SPAIN travel advice

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it looks like i am going in early may! i need some basic advice. i am plotting out an itinerary and what i am thinking is fly into madrid, hang out there for a few days, rent a car (which is $15 a day i guess, cheaper than the train unless i'm really misinformed?) and driving up and down the mediterranean coast. we need to be in murcia for a few days for a music festival but have nowhere else specifically - we could either drive south along the coast and loop back or go up to barcelona.

does anyone have any advice on a good route to take/must see stuff? thanks!

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

i also need advice on stuff like affordable accommodations, where to stuff my face with jamon, etc.

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

please try to get yourself to san sebastian
that is my #1 suggestion

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

a little bit of advice on these old threads. I was in Madrid and the Southern coast a long time ago. Hmmmm let me think

Another reason among the many to visit Spain

Tell me what to do when I go to Spain for two weeks!

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

the trains are really expensive, unless you buy the tickets exactly two weeks ahead of time, when they release a limited number of discounted tickets. but it doesn't really matter cause the website for the trains is basically a black hole of frustration. the high speed trains are really nice though, and there is a digital display of the traveling speed in all the cars.
i was just in spain but not in these parts (except for a quick 2 day stop in madrid) but 2nd the suggestion of going to san sebastian.

mizzell, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

murcia-alicante-valencia-barca is all along the coast and if driving's your thing then it's a slog but good times

teaky frigger (darraghmac), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

i really don't mind driving! the high speed trains look crazy, but i am trying to be relatively frugal so the car rental seems like a good way to get around. is there a benefit to doing a southern route (down towards gibraltar) as opposed to northern?

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

they're just super different parts of the country, it's up to you what part you want to see. also if you're driving please budget a lot for tolls -- the roads are really really nice and well marked, but they have outrageous tolls.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

and we might not need to go all the way up to barcelona but just hang around the murcia/alicante area (possibly up to valencia?), it might be too ambitious. it would be cool to take a ferry/boat somewhere, but i'm guessing ibiza is skippable!

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

good to know about tolls!

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

murcia-valencia is i dunno 3-4 hours

yes, tolls is a good point- though you can take the coastal roads and avoid some of them- it's slower but prettier imo

teaky frigger (darraghmac), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Renting a car will also cost more than $15 USD daily, or at least it did last year.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

I would stan for Andalusia - Seville, Ronda - but only because that's the bit I'm most familiar with. Don't know the Blanca/Dorado/Brava bits that well. My parents speak highly of Northern Spain though - Leon, Oviedo, Bilbao, San Sebastián might make a good roadtrip?

ailsa, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

Hiking in the Pyrenees in Torla was one of the highlights of my trip -- gorgeous medieval village in the middle of a national park/nature area. AMAZING.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

la lechera otm, GO TO SAN SEBASTIAN.

When a German communicates, you listen (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

and yeah Bilbao is lovely too, great people in both San Seb and Bilbao.

there are good pencions (spanish people using their flat/house as a guesthouse) in most places.

in fact if you go san seb i can recommend one, unless you intend to stay somewhere fancy. it was very very basic but safe, central, and clean, and the owner made us basque custard tarts and stuff, really fun.

san sebastian is like a food paradise.

When a German communicates, you listen (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

toooootally a food paradise
easy to get around on foot too, amazing beach, bizarro amusement park on top of a religious monument

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

so bummed that the funicular was closed the day i tried to go to that amusement park.

mizzell, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is but one of the amusements

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

and the food was amazing. but honestly the food was amazing everywhere i went in spain.

mizzell, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah, p much

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

was fuego negro open when you guys were there? a tapas bar up near the church in the old town but markedly different from the older bars, really swanky in a sort of naff way apart from the fact the food is this insanely good fusion type tapas, it was really incredible.

other than that it's nice having foie gras everywhere, and those squadrones of spanish men singing opera songs as they go from bar to bar. best way to get drunk ever...

When a German communicates, you listen (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

we mostly went to local places, just kinda skipped around. there are a LOT of super fancy restaurants in spain, but i didn't go to any of them. i love the grazing aspect of spanish eating -- just kind of grab what you want, eat it, drink a little, go somewhere else, have something else, sit by the water a while, la ti da, eat/drink some more, etc.

i'll tell you what, if i disappear, san sebastian would not be a bad place to look for me.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

now i really want to go to san sebastien but it seems on the opposite end of the country from where i need to end up (murcia)!

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

next time! i didn't make it south or west at all on my first trip; it's not a place you can cover reasonably in one short trip, i think.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

btw if i disappear, please don't look for me.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

this was the best tapas place we tried in barcelona. one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. cleaner and brighter than many, not too expensive. two long bars laden w/amazing jamon seafood etc. in the eixample area near ave diagonal, passeig de gracia and some cool gaudi buildings.

Cervecería Catalana
C/ MALLORCA, 235, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
+34 932 16 03 68 ‎

demolition with discretion (m coleman), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

some of the tapas places were a little greasy/heavy; not here

demolition with discretion (m coleman), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

please try to get yourself to san sebastian
that is my #1 suggestion

― La Lechera, Tuesday, January 24, 2012 2:24 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink


I wound up there sort of by accident and only for a day during a trip to France and it was amazingly lovely. I really want to go back. I have no other advice about Spain because S Sebastian is actually the only place I've ever been to there. LL otm though. If you can go there definitely try to.

ENBB, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

now i really want to go to san sebastien but it seems on the opposite end of the country from where i need to end up (murcia)!

― bene_gesserit, Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:43 PM (22 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Oh shit, only just saw that now. Bummer. I'm sure the rest of it is great too though.

