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Discussion Starter #1
My future wife and I are going to Euskadi on our Honeymoon. I have toured all over Bizkaia, but have not been very much to Ipparalde and Gipuzkoa, and I have never been to Gastiez or Navarra.

Can some one suggest some places to visit (3 weeks I will be there), especially in Ipparalde, Gipuzkoa and Navarra.

Places I like, so you can suggest similar places.

Biarritz
Elantxobe
Mundaka

I plan on visiting every province of Euskadi.

I want places like that.
 

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Villages and towns in the seaside: I´ll leave Bizkaia apart because it looks like you know it really well. So from Bizkaia to Iparralde :
In Gipuzkoa : Mutriku, Deba, Zumaia, Getaria, Zarautz, Donostia, Pasai Donibane, Hondarribia.
In Iparralde (Lapurdi): Donibane Lohitzune (St. Jean de Luz), Bidarte, Miarritze (Biarritz)
That would be the seaside and all places are worth visiting but the inside of Euskal Herria has plenty of beautiful places to visit. Some of my favourites :
Gipuzkoa: Oñati-Arantzazu, Zegama-Segura-Aizkorri
Nafarroa: Lesaka-Bera-Etxalar, Señorio de Bertiz, Irati...
Iparralde: Lapurdi: Sara-Ainhoa. Zuberoa: Maule. Nafarroa Beherea: Baigorri-Garazi

Some of them are small villages, woods... if you want more information, I´d be happy to help you
 

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I think rent a car is the better option, the public transportation is good (although ask Fish about EuskoTren´s seats:D ) but with a car you will see more things, and even if you get lost there´s no problem since you will see nice places and eat well anywhere.;)

The coast is a must see, from Bizkaia to Lapurdi, so many beautiful towns, such a nice food. Plentzia,;) Armintza, Bakio, Bermeo, (San Juan de Gaztelugatxe) Mundaka, -then you take the river until your loved Gernika;)- Lekeitio, Getaria, Zarautz, Donostia,:eek: St Jean de Luz, Biarritz...

From the interior, well actually what iparralde has mentioned, especially north of Nafarroa and Iparralde, I have to say I don´t know that part that well but I´ve been in Maule and it´s beautiful, also Lesaka and Iruñea. The forests and valleys of the north of Navarre are very beautiful.

Araba isn´t as beautiful to my taste:eek: if you want to visit Gasteiz ok but I don´t really know... I would only visit it to watch a good Tau Euroleague game... They have some beautiful towns though, specially in the south (good wine helps it;) ) Labastida, Elciego or a bit into La Rioja, Haro for example.:drunk:

Rent a car, put good basque rock and enjoy! :cool:
 

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Yeah, I think thet the best option is to rent a car, but it is more expensive, about the places I agree with Txupa and Iparralde
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I probably will drive the coastal towns as my family were fisherman in Euskadi, it is in my sangre.

My Euskara is not great, but I will attempt to speak whenever I can. I will try to get my cousins to show me around outside of Bizkaia.

My future wife, is dying to goto Donostia( She always calls it Donostia, never san sebastien. She will be a good wife, no? :heart: :heart: ). Before she met me she and her family had never even heard of Basques, now she loves Euskadi. She even takes Euskara lessons.

So I will spend a 3-5 days in Donostia and Gipuzkoa.

Anyone know any nice, inexpensive hotels???? :D :D :howler:
 

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Have a great time, I have done part of the route from Bizkaia, it is beautiful, you and your wife will love it.

Enjoy :)
 

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bilbao2brooklyn said:
My future wife, is dying to goto Donostia( She always calls it Donostia, never san sebastien. She will be a good wife, no? :heart: :heart: ). Before she met me she and her family had never even heard of Basques, now she loves Euskadi. She even takes Euskara lessons.
You´re a good teacher :D

When are you coming? Because I´m afraid you´ll have the same problem I had when I went to NY in 2000. When I went the dollar was too expensive for us and now the euro is at its highest, so I don´t know what can be "inexpensive" for you. Hotels are expensive in Donostia. The cheapest I know is Hotel Ulia at about 42€/night per room, but it´s about 2 kms. far from the city centre, with good bus comunications. In the centre (Old part) there are some hostels. If you want I´ll find out more about prices and quality of hotels and hostels.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know the dollar is very weak, so I will have to make adjustments.

At best I am looking for hotels that are clean, in a good location(does not need to be right in the centre) and if at all possible TV.

Thats it.

Also what are the chances of me getting into Arzak in Donosti? Do I need a reservation, I know it is posh and world known.
 

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You will need a reservation at Arzak but you should be able to get in. Just call in advance. I happen to like Martin Berasategui's restaurant better, the only other three michelin star restaurant in Donosti (actually Lasarte) But I am biased, my brother worked there as an intern chef, one of the reasons why I fell in love with the region, I went to visit him almost once a month.

http://www.relaischateaux.com/en/search-book/hotel-restaurant/berasategui/

But with the Euro, both restaurants will be very expensive.

