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Driving to Basque Region

We will be driving from Porto to San Sebastian which I know is a long drive.
I am looking for recommendations for a one night stay a long the way.

Posted by
2212 posts

You're spot on, that's quite a long drive bypassing some fairly incredible places, I view your 1 night stop purely from practical standpoint, I doubt you will have any time to actually sight see, just a place to break up that long drive. Taking that into consideration, I'd chose either Leon or Burgos.

Not sure if you know this, but there is a huge drop off fee (in the 100s of Euros) attached to dropping off a rental in another country. You may want to consider simply flying from Porto to San Sebastian, it could potentially save you both a lot of time and money.

Posted by
18897 posts

I assume that either this is part of a loop drive or you are aware of the extremely high international drop charge your car-rental agency will assess. offers three different options. I've been to Leon, Burgos, Salamanca and would recommend any of them, but they are not tiny places and I don't know how much of an impediment the car would be in terms of finding parking. I have not been to Valladolid, but it looks like a good spot purely from the geographical standpoint.

If you zoom way in on the ViaMichelin map, you'll see scenic stretches of road highlighted in green.

Posted by
3218 posts

In addition to carlos’ and acravens suggestions, maybe Zamora. It too seems to be about the mid-way point. Zamora is a medium sized city and easy to get in and out of. We stayed at the Parador there, and there is inexpensive pay parking beside the parador. Zamora is a 1.5 hours drive south of Leon and an hour from Valladolid.

Posted by
145 posts

When I was working in the Export business, I used to travel a lot by car from Bilbao to Porto. My stopping point was normally Zamora, it could also be León.

Posted by
6608 posts

We did this but with more than one overnight. It was part of a six week trip from Lisbon to Barcelona. We loved Northern Spain, especially the Basque region. Some of our stops after Porto were Baiona, Santiago de Compostela, Leon, Comillas, Santillana del Mar. We dropped our Portugese rental car off in Porto and had a taxi take us over the border to get a Spanish rental car, saving 1000€.