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from Barcelona to Italy or stay in Spain

Old Aug 20th, 2018, 08:57 AM
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from Barcelona to Italy or stay in Spain

My wife and I will have 2 weeks in Europe flying in and out of Barcelona at the beginning of October. We're middle aged empty nesters and and I know that after spending 5 - 6 nights in Barcelona, we will be itching to get out into the countryside. I was toying with the idea of flying to Florence, renting a car and exploring Tuscany OT just renting a car in Spain and (perhaps) going as far as Basque Country (or head into France??).
We love to walk, explore, eat great food, and drink great wine...any suggested itineraries?
Thanks!
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 09:04 AM
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Well, you have plenty of possibilities, including the ones you've mentioned, but why didn't you think this out ahead of time and buy open-jaw tickets? Now you're stuck looping back to Barcelona, which puts a damper on the exploration factor.

If it were me, and it wouldn't be, I'd head up into the Languedoc-Roussillon area, by train or car, and explore Collioure and Narbonne and Perpignan and maybe go up into the Pyrenées for a day or two.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 11:01 AM
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I would get a car and drive to the Basque area and San Sebastian via Pamplona.
We did that one year and loved it.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 12:53 PM
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Last fall, we rented a car and took a wonderful day trip to Besalu, Girona, and Figueres (Dali museum). We would have liked to add another country (Andorra) and spend more time in that region. Easy driving once out of Barcelona. Driving into France opens up all sorts of opportunities. But if you really want some Italy, it's very easy and usually cheap. We often cross back and forth across the Mediterranean by discount air. Try sky scanner.com. Ryan Air and Veuling are usually cheap.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 06:25 PM
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Open jaw or multi city would make your trip easier.

Also flying into either Pisa or Rome would make your life easier. Florence is a smaller airport. Obviously smaller than either Rome airport but also smaller than Pisa. If you're going to drive no reason to fly into Florence.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 06:30 PM
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I like seeing the similarities and differences between areas that are geographically close, so I’d stay in Spain, but I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. If you do stay in Spain, options in addition to those already mentioned include the Costa Brava (Cadeques, Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar), the Spanish Pyrenees (I loved Taull), and La Rioja.

You might find some useful information about options if you stay in Spain in my trip report:
Four Awesome Weeks in the North of Spain and Catalunya
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 11:28 AM
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HI! I love both Spain and Italy. We did the bcn trip last year and the plane ticket deal was tied to that BCN. However, we really wanted to see some new sites and headed up to the Basque country. We rented an automatic van from BCN and headed to San Sebastian and stopped in Logrono a few nights. It was easier driving here than in USA. Went to Muga vineyard in Haro and Marques de Riscal. It was amazing. Used WAZE app for directions. On the way back we did Monserat etc. You could also go to Valencia if you don't want to drive far tied in with Costa Brava. Enjoy!
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 01:45 PM
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Tuscany doesn't make any sense at all given you must fly in and out of Barcelona. Especiallyt when you have Spain to explore or SW France, Tuscany just seems goofy to me.

I think you should explore Basque country or Catalonia or Aragon, yoiu have plenty of choices. Or Pyrenees and SW France, sure, just forget Tuscany. It's not as if Spain doesn't have great wine.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 02:18 PM
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depends on whether OP has a budget OK for flying to Italy and back and if they will be back in Europe soon or is a trip of a lifetime - then maybe split time - to me Tuscan countryside with its iconic hill towns is so special and at that time of year great - Spain has great wines but don't think Basque country particularly was.
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Old Aug 25th, 2018, 06:10 PM
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Driving to SW France is going to take more or less the same time as flying to Rome.
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Old Aug 26th, 2018, 04:16 PM
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I would do a tour of the Pyrenees. There are things to see on both sides of the border: Taüll, Gavarnie, Basque country on both sides of the border come to mind.

This might give you some ideas for northern Spain: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjppbMBs

For the Pyrenees: https://www.flickr.com/gp/mksfca/cM0sDP
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Old Aug 27th, 2018, 07:03 PM
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Firstly I have to say that Italy is in my heart. However, after visiting Northern Spain we loved it. Bilbao and Burgos were fantastic places to visit. Enjoy whatever you decide to do.
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