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Itinerary Help - Madrid to Northern Spain and Back

Itinerary Help - Madrid to Northern Spain and Back

Old Mar 20th, 2023, 06:23 AM
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Itinerary Help - Madrid to Northern Spain and Back

My wife and I are flying from Chicago to Madrid for a wedding in Late June and prior to the wedding, we have nine days which wed like to spend renting a car and driving from Madrid up north and are looking for a recomended itinerary. We are interested in seeing San Sebastian and Bilbao, but also are looking for other recommendations. We very much like food and wine and are interested in sightseeing but not as much as we are about exploring. We also would be interested in doing a hike as we heard, theres a great national park in that region. Any recommendations about renting a car or must see towns or hotels or restaurants, etc. would be amazing. Thanks
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Old Mar 20th, 2023, 10:22 AM
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9 days and to some less to get over jet lag. I would take the train to the North. search on the forum as may a quest for information has been posted before. A great choice for Spain which is certainly under rated..
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Old Mar 20th, 2023, 10:47 AM
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I would spend some time in Rioja wine region, part of it in the Basque Country and part of it in La Rioja, with Laguardia as one of the most beautiful towns. Regarding the national park, its a mountainous, green, rainy area, with many parks...not sure which one youre referring to. The Basque Country is very much known for the quality of its food and wines!
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 04:34 AM
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Hi, some tips for the area of Donostia.
from west to east, worth a look are Getaria, Zarautz (Beach city), Donostia (more than a quick look!), Pasaia (nice walk first in the old village and then till the very mouth of the harbor) and Hondarribia (nice old city and good for pintxos). Not wanting to be too biased but I would recommend to cross the border and visit St Jean de Luz, Biarritz and Bayonne, as well as cute villages like Sare, Ainhoa and Espelette (famous for peppers drying on houses fronts, chocolate and weekly market)
plenty of hiking opportunities in the area. I like the coastal path Donostia / Pasaia / Hondarribia. There are ventas on the border and the fun is to hike few miles up the mountain to enjoy a lunch middle of nowhere. For example, Yasola.
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 05:47 AM
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There are some hikes in Picos de Europa National Park for which there is not truly an equivalent in the US. There is La Ruta del Cares (a flat valley hike that partly goes through the mountain), a hike aided by the funicular de bulnes, and many possibilities right out the door from Hotel Aliva, located among the high peaks.
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by shelemm View Post
There are some hikes in Picos de Europa National Park for which there is not truly an equivalent in the US. There is La Ruta del Cares (a flat valley hike that partly goes through the mountain), a hike aided by the funicular de bulnes, and many possibilities right out the door from Hotel Aliva, located among the high peaks.

Can you fly from Madrid to Bilbao or to Santander so save driving time? I think the park you refer to is Picos de Europa, which straddles the regions of Cantabria and Asturias, west of the Basque region? With a short amount of time, I'd fly into Santander or Bilbao, go for the hiking in the park if you don't mind the long detour, and then head to the coast to visit Basque region, returning To Bilbao to fly home via Madrid Rent the car at the airport and return there at the end. OR, take train from Madrid at the start and fly home via Madrid.

There are other opportunities for hiking that are not in Picos area....but in the Basque areas. One of our experts can tell you more about this, I'm sure.

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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 12:52 PM
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All northern Spain is mountainous and green, in fact theres now a campaign promoting this area as "Green Spain". Plenty, hundreds of hikes in the Basque Country...Urkiola, Aitzgorri, Gorbeia, Izki, Aia...full of natural parks and mountains everywhere (not the Alps, but smaller and greener).
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