Heading off on yer own for a few days
Can’t afford to go abroad, but the last two years I took off to South Devon for a week in September/October, staying in a lovely pub in a tiny coastal village. Top notch food, excellent beer, and beautiful countryside to wander around in. Really made a difference getting away from everything. This year I’m going back to the same area, but some people I met and got friendly with down there have generously offered me the use of their guest accommodation for a week.Posted 5 years ago
Did this the first time earlier this year when I went to Barcelona for a couple of nights, was magic, getting right into the idea, tis great to get away from everything..
So anyhow, I’ve 2 weeks off at the beginning of september and decided another few days are in order.
Booked flights to Bordeaux, so 1 night there(not booked anything yet arrive about 3ish), 2 nights in San Sebastian(staying in some pension a couple of minutes from the beach) and 2 nights in Biarittz(got a private room a couple of minutes from the beach)..
Pretty much planning on not doing alot to be honest bar relaxing and aimlessly wondering, but who’s been to any of these places? What’s your thoughts? Anything worth doing that shouldn’t be missed?
Don’t really know much about any of them, just pretty much stuck a pin in the map. But San Sebastian, I’m thinking hiring a mtb and heading of into the mountains, looking cracking for a bit off mountain biking out there.. anybody any routes worth doing? or know anything about hiring a decent bike out there?
Anyhow, cheers for any thoughts!Posted 5 years agosamuriMember
We’ve already done our family holiday but next week I’ll be setting off by myself for five days. Just chuck a clean pair of undies and a credit card into my panniers a ride. Last time I did this I was almost ecstatically happy just meandering around the country lanes of the lakes, stopping where I felt like it, reading, napping, riding off again.Posted 5 years ago
corroded – cheers, quite a few people have mentioned that to me, definitely won’t be missing the culinary delights that’s for sure. Any recommendations?
samuri – cheers, yes in 2 minds whether a few hours on a road bike might actually just be easier and nicer, exploring the smaller towns up the coast or something… plus I don’t think spain has decent OS maps similar to our own, so logistics for a solo mtb could be a bit difficult. Looks like stunning country either way!Posted 5 years agokiloSubscriber
plus I don’t think spain has decent OS maps similar to our own,
They have these;
seem to remember when walking in El Chorro they were pretty goodPosted 5 years agodruidhMember
I regularly get away for a few days on my own. So far, it’s always been in the UK though. There is something therapeutic about going at your own pace (whether that’s fast or slow), stopping where and when you feel like it and not having to agree/negotiate whenever you have a change of plan. Very contemplative too – excellent for when you have things on your mind which you need to work through.Posted 5 years agoHansReySubscriber
Bordeaux is wicked. I’d love to move over there permanently. If you have time, visit the vineyards, dune du pyla, arcachon bay, cap ferret, eat oysters and drink wine, the trams are superb, it’s modern, clean and full of hidden joys. The road biking in the forests to the west is superb. Super smooth roads flitting between sand dunes and forest, no traffic. Wooaar, i’ve got all excited about Bordeaux againPosted 5 years agoyetitonySubscriber
Have a look at Basque MTB on the web. He is based around the San Sebastian area.Posted 5 years ago
He does guided days out if you wanted someone who could really show you some good trails. Otherwise his website does show the quality of the trails in the area. May have some useful info.bikebouyMember
This tripsounds fantastic.. Whooop to you.
Boardeax – as said grab a roadie and head East out of the city towards St Emilion (but don’t go there, head South West into the unspoilt VIneyards and ride around until your legs fall off. Then the following day do it again but head South out of the city towards Sauterne and into the long rolling flat lands full of Vineyards. Make sure you stop of at the Villiage Churches along the way, they’re spectacular. Then the follwoing day head off to Pau/Bagneres de Luchon towards the Pyranees where the TdF normally goes. Sucha wonderful area. If it’s beach and low flat wetlands then head to Archechon Basin and just chill out at the sunsets..
Boardeax is a vibrant mix of Algerians/French/North Africans and is full of culture and social mix. Some areas South East of the city are a bit rough but fine to walk around, stay near the center and it’s tourist hell/heavan depending on your point of view. SOme fabulous bars and restaurants and general outside cafe culture. Head for a bar with a North African feel and you’ll experiance some of the strongest coffee known to man.
Trams are excellent but cut the city in half, cheap(ish) and easy to get around on. Rue de St Catharine isn’t what it used to be (trendy clothes/bars/eclectic feel) but you’ll find at least one gem along there.
Architecture of the city is phemoninal..
But I think most of your stay ought to revolve around grabbing a road bike and donning lycra and heading out.
