Car Rental San Sebastian

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Car Rental San Sebastian

This was the last stop on our trip to Spain. Up until this point we had traveled between cities by plane, bus and train, and now we were trying to figure out the best way to get from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela.

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I don’t remember the source, but I saw something in a blog post or forum that made my eyes light up. It went something like this:

The idea hadn’t even crossed my mind until then, but after reading it, I knew there was only one way for any food-obsessed traveler to make this trip. We had to drive.

Due to the current global situation, travel guidelines change frequently. Our friends at SafetyWing have created a website detailing travel restrictions around the world.

Before any serious travel planning, be sure to check the Flatten the Curve website for information on travel restrictions in Spain.

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Driving from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela is better than taking a bus or train for an obvious reason: freedom. With a car, you will have the freedom to go at your own pace and stop wherever and whenever you want. For us, it wasn’t just about getting from point A to point B. We wanted to see (and taste) as much of this beautiful part of the country as possible, so renting a car and driving was the most interesting option for us.

You probably think that hiring a car costs more than taking a bus or train. It is, but not as much as you think. I’ll go into more detail below, but renting a caravan for three days with another city as a starting point cost us a total of € 324.55. This already included full insurance. Among the five people in our group, it cost less than 22 € per person per day. Not bad!

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In comparison, the cheapest train ticket I found on Loco2 was € 45.50 for a journey of 10 hours and 30 minutes. Alsa buses are even more expensive at € 61.24 for a 12 hour 30 minute journey. I just checked the flight prices and the cheapest I found is 48 euros, but first you will have to go to Barcelona and transit for 7 hours before continuing to Santiago de Compostela. Not exactly the most ideal scenario.

If you are traveling alone, traveling by train or bus would certainly be cheaper. But if you’re traveling in a group, renting a car is a great option to consider.

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We rented a car in San Sebastian through, a car rental aggregator similar to those flight booking websites. We haven’t rented cars too often so the process makes me a little nervous, but I chose EasyTerra because their prices were competitive and they had a good rating of 8.2 on TrustPilot. I booked the car in advance via their website which was then managed by Europcar. We didn’t have any problems.

The car rental process went smoothly. We had already booked it a month or two before the trip, so we just filled out the paperwork and left in less than half an hour.

As we were picking up the car in one city and dropping it off in another, we had to pay the standard one way rate. You also have to pay extra for each additional driver you wish to register.

And there he is, our iron horse for the next three days. It is an Opel station wagon that can accommodate up to seven people without luggage. There were five people in our group and we stowed all our bags in the back with no problem.

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Before you leave, be sure to thoroughly check the car for any damage and that it matches the damage listed in your rental agreement. I took a lot of photos and videos to make sure I didn’t have any problems returning the car.

After collecting the car, we drove straight to Logroño which is less than two hours south of San Sebastian. It is known for having the best tweezers in the region. If you’re interested, check out our guide to Logroño pintxos for more photos and information.

That night we parked the car in a garage in San Sebastian (€ 16.50 overnight) and then left early the next morning for our two day trip.

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Our first stop was Bilbao, the capital of the Basque Country. It is located 102 km (63.4 miles) west of San Sebastian and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach it.

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Northern Spain is beautiful. We drove on fast motorways with lush greenery and mountains on both sides. From time to time we glimpsed the coast, but not as many as I expected. I guess it depends on the highway you’re taking. We just followed whatever path Google Maps gave us.

We had a lot of ground to cover, so we only had a few hours to spend in Bilbao, enough time for lunch and a short walk around the city. As described, it is the capital of the Basque Country and its largest city.

I usually stick to local food when we travel, but we’ve been in Spain for more than two weeks, so we wanted something different. This Mexican restaurant had great reviews so we decided to have lunch here. Totopo is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence recipient with a near perfect 4.5 star rating.

Our selection of popular Mexican dishes such as quesadillas, burritos and totopos smothered with melted cheese and sour cream. Totopo is basically tortilla chips.

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I have been wanting a good burrito for days and this has pleased me pleasantly. They have chicken, pork, beef and Mexican tofu burritos for € 6.50 each.

One of the attractions that Bilbao is most famous for is the Guggenheim. It is an extraordinary contemporary art museum designed by the iconic architect Frank Gehry. I really wanted to go into this museum, but we didn’t have time so we just took some pictures from the outside.

Isn’t that stunning? The building itself is a sculpture. I’ve only heard great things about the Bilbao Guggenheim, so you should definitely stop here if you have the time. Admission is 17 euros.

I don’t know much about architecture, but I have read that the Guggenheim project has been universally well received by critics and the public, which is rare. The World Architecture Survey called it one of the most important works created since 1980.

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Opposite the Guggenheim is this 13-meter (43-foot) topiary sculpture of a dog named Puppy by American pop artist Jeff Koons. It is obscured by the scaffolding, but the sculpture is covered with various plants and flowers. They change the flowers every few months, and that’s what they do here.

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There was a sign explaining what these men were doing and it seemed like they changed the types of flowers used according to the season. In one photo, the puppy was covered in red, orange and yellow flowers, while in another it looked more lilac blue and white.

The next stop on our journey took us from Bilbao to a small Cantabrian town called Comillas. We stopped here to see an unusual house that I happened to spot on a map while planning this trip. You’ll see what I mean below.

This quick detour to Comillas offered us beautiful scenery, one of the best we experienced on this two day trip. We had to exit the main highways on smaller, more scenic roads.

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He took us to a pasture with farms, lakes and trees everywhere. The house we went to was near the ocean so it gave us a beautiful view of the coast.

As described, Comillas is a small town in the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Spanish royal family spent their holidays here, as did much of the Spanish nobility. We were here to see one house in particular, a castle-like residence designed by the iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

Have you ever seen such a strange building? What looks like a castle made of Lego is actually a house owned by the lawyer Maximo Diaz de Quijano. Known as El Capricho or Villa Quijano, it was built by Gaudi in 1885, one of only three buildings he designed outside Catalonia. Admission to the house museum is 5 euros.

Gaudi built this house when he was only thirty. It is considered one of the first important works of him.

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I visited his most famous creations in Barcelona so it was great to see something like this

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