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Recommendations for a Week in Bilbao/San Sebastian at Easter ?


Jan 13th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Here's the info on winery visits in Laguardia:

1) Your first stop could be at the new Wine Institute, the "Centro Temático del Vino Villa Lucía", outside of town across from the gas station, Ertziantza (police) headquarters and next to the Bodegas Campillo on the Logroño road. It?s a wine museum and offers tastings and classes. Open Tues-Sun, 10-2, 5-8. Takes 45 min. to visit museum. Costs 4,21 euros for visit, 8,41 euros for visit and tasting.
Last visit are at 1:30 and 7:30. www.villa-lucia.com

2) For a state-of-the-art winery, follow signs to the Camino de la Hoya and then smaller signs past the tiny Poblado de la Hoya archeological museum to the 'Bodegas Ysios", an ultramodern design of the famed Valencia architect, Santiago de Calatrava, Look for the undulating titanium roof waving in the distance. Pass the entrance door and park behind the lot to the left of the building. Regularly scheduled tours in English without appointment, M-F at 11, 1 and 4 Just show up
Sat./Sun. are extremely popular, visits only at 11 and 1, and you must call a few
days ahead! Phone: 34 945 600 640

3) "Heredad Ugarte", located on the N 232, km. 61. Open from 10-1 every day, but should call ahead and schedule appt.
Ask for Cristina or Mercedes
34 945 27 88 33

If that won?t suffice,
the modern "Bodegas Palacios" below the town, on the road to Elciego, has scheduled visits at noon, 1 and 2, Tues-Fri.
On Sat./Sun, visits at noon and 1
Their Glorioso and Cosme Palacios labels are nice. Have your hotel call them at
34 94 112 1195 to make sure of times.

Maribel is online now  
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Jan 14th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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Thanks again Maribel.

Winery information is very useful. Camino de la Hoya sounds ideal. During our trips around Alsace and Champagne we often found that the smaller producers were not really setup for tourists (unsurprisingly - they're busy making their lovely wine) so a bigger producer may suit us better. I also sometimes feel awkward 'imposing' upon a smaller producer when I cannot purchase much wine due to our flight luggage limitations.

We have now booked Petit Palace Arana in Bilbao. It does look nicer than the Barcelo Nervion and the price is nearly identical. I'll post my thoughts once we get back - Only twelve weeks to go
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Jan 19th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Hi Steve,

I missed this one because it had fallen pretty down.

I see that you have booked the Petit Palace Arana. It's quite nice, but if you are planning to drive (and you should), I would try to rent the car for the day. There is a public parking place near the hotel, under the Plaza Nueva, but I don't like a lot to drive around there (too complicated).

Most of the rental agencies are based in the airport, but there are some downtown : one in Sabino Arana (I think that this one is linked to Atesa-National), another opposite the Guggenheim, Europcar in Pozas ...

If you opt for keeping the car for a couple of days (I would do La Rioja one day, and at least another day I would do the coast or maybe inland ... a bit of mountain for you ...), make sure that the people at the rental car agency and at the hotel explain you WELL how to get in and out of the Plaza Nueva parking ...

Bye, Cova
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Jan 19th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the advice Cova.

The best quote I've had for car hire so far is through Auto-Europe and Avis. They have an office at '34 Doctor Areilza' which appears to be just west of Plaza Indautxu (or another at 56 Licenciado Paza, which seems further out).
Our plan is to check out of the hotel on 10th April and pick up the car from that office, then drive out of the city to the Rioja area, then go directly to our hotel in San Sebastian (The Hotel Niza - now booked).

My main interest at the moment is how we get from the hotel (Petit Palace Arana) to the car hire office. I think the tram may go near it - but I'm tempted to just get a taxi to avoid getting too lost

We are planning to keep the car for our 5 nights in San Sebastian and do some day trips from there (maybe Biarritz/St Jean de Luz, Hondarribia one day, and St.Jean Pied de Port and Pamplona another (think the distance might be a bit much though ?)).

Looking forward to seeing your lovely city.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Hi Steve,
in order to get to the Avis office (any of them), you will be better off getting the metro (if you don't have a lot of luggage). The tram is not very useful when you want to get to a place not near the river.

If you go by metro, from the Casco Viejo station (barely 5 minutes walking from your hotel), you can get any train direction Areeta or Plentzia or Urbinaga. Three stops : Abando, Moyua and Indautxu, and you're out. When you get out of the metro, look to your right and walk in that direction. you will find a lift to the first level, and then there will be another lift to the street. When coming out of the lift, turn to yout right and walk up. You are already in Doctor Areilza, and the Avis office will be a bit up there, after crossing Simon Bolivar.

If I haven't been clear enough, please write to me and I'll send you a small map. [email protected]

And before I forget, Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays in teh Basque Country, so be ready for shops closed. I don't think you will have many problems regarding eating out. And you will be able to watch some of the Holy Week processions in Bilbao. Not as big as in Sevilla or Valladolid, but pretty impressive nevertheless. There are a couple of good trumpet bands, and many of the brothers walk barefooted ...

Rgds, Cova
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Thanks Cova, Good info as normal

The Easter events sound interesting, and at least if the shops are shut we'll save some money
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