Basque Country/Rioja - advice on "base cities" for 2 week visit
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Sep 13, 2012 12:12 PM Last Post By: sharonirene
Sep 11, 2012 1:33 AM
Basque Country/Rioja - advice on "base cities" for 2 week visitHello,
I am heading to Basque Country from 17/9 to 2/10 - and it's a last minute trip. I desperately need this vacation, and it seems planning it in a week is proving more stressful than I thought. For any who have been, I would be most interested in knowing which cities or villages proved to be good "base camps" for seeing specific regions. I'm landing in Bilbao, and plan to spend a day or two there for the museums. After that, the itinerary is completely open.
What would you choose for these areas, for 2-4 days apiece? I'm wary of overextending myself (I'm 33 and just "out" of backpacker phase and would prefer 3-4 key places to settle).
Rioja for wineries: Lagrono or Haro (wine fest the week of 21/9)
Is it worth spending more time in San Sebastian or inland like Pamplona? (there's the big film fest in San Seb, wondering if it would overwhelm the city)
Would 2-4 days exploring some of the Santiago de Compostella trail be worth it?
AND a general question - with 2 weeks in this area, what would you do? Is renting a car very necessary, especially in more rural areas? There seem to be frequent bus and train service.
Many thanks! I've got my LP guide book, but some real advice and "prioritizing" experience would be invaluable.
Edited by: sharonirene
Sep 11, 2012 4:47 AM
1Pamplona has an interesting old historic centre and good transport links. Similarly Logroño. Small villages between make for great day visits.
Sep 11, 2012 8:23 AM
2Rioja for wineries: Lagrono or Haro (wine fest the week of 21/9)
If you are looking for wineries, Haro. BTW, if you go to Logroño, go to calle Laurel for some drinks and food.
Is it worth spending more time in San Sebastian or inland like Pamplona?
It depends on your interests and preferences (i.e. on what do you want to make/visit during your trip) and we don't know them. The same info is also relevant to suggest other towns, if to walk a part of the Way of St. James could be a good idea...
A car could be advisable to visit some rural areas.
Sep 13, 2012 12:12 PM
3Thank you for the replies. It has been most helpful.
Your blog is amazing!
I am still uncertain about Haro or Lagrono or a village in the middle -- but I decided that I will not spend a significant part of my trip in San Sebastian. You convinced me of what I suspected...all that glitters...is not "cultural" gold.
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