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Driving from Bilbao to Santiago in four days. Iteneray suggestions?

Driving from Bilbao to Santiago in four days. Iteneray suggestions?

Sep 26th, 2009, 06:58 PM
  #1  
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Driving from Bilbao to Santiago in four days. Iteneray suggestions?

Aloha,
As part of our three week trip to Spain we have rented a car for four days in Northern Spain. We pick up the car mid day Oct 23 in Bilbao and return it in Santiago de Compostela mid day Oct 27. I realize this does not give us much time to explore or relax, but we would like to hit some of the highlights of Picos de Europa and Galicia.
We really enjoy the ourdoors, sightseeing and more rural areas. Oh yes, and food and wine too! What is a reasonable itinerary? I am having diffculty figuring out driving times that allow sightseeing: All that I have planned so far:
Oct 23: Arrive by plane at noon in Bilbao. Quick visit to Guggenheim - probably not the collection. Continue on to Santillana to spend night.
Oct 24: in morning visit caves? Continue on to Potes/Fuente-De. Not sure if we should stay here or move on.
oct 25 ???
Oct 26 Rias Altas-arrive in Santiago
Oct 27 Visit Santiago. Leave on the night train.

Can any one help? Thanks,
punatic is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 01:47 AM
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Personally this I feel this plan is not very good: Why? Because every day you move location means that by the time you have had breakfast, packed and paid the bill you loose sightseeing time. The same in the evening unpack etc etc.
Having a few hours to see Bilbao will be regretful. Do you realise you can only get into the caves after 9.30? Well not the caves, a copy of the caves.
Driving from Potes to SdC will be about 6 hours, one full day, then you say you wish to see the coast. It gets dark early at the time of your visit so you may end up seeing nothing.
Maybe stay in the same place on the 25th and explore the Picos a bit more.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 04:22 AM
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I agree, you are covering too much ground in a few days, and you'll see nothing. There is much to see on the coast, and you don't have time for a little time in San Sebastian, or to see the old part of Bilbao. The Picos de Europa are a long ride away and you won't have time to hike. So I might leave that out, especially this time of year due to weather.
Aleta is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 04:57 AM
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You've really got a 'hit the ground running' itinerary mapped out. Like Aleta and RibeiraSacra, IMHO you're trying to squeeze too much into 4-days. From the Git-go you land in Bilbao at Noon, tour Bilbao and make it to Santillana to spend the night. That will be a punishing trip. Forget it!

I don't know how the rest of your 3-week trip to Spain is mapped out; but you could also be contending with some Weather problems, especially in the Mountains in late October.

If you're coming all the way from Hawaii, you should lay out a more realistic and relaxed itinerary for your visit. Decide what the main purpose of your Northern Spain visit is; if it's a Pilgrimage, start in Santiago and work your way back. If not, add a pair of days to cut yourselves some slack.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 12:01 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for your replies. Yes, I was afraid we had bitten off more the we could chew. Sometimes when you are coming from so far away there is the tendacy to try to cram too much into your stay. Plus having an island perspective you can forget how far distances can be. I had read in a few books that it would take two days to drive the stretch so I merely multipied by two and alotted four days. Oh well.
Unfortunately I have sort of painted ourselves into a corner, with a lot of inter connecting reservations etc. My husband really wants to see some less crowed countryside and seaside areas. I wasn't really planning to do much hiking due to the weather and time constraints.

So here is where we are at now. Two options: We can cut short our visit to Barcelona from 3 days to 2 days. We can then fly in to Bilbao one day earlier (and earlier in the morning) I know, not much of an improvement over first iterary.
The other option is to fly into Santiago. We could then spend 5 days in Galicia sight-seeing. I would appreciate any comments

: got go we have a tsunami warning.
punatic is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Cut short your trip to Barcelona. I really mean it. Can you skip it altogether? I can't believe you won't be seeing San Sebastian. The North coast is a special part of the planet, like Hawaii.
Egbert is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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I bet the guide book that said you can drive that distance but did not say you would have to forgo some sightseeing too!

Cutting a day in BCN maybe regrettable too. This is not going to be easy and it seems something is going to hurt!

If you are worried about the weather then trying to cram a lot of miles in is a bad idea too. Plus do you realise that nightfall during this part of the trip is round about 19.20 until the 25 when daylight saving times kicks in and the clocks go back. It then going to be dark around about 18.20 driving in the dark may not be so fun, loosing road signs etc. What I am trying to say is you can loose a significant part of the day so plan accordingly.
I would personally change so that you fly in and out of Bilbao or SdC. Cut down the travelling and visit tings more local to either city.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Just read on the local Galician newspaper there was a small tsunami. I hope you and your friends and family are ok
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Thank you, we were fine in Hawaii. Samoa was hard hit.
punatic is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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I guess we will opt to fly in and out of either Bilbao/San Sebastian or Santiago. It is a difficult choic--both areas have so much to offer. What would be your choice? We would like to get off the beaten path a little. Thanks
punatic is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I live in Galicia so my tips and choice is going to be biased...but I have to say I have a soft spot for the Basque country even though it is visited by more tourists than Galicia.
But even the Basque country can hardly be called very touristy, especially once you get out of the cities. The countryside is wonderful.
OK the answer is........!
ribeirasacra is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 01:34 AM
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Both areas are quite off the beaten path, although Santiago is worldwide known for being the end of the Road of St James, therefore it´s quite touristy but a wonderful city to see and enjoy.

San Sebastian is probably one of the (or "the") most beautiful city in Europe (I may be a bit biased as well), and a great place for foodies. REgarding Bilbao, the Guggenheim is the most well known attraction, as well as the beautiful coastal villages and the wine region of Rioja, close-by.
mikelg is online now  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Mike your biased!....just like me.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:56 PM
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How can an ignorent tourist like me decide? I guess that is why I was tempted to squeeze so much into just a few days.
punatic is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I even misspelled ignorant!
punatic is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Is a International Drivers Permit required to rent a car and drive in Spain? Can I just use my USA drivers license? Thanks
morningstar is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:54 AM
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Morningstar you have asked this question several times.it was a shame you did not post a new thread as this sort of thing gets lost.
The answer is Yes, If you do a search you will find plenty of answers to this question as it comes up every few months or so.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Fly thru Bilbao as it's a little bit closer to Galicia than San Seb airport. The Basque country itself is off the beaten path as is all of Northern Spain. You won't believe how many tourists you will bump into in Barcelona.
Egbert is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 01:49 PM
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a possible itinerary
day 1: fly into Sdc early start touring Costa da Morte.Stay around A Coruna?
Day 2 Tour Rias Altas> stay Viveiro?
day 3 Continue to Ribado
Day 4 Continue to Lugo
day 5 Santiago
day 6 santiago - leave on night train
Is this do-able or too ambitious? Should the priorities be different?

We are leaning towards Galicia. But it so difficult to make the choice and time is running out. Any suggestions on a possilbe 5 day itinerary with a car for the Basque country. We would be flying into Bilbao.

Thanks for all your comments.
punatic is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 12:23 AM
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OK sounds good but maybe you should still not change location every night. And with an itinerary in which distances are not so great it should not be necessary.
Choose a hotel to the west of SdC where you can drive too after landing and use it as a base to see the city and the Costa Morte/ Altas.
Again choose a location outside of Lugo and visit the surrounding areas.
2 locations 2 half days moving.
You can easy get to the train station at SdC it is only an hour from Lugo.
I have to go out, but if this proposal seems OK I can write some things which will fill in the gaps. I bet I have a list so long you wish you could live here!
ribeirasacra is offline  

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