Help w/Itinerary Northern Spain

Nov 14th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Help w/Itinerary Northern Spain

We are going to Spain for three weeks next May. Here is our itinerary so far:
13 May - Arrive Madrid. Take train to Toledo
15 May - Pick up car; drive to Segovia
17 May-25 May - Tour Basque region: Roja, coastal villages*
25 May - Drive to ? (An obvious stop on the way to Costa Brava**)
26 May - Tamariu on Coasta Brava
28 May-2 June - Barcelona

*We are presently debating splitting this time between San Sebastian (with day trips to Bilboa, etc.) and between the area around Gijon. Our issue is "seeing everything" or having a more "laid back" time with a home base in San Sebastian for the entire week. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

**Please suggest a lovely place to spend the night to break up the drive from San Sebastian to Barcelona.

We are so excited about this trip--our first to Spain!

2d is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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I wanted to add a request to my message: Please recommend a small hotel in San Sebastian. I seem to be finding only the large hotels and we prefer small, intimate hotels if available.

2d is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 03:41 PM
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2d- I spent a few weeks in San Sebastian this summer with my daughter. What a beautiful city.I stayed at the Christina, which is a rather small hotel compared to NY etc. Are you looking to be right on the water. There was a pension that overlooks the water. I can't remember the name now but I'll look into it for you. It looked like a lovely place when I was walking by it.
lbruns01 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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Dear 2d:

We were in N. Spain in June and covered some of the areas you are interested in.

Here is my report:

Warning: It is VERY long, but perhaps you can pick out some ideas. We had a great time and want to go back soon.

MichelleY is online now  
Nov 14th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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Regarding your time in the Basque Country. My first recommendation is to download a copy of Maribel's Guide to the Pais Vasco (Basque Country). The second recommendation is to study the guide and a map (both the Michelin Regional maps #573 and #574) carefully to plan your trip. Both will be helpful.

Since you are driving, you may want to consider staying at one of the excellent Casa Rurals, country homes. There are several excellent ones in the area that will allow you quick access to everything, including San Sebastian-Donostia. As far as nice, small hotels, I recommend you check out the 4-star Hotel Villa Soro ( with only 25 rooms.
Robert2533 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Thank you all so much. Michelle, your trip report is great! Your responses did help with our decision to make San Sebastian home base and do day trips from there. We have a reservation at the Hotel Londres for a room with sea view. DH liked the idea of relaxing on the terrace, people watching, etc.

Trip planning for Spain has been a big challenge as we are falling in love with the ENTIRE COUNTRY! We just have to keep in mind that we can go back . . .

Would still like to hear from you about a place to spend the night between San Sebastian and Costa Brava.
2d is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Dear 2d:

I'm glad my report was helpful. I am not sure of a place to stay between SS & the Costa Brava. Instead of doing a daytrip to the Rioja, you may want to spend a night there. We really love Villa Los Abalos and wished we could spend some more time there.

We had our cousin's place to stay in Lleida, which is about 2 hrs west of BCN, so it was somewhat half way. But Lleida is not a tourist type town. Hopefully, someone else on this board by help out. Maribel's guides will be helpful. You may also want to check out some guide books to get ideas and check out the Paradors.

Good luck on your planning!!

MichelleY is online now  
Nov 15th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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2d..You can check my report on a trip I took last May that included Toledo and Segovia as well as a few "must" towns near Segovia:

I returned two weeks ago from San Sebastian and have an ongoing report that includes my time in that city. Sanse is wonderful! The Londres looks beautiful although it is not a small hotel; the location is ideal; make sure to request a sea view room.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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I have been doing further research on a place to stay between San Sebastian and Costa Brava. One very charming hotel is really attracting me, the Villa de Alquezar in Alquezar(near Huesca). This little village sounds wonderful and a nice respite on our way to the coast. Any comments?
2d is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Two items:
I was so blown away by a month in San Sebastian and the Basque Country that I wrote a "Sunday Travel Section" article about the city. Never sent it to anyone but here it is: San Sebastian may be the most liveable place in Europe. It is very special.

Secondly, by accident i came a across a travel agency based in Basque Country that is very good, responsive, and knows the territory. "Totally Spain" is located outside Bilbao and can be of great help in finding hotels that are in the style, size, and budget you are looking for. The best way to reach tem is "Google" "Totally Spain" and then click on the link. BTW: They handle Mirabel's trips in the north of Spain.
weber6560 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 11:00 PM
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Great report Weber, it surely reflects what SS is really like
mikelg is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:04 AM
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Wow Weber, what a review, it seems to be extracted from a touristical brochure! You make me feel very proud of my country.

2nd, you mentioned that you already had a reservation in Hotel Londres, so perhaps this comes too late, but just in case, as you mentioned that you would like a small place, there is another hotel, also in front of the sea, called Niza. You can have a look at

Another place I like very much, and quite small I would say, is Hotel La Galeria, opposite Ondarreta's beach. There's a walking distance to town center of 20 minutes. Have a look at

igolo is offline  

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