I am thinking about making a trip to the Basque Country for 4-6 days in mid- to late- October this year, using Bilbao as the main base... I will be arriving in Vitoria-Gasteiz via an overnight train from Portugal, then taking a bus to Bilbao. I will NOT be renting a car, relying on public transportation with a relatively tight budget (backpacking and staying in hostels). As I am unfamiliar with Euskadi, I had a few questions... I hope someone who has traveled there before or lives there will be able to answer them!
1) Is San Sebastian an unrealistic destination for someone who is planning to stay in a hostel and eating at inexpensive places? I have looked up prices on various websites and all the hostels seem to be one of a) expensive relative to the rest of Spain and Portugal, b) away from the city centre, or c) poor facilities i.e. bad reviews... Should I just stay in Bilbao the whole time and make San Sebastian a day trip? San Sebastian seems to be marketed towards those with bigger budgets, including the restaurants!
2) I mainly want to travel to Bilbao to watch Athletic Club at the glorious San Mames but am not sure if staying for more than 2-3 days in Bilbao is really worth the investment. My travel schedule is such that if I go to the Basque Country, I HAVE to stay there for at least 4 days (because of an already-booked flight somewhere else and Athletic's matchday schedule, etc.) Will there be enough sights and day trips around Bilbao for me to make a minimum 4-day stay worth it (just to watch a football team)?
3) Are the day trips from Bilbao (i.e. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Gernika) easily accessible by public transportation?
4) What will the weather be like in mid- to late-October in Bilbao? I heard Euskadi is one of the rainiest parts of Spain. I will have a very hard time convincing myself that watching Athletic will be worth it if rains for 4+ days!
That's a lot of questions but I really hope someone would be kind enough to answer at least one of them!