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Barcelona to San Sebastian - help with route, French or Spanish side of Pyrenees?


Jul 26th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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Barcelona to San Sebastian - help with route, French or Spanish side of Pyrenees?

We’re driving from the Girona/Costa Brava area to spend a few days in the Basque region (St Jean de Luz/San Sebastian). Any suggestions on the most scenic route to take and places to stay? From Google Earth the Spanish side of the Pyrenees looks a bit desolate, so don't know if we should take the French side over and the Spanish side back? Is there anything to see on this side (Spanish) of the Pyrenees (any hotel recommendations?) or would you return again on the French side? Thanks in advance for any info.

astutefish is offline  
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Jul 27th, 2006, 03:52 AM
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I'll actually be doing the same trip in September and was wondering the same thing. BS
BobSwanson is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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We will be driving to Narbonne from San Sebastian and need the same advice. Anybody know which side to take?
Libby_Nash is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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I would say that generally the French side is more scenic in that you drive in the mountains more easily.

There is absolutely no reason to "do" the Pyrenees on the Spanish side. We did the drive from Bilbao to Barcelona by dipping southward. It depends on the amount of time one has to do it. Here are the photos of our trip:


Of course, there are things to see in the Spanish Pyrenees or at their base. The Taüll Romanesque churches are spectacular and worth seeing in their setting even if the frescoes have been transferred to the National Museum in Barcelona (copies remain in the churches). San Juan de la Peña is another worth while stop.

But it it easier to drive up to the high Pyrenees and continue the trip with back-tracking when doing it in France. Thus one can drive up from Perpignan to La Tour de Carol and down to Foix and continue westward. St. Bertrand de Comminges should not be missed. The drive over the Col du Tourmalet is spectacular, as is the one over the Col d'Aubisque on the way to Pau. Farther into the valley, the village of Mirepoix is "un des plus beaux villages" and Auch has an interesting cathedral and a large regional products market.
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