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Basque Country to Paris for Christmas - advice/suggestions?

Singapore, Singapore
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2 posts
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Basque Country to Paris for Christmas - advice/suggestions?

Hello!

My husband and I are planning a >2 week trip to Spain and France over the Christmas and New Year period. Currently, we are thinking of starting with 5 nights in Barcelona (spending Christmas Day there) and ending with 5 nights in Paris (over NYE).

For the stretch in between (roughly about 5 nights), we were thinking of exploring the Basque countryside, perhaps using San Sebastian as our base and doing day trips to Bilbao, Biarritz and Bayonne. We have a few questions, however:

- How quiet will San Sebastian and its surrounding towns be in the period between Xmas and New Year? Will museums/restaurants/cafes/bars be open?

- Are day trips from San Sebastian to Bilbao and Biarritz/Bayonne feasible in the winter? I heard buses/trains are usually pretty reliable - do they run in the winter as well? Any other suggestions for day trips?

- Is San Sebastian a good base for exploring the Basque country, or should we split our base between San Sebastian and perhaps Biarritz across the French border?

- How easy is it to get from San Sebastian to Paris? Is it better to maybe do a stopover (perhaps in Bordeaux?) to break up the journey from San Sebastian to Paris?

My husband and I are in our late 20s/early 30s, and budget is not much of an issue. We are considering renting a car in San Sebastian (for the day trips), but if public transportation is easily accessible, we are fine taking buses/trains instead. In terms of preferences, my husband and I are great foodies and 'walkers' - while we appreciate the city life (we are from Singapore), taking in a smaller town or two during the trip would be lovely.

This is my first forum post to Tripadvisor - please be kind =)

Edited: 3:25 am, July 23, 2013
Bilbao, Spain
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for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
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1. Re: Basque Country to Paris for Christmas - advice/suggestions?

How quiet will San Sebastian and its surrounding towns be in the period between Xmas and New Year? Will museums/restaurants/cafes/bars be open? Busy, everything will be open

- Are day trips from San Sebastian to Bilbao and Biarritz/Bayonne feasible in the winter? I heard buses/trains are usually pretty reliable - do they run in the winter as well? Any other suggestions for day trips? Absolutely, no major problems in winter, snow is not that frequent.

- Is San Sebastian a good base for exploring the Basque country, or should we split our base between San Sebastian and perhaps Biarritz across the French border? San Sebastian or Bilbao.

- How easy is it to get from San Sebastian to Paris? Is it better to maybe do a stopover (perhaps in Bordeaux?) to break up the journey from San Sebastian to Paris? TGV (high speed train) from Hendaye is the best option, 5 hours to arrive at Paris Montparnasse.

Singapore, Singapore
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2 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Basque Country to Paris for Christmas - advice/suggestions?

Wow! That was quick and super useful! Thanks very much =)

3. Re: Basque Country to Paris for Christmas - advice/suggestions?

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