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whichway Feb 8th, 2006 11:13 AM

itinerary shaping up for Barcelona - Basque
Hi, I would like to share my itinerary so far, as it's shaping up.

3 nights in Barcelona.

2 nights near Girona.

2 nights at the Parador in Seu D'Urgell.

1 night in SW France at a lovely bed and breakfast-- yet to book, any suggestions?

3 nights near Hondarribia.

We have 4 more nights and I am wondering if we should head west of Bilbao to explore Santander and Laguardia, etc. or stick with the beaches between Bilbao and San Sebastian or both?


Robert2533 Feb 8th, 2006 11:46 AM

Do you have a budget in mind for the "lovely bed and breakfast" in southwest France (Pays Basque)?

Do you want to be in Hondarribia (the old city or new), or close by? What type of accommodations are you looking for, hotel or country home?

It's a three-hour drive from Bilbao to Laguardia. You would be better off spending a couple of nights in Bilbao and then move south to Laguardia.

FrescoTours Feb 8th, 2006 02:13 PM

There are some great beaches and little fishing villages on the Basque Coast between Bilbao and San Sebastian. Spend a day (at least) driving the coast and visiting some of them - Zarautz, Zumaia, Lekeitio, Bermeo, just to name a few.

I was just in Laguardia last weekend and the drive from Bilbao is 1.5 hours. The area has lots to see (and drink, as well). Not sure when you plan on traveling (or your budget), but the next BIG thing for the Basque Country is the opening of the Hotel Marques Riscal in July (+/-) - another amazing work by Frank Gehry (of the Guggenheim in Bilbao). Here's the website to get a taste:

Spend a couple days on the Coast and Bilbao and then make you way inland and a couple days in the Laguardia / Rioja region.

Buen viaje!

MichelleY Feb 8th, 2006 03:19 PM

Dear whichway:

When are you going? We have almost the same trip planned for June 8-27. We are planning to visit cousins in Lleida & Pamplona and am now working on filling in the rest of the plan.


whichway Feb 9th, 2006 06:21 AM

Robert and Fresco, thanks for your help. We are traveling there prior to July. The Hotel Villa Abalos looks lovely, but so does the Posada Mayor de Migueloa. I like that that the Posada is right within the walled city. Abalos is less expensive by about 15E. Any insights between the two?

FrescoTours Feb 9th, 2006 09:27 AM

Ive yet to visit the Hotel Villa Abalos, but have heard great things. I was just at Migueloa and I wasn't very impressed. The rooms seemed to be kind of dreary - not a place for a honeymoon. Have lunch in Laguardia at El Bodegon or for more of a splurge go to the Hotel Villa Laguardia's El Medoc restaurant. Both very good.

Buen viaje!

whichway Feb 10th, 2006 05:28 AM

R and F-- I am set for 3 nights at the Iketaxe near Hondarribia. I am tempted to stay longer because of the price and the location; we want to spend plenty of time in San Sebastion.

From there, we could go south two nights to the Abalos and back up to Bilbao for 2 nights, or we could just park ourselves near Bilbao for 4 nights and explore south and west. It's a difference of staying 7 places in 15 nights or 6 places, including only 2 the last week.

About the lovely bed and breakfast in France, I was trying to make reservations at the Hotel Chilo in Bargus but I don't think the owner speaks English, it's not working out. I want to spend under 90E, and it's just for one night.

Robert2533 Feb 13th, 2006 01:00 AM

whichway, have you sent them an email? You shouldn't have any problems, but if you do, then you can ask Patxi, the owner of Iketxe, to make the reservations for you. He speaks French, Euskara and a little English.

whichway Feb 13th, 2006 06:37 PM

I was able to reach the Hotel Chilo, but now I am wondering about the drive from Seu D'Urgell to Bargus, France. It's OK?

Also, I decided to hang out at the Txopebenta the last few nights of the trip. I'm a little sad about missing out on the Abalos, but at that point, it'll be nice to relax at two different Casas Ruarales the last week and be able to take day trips.

Thanks, Robert!

