Basque Country or south of France?
October 30, 2012 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Basque Country of south of France for post-Christmas vacation?

My boyfriend and I will be visiting his family in Munich for Christmas. After Christmas, the two of us want to spend a week or so somewhere else in Europe. We would like to go somewhere with decent weather and good food (we're both foodies). We'll probably rent a car so we can enjoy a city/tourist scene as well as get out into the country. A fun New Year's vibe would also be fun. Right now, we're thinking either Basque Country or the south of France. Neither of us have been to either place, so we're hoping for some Hive Mind input! If it's helpful, we're 29/30 and live in San Francisco.
posted by kookaburra to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It is not quite sagardotegi season right after Christmas (January 19 on to May), so if you want to do the Basque cider house thing, you will more than likely be out of luck. You can, of course, drink cider out of the bottles, but the experience is really quite awesome.

San Sebastian/Donostia is flat-out beautiful, and I would go there any day of the year. You will have exactly zero shortages of places to eat and explore there.

No shortage of vineyards there, outside of Haro. Some with a tour or two, but all with a tasting available.
posted by oflinkey at 4:41 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another vote here for San Sebastian.

Livelier than any town SW France and cheaper.

Excellent restaurants and of course excellent Basque hospitality.

Here is a preview from "Rick Stein's Spain" (BBC).
posted by jacobean at 5:16 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

i've lived in Madrid for 10 years and am around your age. let me warn you that basque country will be really friggin cold in december. not as cold as munich but pretty darn cold.

the whole north of spain is beautiful. i don't actually know basque country as well as cantabria and asturias which are the neighbouring areas but the whole strip is beautiful and only about 2 hours across. the Picos of Europe are like Lord of the Rings and truly worth seeing. Cangas de Onis is the kind of central town for exploring the region.

I also second San Sebastian and say that Bilbao is worth a day as well.
posted by BigBrownBear at 9:46 PM on October 30, 2012

OMG!!! nthing San Sebastian, the highest number of Michelin stars per head of population. But the tapas in even the most standard bars are to die for. Food is simply something the Basque do better than almost anywhere else in Spain, it's very close to the French border, but in my expereince is is a lot more lively than the French towns and cities nearby.

I am going to control myself because this is my favorite place on earth. But instead of an hotel book one of these by the night, cheaper and better than a hotel. Disclaimer, I know the owner from another business of hers, stayed in these apartments 2 years running and will never go anywhere else.

If your budget is more modest you can e-mail my daughter who is currently living there and she can find you something.

seriously do not miss SS!
posted by Wilder at 4:25 AM on October 31, 2012

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