I just signed up for the RS Basque Country tour for next year!!! Due to work commitments, I will be taking the tour that starts on July 8. I plan to take advantage of the 4th of July holiday (one less vacation day to use up) and fly to Paris on July 2, arriving on July 3. It will be my fifth trip to Paris and my plan is to just wander around and relax -- no agenda. Then I will take the train to Bayonne for the start of the tour. My plan is to arrive the day prior to the tour (July 7). Is it worth arriving two days prior on July 6th? Is there enough to do in Bayonne or nearby? I was considering day trips to Biarritz and/or St. Jean de Luz but do't know if those can be done in one day.
At the end of the tour (July 16), is it worth staying in Bilbao an additional day or two? I was considering taking the train to Zaragoza on the morning of July 16, stay two nights there and then take the train to either Madrid or Barcelona on the 18th and fly home on the 19th. Is that plan advisable? Or should I stay in Bilbao and do day trips from there. I don't have any books yet but I am just too excited and NEED to start planning now :)
Thanks for your advice!