OReilly Feb 13th, 2006 06:55 PM

If you like the mountains, I recommend Hotel Ithuria in Ainhoa. Very picturesque village, wonderful small hotel with excellent food, good location for exploring the region.

I absolutely adored San Sebastian!

Regards Ger

Robert2533 Feb 13th, 2006 08:01 PM

Since you are going to be in the area, here are a few restaurant suggestions:

Euzkadi, Hotel - Restaurant, Espelette
Ithurria, Hotel*** Restaurant, Ainhoa
Auberge de la Galupe, Au Port d'Urt
Cheval Blanc, 68 rue Bourgneuf, Bayonne
Baratchartéa Hotel Restaurante, Sare
Sissinon, 5 Avenue Maréchal Foch, Biarritz

ksddfam Feb 13th, 2006 09:28 PM


Im in Spain right now travelling with my wife. Were in the 4th week of a 5 week trip.

Girona was great. Jewish Museum is quite well done. I would be sure and go to Figueres, the Dali museum is truly unique. I wouldnt miss it if I were you. The coast is quite close and a nice trip from Girona is to St. Felix de Girous, where we had one fo the best meals of our trip at Eldorado, right on the main street, one block off of the beach promenade. And a great walking town after you eat.

We loved Hondarribia, we stayed at the Parador. Very nice town. We had a nice day trip into the Basque country, but things were slow because of the season. Espelette was an especially interesting city. Big disappointment was missing lunch at the Hotel Euskadi, they are only open from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for lunch. After getting used to Spanish time for meals, we missed it by an hour.

I would encourage you to include LaGuardia and highly recommend Abalos. We stayed there two nights. Jose and Merche and Mariann are the staff and they are wonderful. The place is small, warm and inviting. Breakfast is great and have dinner there one night, Merche is a great cook. If you like to hike, let me know and I will describe some wonderful hikes we took through the vineyards.

Puelles Bodega is right up the road, within walking distance and they do a nice tour and the prices and quality of the wine are great.

Bilbao was wonderful, Id recommend the Miro hotel, right across from Guggenheim and modern. CD player, nice touches in the rooms. I recommend Cafe Irazu for meal or pinchos. Great, old time Bilbao restaurant.

We are having a wonderful trip. We are in Seville now for 4 days.

See ya

whichway Feb 14th, 2006 06:10 AM

We are staying at:

the Banys in Barcelona,

the Castell D'Emporida near Girona,

the Seu D'Urgell Parador,

the Hotel Chilo in SW France,

and then the Iketaxe and Txopebenta.

Now I'm even sadder about the Abalos, but my fiance, especially, is interested in realxing by the coast during the last part of the trip, taking day trips. We will definitely go to Laguardia and spend plenty of time in Bilbao. Not sure if we'll have time to venture west of Bilbao.

We also will have time in Biarritz, Hondarribia, and San Sebastian. And, I really want to explore some other small towns in France per Maribel's guide.

Yvonne_Harlan Apr 18th, 2006 09:41 AM

I am planning a trip to Spain late May. I have never been, don't speak Spanish but am interested in seeing anything related to art. It was suggested I stay at bed and breakfasts rather than paradores. I am thinking of going to Sevilla (my grandfather came from this city--any help locating family there would be appreciated), Bilbao, Madrid (if I have time), Cordoba. I only have 4 days. I am not interested in the tourist track. I am an artist and writer (amateur) myself. This is my first Europe adventure and I am hoping to bring home lots of inspiration. I am also traveling alone which is quite scary for me. HELP!!!!!!

Robert2533 Apr 18th, 2006 01:30 PM

Since you don't speak Spanish, you should stick with the Paradors or try one of the following hotels in Bilbao (GHDB, Sheraton Bilbao, Miro) and Madrid (Gran Hotel Canarias, Hotel Suecia, Vincci Centrum, Hotel Quo Puerta del Sol, Catalonia Las Cortes, Hesperia Hermosilla) where your lack of Spanish will not pose a major problem.

I can't help you with hotels in Cordoba since we've only made day trips to the city.

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