ENBB, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

well i can recommend cartagena as a beautiful town, heavy roman influence still v apparent, they're currently doing up the amphiteatre and the harbour area is spectacular

teaky frigger (darraghmac), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

i live in madrid and know galicia, castilla y leon, extremadura, and andalucia pretty well, but nothing of the basque country or catalonia. how long are you going to be in spain, bene?

craigorio, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

about 9-10 days! i'm definitely spending some time in madrid, and flying in/out of there, so madrid recommendations are welcome!

bene_gesserit, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

No-one repping for Lanzarote? It's great.

I don't know the eastern side of the country at all, but if you head south-then-east you can visit some superb towns - Toledo, Cordoba and Granada are all excellent, and places like Seville and Malaga would be just about within reach too. Gibraltar's really interesting and spectacular.

Stay in a ye olde parador if you can afford it. They're converted historic buildings and some of them are really amazing. Jaen (east of Granada) is a castle perched on a crag above the town.

I loved driving in Spain because it's big and empty, like a mini-America. This may be less impressive to an American, granted.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

Gibraltar's really interesting and spectacular.

really? my parents have an apartment about an hour from malaga and a trip to gibraltar is always an option when i go with friends, but all i've heard about it is that it's one of the worst shitholes in the universe.

When a German communicates, you listen (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

The bay and the rock and the view of Africa are incredible. Historically and politically it's pretty interesting. There are apes. No doubt it's full of tat - but I didn't really notice tbh.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

God, yes, Gibraltar is awful. We hare down there, pick up cheap fags and booze and get the hell back out. The caves and that are ok, I guess, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to visit it.

ailsa, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

my tip is: avoid Gibraltar

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

go to the rock, get out

teaky frigger (darraghmac), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 22:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

a few days in and around madrid then visiting a couple cities in andalucia (i second cordoba and granada!) before ending up in murcia sounds awesome. not sure renting a car would be much cheaper or worthwhile though. you're going to have to pay for gas and parking and will be driving around half the length of the iberian peninsula. you don't necessarily have to take the ave everywhere--if you like seeing the countryside then the avant trains are a lot cheaper and go through random towns. and there's always the bus. you could also just rent the car in granada and drive to murcia. cabo de gata natural park is between them (on the coast) and a car would be handy there.

in madrid i highly recommend you visit goya's tomb.

craigorio, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

i went to goya's tomb, it was cool

mizzell, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:25 (seven years ago) Permalink


teaky frigger (darraghmac), Wednesday, 25 January 2012 00:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

thanks craigorio that is all really helpful! i'll look into costs of train/bus from madrid to granada. cabo de gata looks lovely!

bene_gesserit, Wednesday, 25 January 2012 18:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

alsa will be the bus line you want. it's about 20 euros, 5 hrs across la mancha, and there will be a bus leaving pretty much every hour all day long from madrid.

craigorio, Wednesday, 25 January 2012 21:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

ok, i've just worked out some of the details, and i think we are going to take the bus to granada as you recommended! is there a specific town on the coast between granada and murcia that you would recommend spending a night in? we definitely want to spend some time in cabo de gato and take are time going up the coast.

bene_gesserit, Saturday, 28 January 2012 20:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

alright - i've fully booked all my hotels so i could use some itinerary specific advice:

days 1-3 madrid - staying at a pension in the the universidad neighborhood, i definitely want to visit the prado but otherwise i could use advice on what to see/eat!

day 4 granada - staying in the downtown area but closer to the alhambra. definitely want to visit the alhambra but not sure what else. planning on renting a car here for the rest of the trip.

days 5-6 - cheaping out everywhere else on hotels, but splurged a little and booked two nights at parador de mojacar ( which was still not all that expensive (came out to ~$70 per person per night) this is close to cabo de gata but could use advice on other towns to explore in the area)

days 7-8 - murcia - we will probably be at the music fesitival (watching PULP) most of the time

day 9 - need to find a budget accommodation near the madrid airport for an early flight home

bene_gesserit, Friday, 10 February 2012 23:09 (seven years ago) Permalink


Aerosol, Friday, 10 February 2012 23:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm considering going for a week in March. I was going to do Madrid and Barcelona, but my friend is trying to convince me to concentrate on one city, and not try to do too much. Thoughts? I am leaning toward Madrid. Also, is it an okay place to travel alone in?

Virginia Plain, Friday, 24 February 2012 04:42 (six years ago) Permalink

you should come in march instead and hang out with me!

bene_gesserit, Friday, 24 February 2012 14:26 (six years ago) Permalink

i mean may

bene_gesserit, Friday, 24 February 2012 14:26 (six years ago) Permalink

I wish I could; your trip sounds amazing.

Virginia Plain, Sunday, 26 February 2012 15:58 (six years ago) Permalink

xpost if you have a week that should be sufficient for two cities... but I say that as someone who's generally happy with a few days per city when I travel, guess it depends on your own travel style!

Personally Barcelona was far more memorable for me than Madrid but either of them will be okay for solo travel.

salsa shark, Sunday, 26 February 2012 17:45 (six years ago) Permalink

It takes 8 hours to get from Madrid to Barcelona by bus

curmudgeon, Sunday, 26 February 2012 19:13 (six years ago) Permalink

my travel advice is eats lots of food because it will be delicious

a life ___________ (Lamp), Sunday, 26 February 2012 20:17 (six years ago) Permalink

my advice is take the train.

nickn, Monday, 27 February 2012 03:36 (six years ago) Permalink

I have never been to madrid but I suggest you don't miss barcelona

iatee, Monday, 27 February 2012 03:47 (six years ago) Permalink

it is cool

iatee, Monday, 27 February 2012 03:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the advice. I just jumped the gun and went for both Madrid and Barcelona, with a high-speed rail connection in-between. I'm going to start fasting now so that I can eat way through.

