We are flying to Bilbao, Spain on Wednesday June 17th and will pick up a car at the airport, so would like a recommendation on a charming country inn outside of the city heading toward Pamplona with parking Also any suggestions as we drive the Camino Santiago de Compostela. Thank You, Jackie
How far 'outside of the city' do you want to stay? Without knowing that it is difficult to answer. I am a regular visitor to Bilbao and the Basque Country, and fly in/hire a car on a regular basis (I'm a UK national by the way). Driving there is easy. If you want somewhere en-route towards Pamplona, but not too far from Bilbao airport (which is not in the city, but a bit outside it) then I would recommend considering staying in Elorrio, a beautiful old Baroque/Renaissance town about 40 minutes drive from the airport. I should declare an interest at this point, as my brother-in-law and his family live in Elorrio, but it is from that experience of visiting that I can vouch for how attractive an overnight stay there would be. I'm not aware of any nice 'Country inns' in the town, as it's quite a small place (7k inhabitants), but it has a nice hotel (Hotel Elorrio) on the outskirts and only a 10 minute stroll into the beautiful town square, where there are many bars and places to get coffee, as well as a self-guided audio guide (from the Tourist Office) to take in the historiuc sights and palacios of the nobles (Elorrio was a spa town). It also has a small Eroski supermarket if you need to buy any bits and pieces. You get to Elorrio from the airport via the Toll Motorway toward Donoiste / San Sebastian, turning off at the Durango exit then following the 636 to Elorrio. Vittoria city (also beautiful in the centre) is about 45mins or so away, and Pamplona maybe another 45 mins after that.
Hi Mark, What a great service this is for us travelers from Rick Steves. Thank you for your suggestion and it was exactly the suggestion I was looking for. We are from California but have a little barn here in the Cotswolds, where we are now. We are hopefully flying to BIO on Wednesday on BA. I am an ex airline employee so flying standby. Any idea how the afternoon flight at 3:45pm usually fills up? It looks good so hopefully we will get on. We will rent a car probably from Budget and your wonderful directions are very much appreciated. Our plan is to drive the Camino de Santiago, and probably walk a little. But we only have a week so will enjoy this part of Spain and a nice change from the crowded south. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated. Again many thanks. Jackie Stewart,
We just finished a trip to Spain and drove from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian. It is a wise decision to look for a place in a smaller town as driving in the cities and finding parking is a challenge. GPS would be a good choice as we used maps and found it difficult to locate streets and towns especially when the names were in Basque. This was our first driving experience in Europe and will caution you to drive very carefully in Basque country. There seems to be a toll road at every turn and the speed limits go up and down. i received the first moving violation ever just outside San Sebastian. The San Sebastian greater area is not friendly to drivers. The Camino de Santiago is a magical way, you will find greal warmth and fine hospitality all along the way. Enjoy!
My husband and I stayed at the Parador in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small town not far from Bilbao on the Camino de Santiago. It is a 13th century hospital remodeled into a beautiful hotel, keeping the decor from the past. For the service and quality you get, the price is very reasonable. Soft Gregorian chants fill the lobby. The food in the restaurant is wonderful. The town of Santo Domingo is very small, but pleasant. It's not far from Haro, where we found an excellent restaurant called Beethoven. We also went wine tasting in the area around Haro. They do have a parking garage for an extra fee.
I´d recommend visit Haro, the most important town in La Rioja, with fantastic ofert in wine and food, and no too much people. Bilbao is a nice city, I hope you will visit late. I found an economic hotel with a wide space for cars named Luz Hotel. You can find it on www.booking.com.
I hope you will have a fantastic trip!