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Bilbao and Halfway Stop Between Leon and Toledo

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Jun 1st, 2008, 07:16 PM
  #1
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Bilbao and Halfway Stop Between Leon and Toledo

We will travel Spain this summer in a rental car. On July 23 we plan to visit Bilbao. We've read that it is a nightmare parking in Bilbao (i.e., its expensive). We're wondering what we should do with the car. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Also were planning to visit Toldeo (leaving from Leon), but we'd like to stop in a cute town about half-way (to break up the driving). Any thoughts on quaint little towns that would provide a respite for weary travelers? (We will have already visited Salamanca.)
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Jun 1st, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Parking in Bilbao isn't that much of a problem. There are several reasonably priced underground parking garages in the city center.

Have you read Maribel's Guide to the País Vasco? http://maribelsguides.com
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Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:32 AM
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Parking in Bilbao is no more difficult than any other Spanish city. I would suggest that you use secure underground parking with a car full of luggage
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Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:00 AM
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I recommend Arevalo just on the half-way (around 200-210 km from Leon and around 200 km to Toledo).
Arevalo is an interesting historical village:
http://www.spain.info/TourSpain/Dest...lo?Language=en
My favourite restaurant is Siboney at Calle de los Figones.
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Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:10 AM
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I strongly suggest spending time in Segovia which deserves as much time and attention as Toledo IMHO.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Parking in Bilbao, a 350.000 h. city, is not complicated. Parkings are widely available and street parking is normally quick.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:37 PM
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when going towards toledo, if it is not too much out of your way, one of my favorite parador castle hotels is OROPESA.
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Jun 4th, 2008, 01:24 AM
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I like too the Oropesa option, but if you find the first leg too long (400km, 4'30h), better opt for the Arevalo suggestion, but avoid getting into Madrid. Better detour to Avila>Barraco>Torrijos>Toledo.
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Jun 4th, 2008, 04:10 AM
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oropesa can be an additional coffee stop. it is really an impressive castle.
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Jun 9th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Great suggestions. Thank you.
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Jun 10th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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I am with Bob the Navigator:
Segovia is special and in tourist season is, in my opinion, muchmore enjoyable than Toledo. The countryside and surrounding towns are much more interesting as well. Pedrazza?
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Jun 10th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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WisconsinTraveler,
Revulgo's suggestion of Arévalo is right on target if you really are looking for a stop in a "cute, quaint little town" just to break up the 4 hr. 20 min. drive from León to Toledo.

While I'm just as big a fan of Segovia as everyone else (a HUGE fan, as bob knows, and have written a guide on it), it wouldn't serve as a "strech your legs" stop in a village, since to see this beautiful city properly would require a half day-the cathedral, the aqueduct, the Alcázar, the area below it at the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores rivers, a nice lunch at an "horno de asar" (roasting tavern)...

And you would need to detour 36 km. east from the A6 to reach the city, then 28 km. back west to the A6, which would take up more time.
But..
If you could spend a night in Segovia, that would be perfect!!

Both viamichelin.com and guiacampsa.es suggest the route from León to Toledo down the CL 622 to the
A 66 to A6 to the Guadarrama tunnel, the M 50 around Madrid, then down to Toledo on the AP 41 (toll road).

So the rest stop on your 420 km. drive might be somewhere in the halfway mark between Arévalo and El Escorial.

You might consider El Escorial (just a 10 km. detour) for a photo op of the monastery, a peek inside and look at the monastery shop, and walk down Calle Floridablanca, with several nice outdoor terraces, ice cream stands, cafes, shops, etc.

I do love the Parador at Oropesa and have spent the night there and shopped for ceramics in nearby Talavera de la Reina and El Puente del Arzobispo, but they are not on your route from León to Toledo. Oropesa is 120 km. west of your direct route.
(But you might want to detour there after your Toledo stay if you had extra time.)

Just a few more thoughts for you to ponder...

(if you haven't already visited Segovia and could fit in that overnight...sigh)
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