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Spain, France border towns

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Apr 1st, 2002, 03:58 PM
  #1
Jenny
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Spain, France border towns

Hi..We will be in San Sebatian and would like to visit the french border towns while there. Does anyone know of small villages and a great hotel for a base for a few days? Thank you for a reply!!
 
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Apr 1st, 2002, 06:39 PM
  #2
Miriam
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Jenny,

Must visit Andorra. Beautiful Mountains in the summer, great winter get away and skiing. Great prices on perfumes, sun glasses, jewelry and liquor.
 
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Apr 1st, 2002, 08:08 PM
  #3
michelle
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Yes, St. Jean de Lutz is a fantastic little town next to larger Biarritz. It's a quaint place on the water with lots to see and do. We stayed at Chateau d'Uturbie about five miles to the city (it's an old castle). www.chateaux-france.com and also the owner speaks fluent English and is very kind and helpful. We heard Bayonne was nice but didn't get a chance to see it since we also went on to San Sebastian. The border was ridiculously easy. I've also heard Andorra is awesome!
 
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Apr 2nd, 2002, 01:42 AM
  #4
Lesley
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The French side of the border is Basque too, but more prettily so. The architecture of the houses is typically Basque (you will see what I mean, a sort of red and white or green and white Elizabethan timber design). St Jean de Luz is a nice seaside town, St Jean Pied de Port is a pretty inland town. Pretty Basque villages include Sare(lovely Hotel Arraya with superb restaurant), Ainhoa (there's a diarisis on the i but I can't do it)La Bastide-Clairence and Ascain. Each village has its Pelote (pelota in Spanish) court which is the Basque national sport. You can see the kids bashing a small tennis size ball against a wall with their bare fists.
Just before you cross into France, the last town in Spain, Hondarrabia/Fuentarrabia (the first is the Basque name, the second the Spanish)is very pretty and worth a stop off.
 
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Apr 2nd, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #5
Maribel
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Jenny,
Another second for St. Jean de Luz (perfect, picturesque fishing village but very, very crowded in summer-may be fully booked for July/Aug)and all the lovely interior Basque villages that Lesley has mentioned, especially Sare, with its sweet Pottoka ponies and its delightful Hotel Arraya, Ainhoa and the Hotel Ithurria (equally great food), plus I'll add St. Etienne de Baigory, (next to the always crowded St. Jean Pied de Port) and its pretty, supremely tranquil Hotel Arce (with pool) on the river bank (fabulous cuisine as well), the cherry village of Itxassou and the picturesque red pepper town, artisan center of Espelette (make sure to dine at the Hotel Euskadi). The Pays Basque is a delightful area to spend a couple of days, even a week!
On the Spanish side, we love Hondarribia and are headed there yet again this July for a week. It has the stunning castle/Parador of Carlos V and 2 other "hotels with charm", the Pampinot and Obispo, several great value, Basque farmhouse "agroturismos", fantastic restaurants/tapas bars and a friendly, lively atmosphere but only 20 min. from S.S., so I would certainly make this a "must stop", as Lesley has said.
 
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Apr 2nd, 2002, 07:47 AM
  #6
Norma
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All the towns & villages mentioned by Lesley and Maribel are just gorgeous. We used Bidart, near, in fact almost a suburb of, Biarritz as our base to explore the area. We found a charming auberge there using our Logis de France hotel directory. I can't recommend Andorra to anyone unless you are heavily into shopping. Once you reach La Vielle Andorra, the main town, it is like a giant shopping mall and not at all pretty. Admittedly the drive up there from France is very scenic but all the driving in that part of France is scenic. However, should you decide to go to Andorra, you can drive up and down in one day. There is a little village called Hospitalet at the foot of the road up to Andorra, where we stayed overnight, taking the drive up first thing in the morning.
 
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Apr 14th, 2002, 10:28 PM
  #7
maureen
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We have been to St Jean De Luz many times and always stay the Parc Victoria. You can enjoy many easy day trips - Bayonne, Biarritz, Pau, St Jean Pied De Port, San Sebastian, Pamplona. We just got back and don't return until Sept - DARN!
 
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