^^although San Sebastian sounds like my cup of tea

Virginia Plain, Monday, 27 February 2012 04:12 (six years ago) Permalink

I was underwhelmed by Madrid (and never made it to Barcelona)

curmudgeon, Monday, 27 February 2012 04:35 (six years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Flying out this week for a 2-week sojourn that will include Madrid, Rioja, Barcelona and points between. Happy for any/all recommendations. We won't make it to San Sebastian or Bilbao sadly, the itinerary just won't stretch that far

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:23 (six years ago) Permalink

Important advice: book in advance to go to the Alhambra, otherwise you won't get in.

The Reina Sofia art gallery in Madrid is well worth a visit, particularly the civil war section.

Lots of things close on Mondays, museums an ting.

PJ Miller, Monday, 19 March 2012 11:22 (six years ago) Permalink

how far in advance do you need to buy alhambra tix?

bene_gesserit, Monday, 19 March 2012 14:47 (six years ago) Permalink

i think really far in advance? like months iirc?

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 19 March 2012 14:48 (six years ago) Permalink

The Prado is pretty amazing, too.

I also highly recommend this museum:

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Monday, 19 March 2012 14:51 (six years ago) Permalink

I ate here a couple of times:

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Monday, 19 March 2012 14:52 (six years ago) Permalink

ASAP for the Alhambra tickets.

PJ Miller, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:43 (six years ago) Permalink

Estamos practicando el espanol? Dejo este sabado.

Virginia Plain, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 02:35 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i'm leaving friday!! beyond excited. any recommendations for 1) cheapish eats in madrid (specifically near universidad neighborhood)?

bene_gesserit, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:57 (six years ago) Permalink

2) translator apps for iphone?

bene_gesserit, Monday, 23 April 2012 16:59 (six years ago) Permalink

1) Underground chino (Chinese restaurant) in Plaza de España is incredibly cheap and tasty and pretty close to the Universidad. Just go down the stairs next to Calle Princesa/Gran Via. As for actual Spanish food, I'll get back to you when my friend reminds me the name of this one amazing spot.

2) Haven't tried this one, but looks pretty useful:

Charles de Gaul (Whitey on the Moon), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 00:11 (six years ago) Permalink

Here's that great Spanish restaurant: El Lacón Not exactly cheap but wonderful and a good value. I would recommend going for the tablas (platters of a wide variety of fish, seafood, veggies, etc) if you'll be with several people. 2 tablas and the complimentary bread was more than enough food for 4.

Charles de Gaul (Whitey on the Moon), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:37 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Boy you werent kidding bout alhambra tix huh

bob_sleigher (darraghmac), Tuesday, 4 June 2013 02:12 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I can't wait to see that thing. I've booked a ticket for next month.

Does anyone have tips on other stuff to do in Granada? I have two days. It looks like some of the Alhambra grounds don't require tickets, so maybe there'll be more than enough to see once my hours there are up.

jmm, Friday, 24 October 2014 01:58 (four years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Hotel I'm staying in is pretty cool, I guess:

Had a terrific two days in Madrid and was sorry to leave. The Prado is a delight and going early on a Monday morning meant I had the best part of an hour with a dozen Raphaels and Goya's black paintings to myself. Also really loved the Reina Sofia, which seemed like a model of how a challenging contemporary art gallery should be curated - much more engaged politically than the Punta Della Dogana or the Centre Pompidou, which are amazing in their own way but feel more like a repository of stuff most of the time.

Idk why I have been to Moldova and Venezuela but it has taken this long to come to Spain.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 22:43 (four years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

In May and June I will be residing in San Sebastián as a writer in residence. I'm beyond stoked, and ever since the news got out I've been given plenty of tips about what to see, what to do. According to the Lonely Planet of Bilbao/SanSeb there are 17 (SEVENTEEN!) Michelin starred restaurants in San Sebastián alone. That's just crazy, and impossible to choose between.

I won't be traveling outside of the Basque Country a lot (I need my time there to write) but please give me some tips on things outside the obvious, to see, do, or where to eat. Looking at LG and LL especially since you both know the turf. (I've been to Spain loads - Catalunia, Almeria, Costa Del Sol etc) but never to Basque Country. Hit me up!

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 27 March 2017 19:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I've only spent a few days there but they were filled with the most amazing food.

(•̪●) (carne asada), Monday, 27 March 2017 20:21 (one year ago) Permalink

wauwauwau congrats LBI

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 27 March 2017 21:38 (one year ago) Permalink

tytyty tracer :)

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:06 (one year ago) Permalink

That's awesome, LBI! I still haven't been to San Sebastian, despite having a friend who lives there and everything.

ailsa, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:38 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks Ailsa! :) You should come over!

Really looking forward to suggestions and tips here. C'mon people!

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:46 (one year ago) Permalink

you're the one who will be there for months -- we are going to rely on you to give the tips! my trip there only lasted a few days.
you def gotta go to the haunted rollercoaster ride on the cliff over the ocean, i can't remember what it's called but there's a funicular that takes you up there iirc

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Keep your eyes open for exceptional musician/English teacher Cecile Schott/Colleen!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:51 (one year ago) Permalink

here is one of her best most recent songs

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:02 (one year ago) Permalink

yes the roller coaster! bummed i didnt get to go on it.

