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Should I go to San Sebastian (Spain) or Sarlat (France) first in October?

Should I go to San Sebastian (Spain) or Sarlat (France) first in October?

Aug 4th, 2014, 05:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 185
Should I go to San Sebastian (Spain) or Sarlat (France) first in October?

This is a bit last minute, but I was waiting to see how my off-and-on arthritic knee was going to feel before booking a 3 or 4 week solo trip to these areas this October.

My main concern is avoiding the rain in San Sebastian as much as possible. Have never been there but understand it to be quite rainy in October. I'm not a beach goer, so I don't really care about swimming weather, just want to see the beautiful city and eat the beautiful food. So would really appreciate advice about where to go first--USA (LAX) to Madrid and then train to San Sebastian (or is it Bilbao?) FIRST in early October (want to avoid film festival crowds). OR go to Paris first for a few days and then to Sarlat by car for a couple of weeks, then to SS/Bilbao at end of October, then to Madrid for my plane home.

My impression from looking around online is that Sarlat/Dordogne is not as rainy as San Sebastian but if I'm wrong please tell me. If San Sebastian is equally rainy all month, I would probably go first to France, but if it really gets worse weather as month progresses, that would answer my question.

Would love any and all advice (places to stay, etc.) from those who are familar with both areas.

Gracias/merci/eskerrik asko
samoca is offline  
Aug 4th, 2014, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
We were in Bilbao for a few days last October and it was sunny. Returned to Bilbao and SS for a week last May and it was sunny every day. For sure they get a lot of rain and I just saw a graph that said it rains an average of 17 days in both months, but we lucked out. So you never really know ...

Since November is rainier than September I'd guess early October would offer better odds.

"then train to San Sebastian (or is it Bilbao?)"

We liked both towns and flew in to Bilbao both trips from Barcelona on Vueling. If you like museums then maybe a couple of days in Bilbao, then take the bus (12 euros or so, about a 75 minute trip) to SS.

If you want hotel or non-tapas restaurant recommendations let me know.
Bill_H is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 01:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
I would go to San Sebastian in early October, rain is normally increasing through October and into November. October is statistically not that bad, 6 months of the year with more rain, and the most rainy month is November: http://www.wetteronline.de/?pcid=pc_...tion&iid=08027
kimhe is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,278
I would reconsider taking the train to SS -very long and boring! There are lots of cheap/short(1 hr) flights!Easy bus at the airport to get you into town.
In SS,when it rains, it pours,almost flood-like conditions-my shoes never dried out!I gave up on trying to use an umbrella and bought a cheap poncho.It was also super windy,just miserable.I ended up taking the on/off bus to kill a couple of hours but the rain never let up 2 days straight.My last day was cold but at least sunny and people were out in droves walking!
This was in October....
chapla is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,375
We were in Santander (across the Bay) and Bilbao at the end of Sept. several years ago
..The downpours were just like PP described,
But, we also had some lovely, sunny days ( people were suntanning on the beaches).
Who knows.
danon is online now  
Aug 5th, 2014, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
The rain can be heavy in San Sebastian as Chapla says, but it's normally short showers. I've lived here and visited almost every year since 1987. Last time in early October last year. Normal San Sebastian weather. A couple of heavy showers, but most of the time sun and some 70F and lots of people on the beaches.

The weather statistics for the first half of October in San Sebastian based on past 17 years says daily highs at 64-72F, night lows at 56-62F, rainfall one in three days and average 5 hours sun pr. day. (wetteronline.de)
kimhe is offline  

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