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Spain Itinerary Help, Much Appreciated & Needed

Spain Itinerary Help, Much Appreciated & Needed

Jan 12th, 2011, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,762
I always use either auto Europe or it's sister company Kemwell. They have contracts with various auto rentals such as Avis or Europcar. I've always found the best prices with auto Europe or Kemwell.

Where u rent and return the car depends upon the order of your trip.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 06:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 18
Thanks yestravel. I will check Auto Europe and/or Kemwell. I also read some earlier posts about the bus stop from SS to Bilbao being a little challenging to find so I will do my homework on that.

Any comments on whether we should make SS our first stop or not? Would you recommend day trips from SS via public transportation or just stay visit SS, rent a car (where, in SS) and then visit the smaller villages and towns. Drop the car back in SS and bus back to Bilbao? I'm not sure what makes logical sense logistically and when and where to pick up and drop off the car. Sorry to be some dense..

Some of the towns we thought we would like to visit (too many to see, on one trip) are listed below. In terms of different sights and scenery, distance, priorities, what would you recommend we do as day trips from SS or before SS or over-nighters and in what order so we aren’t backtracking.

Pasajes De San Juan (6 miles from SS) – tiny, picturesque fishing village
Hondarribia (Fuenterrabia) 20 min from SS – (One of the most beautiful villages in Spain)
Lekeitio – how far from SS? (charming fishing village)
San Jean De Luz, Biarritz? Sare/Sara

Thanks again.....
abbondanza is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
Regarding the bus "stop" in San Sebastian being challenging to find: it should not be difficult. It is not a "stop" per se but the main bus station for San Sebastian. It is on most maps, any taxi driver should easily be able to get there and it isn't difficult to find. It's just a strange station in that it's not an actual building but instead a large area where the buses pick up/drop off. The individual bus companies aren't located in one building - they're in several surrounding the bus station. If you need to purchase a ticket from San Sebastian to Bilbao I'd just give myself an extra 30 minutes to find the actual location of the company to purchase the ticket. If you're arriving into San Sebastian it's not a big deal at all.

As for daytrip recommendations I can't speak to Pasajes de San Juan as I've never visited. But Hondarribia, Getaria and Lekeitio are probably my favorites on the coast. I usually spend a couple of nights along the coast but also have more time. Lekeitio is about 1 hour, 15 minutes from Bilbao and an hour from San Sebastian. It's an easy daytrip from either. Without a car it's an easier daytrip from Bilbao as the buses are more frequent. Hondarribia is an easy daytrip from San Sebastian - by bus or car.

The French Basque country is different and very pretty. I've visited St Jean de Luz on market day and it's quite nice. It can get quite touristy in the summer but not so much in September. Biarritz is not so much a fishing village but a nice more resort feel. I also really enjoyed Bayonne. I prefer the Spanish side BUT that's just my personal taste and many others like the French side better.

Some more suggestions for daytrips: Gernika, Pamplona, Tolosa, Vitoria

How many nights in total do you have for the Basque country?
CathyM is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 18
Hi CathyM! Great feedback. Thank you. We will have 8-9 days in Basque Country. Still not sure if we should rent a car in Bilbao and then make our way to French or Spanish villages (help???, St Jean de Luz, Lekeitio, etc) and then drop car off (where?) and end up in SS. I know, I'm probably overthinking this and making it more difficult that it needs to be (ha ha)...
abbondanza is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,271
Drive from Bilbao to Lekeitio and walk around, have lunch then drive to Getaria for the night. Check out of hotel, have lunch at Elkano or Kaia-Kalpe (a must) then head to Hondarribia and spend the night. From there drop off car and take the bus or train into San Sebastian and spend 5 nights, relax and enjoy yourself.
Egbert is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
I'd spend at least 4 nights in San Sebastian and 2 nights in a fishing village (probably Lekeitio, Getaria or Hondarribia) and maybe 2 in Bilbao. Egbert's idea would work but I don't like the idea of 2 1-nighters in a row.

You could spend a couple of nights in Bilbao, rent the car as you leave in the morning. That day do a coastal drive towards Bermeo and visit the shrine of Gaztelugatxe. After lunch head to Getaria or Lekeitio and spend a couple of nights. From these cities you could visit Gernika (closer to Lekeitio), or from Getaria visit Zarautz and a txakoli vineyard (if possible as September will be the harvest). Then there are the incredible coastal villages (ie. Elantxobe for example near Lekeitio). After 2 nights in one of the villages you could head to San Sebastian for 4-5 nights and do a series of daytrips. You could even keep the car for a couple of days in San Sebastian if you want to do some in depth exploring of the French Basque country - it's not as easy to explore using public transportation. It's not that terrible to have the car for a couple of the days - just be prepared to pay for parking. Driving in the city isn't so bad.

There are literally hundreds of ways you could do these 8-9 days. I'd just do alot of reading and research to determine what's best for you. You have plenty of time but if you are on a budget you may want to start booking hotels in San Sebastian in April/May to get a good choice.
CathyM is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Pasajes San Juan/Donibane is a very special place and ideal for a short daytrip from San Sebastián. Several excellent restaurants. Have had some extremely good value and memorable seafood lunches here. Use to take friends visisting for the first time here.

You could easily walk there from San Sebastián along the beautiful coast over Monte Ulia in less than two hours (a short and frequent boat-ride from San Pedro included). The walk is great, but there are also frequent buses from Plaza Guipúzcoa in central San Sebastián (some 25 mins).

I recommend the walk and the boat-ride to San Juan and the bus back to San Sebastián! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm-1OdB7QWc
kimhe is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 11:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 18
Oh yeah!!!Egbert, KathyM, and Kimhe - Perfecto. This is exactly the kind of input I need. I'm going to print this out, noodle over it and try and make some decisions. I will report back today or tomorrow with, hopefully, my final itinerary. Thank you again so very much!!! This site and all of you rock....
abbondanza is offline  

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