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East or West of Northern Spain- 15 days-HELP

East or West of Northern Spain- 15 days-HELP

Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:03 AM
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East or West of Northern Spain- 15 days-HELP

I've been to the south of Spain and Madrid and Barcelona and loved it. I have an opportunity to go back to Spain starting Sept 1st. I would like to see the northern towns but I'm afraid dont' have enough time to visit all. The question is, should I go to the east or west? Can I include Portugal on the northeast or south of France on the northwest? Please help me decide!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:52 AM
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I suggest you make San Sebastián your base for an exploration of the beautiful Basque country and coast. San Sebastián is the culinary capital of Spain if not all of Europe, some of the finest city beaches on the continent, beautiful landscapes and a local culture that people take great pride in. A favourite for particularly Spanish and French visitors for more than 150 years and European capital of Culture 2016.

About San Sebastián in New York Times recently: http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/08/07...tin-spain.html
"Is San Sebastián the best place to eat in Europe?": http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rink.shopping2
European Capital of Culture video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zTb7Eg9Lk

The 1st of September starts the yearly week long celebrations of basque culture known as Euskal Jaiak. The week starts with cider day on Saturday where free cider and food are handed out in the atmospheric Plaza de la Constitución in the middle of the Parte vieja/Old town.

Revulgo posted this earlier about this week of festivities:

"Sagardo Eguna, or cider day --free samples of cider are given in the plaza-- will be celebrated on the first Saturday of September marking the start of a week dedicated to Basque culture known as Euskal Jaiak. Throughout the week there will be various activities organized to showcase the traditions this ancient civilization. There will be local sport exhibitions such as the row boat races, stone lifting and tree trunk cutting. Open air concerts featuring Basque music, traditional dance troupes, local craftsmen demonstrating their time tested techniques and the famous "bersolaris" (oral poets who improvise) are all part of the week long festivities".
http://www.donostia.org/info/sanseba...=Fiestas&doc=D

From San Sebastián you'll find several small fishing villages along the beautiful coastline towards vibrant big city Bilbao with the spectacular (at least from the outside) Guggenheim museum among many other things. http://www.guggenheim.org/bilbao/

Bilbao is only 70 mins by direct bus from San Sebastián, but I strongly recommend to visit villages along the coast such as Getaria, Zumaya, Mutriku, Lekeitio etc. The inland is beautiful and interesting also, and totally different. San Sebastián is also close to the French border and famous French Basque small towns such as Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz. http://www.basquecountry-tourism.com/
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Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Sorry but I do not think we can help you as we have nothing to go on.


What did you like from your previous trips?
what mode of transport are you thinking of using?
What things take your fancy here in Northern Spain?
In those 15 days how many will be spent in Madrid? ie will you need to get over jet-lag?
Hopefully you can fill us in with some details soon.

http://www.greenspain.org/
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Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 04:58 PM
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>

No.... not unless you go to Portugal while in the northwest or France while in the northeast. ;-)

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 10:42 PM
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Thanks to all for your feedback. To answer Ribeirasacra, we loved driving through the Pueblos Blancos, Sevilla and Valencia, visiting museums, sitting at the plazas with a cup of coffee while watching people, walking through narrow streets admiring the architecture, good wine, good local comfort food- not necessarily gourmet. We don't mind renting a car or taking bus or train- in fact, we did all three on our last vacation to Spain. We will not go to beaches, although enjoy the scenery of the ocean. We prefer not to go to Madrid- since we have been there. Would rather fly to another airport. One of my questions was, where should I fly to if going to the Northeastern part of Spain and where should I fly if going to Basque towns (Northwest)? Thanks again!
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Old Jul 4th, 2012, 02:39 AM
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Bilbao has got a big international airport. Lots of nice, small towns/villages in the Basque country.
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Old Jul 4th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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This site is a fine intro to the different regions of the North Atlantic coast: The Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia: http://www.greenspain.org/
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Old Jul 4th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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I'm flying into Madrid from the States and continuing on directly to Santiago de Compostela. I love that part of Spain- Galicia! There is so much to see/visit and a great contrast to Andalucia.
I am looking forward to visiting Porto in Portugal-easy trip from Santiago
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Old Jul 4th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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Well there are numerous airports you can fly to from Madrid.
Here is the map of all the airports in Spain
http://tinyurl.com/d5vqkvx
Click on the airport name and it will open up the page for the said airport.
From there you can see which companies fly the route and thus make your plans.
Personally I would fly into one end of the North of Spain and leave from another. Where will depend on your pace of travel.
Go to the website, both I and kimhe give in our postings, to discover more on green Spain.
I take it you already know which websites to look at for long distance train and bus travel in Spain if you have done it before.

Chapla: when travelling from Spain to Portugal ensure you read the information about how to avoid the roads that have electronic tolls on them or how to pay them.
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Old Jul 5th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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San Sebastian, Hondarribia, St. Jean de Luz.
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