is a reasonable distance to cover by car and any hotels.

Robert2533 Mar 13th, 2008 10:27 PM

I can only suggest you refer to Maribel's Guides for recommendations on where to go and what to do.

traveller1959 Mar 14th, 2008 02:47 AM

You might be interested in reading my trip report on Barcelona, Costa Brava and the Pyrenees:;tid=35086408

We have also been to Donostia (San Sebastian) and Bilbao, but on a different trip.

Driving time from BCN to Donostia is six hours if you take the fastest route. If you drive through the mountains, it takes several days.

If you are in the Basque region do not forget to cross the border and explore a bit of Southwestern France (Biarritz, St. Jean-de-Luz, the gorgeous Atlantic coast).

choc Mar 15th, 2008 06:23 PM

Thanks for the advice Robert, I have started to look through Maribel's guides for some great ideas and also read traveller1959's entertaining thread. Just makes me want July to come!
We were thinking of renting a car in Barcelona and driving to San Sebastian. What would be some must see places to visit along the way? Should we go via Zaragoza? Or would it be better to drive straight through and spend more time exploring the Basque region along the Atlantic coast? Also wondered whether we should make Donastia a base and visit Bilbao and the surrounding region from there?

Robert2533 Mar 16th, 2008 11:11 PM

The quickest route, the most direct, is to go through Zaragoza (Expo 2008), then head to the Rioja before driving north to Donostia, via Pamplona, or straight north to Bilbao.

I would stop at the Parador Sos del Rey Católico, enjoy the end of a nice drive and be in the Rioja by late morning. Remember, the Rioja Alavesa is the Basque country (Alava), and Laguardia is only a little over an hours drive from Bilbao.

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