North Coast of Spain I know little about except the beaches along/near San Sebastien for surfing. It’s pounding hell when the swell and winds up but spectacular.
Lucky git.Posted 5 years ago
druidh – yes absolutely, couple of days in barca gave me a taste for it. Once I got over myself and my own fears of doing it, bit of sun, sea and my own thoughts, was superb. I did think it was a bit too long in one place though, why i’m moving around this time and only stopping 2 days at a times. Definitely think it’ll become a regular yearly thing for me, I find it easy to meet people if i feel a bit lonely, do so hassles there..
Hans – I’ve not got a great deal of time in Bordeaux unfortunately, one night so I don’t think I’ll get out into the country, it’ll be an evening in the city there. I’ve opted to head south into the Basque country and back head up the way, mostly because I fancied being on the coast and the terrain looks quite dramatic further south as opposed to very flat around Bordeaux, did have a look at Arcachon and basing myself around there, almost went for that, maybe next time..The Ryanair Roulette may strike twice and i’ll end up back! 😀
yetitony – cheers, will have a look, not into being guided to be honest, not really my thing, but will see if I can gleem some ideas!Posted 5 years agozbontySubscriber
The wine ‘museum’ in central Bordeaux is good. You get a prepay card and wander round quaffing one third to full glasses depending on. Range from cheaper too several 100s Euro bottles.
It turns out I have expensive tastes, but not the wallet to match! That’s about all I learned. That and look out for trams after sampling the wine.Posted 5 years agobikebouyMember
Ahhhh yes but don’t get sucked into the vineyards over in St Emilion, not all vineyards are the same, some producers only sell to merchants and won’t let you in, some are way too expensive even for my humble tastes..
If you go soon’ish then you may catch the Classisa San Sebastien road race…
Lucky git.Posted 5 years agobob_summersMember
^^ Have to be quick, it was yesterday!
Check out Doug’s site above for sure.. if you have GPS then get in touch (email in profile), I’ve lived in SS for a few years and have tons of tracks either riding straight from the city or a short train ride away.
If you don’t have GPS there is a trail centre here, easily reached if you’ve hired a car, if not about 30m by train. Red & black routes are pretty good fun and well marked. Amazing terrain. Showers & bike hire, don’t know anyone who’s used that though.Posted 5 years agojimmySubscriber
San Sebastien… Was about to suggest looking Doug@BasqueMTB up for a ride in the area but he beat me to it! I’d still recommend it if he can squeeze you in.
Good surfing too if that interests you. Otherwise, enjoy the pinchos, kanyes / cidre and stroll to the church (monastry?) on the hill for a snooze in the shade while it all goes off below.Posted 5 years ago
Brilliant, thanks again everyone for the info. Bob, I may contact you for some GPS after I formulate some kinda vague plan, trail centre sounds an easy option though, Although I am torn between mtb and just hiring a road bike and discovering a bit of the rural life in the hills around San Sebastian(ps do people call it San Sebastian or Donostia there? I know they mean the same thing).
Regarding surfing, I’ve been looking into that, quite fancy it tbh as it’s available in SS and Biarittz… But I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a surf board in the flesh never mind tried it! Is it advise able just to hire one and away you go? I’m a decent enough swimmer! Or If i’m just jumping out for an hour or so it’s better just to grab a body board and away I go? Do you think some sort of lessons are a must?Posted 5 years agobob_summersMember
Donostia is the Basque name, I guess you don’t look like very Basque so they’ll probably forgive you if you use the Spanish variant 😉
You could drop in a few Basque greetings though, they go a long way towards defrosting the locals who can sometimes be a bit reserved! http://wikitravel.org/en/Basque_phrasebook.
I know nowt about surfing, but you won’t get far in an hour! There are hire shops and schools etc on the beach if you fancy it.
Road biking is just as good, I’ve got routes if you need them or look on my strava if you use it http://app.strava.com/athletes/251561, I can give you suggestions for tranquil/rural routes. Give’s a shout if you want to go for a ride, though I’m back to work in Sept so will only have limited opportunities.Posted 5 years agoEdukatorMember
On the downside it was a humid 38°C in Bordeaux today and the jam on the A10 went to Paris. Happily we were going the other way. Railway trails lead to the coastal bike path and inland (Roger Lapébie) from Bordeaux centre, just follow the signs from Gare St Jean.
I don’t like riding my roadie around the Basque coast as the roads are too busy but the MTBing is excellent so contact Doug. People seem to like San Seb but I’m not keen being a married man and having no reason to go to Spain.Posted 5 years ago
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