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Biarritz and San Sebastian in 1 Day?

Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:39 AM
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Biarritz and San Sebastian in 1 Day?

We will be on a cruise ship that stops in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France from 8 am - 6 pm for 1 day.

Is it possible to see both Barriatz and San Sebastian in this limited time frame?

If not, any recommendations as to the best place(s) to visit in the time we have in the area?

Thanks in advance.

Roosevelt G.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:52 AM
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How had you planned to get to San Sebastian??? Trains don't seem to be an option, and I have no idea if a taxi is an option.

Personally, I would just visit St Jean and then either Biarritz or Bayonne.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:10 AM
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We assume that we would take a taxi because of the time constraints.

Roosevelt.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:20 AM
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Make sure a France taxi can/will go into Spain.... Try to locate someone who has actually done this (we drove - and got lost - even with a GPS).

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:51 AM
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I am fairly sure a taxi driver won't get lost.

I don't think I would bother to try to do both destinations. I would just go to San Sebastian.

You might try the Cruise Critic message boards for help with locating a driver.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Take a train to Hendaye where from the station the Tren Eskro train takes you to San Sebastian in about an hour or so - right in the center of town - taxis can't be much quicker - Biarritz is a lot closer - take a train there from St-Jean-de-Luz (Biarritz station actually a few miles out of town with shuttle buses to town) - again a taxi can't be much quicker.

San Sebastian to me is more interesting but Biarritz - an old watering hole of Brits and rich French has some neat architecture and a nice seafront.

can't do both in one day really IMO - would be on a train or in a taxi much of the time.

Cruise ships usually offer (high priced) shore excursions that may include one or the other.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:57 AM
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Taxi's to and from Biarritz/San Sebastián-Donostia are quite common, and not all that expensive, if you're flush with cash. There are also private transfer companies that we use all the time (http://suital.es and http://navarvipservicios.com).

But with only a few hours on dry land, why not simply enjoy the time in Saint-Jean-de-Luz instead of sending a few hours on the road trying to see both Biarritz and Donostia? It's a beautiful village, great for sightseeing or just walking around, and there are a few excellent restaurants to choose from.

Remember, they eat lunch earlier in France (between 12:45 and 1:30), so you'll need to make reservations ahead of time. There will be some tourist places around Place Louis XIV open after 1:30, but the best restaurants will be closed.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 09:00 AM
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I spent half a day in St Jean de Luz and like robert says a nice town itself with wonderful walks into natural areas - one of the nicer beaches anywhere. Spend some time wandering around St Jean itself and also perhaps do a day trip.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 09:01 AM
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Another thing to consider, you're ship is due to arrive at 8:00 am, but you will probably not reach the harbour and dry land until sometime after 9:00.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 12:20 PM
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I did a day trip to St Jean de Luz from San Sebastian and was fairly repelled by the touristy-ness of it. I think basically you'll find the same people from your ship just stting at tables in town, or shopping. I escaped to its sister village, Ciboure, for lunch, which was nicer, but otherwise wished I'd just stayed in San Sebastian, which is simply beautiful and the food is fabulous. Never been to Biarritz.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 12:43 PM
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PS: If it were me returning to that area from a cruise ship, I would hope to be able to afford a driver to take me 30 minutes to the pretty little inland town of Espelette, which has chocolates and a special dried pepper that is famous. It is a very small town, and it might be crowded with tourists, but you wouldn't need to stay long. Then it is an hour from there to San Sebastian via an inland route that goes through other pretty towns (Ainhoa, Sare) and pastures with sheep. You'd be in San Sebastian in plenty of time for lunch (a pintxos crawl would be my choice), and then you could return by the coast -- which is beautiful drive -- to your ship.

If your cruise is mostly about stopping in scenic ports, taking a 30 minute trip inland might give you some real variety. The countryside with villages is charming

http://phareouest.fond-ecran-image.c...e-Ainhoa-5.jpg
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 01:42 PM
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My wife's Shutterfly book of our 2 week stay in the Pays Basque - followed by 3 more weeks in the Pyrenees.

http://share.shutterfly.com/share/re...=1EYt2Llw1ZMok

Click "View Photo Book", and then on the next page click "full screen"

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:42 PM
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Depending on the time of year, traffic along the coastal road can add an hour or more to the drive. The main highway is quicker, but can have heavy truck traffic each way with a backup at the old border crossing, now a toll booth. There is an easy way to avoid the traffic, which any taxi driver will know, but may not use.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Most of the "tourist" in Saint-Jean-de-Luz are from Paris, down for a few days or the month.
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