Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Scenic Route from Barcelona to San Sebastian?

Scenic Route from Barcelona to San Sebastian?

Mar 18th, 2013, 08:51 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Scenic Route from Barcelona to San Sebastian?

In May, 2013, we will spend two or three days driving from Barcelona to San Sebastian through the Pyrenees. What are the best towns in which to spend a night and the most scenic drives we should not miss?

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,979
www.viamichelin.com will allow a choice of itineraries, including a scenic one, between the two points you specify.
Michael is online now  
Mar 18th, 2013, 09:47 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Thanks, Michael. That's a good site to know about.

It gave me a route that takes 8 hours rather than 6 hours, but it didn't suggest the best towns in which to spend a night or the most scenic drives into the mountains.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 09:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
With three days I would head up into the Val d'Aran and spend the night in the village of Salardu at the Hotel Mauberme (www.hotelmauberme.com). From there you can head up into France and spend the next night around Pau. The Château de la Lamothe in Moumour (www.chateau-de-lamothe.eu), about a 3-hour drive from Salardu, would make the perfect stop for the night before driving into San Sebastian-Donostia, an easy 2-hour drive.

Or you can head for the Tena Valley and Tramacastilla de Tena, spending the night at the Hotel El Privilegio de Tena (elprivilegio.com). It's a 4-hour drive from Barcelona to the Tena Valley, the second most beautiful spot in the Pyrenees after the Val d'Aran. From the Tena valley, it's a 3-hour drive over the Pyrenees to Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. I highly recommend spending the night at L' Auberge Basque in Saint-Pée (www.aubergebasque.com). Cedric is one of the best chefs in the Pays Basque. From there it is only a 45-minute drive into San Sebastian.
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 10:36 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Thanks, Robert, your comments are what I was looking for.

One of my favorite memories from being in southern France a few years ago is a drive through a beautiful canyon. As I recall, the two-lane road followed a river. Do you know where that place might be?

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 11:42 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
The south includes Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenees, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur provinces, where there are dozens of scenic river valleys and two-lane roads. It would be difficult to pinpoint one river valley without knowing more. Do you remember any of the villages you passed through?
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 48
There are so many routes over the Pyrenees into France. From Pamplona there are several nice road cols.

If you were to go to Roncesvalles on the N-135 and then cross the Pyrenees via the Col d'Ibaneta, that would probably be the most direct route. It is also roughly the same route taken by Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. I have made a video of this driving route from Biarritz to Saint Jean Pied de Port and then onto Roncesvalles here: http://www.biarritzairporttransfers....d-de-Port.html
(You would obviously have to imagine doing the route but in reverse)

Another option (and probably my preferred would be the following: http://goo.gl/maps/tbz3O

It is however a much windier road up to the col on the Spanish side but the countryside is beautiful. Then when you reach the Col d'Ispeguy there is a parking area with a great view of the French Basque country. Then you also get to drive through some wonderful French farming country to Saint Jean Pied de Port.

Further south is there are some excellent high crossings of the Pyrenees. You could even stay at one of the Paradors: http://www.parador.es/en/parador-de-bielsa

I have made a lot of videos of the driving routes in this area, they can all be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB2BD65C86B582299
BiarritzTaxi is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 03:32 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Thanks for this great information which is so difficult to ferret out in reading guidebooks.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 04:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,091
Thanks to Robert for igniting the spark of interest for me, too.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 04:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Extremely beautiful Torla is mid-way between Barcelona and San Sebastián. At the edge of the Ordesa national park. https://www.google.no/search?q=Torla...w=1600&bih=754

The ols spa town Panticosa is also close by. In both cases you could go on through wonderful little Isaba down in the valley, and then up in the mountains towards the French border (Pierre St. Martin) towards St Jean Pied de Port and then down to San Sebastián. Had the most spectacular drive of my life here some years ago, going in and out of the clouds around every turn, sunshine, rain, rivers, shifting lights and breathtaking landscapes.
kimhe is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 09:51 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
The Panticosa Resort is an interesting place with a long history (a military retreat during the Franco years), great for a couple of days relaxing in the spa. We stayed there the first time when Subijana, of restaurant Akelaŕe, was setting up the kitchen. The only problem is that it is a destination resort, not somewhere you go to spend the night, which is why we like Tramacastilla de Tena when traveling this route into or out of France, or just driving between Barcelona and Pamplona and need somewhere nice to spend the night.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 11:15 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 15
Hi Robert, I'm planning to drive from Girona to San Sebastian in May 2015. However I find that most accommodation including Mauberme, Colomers do not take reservation from May 2015 onwards. I understand that things are abit in hibernation mode in Salardu in May/June.
Do you have any recommendation vis-à-vis accommodation?
Mark_chin is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 11:26 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Please repost your request on a new post so that we can understand what you are looking for. The Hotel Mauberne is one of our prime locations in the Val de Aran, but it's always difficutl to know what's going on if we don't have your exact dates.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2015, 06:57 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I had a good time when I took this trip two years ago.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
kcnewby
Europe
13
Feb 27th, 2016 02:15 PM
eliza17
Europe
18
Jun 10th, 2015 05:26 PM
spainhoneymoon
Europe
6
Jun 28th, 2011 08:17 PM
choc
Europe
4
Mar 17th, 2008 12:11 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:55 PM.