(•̪●) (carne asada), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:10 (one year ago) Permalink

so i've been like 3 or 4 times - amazing place. i haven't been to any of the michelin star restaurants - i'd like to go back and do that sometime but the times i went in the past it wasn't really possible, expensive and also some are kind of remote, at least the famous ones.

ll is right about the rollercoaster, also climb up the other mountain and say hello to massive terrifying jesus. on the way up there are great views and also a british military cemetery which is interesting if you like cemeteries.

for food, you can't go too far wrong just wandering around the cobbles of the old town drinking txakoli everywhere, or the local cider, or just a tiny glass of beer (zurito!) , and eating what looks good. but some places definitely stand out.

some general advice:

imo most places have a few speciality dishes and it's best to wander from bar to bar having one thing in each, and a zurito or txakoli as you go. it's v tempting to stay in a bar and order a few more things but if you want to be really anal about it and get the best spread of stuff, move around more. also, the things on the bar are majorly tempting and even though they're great (what could be wrong with bread and cheese/meat/fish/peppers) a lot of the best stuff is made to order. check the blackboards.

with that in mind i'd say make a point of going to these bars, though you really can walk into almost anywhere and get a snack that would be worth telling your friends about in many other cities:

la cuchera de san telmo - slightly pricier than the other places at about 4/5 euro per plate, but the food here is incredible. it can be elbow-to-elbow busy, and a bit intense, and hot, but the food is memorable. the risotto is a signature dish i think, there's usually suckling pig also. i've never had anything bad there though.

borda berri - former la cuchera chef runs this - it's prob got more heart to it than la cuchera, not that the latter is without charm. also gets very busy. incredible canneloni and spider crab. i was sat at the bar here gawping at the menu with my basic spanish one time and this fisherman danny trejo lookalike just looked up and said "my freng, spider crab" in an ultra-deep spanish accent. i just nodded at the barman who brought a piece of bread covered in spider crab. "good, yes?" "very good, thanks!" "good spider crab"

bodega donostiarra - dunno if this area counts as the old town or not, it's about two mins away from old town across a bridge to the east. read about it in a cookbook by the chef jose pizarro - nice outdoor benches, it's a bit less like a bar if you get sick of standing while eating, which you prob will. great food - chicken wings is one speciality here for sure. everything is good though and they are friendly, it's on a lovely street also.

gandarias - very traditional, great bar pintxos if you go early while they're fresh. nice made-to-order stuff too. they open very late and there's a good buzz here late on as a result.

la vina - famous for baked cheesecake. i recommend it :)

a fuego negro - kind of trendy in sort of 90s way, they play jazz and it's a bit more muso than other places. the food is a bit conceptual and silly at times, like "fish and chips" in a little box or something. but as bad as that might sound there is great stuff to be had here. it's also nice for a drink early evening, good tunes and friendly staff.

zeruko - they do normal pintxos here but also some kind of ludicrously presented things. it's all very white decor-wise and less homely than some of the bars, but not insufferably ritzy. the food is great. the main thing i got here is they do this weird lobster infusion thing in a shot glass with what looks like dry ice pouring out of it. it was delicious and also a bit lol. three other people ordered when i chanced upon it. think it's called rosa di bogavante all the pintxos are nice here.

other general stuff: go to the beach! it's really nice and the atmosphere there is incredibly friendly and fun when the waves get big.

things i'd advise not to do: vomit into a metal bin in a hostel after a lengthy day of eating and drinking, moments after listening to steven gerrard trod on the ball and slip against chelsea, throwing away liverpool's best chance of the league title in 20 years. i mean not unless you need a key scene for a fever pitch type novel about being a liverpool fan : /

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:30 (one year ago) Permalink

dunno if you like cooking but this book would prob be a good companion for you while there even if you never cook a thing from it. it has a lot of background and cultural info, and he'll casually recommend a restaurant many times throughout:

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:33 (one year ago) Permalink

or more generally this is good, and might inspire further trips:

i prob have some bilbao recommendations too if i have a think about it.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:35 (one year ago) Permalink

i forgot bar nestor - that's the best tortilla place. they have some system where they only make one per sitting so you need to get there on time, if you care about such things. i actually had a better tortilla at a place in london but don't tell them that :)

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Jesus man how do you remember this stuff so clearly

The night before all about day (darraghmac), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:38 (one year ago) Permalink

i had to open google maps but it was a pleasant trip down memory lane. as i say though i've been 3/4 times and once was for nearly a week so i know it fairly well.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:39 (one year ago) Permalink

AHHHH Colleen lives there? Holy shit! She's one of my musical heroines! Oh man... Ok I will try and make a meeting happen. I'm a total fanboy but that is seriously amazing.

xxxxxxxp OMG so many replies God yes

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Ronan you are a god! Amazing. Bookmarked and printed.

(apart from throwing Stevie G in this, goddamnit, don't taint my Donostia experience!)

Seriously amazing though, will keep you all posted on going to these places. Bless.

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 20:49 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Ostia! The spider crab at Borda Berri did not disappoint. Amazing place. Ty LG. Just been here for a couple of days, but already I do not know how other people resist the pull of all these taverna's with their lush food lined up straight on the bar. The hosting organisation has taken me out for pintxos (and wine), and pintxos (and more wine) during lunch hour. They go to work right after, nbd. Wine in the early afternoon makes me sleepy, but I'm going to work hard on that.

As an aside for Ronan and the ILF cru: the guy who's in charge of my stay here, played in Basque youth teams for three years when he was young, playing alongside Txiki Begiristain and the likes. He ultimately didn't make it to pro football, but will make sure I will see Sociedad's last home game - against Malaga, with an EL place on the cards and v high finish (6th in La Liga) - from premium seats :)

On Some Faraday Beach (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 5 May 2017 20:45 (one year ago) Permalink

Le Bateau Ivre, I live here and would be happy to meet up some time if you fancy it.

I keep meaning to put together a document of my top advice for visitors, but I haven't go round to it yet.

I have had the honour of accompanying Ronan on his adventures a couple of times.

The best (so far unmentioned) place is and also the adjacent park. I live just beyond the far side of said park.