Enjoy the pintxos in the old part of Donosti, La Gambara and Txepetxa being my all time favorites. Txepetxa makes the best pintxos with anchoas frescas:star:
 

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I never had the chance to eat at Arzak and I live not very far from it. But I´ve been at Berasategi and it´s marvellous :excited: :happy: . B2B, if you could afford it, I´m sure you would feel like in heaven in both of them. Anyway there are many other great restaurants around Donostia...
About the pintxos, I fully agree with barça, obviously he´s one of our embassadors in Catalunya, but I would add some more pintxo bars as Tamboril or Goizargi. Sadly for Fish, I´m afraid that Gaztelu is closed for ever, I thought it was closed to reform but they are building a store...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
here is a potential tour package I may buy.

* July 10 , 11 & 12: 3 nights in San Sebastian.
To get to San Sebastian you have a couple of options. You can travel on public transportation from Gernika to Bilbao and take a bus from Bilbao to San Sebastian.
San Sebastian is not a large city, so you don´t really need a car. Parking is also difficult and expensive, so you will be probably glad not having to worry about it.
You can pick up the car on the 13th when you leave the city or on the 12th if you want to explore the coast that day.
We work with a nice pension in the centre of the old town in San Sebastian. Prices in hotels (even 2*) are normally very high in San Sebastian. This pension is a very nice property and the location very central. TBC 73 http://www.totallyspain.com/aloja.asp?vuelta=com_01.asp&id=344

* July 13, 14 & 15: 3 nights in Urdax
Urdax is a beautiful village in Navarra, very close to the French Border. We work with a nice typical hotel there. NAV 05 http://www.totallyspain.com/aloja.asp?vuelta=com_07.asp&id=458
From here you can explore the Northern part of Navarra and the mountains, cross to Iparralde in France, drive to the beginning of the Camino de Santiago in Roncesvalles, etc.
It´s a lovely area, with a strong Basque culture, where many people speak Basque. Beautiful homes and amazing country side

* July 16 & 17: 2 nights in Vitoria
From Navarra drive South to Vitoria. Vitoria is the capital of the Basque Country, but a small city with a beautiful medieval quarter. The atmosphere at the weekend is nice, so I think it would be better to coincide your stay on Sat and Sun instead of during the week.(Also prices are less expensive at the weekend)
I can get a very good price at a lovely 4* hotel in the centre of the city TBC 55 http://www.totallyspain.com/aloja.asp?vuelta=com_01.asp&id=326 (better price than at some other 3* properties)

* July 18 & 19: 2 nights in La Rioja
The Basque part of the Rioja Wine Region (Rioja Alavesa) produces some of the best wines in the region.
We work with a lovely hotel in a small town. The owners are a great couple. She speaks very good English and will help you arranging visits to local wineries. He is a chef from Bilbao that prepares amazing meals for a very reasonable price. Doesn´t speak English, but you can practise Basque with him if you want.
Most wineries are closed on Mondays, but you can visit them on Tuesday 19th.
The hotel is RIO 15 http://www.totallyspain.com/aloja.asp?vuelta=com_05.asp&id=383
 

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I think it could be a very good choice as this way you could know the different places and realities of Euskal Herria. It sounds really well. I´ve never been in Urdax-Urdazuri but all that Baztan area is beautiful and There stands Axular´s home, that´s the autor of the first text in Euskera known.
One note: I´m not sure but I´d reserve as soon as possible the pension in Donosti as those dates there are lots of tourists who come to San Fermin in Iruña-Pamplona and the pensions are usually complete.
 

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Sure! Many of them are open only in the cyder season (mid january - april) but some others are permanently open. You´ll have a lot of options around Donostia, mainly in Astigarraga and Hernani
 

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Discussion Starter #18
iparralde said:
Sure! Many of them are open only in the cyder season (mid january - april) but some others are permanently open. You´ll have a lot of options around Donostia, mainly in Astigarraga and Hernani
Do you know any in/around Donosti?
 

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There's one in Gros on the opposite side of the river to the old bit of Donostia(I can't remember the name but I'll look it up) that I've been to which was nice. I did go to one in the old town part, but it wasn't that good.

If you are going to Zarautz, there's one that is an hotel (which is nice and cheap too if you are still looking for somewhere to stay) with a Sagardotegi (?) attached. It is called Txiki Polit and is one the main square of Zarautz next door to a great bar where you are sure to get a warm welcome (and more than likely a few free drinks thrown in) if you order in euskera. You'll know the one I mean when you see it. It's the one with the banners and posters outside!

Txiki Polit though is a great place to stay and from Zarautz it's easy to get everywhere on the coast via the most uncomfortable trains in Europe.

A good book is the Cadogan 'Bilbao and the Basque Lands' which covers the north and south Basque Country really well. If you can't get a copy, let me know and I'll mail you one.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Zarautz-it is not on my itenerary, but I keep hearing about this place. Should I add it to my lias as a must see?

I will be in Euskadi for 60 days, should I make it a priority to add Zarautz? Is is a coastal town w/a beach, because if it is I am very interested and will probably def go if it is highly recomended.
 
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