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Barcelona to San Sebastian via Pyrenees travel advice

Barcelona to San Sebastian via Pyrenees travel advice

Old Sep 17th, 2022, 01:50 PM
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Barcelona to San Sebastian via Pyrenees travel advice

Hi All-

Looking for advice on a road trip from Barcelona to San Sebastian via the Pyrenees in early May 2023. First time to Spain/France and travelling with my 75 yo parents so not looking to do anything too strenuous. We will have 3.5-4 days and 3 nights to spend along the way. I've read a few other posts about which towns to go through/visit so my thoughts are as follows:

Following Google maps routes (with or without highways?) through Beziers (as I understand seeing the Pyrenees from the French side is better):
Barcelona-Girona-Beziers-Sauveterre-de-Comminges (to stay at the Hostellerie Des 7 Molles)-Tarbes-Pau-Bearritz (maybe)-San Sebastian

OR

Following Google maps (again, with or without highways?) through Boi:
Barcelona-Girona-Boi-Sauveterre-de-Comminges (to stay at the Hostellerie Des 7 Molles)-Tarbes-Pau-Bearritz (maybe)-San Sebastian

I've read to avoid Lourdes, Pamplona, and Andorra although I may go through Pamplona on our last leg (straight shot) to Madrid. Any thoughts or recommendations on where to go in addition to this, where to avoid or strike off this list, and/or nice places to stay/eat along the way would be greatly appreciated!

lisa

Last edited by lisacanty5231; Sep 17th, 2022 at 01:52 PM. Reason: adding timeframe
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 01:56 PM
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Moved to Europe board and tagged for Spain
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 02:12 PM
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We crossed the Pyrenees starting in Hondarribia near San Sebastián. We chose to travel on the French side of the Pyrenees as the highways went closer to the mountains than they did on the Spanish side. We stayed overnight in Olaron- Ste-Marie and
Sauveterre-de-Comminges where we really liked Hostellerie de 7 Molles.It’s dining room attracted guests from a great distance.
After we left the mountains we stayed on the French coast in Collioure, a new favorite, and then drove south into Spain to Begur on the Costa Brava. Finally dropped our car off at Barcelona airport and took a taxi into the city.
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 02:36 PM
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If you want an alpine experience if only driving and mountain driving does not bother you, you could go from Bagneres-de-Bigorre to Argelès-Gazost via the Col du Tourmalet


and from Argeles to Saint Jean-de-Pied-de-port via the Col du Soulor and then using the secondary roads closest to the Spanish border. It would add an extra day to your traveling through the Pyrenees

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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 07:14 AM
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We drove Michael's route in our 6 metre campervan. Apart from dodging cyclists - there can be a lot of them, and the odd cow it was a reasonable drive and very enjoyable. Do allow time to get out and enjoy the views, watch out for vultures and eagles.
We have also driven the Spanish side in the camper, from Roses to Pamplona going up into the mountains. Not as spectacular in some ways, but quieter, and still really beautiful. Obviously we were not tied to time or place to stop though we always stopped at campsites, so I can't comment on places to stop the night.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 08:33 AM
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Here’s my NE Spain itinerary and pics:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...gway1jZGcxVzlR
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 04:12 PM
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Thank you all! Happy Trvlr- I'm staying at the Hostellerie de 7Molles (now called the Hotel DuBarry) based on your recommendation from another post Will look into the routes Michael and hetismij2 suggest, as well as joannyc's link. Wish we had an extra day but trying to make it back to Madrid for the tennis tournament!
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 05:52 PM
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As an avid mountain biker and fan of the tour, this is exactly what I'd like to do! Thank you, Michael!
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 11:05 PM
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Traditionally the tour goes over the Tourmalet and the Soulor. Lots of amateurs doing the Tourmalet.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 04:49 AM
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Happy Trvlr- Where did you stay in Olaron- Ste-Marie? Just looking for options in case we need to stay over along the way from Sauveterre-de-Comminges. Thanks!
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 05:00 AM
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Great slideshow, joannyc! I am looking to do the same or a similar route to the northern portion you did through the Pyrenees. Did you overnight in Boí or Taüll? If so, would you mind recommending a place? Thank you
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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That's ok... would still be cool to see. Although that means cutting out Tarbes and Pau which I also wanted to see :/
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 11:54 AM
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lisacanty5231,
We accessed the beautiful Val de Boí from our base in the Val d'Aran to visit the collection of fine Romanesque churches there, but when we return to the area, we want to spend a night or two in Taüll itself. We found it the prettiest of these stone and slate villages, prettier to our eyes than Boí, the ski resort of the valley.
We looked at the small and simple 2-star Hostal La Plaça in Eril la Vall and the more upscale Hotel Rural El Valet de Taüll. You might consider it. It gets solid reviews on TA and Booking.com

