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Barcelona, San Sebastian/Bilbao and need one more non-urban location

My husband and I are traveling to Spain in mid-June and I would appreciate any suggestions about a final destination. At this point we have 4 nights in Barcelona, 4 nights in San Sebastian and Bilbao and could spend up to 4 nights some place else. We would prefer to have Barcelona be our only major urban destination on the trip, so not travel to Madrid. We enjoy cooking so a location with strong food options would be appreciated. We do not have our international flights yet so there are not flight constraints. Thanks for any help!

Posted by
6740 posts

Add more time to San Sebastian, especially since you mention your interest in food options. This small city is a world leader in dining and food. You could venture into the French Basque region nearby and stay at one of the beautiful villages such Ainhoa, Ascain, Espellette( home to famous peppers and paprika) or Saré in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Or drive to the Rioja wine region , not far from San Sebastian, to add wines to your food tour.

Posted by
19160 posts

If this is your first trip to Barcelona, I think you'll be sorry to have only 4 nights there. Even more so if it turns out to be your first stop and you experience the city through a jet-lagged fog.

Maybe Girona for your third location. I think it has one very, very famous restaurant, but I'm not into the food scene and can't provide specifics. But the historic district is very nice and has a small-town feel. There's lots to do there and you could also use it as a base for day trips to Figueres, Cadaques, and Besalu.

Posted by
7124 posts

How do u plan on travelling between the two ?
I would suggest getting a car to spend time amongst the vines of Rioja at LaGuardia.

Or in rural Navarro with its castles and medieval history.

1. Pick up hire car and drive via Pamplona to Gallipienzo (3N)
2.3. Visit Ujue, Olite, Puente la Reina
4. Drive to Zaragoza (1N) and return car
5. Train to Barcelona

Posted by
86 posts

Between Bilbao and San Sebastian is the seaside town, Getaria. The town is small, but has a lovely beach, amazing seafood and a the Balenciaga museum. Balenciaga was born in Getaria and the museum contains his beautiful creations. The fabric is amazing. There's a paved walk to the next town which is a bit larger. We really enjoyed our stay and would go back.

Posted by
19160 posts

Unfortunately, I didn't have time for the Balenciaga museum, but I enjoyed Zumaia, Getaria and Zarautz. I managed to see them all in one day, traveling by bus and train from San Sebastian, with one walking segment along the way. It was a very pleasant change from the tourist-clogged San Sebastian.