Only 3 days: Asturias or French Basque?


Aug 20th, 2017, 02:45 PM
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Only 3 days: Asturias or French Basque?

Wife and I will have 3 open days on a trip and are debating between going to Asturias (Llanes, Villaviciosa, Ribadesella look interesting to us) or French Basque region.

The open 3 days are occurring between established stays in Porto and San Sebastián.
Asturias option transportation: train from Porto to Vigo and rent a car
French Basque: overnight train to San Sebastián then rent a car

Lot of running around. I'm sure either place requires 1-2 weeks to do it right, but we have 3 nights. Which option seems less crazy?
meauxcyda is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2017, 03:51 AM
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We enjoyed both of your choices very much but would go with Asturias as the travel options are so much better. Also look at Baiona from Vigo, the parador.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2017, 04:05 PM
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I haven't been to the French Basque region, but adored Asturias. I'm surprised, though, that Oviedo isn't on your list, or the Picos de Europa....
kja is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2017, 09:04 AM
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Kja: What other places should I plan to stay over in Asturias? I want to include Oviedo and Leon (not in Asturias, I know) and somehow divide a week or so between those cities.

Like to stay near Arriondas, and near Jimenez de Jamuz, to access 3 restaurants I want to visit. Have been to Cangas in the past.

Thinking of straying from this area toward Galicia but driving routes look so long I might just cut it to Leon and Asturias to avoid too much driving time.

For hotels Pueblo Astur seems nice and close to at least two nights many nights should I plan for Oviedo?
ekscrunchy is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2017, 05:38 PM
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@ ekscrunchy: I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m in any position to answer your questions. I was only in Asturias briefly, and from what I can tell, our interests and preferred styles of travel are quite different.

I truly enjoyed Oviedo, and I also enjoyed staying in Potes for the Picos de Europa, but if you’ve stayed in Congas, then I’m sure you’ve seen much of what I saw of the Picos. I spent 2 nights in Oviedo, and saw what I wanted to see – but you may already know that for me, that means up and out and on the move from breakfast until there is literally nothing else open, and then a late dinner (I skip lunch), and then a long walk before collapsing for the day. Many people say they would want at least twice, if not three times, the time I spend anywhere just to see some of what I saw, so I'm not sure how the time I spent in Oviedo would translate to the time you would want there. As always, I recommend plotting your wish list onto a calendar.

If you have any interest in prehistoric art and haven’t already been there, you might want to weave a bit of Cantabria into your plan.

Sorry I can’t be of more help.… I know you already saw my trip report, and you know how to find it if you want a refresher or have questions….
kja is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2017, 10:01 PM
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ekscrunchy Ribadesella, Llanes and Comillas are all sweet little towns along the coast with some gorgeous beaches between them. We drove through the Picos, stayed in Potes overnight, then on to Llanes, where we stayed in a beautiful B&B 3 kms out of Llanes.

Possibly the most beautiful setting anywhere, with the green hills and mountains in behind, and rolling hills and sheep between there and the sea a few kms away. We were there mid September.

In Llanes, there was a lot of excitement because it was the weekend of Rally car racing, which meant there was also celebrations in the town, demonstrations of trad dancing, etc. It was a lot of fun, but also great to stay in La Pereda, out of the center.

I think the cheeses in this area are my favorite of anywhere else we have been, including Italy and France. There is much fresh seafood to be had along this coast also.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2017, 01:49 AM
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Thanks to you both..I've got to get this trip together soon or it won't happen!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2017, 03:37 AM
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I just came back from five weeks in northern Spain - I'm working on a trip report but it's taking me a while to sort through my photos and notes.

meauxcyda - I think staying in Spain makes more sense than adding France given you are going from Porto to San Sebastian. We spent only a few hours in Ribadesella but it's pretty small. It was cool and cloudy so not a beach day and there isn't a whole lot else there. Llanes we only drove through as we couldn't find parking anywhere. It was really crowded. Looked like there was more to it than Ribadesella. We really enjoyed Ribadeo (gorgeous walk to a lighthouse) and Cudillero (extremely cute village spilling down a hill to the bay, lots of walks up and around the town. The highlight in Ribadeo is a few km from there, Cathedral Beach. Just gorgeous - but so gorgeous it can get really crowded and you need reservations (free, easy to do online) at times. Also needs to be low tide. But we planned it so as to be there around 8 am on a day when low tide was 9 and it was fabulous - just beautiful and hardly anyone there (they weren't even checking reservations yet).

We also really enjoyed Santillana del Mar which can be overrun mid day with tourists but we spent three days there and it was delightful early mornings and evenings and made a good base for Comillas and San Vicente and the Altimira Caves. We also went to Potes (in the Picos mountains) and Oviedo, both of which I recommend (a night in each of those).

From San Sebastian I definitely recommend a day trip to Honadarriba - easy by bus, less than an hour.

ekscrunchy - we also stayed a few days in Leon and absolutely loved it. Close to Leon are two towns I'm glad I visited but wouldn't have wanted to overnight in - Astorga and Ponferrada. Astorga has a Gaudi building, nice cathedral and some Roman walls, and Ponferrada has a great castle. They are within about an hour drive from Leon and we only spent a few hours in each which we felt about right (It was between Leon, where we spent a few days, and Lugo which we stopped for one night in to see the Roman Walls, on our way to Santiago).
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