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Spain to France hitting up wine regions

Hello all! I have a sketched itinerary but would love some help. First the itinerary:
Fly to Madrid and immediately get on a train to Logrono. (We have friends there).
3 nights Logrono.
Head to France.
3 nights Bordeaux (St Emilion?).
3 nights Beaune.
1 night Reimes.
3 nights Paris and fly home.

We were in Spain last year so this time we are going back specifically to experience the Rioja wine festival in the fall and the up to France. Question is - how do we best get from that part of Spain up into France? Car would be great, but drop off fee. Trains? Not sure there is a good route. Would we be better served to skip Bordeaux? And focus time in Burgundy? For those that have experienced both is Bordeaux worth the time or should we try to high tail it north? I wish I could squeeze in Colmar, but not with the current schedule. What would you do?

Our time doesn't have to be all about wine- it just seemed to make sense to hit Bordeaux on the way. We love museums, great food, scenic towns and beautiful scenery.

Posted by
1446 posts

You can go by bus to either Hendaye or Bayonne, then pick up a rental car for use in France or train to Bordeaux. The drop-off fee for a car rental within France is negligible, if at all.

Posted by
9110 posts

To Bordeaux: .

Bus, but it's going to take all day and there's some days they don't run.

You could take the bus up to Bilbao and then the train, but it'd take even longer.

If your friends could run you over to Pamplona, there's a couple of buses a day.

Three days might be too much for Beaune, think about Dijon and run over to Beaune for a day if you have to. I'd take an afternoon in Bordeaux over a month in Colmar anytime. Are you just reading one guidebook by any chance?

Posted by
531 posts

Diane - thank you! I will look into a bus to one of those two towns you listed. If that can get us into France fairly efficiently and we pick up a car from there - that could be perfect.

Ed - I will use your suggestion of Pamploma as Plan B. I am sure our friends could get us there, I just don't want to put them out if we don't have to. And you pretty much nailed it that I only have picked up one guide book so far. I am a little surprised that you thought 3 nights was too much for Beaune? I was actually wondering if we needed to take a night from Bordeaux to give to Beaune just because it seems like its a city to use as basecamp to explore all the others around. And Colmar just looked soooo pretty, I thought it would be worth seeing (eventually). What attracts you to Bordeaux that you enjoy the most?

Posted by
9110 posts

Hendaye and Bayonne might be a bit skimpy for rental cars, especially if you need an automatic. Check carefully. Bordeaux will have plenty.

I like Bordeaux because it's a real city. I've been in and out of there for decades and still like it. Beaune and Colmar make their living on nothing but tourists and they're both shrimpy. You can see all there is to either one in a half afternoon.