https://www.elxaletdetaull.com/en/

https://www.vallboi.cat/en
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by lisacanty5231 View Post
Great slideshow, joannyc! I am looking to do the same or a similar route to the northern portion you did through the Pyrenees. Did you overnight in Boí or Taüll? If so, would you mind recommending a place? Thank you
Thanks very much! I stayed in Taull at the Hotel el Ratiner. https://el-rantiner-hotel.hotelescua...rellas.website

it was more than fine and included breakfast. Right there with all the churches.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 01:28 PM
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We didn't find any lodging particularly interesting in Oloron-Sainte-Marie with mountain views, but I would like to know too where HappyTrvl stayed for a future Béarn stay.
We've stayed at several B&Bs (chambres d'hôtes) in the Béarn area over several summers on our way to San Sebastián.
The one with the most stunning views of the Pyrenées was the Clos Mirabel just outside of Jurançon. It's both a B&B and whole house rental. We stayed in the main house right before the Tour de France came through (the whole house was taken over then by cyclists when the Tour arrived). It has a pool, nice owners (Canadiens) and again, very pretty mountain views. This is in case you want to go further west from Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

https://clos-mirabel.com

https://www.sawdays.co.uk/france/aqu.../clos-mirabel/

Another hotel-restaurant west of Oloron-Sainte-Marie is the Chez Chillo in Barcus, also with views and handy to visit the Eglise Saint Blaise to the north and the amazing (!!) and huge La Verna caves to the south in pretty Sainte-Engrâce (guided visits by reservation only).
The hotel restaurant is quite well known for its cuisine (duck). The rooms are simple, but it has a pool and again, nice mountain views that we didn't find in Oloron-Sainte-Marie. But the village of Barcus is technically in the small Soule province (Xiberoa in Basque) of the Pays Basque, as are the La Verna caves.

https://www.hotel-chilo.com

https://www.laverna.fr

Last edited by Maribel; Sep 20th, 2022 at 01:32 PM.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by joannyc View Post
Thanks very much! I stayed in Taull at the Hotel el Ratiner. https://el-rantiner-hotel.hotelescua...rellas.website

it was more than fine and included breakfast. Right there with all the churches.
My Taull hotel is the first pic in the group of pics labeled Taull. It also had free parking. There are a couple of churches nearby that you would have to drive to but a number of churches are right there in the village.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 04:00 PM
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joannyc,
Your hotel, the Rantiner, looks like a very cute place! And your photos are beautiful.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Maribel View Post
joannyc,
Your hotel, the Rantiner, looks like a very cute place! And your photos are beautiful.
Thanks very much, Maribel!
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Old Sep 24th, 2022, 06:11 AM
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Thanks to everyone!! I will need some time to sink my teeth into all the info but it is very much appreciated
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 02:55 PM
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joannyc,

How did you draw your itinerary map on the first pic of your slideshow? I need to present this trip as a gift so looking to do something similar to show where we will be going...

Thx!
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