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Still at a loss for best place to stop on Pyrenees Road trip.

Still at a loss for best place to stop on Pyrenees Road trip.

Mar 25th, 2015, 04:37 PM
  #1  
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Still at a loss for best place to stop on Pyrenees Road trip.

Hi experts, I know you have patiently all answered this question many times recently. I have read all the threads and still can't make up my mind. It all looks so amazing! So much to see so little time…..
We will be in Northern Spain for 15 nights. Arrive late 19 June into Barcelona, depart 4 July out of Bilbao, late afternoon. There are 6 of us, myself, DH, my sister, her DH and 2 kids 13&17.
Here are my thoughts, any advice is greatly needed
5 nights Barcelona ( I am trying to find an apartment via airbnb or vrbo.) Since we arrive late 5 nights really only gives us 4 days.
3 nights Girona/Costa Brava

Question:
Is it better to base ourselves in Girona and day trip to various places, or better to make a quick stop in Girona and get to the coast? Is this the right amount of days for the area?
My niece just studied Dali in school so she excited to see all the "Dali" sights.

Heres where it gets fuzzy…There are so many great places to stop along the various routes before reaching the Atlantic side! I would like to make only 2 stops if that is possible.

Question: Is Andorra worth the stop?
I am really intrigued by some of the stops on the French side as well. We love castle snooping, scenery maybe short hikes . (actually love to hike but that isn't what this trip is about.

We have reservations at the Parador Hondarribia on 29 June
After that I was thinking of 3 nights in San Sebastian ( big foodies
1 night in Bilbao stopping at painted forest on the way.

Other random questions:
Is it better to take the train to Girona or Figueres then maybe on to Perpignan, then pick up car? I had originally looked at getting car when we leave Barcelona.
If we stay on the coast favorite towns?

I am completely open for suggestions. I have spent so much time reading and looking at maps my brain is swimming.
Thanks in advance again for your help,
Kim
heart2travel is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 04:59 PM
  #2  
 
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Andorra has beautiful Alpine scenery, but so do many other locations in the Pyrenees. The town itself is not interesting.

With only two nights I would stick to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
Michael is online now  
Mar 25th, 2015, 05:03 PM
  #3  
 
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Girona is interesting but I would gauge your group's enthusiasm for marching around in the hot sun doing cultural/religious sightseeing in the hot sun. Were it me, I'd make a bee line for the coast, someplace with easy access to the Dali sights, and squeeze in some historic/cultural sights someplace else --- unless of course somebody in your group in clamoring to see something in Girona specifically. It is rewarding if you are interested, but without pre-existing interesting, it might strike everybody as just more old stuff!

I would get the car as soon as possible, in Barcelona.

I missed Andorra while in the region, so can't comment, but I think you might enjoy the cooler breezes of the mountains somewhere up high, so if not Andorra, then someplace else in the peaks. Maybe Ax-en-Thermes? Cauterets?
sandralist is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 05:34 PM
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>Question: Is Andorra worth the stop?< Only if you are into skiing, trekking or shopping.

With two nights to stop along the way, I would recommend you check out the Val d'Aran (www.visitvaldaran.com/en/) and the Béarn - Pays Basque region of southwest France (www.tourisme64.com).
Robert2533 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 07:01 PM
  #5  
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Does it make sense to take a night away from Costa Brave, ditch Girona(for this time.) and add a third day to road trip?
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Mar 25th, 2015, 07:39 PM
  #6  
 
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It does for me!
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Mar 25th, 2015, 08:02 PM
  #7  
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Ok I think that makes more sense too @Robert2533, I will start looking at your recommendations .
Any other thoughts I am open...
Kim
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Mar 25th, 2015, 09:11 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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I haven't been there yet, but am planning a trip, so take my comments for what VERY little they are worth. (And if any of you who have experience care to comment on my plans, I hope heart2travel won't object to a minor hijack!) ...

I'll be heading in the opposite direction. My plan is to leave San Sebastian early one morning, stop at San Juan de la Pena for a break, and -- depending on how I feel -- perhaps make a 2nd stop in Torla. I will then drive on to Taull in the Vall de Boi, where I will spend 2 nights because I have an interest in seeing the churches there. (You could easily skip that turnoff into the mountains.) I then plan to drive Cadaquez, with breaks in Baga and Besalu. I would think that you could start in Girona or Figueres or elsewhere in that area and route through Besalu (skipping Cadaquez)...
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Mar 26th, 2015, 08:39 AM
  #9  
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@kja, I have been following your thread and all the great advice you have been given. I have printed it out and am pouring over it. I think you are doing this trek before we are? Can't wait to hear. Am I understanding you right the only overnight is Vall de Boi for 2 nights? I am also a bit of a castle freak so that seems like a cool stop. Which town are you staying in? The French side also looks interesting, hard to decide which way to go. Probably no bad route! Where did you book in San Sebastián ? I haven't really started looking there yet. I think we will spend 2 nights along the costa brava to see all the charming little villages there. Hoping to get to Cadaqués, it looks wonderful.
Happy travels, feel free to share any more info you gather,
Kim
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Mar 26th, 2015, 05:43 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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Yes, I've gotten an incredible amount of great advice -- I'm so grateful!

My plan is, indeed, to spend 2 nights in the Vall de Boi, but for its Romanesque churches. Is there a castle there? I don't remember seeing anything about one in my guidebooks -- doesn't mean there isn't one! I'll be staying in Taull itself.

On one of my planning threads, I asked about a particular route through France to get from San Sebastian to Taull -- the one through Tarbes. Robert wrote, "The drive through Tarbes is quicker, but boring. Nothing to see but highway until you turn south." I might consider going that way if it is raining, but otherwise plan on staying to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. For my purposes, I didn't see an advantage to crossing out of Spain for the stretch from Taull to Cadaques. (Doesn't mean there might not be good reason to do so!) BTW, I think that if you are considering going outside of Spain, you need to made sure that's OK with your rental company.

I've booked into the Gros area of San Sebastian. FWIW, it seemed to me that the better-reviewed of the more affordable accommodations in San Sebastian booked up early, so you might want to start looking sooner rather than later.

Hope this info is helpful! I look forward to learning more from you and your threads, too.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 06:30 AM
  #11  
 
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Following. In same area around same time with similar questions re road trip from ss to catalonia. Of interest to you maybe, catalonia celebrates the st joan festival on the 23 24th June with parties bonfires fireworks. i'm still not sure if best to be in Barcelona or another part of catalonia these dates.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 07:08 PM
  #12  
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Wow I had no idea! I just googled the festival, looks like craziness for sure. I had already booked to be there the 23rd, departing the 24th. I guess we are in for a good time
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