I'm flying into San Sebastian, for a week in the Basque country. I'm planning to stay in San Sebastian for 4 nights, but was looking for a recommendation on where to stay the other 4 nights (possibly on the France side of Basque country) I am also looking for recommendations on day trips or wineries to visit, any expertise would be appreciated. Thanks.
Saint Jean de Luz on the French side is a wonderful seaside village. Very walkable with great Basque restaurants and a Farmer's Market for picnics. We took an easy day trip by bus to Bayonne. From San Sebastian, we enjoyed another day trip to Hondarribia. Also, recommend staying in Bilbao for a night and visiting the Guggenheim museum.
Consider taking a day trip to Getaria, about 15 km from San Sebastian/Donostia. It's a beautiful little village on the sea. At evening time, the people gather for pinxtos and drinks outdoors. The restaurants are wonderful and are right at the water's edge. Outstanding views. We stayed at a gothic hotel there, right above the beach at Saiaz Getaria. Such a beautiful hotel with easy, walking beach access (about 1 0 mins down the stairs to a great beach). We loved Bilbao, too. Such a friendly city with so much to see. From Bilbao we took a day trip to the Vivanco vineyard/Wine Museum. Unexpectedly impressive and beautiful countryside about 1 hour oustide of Bilbao (not sure how far from Donostia). We really enjoyed Basque country. I hope you do, too.
You really can't say you've been to the Basque area without swinging through Guernica.
Hi from Wisconsin,
My wife and I had nice days-out going into a pre-historic caves to look at the paintings. Most are a ways west from San Sebastian but was worth it as were views of the Europa Mountains (Ireland on steroids). Altimira cave is pretty much closed and you tour a replica, we skipped, but there are other caves with paintings where the original is open to tourists, we went. Oh and gosh, seems Wednesday is free day for many national areas.
Satestenban, a small town between Pamplona and San Sebatian is nice, has plenty of restaurants (4 or 5) and is connected to two other villages by a nice walking trail. (I am sorry, young people would call it a hiking trail, we old folk walk). Great rural villages with unspoiled buildings. Local food, and wine. And I mean REAL locals.
And if you can find them or information about them, there are megalithic stones all across the north of Spain. When I would ask locals, they would respond that they know nothing about them. But they are there, if seeing organized erect stones from more than 4000 years ago. (Not as spectacular as the pyramids or stone henge but they seem magical to us).
Starting point for anything prehistoric in Spain:
Use the filters.
Winery in the area:
I'd try in and around Vitoria-Gastiez (center of the Rioja region and not far from San Sebastian-Donostia). The wineries, Bodegas, in the area don't have open hours for drop-in visits. You have to call a day or two in advance to let them know you're coming. The downside is planning ahead. The upside is you will get a private tour.
Wine museums have public hours, but most will be closed mid-day for siesta (and not open late). The museums are typically old Bodegas and will have a wine bar for trying some of the local wines.