northern spain?

Old Apr 30th, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #1  
Tom
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northern spain?

I've got 3 weeks in July. Does anyone have any suggestions for those of us that aren't into the big city museum scene. I've been to the south with the guys but now I'm I'm taking the old lady. I'd like the expierence to be new for the both of us. We're open for any ideas.....small towns, vineyards, riverboat tours, hiking, horseback, etc.....So far I think we'll be traveling by rail. Is that a good idea in the north?....
 
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 09:08 AM
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Rex
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Based on reading I've been trying to do (for over a year now), I would say Galicia, the Basque country, ane if you wish - - even extend the trip across the border to Biarritz and the southwest corner of France.

And be sure to try asking this same question on www.madridman.com as well.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 07:58 PM
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topping
 
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 09:14 PM
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Jade
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Hi Tom:

I would suggest getting some hotels reserved asap. Spain (as most of western europe)is very busy in July and it's probably a good idea to get cracking on this.

If you want a bit of a romantic location in the north, I would highly recommend going to San Sebastian and staying somewhere near the beach, called La Concha (the shell). It is a really beautiful little town and perfect for relaxing and eating stupendous food.

Trains are pretty good in Spain, this is how my partner and I travelled all through the country.

Have a wonderful time!
Regards,
Jade
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 03:26 AM
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Lesley
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Hello Tom,

Firstly the railway is not going to be very helpful to you, because most of the trains go north/south rather than east/west. You can see the RENFE network on their website (http://www.renfe.es/ingles/empresa/r...apa_norte.html) Probably a car would be better for getting along the coast. Interesting small towns/villages from French coast westwards: Hondarrabia (old very very Basque border town), San Sebastian (not small but worth it) Elachove (small vertical fishing village) (not far from Gernika), Castro Urdiales (small port and holiday resort for Spaniards), Santillana del Mar (very pretty old village with Altimera stone age cave paintings nearby) San Vicente de la Barquera, Llanes. Inland you can visit vineyards in the Rioja region (Laguardia is a small medieval village totally enclosed by walls). You can hike in the Picos de Europa (there are cable cars), Potes is a pretty village nearby. However, spanish schools break up for the summer on June 23rd and so you cannot count on just arriving and getting a room in tourist areas. These include the coast and the mountains.
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 06:58 PM
  #6  
tom
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wow! sorry I did'nt check the posts sooner.I haven't had any luck with the forum. I posted a few others but never heard from anyone. Thanks to all for taking the time. I quess I have to look into the rail system a little more then I thought. I've been trying to book accommodations over the net.....no luck sofar. Thanks again. By the way, is Pamplona worth the trek? Seems a little pricey to me. I just figured since I was around the corner.....
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 07:12 PM
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marie
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Hi Tom,

My husband and I spent 3 weeks in northern Spain a year ago. We loved Seqovia, Toledo, the Picos of Europe (great B&B there), Barcelona...I agree that a car would be best. Didn't go to Pampola. Stayed in a lot of Paradors, some better than others, all very interesting, tho. If you need help, just email.
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 08:05 PM
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up
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northerly
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 10:00 PM
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Andrea
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I thoroughly enjoyed 3 days in Santiago de Compostela last summer. It is a charming area. I stayed at the parador on the square. It was built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Many shops and restaurants surrounding, close enough to explore the surrounding aeas.
 
Old May 14th, 2002, 09:58 PM
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sharon
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can anyone recommend where to see in the San Sebastian area for 4days- towns, hotels, resturants?
 
Old May 15th, 2002, 01:55 AM
  #11  
xxx
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Tom, Have you considered northern Portugal too? I've seen cruises advertised on the Douro river, visiting port wine vineyards - it's something I'm looking into.
 
Old May 16th, 2002, 09:15 AM
  #12  
Lesley
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Hi Lesley,
We are planning a trip to the northern parts of Spain and Portugal beginning Sept.
Seems if you can really give some good advice.
Can you please mail me more details on your recommendations

Thanks

Henry
 
Old Dec 21st, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #13  
hello
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the north of Spain is beatifull... you should go to Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Asturias....there are great places to stay relax and close to nature.
Have a good time!!
 
Old Dec 21st, 2002, 11:34 AM
  #14  
Maribel
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Tom,
Need to second the opinion that rail travel is not the best option in the north. The bus system works better, is more efficient, particularly along the coast. I've taken the Pesa bus from Bilbao to San Sebastián and Alsa from Bilbao to Santander. Easy, cheap and comfortable. Avoid Pamplona from July 6-14 during San Fermín unless you want to join in on the impossible to describe Running of the Bulls madness (I'll be working there then!) and are willing to pay highly inflated hotel prices. Outside of those dates, Pamplon lodging costs are cheap, and it makes a very nice 1 night stop. Pretty town with lots of green space, lively Old Quarter with great tapas bars, interesting Cathedral and Fine Arts Museum, fabulous Navarran cuisine/wines, particularly the reds and rosés, friendly locals.
If you need info regarding lodging, dining, excursions in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, both on the coast and in the extraordinary mountains (Os Oscos, Picos de Europa, Valle de Cabuérniga), just email me, and I'll send along a (rather long) file to you. I'm working now on a detailed Basque Country/Rioja file-will let you know when it "goes to press".
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 04:40 PM
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Wendy
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Marible, I am starting to plan our San Fermin and northern Spain trip and would love your file. We intend to Fly into Barcelona, train to Pamplona then go to Bilboa, the rioja wine country and some of the beaches. As we are just starting our research any info is appreciated!

Wendy
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 01:44 AM
  #16  
Nick
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Was in San Sebastian last year and thought it was a great little town (although some of the suburbs coming in on the train from France are positively grim). There was a couple of hotels on the main bay which both looked very good - Londres y Inglaterra and Hotel Niza, both on Zubbieta (street). Looked far better value than anything we saw in Biarritz where we were staying.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 02:31 AM
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Geoff Hamer
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There are narrow-gauge trains that go along the north coast of Spain. They are not run by RENFE, but have their own web sites, www.euskotren.es and www.feve.es. The buses are quicker but the trains follow a completely different route through mountain scenery, so I'd recommend travelling one way by bus and the other by train.
 
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:05 PM
  #18  
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