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Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

British Columbia...
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Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Hello there,

We will be spending 2 weeks in Spain in early May. We are are family of 4 - we're active, seasoned travellers, and like to get the local experience. We're flying into Barcelona, spending a few days there and then intend to drive to the Basque Country for approx 4 days before heading to Madrid (where we fly back to Canada).

I'm hoping for some advice on the following:

Where we should base ourselves while in the Basque area?. Should we stay 4 days in San Sebastian and do day trips from there, or should we venture into wine country and spend a night in Rioja area?

Which day trips would you recommend on a 4 day visit to Basque? (other than Bilbao, which we are planning to see)

Transportation: We are currently planning to rent a car and drive from Barcelona to San Sebastian. We live in Canada, we're used to driving longer distances, and we like to stop at points of interest on the way. We also thought having a car in the Basque area could be useful. However, if this seems like a terrible idea, please let me know!

Thank you in advance for your feedback - it's greatly appreciated!

Biarritz, France
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for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Basing yourself in San Sebastian and then making day trips from there is a great idea but there is very little parking available in the centre of town. Use the search function to find several other threads about the parking issue.

Malaga, Spain
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

mjgirl:

In La Rioja the town of Haro is a center of wine making.

O Savinao, Galicia
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Just to clarify things La Rioja is not considered The Basque country.

British Columbia...
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4. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Thank you - I have read about the parking issue and am looking into that.

As usually happens our trip is filling up and it's time to prioritize everything we want to see. We'd love to have a short visit through La Rioja (with a quick stop in Burgos, perhaps). Is that a day trip we could do from San Sebastian or is it too far for that? Would we perhaps be better off staying in The Basque country?

Right now I have 3 nights and 2 days allocated to San Sebastian, and figure we will explore San Sebastian one day and Bilbao the other. I'm debating whether to spend another day/night in the region, but it looks like that would come at the expense of La Rioja.

What would you suggest? Would you spend an additional day in the Basque area (and if so, what you would you recommend we see?) or would you spend a day/night in La Rioja?

Many thanks for your advice,

Bilbao, Spain
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for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
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5. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Casa Santo Estevo, I have to disagree. La Rioja is an autonomous community in Spain, as we all know, as it is the Basque Country. But Rioja wine region, what is what most visitors look for and want to visit, forms part of three autonomous communities (Basque Country-Rioja Alavesa-, La Rioja, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja, and Navarra, Rioja Baja). Best quality wines are considered to be from Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta.

So you can stay in wonderful Laguardia, or Labastida...and still remain in the Basque Country. Or stay in Haro, and then be in La Rioja.

Bilbao, Spain
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for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
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6. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Burgos is not La Rioja and it´s on the route south to Madrid. It´s part of Castile and León...and the wines there mainly belong to Ribera del Duero wine region. Stunning gothic cathedral.

British Columbia...
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7. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

I believe we'll settle into San Sebastian for 3 nights. I'd like to select another town to spend a night in order to give us a bit of a different experience from San Sebastian.

Could you suggest places to visit that may be worth spending the night?

It's worth noting that we'll then be driving to Madrid so we don't want to be too far off that route.

Thank you!

Bilbao, Spain
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for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
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8. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Laguardia, no doubt.

British Columbia...
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9. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

Thank you for your suggestions, I just booked Cosme Palacio in Laguardia for 2 nights. Very excited!

I just have a couple more questions! :)

We will be 3 days in San Sebastian: Other than Bilbao, where would you recommend visiting while in the area? We will have a car available for day trips.

We'll be in Laguardia for 2 nights: In addition to visiting a couple of Bodegas each day, could you recommend some nearby sights (within 1 hour or so) that would be worth visiting? Nice towns, beautiful architecture or nature, etc. We'll have a 16 year old with us so she may not enjoy the wine touring as much as us. ;)

Very excited about our upcoming trip!!

Rayleigh, United...
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10. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 4 days Basque Country

mjgirl74 - we are doing a similar trip in September but didn't really want to be moving every two days to a new hotel as we thought we'd be losing a day moving on to the next hotel, getting settled in etc. Let us know how your trip goes.

Thanks.

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