My email is pjmiller68 AT gmail DOT com

Peter Miller, Tuesday, 9 May 2017 08:15 (one year ago) Permalink

Hi Peter, thanks so much for your generous offer. I'm here for two months, and the organisation (Donostia Kultura) really front-loaded my visit; ie. I've meetings every day for the first two weeks probably. After that things ease, giving me time to do what I'm here for, writing, and to enjoy myself. I would def like to take you up on your offer second half of May or in June, thanks for your email, I will be in touch!

(got vip box tix for the Sociedad-Málaga match on Sunday :D )

On Some Faraday Beach (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 9 May 2017 21:38 (one year ago) Permalink

OK, good stuff.

I will be opposite you and to the right at the football. I hope it goes well.

Peter Miller, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 07:29 (one year ago) Permalink

earlier this month we were walking through the basque country doing the first seven days of the camino de santiago, which took us from the french side of the pyrenees to logrono via pamplona. had a really great time and would recommend getting out into the country for walking and visiting some of the smaller towns. so many pelota courts, even in very small villages, plenty of basque nationalist graffiti, lots of rolling hills covered in corn and dotted with poppies. pamplona is definitely worth a day trip to wander round the old town, the walls of the citadel, the cathedral. like everyone else we were v charmed by bilbao, had lots of great food, and of course the guggenheim is amazing, was v struck by the richard serra sculptures that you can wander into, and they've got a great abstract expressionism exhibition on atm

ogmor, Wednesday, 17 May 2017 13:16 (one year ago) Permalink

That sounds like a wonderful trip Ogmor! Not too far from where I'm residing right now. You are damn right about the graffiti, the many flags, the pelota courts. I have been inland a bit already (cider farms, Rioja country), but still have Iruña and the Guggenheim high up the list.

(Can the camino be done in more than one way? Bcz I'm in an old fisherman's town just outside Donostia, and this is also part of the camino to Santiago, but you describe a different path?)

It's been a dream, so far. Really, *really* easing into the rhythm here of two/three hour lunches and in the evening just a small dish, makes me feel better and more fit working all day, too. Preferably when the sun is shining but it works even when it rains, too. Wish I could bring that into Northern Western Europe but know that can't happen. Just feels so much more pleasant.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 18 May 2017 20:10 (one year ago) Permalink

very jealous!

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 18 May 2017 20:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Are you in residence close to Deba? I spent a lovely week there a few years ago.

droit au butt (Euler), Thursday, 18 May 2017 22:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Not close-close, though Deba is certainly not far away from Donostia (55km). I really want to go to Bilbao along the coast one day, preferably by bike if that can be done in a day, otherwise taking my car, so will def come across it. Any Deba things I need to know on forehand?

View from my balcony two minutes ago:

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 20 May 2017 19:37 (one year ago) Permalink

No, nothing particular about Deba, just a village with a lively centre ville, where the wine is 0,50€ a glass.

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 20 May 2017 22:18 (one year ago) Permalink

sounds heavenly. there are indeed lots of camino routes though the one we did - 'the way of st james' - is the most popular

you get to stay at some rad places such as roncesvalles, which has meters-thick walls and was a v welcome sight after our very stormy first day:

ogmor, Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Are you staying in Pasajes San Juan? Heavy!

The Santiago path here is the "coastal route".

Peter Miller, Friday, 2 June 2017 12:33 (one year ago) Permalink

"The way of Saint James" is just a translation of "el camino De Santiago", encompassing all the different paths. The most common route, dark red in the map image above, is usually called the French way.

I've been living in Catalunya this academic year and I'm planning on doing the Northern (coastal) route when my work finishes 3 weeks from now. Starting in Asturias and going to the end. Looks incredibly beautiful and will be my first time in that part of the peninsula.

ƒ©˙∆˚¬ (Whitey on the Moon), Friday, 2 June 2017 12:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Cadaqués is enchanting. At least it was years ago, last I was there. The "coastal route" was not so straightforward though.

Josefa, Friday, 2 June 2017 15:39 (one year ago) Permalink

xp this is obv right, I was getting muddled. it does indeed look gorgeous up there and hopefully you'll have some good weather for it too. everyone seems to say the last bit to finisterre is well worth it

ogmor, Friday, 2 June 2017 15:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Are you staying in Pasajes San Juan? Heavy!

Yes, well spotted! It's great.

Peter, can I ask you a question? I find that there are surprisingly few bars/cafe's suited to do some work (ie. writing on laptop). The small taberna's obviously aren't suited for this. I have been working in Tabakalera a couple of times which is nice, but do you know of any good cafes with ok coffee and wifi who are not Starbucks to get some work done? Doesn't matter if it's in the old town or in Gros.

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 3 June 2017 14:22 (one year ago) Permalink

Try the bar/café at San Telmo Museum.,-1.9844947,18.29z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0xd51affe3b68fe15:0xe43ec55994864649!2sSan+Sebasti%C3%A1n,+Gipuzkoa,+Spain!3b1!8m2!3d43.318334!4d-1.9812313!3m4!1s0x0:0x178723f034036ead!8m2!3d43.3253148!4d-1.9848266?hl=en

It's usually quite quiet inside, and there is wifi from the library upstairs. Said library is also quite good, although it might be a bit too quiet, and is not open in the afternoons. A good procrastination resource though.

