Barcelona to Olite?

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Apr 5th, 2002, 07:49 PM
  #1
vic
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Barcelona to Olite?

Does anyone know the drive time from Barcelona to Olite? Is the Parador there as wonderful as it looks?
 
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Apr 6th, 2002, 05:38 AM
  #2
Maribel
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vic,
According to www.viamichelin.com,
the distance is 278 miles, and the drive should take under 4 1/2 hrs.

We've been to the Parador in Olite and plan to take friends down there from Pamplona for lunch this July during San Fermin. The dining room is noted for its fine food (try the asparagus and red peppers of this region!) and great list of rose wines made in Olite and reds from Navarra and the Rioja. While it doesn't quite make my top 5 list of all the historic Paradors, it makes a nice stop if you're passing through. The decor is "old-fashioned" castle Parador (opened in the '60s) -it hasn't been refitted by the spiffy new Parador decorating team yet, as far as I know. Nonethess, the building itself has that great "fairy tale" medieval French chateau style castle look with grand, baronial halls,incredibly thick walls, larged carved chests, tapestries, Gothic leaded windows, suits of armour, parapets, even a dungeon. I'd request a rm with canopy bed in the original building rather than the modern wing.
The Parador does make a good base to visit the Monasteries of Oliva and Leyre, the medieval village atop the hill of Ujue, Pamplona and the birthplace of Ferdinand, Sos del Rey Catolico.
My personal preference is the Parador at Sos in nearby Aragon (for the town and for the balconied rms and lovely terrace at the Parador)-you might want to make a coffee stop there, then press on- but if you haven't yet experienced a fairy tale castle-Parador, then you'll love the one in Olite.
 
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Apr 6th, 2002, 05:45 AM
  #3
vic
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Thanks for the great info. Basically, we are trying to decide as to whether to fly from Barcellona to San Sebastian or drive and stay at Olite on the way. What are your thoughts? Any suggestions regarding the drive or San Sebastian hotels? We are also considering the Fuenterrabia parador in that area.
 
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Apr 6th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #4
Maribel
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vic,
Please stay in the Fuenterrabia Parador of Carlos V. Besides being a wonderful castle Parador, it's located in a truly terrific, atmospheric, very picturesque Basque fishing village. Fuenterrabia/Hondarribia (in euskara, the Basque language) is perfectly located for great day trips into the Pays Basque countryside (Esplette, Ascain, Ainhoa, Sare are delightful) across the border and up to the delightful French Basque fishing village of St Jean de Luz. I promise you'll enjoy Fuenterabbia. It has simply great dining and tapas bars to boot and friendly locals.

We've done the Barcelona-S.S. drive a couple of times, but not directly on the superhighways. We've taken the longer route up , through Huesca to the Pyrennes at Jaca to explore the Aragonese Pyrennes towns of Biescas and Torla, the entrance to the Parque Nacional de Ordesa and the beautiful Roncal and Salazar valleys of Navarra. If you have the time, I'd drive. You can make as many or as few stops as interests dictate.

We've stayed in San Sebastian at the convenient and comfortable Hotel Europa right in the center, a block from La Concha beach, and also at the Hotel Costa Vasca, further from the downtown core, but just above Ondarreta beach. It has a pool and nice grounds. Both are fine. Of course, there's the Grand Dame, Old World style Maria Cristina, where the stars stay during the Sept. International Film Festival, that is one of the best in Spain-depends on your budget, of course.
 
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