Not sure about wifi, but Café Artess just across the square is usually quite quiet in the mornings. It used to be "atmospheric" but they've modernised it, stripping it off all character in the process.,-1.9842142,19.29z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0xd51affe3b68fe15:0xe43ec55994864649!2sSan+Sebasti%C3%A1n,+Gipuzkoa,+Spain!3b1!8m2!3d43.318334!4d-1.9812313!3m4!1s0x0:0xa6794037d659e930!8m2!3d43.3249567!4d-1.9838865?hl=en

Peter Miller, Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:54 (one year ago) Permalink

Dabadaba has wifi and big tables, but I'm not sure about its suitability as a workplace:,-1.9761317,19.92z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0xd51affe3b68fe15:0xe43ec55994864649!2sSan+Sebasti%C3%A1n,+Gipuzkoa,+Spain!3b1!8m2!3d43.318334!4d-1.9812313!3m4!1s0x0:0x871976c5077fefff!8m2!3d43.3155042!4d-1.9763408?hl=en

(By the way, I am hoping to see MOON DUO there next Sunday, if you're interested.)

Peter Miller, Saturday, 3 June 2017 15:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks so much man, will update you about my findings!

Le Bateau Ivre, Sunday, 4 June 2017 11:28 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I miss a lot of things Euskal Herria, but what I miss the most is probably the Txakoli. Joder.

Le Bateau Ivre, Sunday, 16 July 2017 16:56 (one year ago) Permalink

Any hotel/pension/airbnb recs for San Sebastian? I am trying to pull of trip for 4 nights to see La Femme at Dabadaba.

Hey, a ('merican) girl can dream, right?

Mid September, would be nice to be in Old Town I suppose? Need not be fancy, just comfortable and well located to great food/drink.

Flights to/within Spain is another matter. Need a friend with a Gulfstream, really.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 21 July 2017 21:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Dabadaba, nice! :D

Old Town, Gros, or even Antiguo, it doesn't really matter because "everything's a 20 minute walk away" as they say over there, and it's true. The great food and drinks are everywhere.

For flying, Bilbao is obv your best bet, but there probably aren't (m)any direct flights from the US? Otherwise you'll end up having a stop at Barcelona or Madrid. Bordeaux could be an option as well.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 21 July 2017 22:10 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh I had forgotten that Bilbao may be an option! I need to find a good balance between cheap/time-efficient as I am dealing with a short frame of time I can get off work.

I have been dreaming of San Sebastian since I visited in 1997 or '98? It made a huge impression on me, the food in particular but really everything about the place was just enchanting and so, so fun.

You are still there, LBI? If I can pull this off I hope to meet you in person!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 21 July 2017 22:20 (one year ago) Permalink

I'd love that and I wish I was, Quincie, but I'm back home again... It's been three weeks since my return and I've still not re-adjusted to life at home. I cannot get back into my rhythm here. Never thought it would affect me so severely, but still long for that city and life every day.

From Bilbao airport it's just one hour by comfy coach to San Sebastian. When it comes to time efficiency you can't beat that, really.

Also you must be La Femme's biggest fan in the whole world to fly over for their concert there! :)

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 21 July 2017 22:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Well La Femme is an excuse, also I have two vacation days that I have to use between now and Sept 30; the world is a big place and it is hard to decide where to go when, so sometimes I have to just create tight boundaries and work within them!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 21 July 2017 22:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Any hotel/pension/airbnb recs for San Sebastian? I am trying to pull of trip for 4 nights to see La Femme at Dabadaba.

i've stayed in a few of the pensiones in the old town - they vary from v basic and cheap to quite fancy for a little more cash. i wouldn't distrust any of them, if you're in the old town you're surrounded by pintxo bars.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Saturday, 22 July 2017 10:29 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I’m reviving all he Spain threads because we’ll be there for two weeks starting Friday. We’re going to Barcelona for the end of the Bowie exhibition and then???

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:26 (one year ago) Permalink

You'll be there at a truly historic moment. So jealous.

Are you planning on staying in and around Barcelona or will you be able to travel around more (rental car?)?

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:21 (one year ago) Permalink

barcelona is the best. can drop a few restaurant recs in if that appeals. how far are you willing to travel in your two weeks? i am not so familiar with the places in the immediate vicinity of barcelona, more with the north or south. depending on what you're into, i would try to see madrid as well, personally. barcelona gets all the hype but madrid imo is not to be missed. many spanish cities have a very distinct character and culture though - that is what makes it such a great country in which to travel.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Our habit is to just rent a car and take off somewhere... Definitely would like to go to San Sebastian and then loop around through Portugal and Andalucía and back up into Barcelona but really we're just letting ourselves wander around for a couple of weeks.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 07:19 (one year ago) Permalink

i've travelled that route before, i'd recommend it. vigo is v nice. a coruna too and gijon. it's quite a big gap from barcelona to san sebastien so you might want to think of stops along the way. never been to zaragoza but i'd be curious enough. same with pamplona. i dunno, i've ended up really enjoying some places others say are more backwatery, in spain.

biarritz across the border might be worth a day after san sebastien. it's a bit glitzy but it has its charms. bilbao is nice and v close to san seb. guggenheim etc. santander kind of boring imo but you would be passing through if you go along the north coast.

possibly not great weather this time of year, the north coast can be kind of rural and green, reminds me of ireland a little. there are some beautiful and affordable hotels on the cliffs outside gijon, with amazing views and nice paths along the sea into the town. (maybe a few miles' walk)

if you make it to porto the douro valley wine tours can be really good, a boat up the river and a lot of nice little stops along the way.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 08:47 (one year ago) Permalink

the pamplona old town is lovely to walk about and impressive with the citadel and cathedral, definitely worth a stop, and bilbao is obviously classic

ogmor, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, Pamplona, Bilbao (Guggenheim) and obv San Sebastian are great. Popping over to Biarritz is a good idea. Following the north coast from San Seb to Bilbao/Bermeo is a delight, wonderful scenery.

Ronan otm, it does look like Ireland at times. The climate makes it one of the greenest areas of Spain. In stark contrast with the heartland around Madrid.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:40 (one year ago) Permalink

Not to contradict any of the above, because it's all good advice, but Seville is one of my favourite places in the world and I will never stop recommending it.

Tim, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:07 (one year ago) Permalink

i love the south as well - can't disagree with that. and prob good weather in seville at the moment. malaga is underrated also, lovely little city.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Seville is beautiful. And so is Cordoba. And Ronda. Man, two weeks just isn't enough.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Absolutely love Bilbao. Santander is not too exciting from the little I've seen. My partner's family live nearby but we never go there. Smaller interesting places in that coastal vicinity that I'd personally recommend, moving east to west from Bilbao through Cantabria to Asturias... Castro, Santillana del Mar, San Vicente de la Barquera, Llanes, Ribadesella.

brain (krakow), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 13:41 (one year ago) Permalink

The “no” demonstration outside our hotel right now isn’t nearly as big as it looks on EuroNews. Probably should have read more Graham Greene books...

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 1 October 2017 13:40 (one year ago) Permalink

Not to contradict any of the above, because it's all good advice, but Seville is one of my favourite places in the world and I will never stop recommending it.

― Tim, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:07 (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


passé aggresif (darraghmac), Sunday, 1 October 2017 16:21 (one year ago) Permalink

Video of La Femme at Dabadaba for mom tossed in kimchee:

Peter Miller, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 06:22 (one year ago) Permalink

^^^god I would have loved to have seen that show! Alas, I could not make San Sebastian logistics work out :( Did a long weekend in Montreal instead, so no La Femme but at least *some* french!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 16 October 2017 02:00 (one year ago) Permalink

Not to contradict any of the above, because it's all good advice, but Seville is one of my favourite places in the world and I will never stop recommending it.

― Tim, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:07 (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


^^^^ indeed. Spent a few weeks in the Alameda de Hercules (iirc) neighborhood last year and loved it. My kids loved the plaza and touristy stuff; city is very easy to walk and skate around, and the food rules like Pink Floyd. Took some weekend side trips to the Sierra south of Ronda, can’t remember the town names right now, but would highly recommend. Also great hiking and running and eating in the hills around Aracena, to the NW of Sevilla. Ugh thanks for bringing this up - wish I could go back rn!!

tobo73, Monday, 16 October 2017 02:21 (one year ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

Went to Cuchara de San Telmo today. I had been dreaming of pulpo all week while in Spain and hadn't had the chance to get it. They delivered. I realize that I have never really been in Europe in July (at least not in a while). Throbbing with tourists. It kind of ruins it when people are shouting in english everywhere. We took the train from Barcelona (coming from Toulouse) and did a stopover in Haro/Rioja. Which was kind of oddly a ghost town.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 15:29 (seven months ago) Permalink

I will go to Figueres next month, for Dalí but also for the vibe (we’ll be nearby in the south of France for a few week).

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 15:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

We thought about Figueres but already were side stepping train strikes in France for the previous two weeks and totally got our train from Toulouse to Barcelona canceled the night before. Luckily, I guess you just get on whatever train and stand or hang out in the dining cart when this happens. Instead of going to Bilbao though to go back to Paris we are being tired and just doing the bus/train route through Hendaye.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 15:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

The buses between Bilbao and Irun are lovely fwiw

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:03 (seven months ago) Permalink

We're going to be in that neck of the woods in a couple of months (Santander - Bilao - San Sebastian), I haven't been for the longest time and I'm really looking forward to it.

Tim, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:10 (seven months ago) Permalink

I went to Santander once maybe over a decade ago? I keep thinking it's not worth a revisit but I can't really remember much? We drove from Madrid and I got carsick.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:18 (seven months ago) Permalink

We drove from Bilbao to Santiago a few years ago but skipped Santander for the Picos de Europa and Oviedo, both terrific.

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:22 (seven months ago) Permalink

This was my second time in Barcelona and it is seriously one of the most pleasant cities to get around. Walkable, easy/quick transport, abundance of small streets with residents out and about. I kept saying, "why can't more spanish speaking cities be more like this?" Prolly me being annoyed that I live somewhere that is too sprawling and far from swimmable water.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

glad to hear cuchara was good but yeah can imagine san seb would be p oppressive with other tourists in july. bad enough any other time.

I will go to Figueres next month, for Dalí but also for the vibe (we’ll be nearby in the south of France for a few week).

i was in figueres earlier this month, tho only on the way from girona to roses. i liked roses a lot btw - a tiny bit trashy but a beautiful compact seafront and a good beach. spent a night in portes-vendres across the border also, i had been in collioure up the road which is prettier but i enjoyed the working port feeling of vendres. a thing i noticed for the second time in these parts is how beautiful the train journey from spain into france on the east side is, you go through some lovely marshland, then fields on the other side. different strike but similar to yerac my flight home from toulouse got cancelled and i ended up getting a train to bordeaux and then paris, and then paris to london, but that was actually a nice way to spend a day in a weird way. another earlier fuck-up meant an afternoon in narbonne watching france beat argentina. narbonne was a bit non-descript but i still enjoyed arriving there and walking around. i love the feeling of disembarking the train, the place doesn't have to be too nice. even getting off the eurostar in london i felt like i was visiting my own city and stayed around bloomsbury for a bit.

xpost santander is boring imo. gijon or a coruna much nicer.

xxxpost i was also in barcelona before girona - each time i visit there i like it more, from a low base of my late teens visits when i never saw daylight cos we went to razzmatazz all night doing drugs and stayed in hostels on larambla with people walking dogs on strings and offering you more drugs.

i stayed in el born this time and i loved everything about it - i love how it combines such a cavernous old town with a gridded metropolis. and the food is obv completely amazing.

FernandoHierro, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:26 (seven months ago) Permalink

we could go to Barcelona this summer too but I don’t really feel like dealing with another giant European city, we live in on already and that’s enough, Europe’s real charms are in smaller charms imo

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

Narbonne is actually where we’ll spend most of our time next month, close to the sea with good Gascogne cuisine. Plus we’ve found a house with a pool...

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:30 (seven months ago) Permalink

i presume the city itself isn't the point of narbonne.

FernandoHierro, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

tho that was all i had time to see.

FernandoHierro, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

No not really, it’s more its location and house availability (for nine people without a car but who want to get about)

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:34 (seven months ago) Permalink

what was strange was how few people were watching the football. i mean i know that is deep into rugby country but i still would have expected it to be say, shown in bars, or to even notice it was on. had to actively seek it out.

FernandoHierro, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:38 (seven months ago) Permalink

Could you hear the drums Fernando?

he's one of our pwn (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:40 (seven months ago) Permalink

on our last trip there we rented a small villa on a vineyard about 45 mins out of barcelona in the Penedès region , it was super affordable and awesome . A nice break from the city or our usual Costa Brava excursions .

(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

you were in Catalonia they dont care much about the spanish national team or the world cup in gerneral xp

(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

xpost Ha! I had to spend an afternoon in Narbonne too.

This time around in Barcelona we stayed between Gracia and Diagonal (have stayed before right across from Casa Mila). The best place that we went to was Bodega Lo Pinyol. Super lowkey wine bar and I had the most amazing dry beef tube things with foie mousse inside. I think the only touristy thing we did was walk up to Montjuic. Oh, and I guess using the bathroom at the Joan Miro museum should count. After Haro we stayed in a weird town called Miranda de Ebro.

Yeah, we didn't even mean to go to Paris this trip except to fly out but we got tired and just decided to do something easy at the end (meaning we have been enough times to not need to do anything besides eat and loiter).

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

you were in Catalonia they dont care much about the spanish national team or the world cup in gerneral xp

i mean in narbonne! that said there were plenty of people watching spain when i was in barcelona.

FernandoHierro, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:56 (seven months ago) Permalink

I think we are trying Borda Berri tonight and then trying to catch the game at Bar Sport. I have a bunch of rioja I have been lugging in my bag so we have to drink two bottles while here.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 16:56 (seven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

We took the train from Barcelona (coming from Toulouse) and did a stopover in Haro/Rioja. Which was kind of oddly a ghost town.

About 5 in the afternoon? I have had this experience. It gets a bit more lively on Sunday mornings.

Peter Miller, Friday, 21 September 2018 09:16 (four months ago) Permalink

iirc most (all?) Spanish towns are dead from 3-6

groovemaaan, Friday, 21 September 2018 09:30 (four months ago) Permalink

We were there almost all day. Ghost town. We were the only people to get out at that stop and even most of the big wineries were pretty empty. Except the Muga tasting room. Party going on in there.

Yerac, Friday, 21 September 2018 11:06 (four months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

I will be going to Bilbao and San Sebastian for about a week in March. I have time to go to a third place, and was thinking of going to Logrono, but that might be boring? What about Pamplona? Is it best to split my time between Bilbao and San Sebastian and take day trips?

Virginia Plain, Monday, 11 February 2019 21:08 (one week ago) Permalink

We visited SS, Rioja, and Bilbao in about ten days in 2017. One of my favorite trips. You can definitely spend a week between SS and Bilbao alone, so I am not sure you need to add a third location, depending on your preferences for running around versus relaxing. But if you want to, a visit to the Rioja area is incredible.

If you have a car, I highly recommend staying in LaGuardia, a very small hill town west of Logrono. You can walk from one end to the other in ten minutes, but it is very handsome with amazing views in all directions. Very cool painted wood portico (one of only a couple in Europe) with the original paint intact).

Another amazing town is San Vicente de la Sonsierra, which has a fortress and church with commanding views. 1100 people in the commune and 21 wineries; my kind of ratio.

Let me know and I can dig out some restaurant reservations. Lunch in Rioja starts around 2pm. We finished one lunch about 5pm.

George R. R. Caro (PBKR), Monday, 11 February 2019 21:35 (one week ago) Permalink

Day trips from SS: Getaria is an old fishing village 20 minutes away. Definitely worth a half day. Great restaurant for whole roasted turbot is Elkano; one of my favorite meals anywhere ever.

George R. R. Caro (PBKR), Monday, 11 February 2019 21:39 (one week ago) Permalink

^^ quite possibly my favourite thing about Basque country, the 2-5pm lunches.

There's loads of recommendations itt already. I didn't really rate Logroño. Pamplona is nice, but personally I like to stay closer to the coast. Bilbao and SS will keep you busy for a week, no trouble. Beautiful places in between are Zarautz, and further west Bermeo (with the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe rock out in the sea, that you can climb up to), Mundaka (a surfer's haven), Getaria, Guernica, Zumaia etc etc

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 11 February 2019 21:45 (one week ago) Permalink

logrono has a nice little old town but pamplona is much better, fantastic square and fortress, feels very basque. it's an incredible part of the world though and you will find loads of great places.

ogmor, Monday, 11 February 2019 22:05 (one week ago) Permalink

Spent a month in andalucia a couple years ago. Completely awesome. Never even made it to the Alhambra! The Sierra directly south of Ronda are big mountains with trail systems great for running and hiking from town to town. Same goals for the hills/mts between Aracena and the PT border. Jamon is a big deal there.

Spent about 2.5 weeks in the Alameda de Hercules neighborhood in Seville. Full of hipsters and killer food and an easy walk to the touristy stuff. Highly recommended but I think any of the cities in that corner of Spain have a lot to offer. Just be careful about the heat. We were there in September and it was barely bearable.

tobo73, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:32 (one week ago) Permalink

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