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Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

New York
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Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

We are planning on travelling by car from Bordeaux to San Sebastian, with stop over in Biarritz.

We wouldn't like to take the most "scenic route", but rather follow straight highways without steep terrain.

Can anyone advise on the best way to do it, since most sites I looked at don't give description of the roads.

Paris, France
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1. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

If you want to take the most direct route from Bordeaux to San Sebastian then there is only 1 route you can take. You'll take the A63 out of Bordeaux, which will turn into the N10 and then will change back to the A63.

Use the website viamichelin.com to get time and distance estimates as well as toll and fuel costs. The times given don't consider bad weather, road construction or traffic nor do they consider stops (fuel, food, bathrooms). The viamichelin site shows the above outlined route as about 2-1/2 hours travel time.

I don't know what your request for "no steep terrain" means nor do I understand your request for descriptions of the roads. If you want to know what the roads look like you might try google street view (provided they have this route covered). That being said the terrain is extremely flat coming out of Bordeaux to around Bayonne where there will be some rolling terrain but I doubt (if memory serves me well) you'll encounter any steep terrain on this route.

Edited: 26 August 2011, 00:44
Biarritz, France
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for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
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2. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

Like French_Mystique said, after Bayonne there are some steeper sections. I have towed a caravan by car along this route though and it is no real problem.

Lorries and buses go the same way also.

It depends if there is a particular reason why you want to avoid steep terrain.

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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3. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

The highway goes around the very edge of the Pyrenees mountains, then once in Spain the road becomes the A8. The construction of the highway is such that any hills are not very steep at all. There is no alternative.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

The road is wide open all the way and rather boring. The only slowdown will be the toll booths at Biarritz and at the border with Spain. Make sure you have cash available (coins will do) and use the toll booths marked "Manual". And ask for a receipt.

Just remember, traffic moves quickly along the highway.

Yes, there are alternatives. If you had a few extra minutes to spend and wanted to avoid the toll booths, you could take the old smugglers route through Sare and enter Spain at Bera/Vera. It's the a more adventurous route and takes you through a very beautiful countryside.

Jersey, United...
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5. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

I agree that it's a rather boring road south of Bordeaux down to Bayonne but it's the only practical option. Expect lots of trucks (it's the standard route for Spanish/Portuguese trucks up into France).

Don't bother to ask for a receipt at the motorway tollbooths, the very notion is bizarre!

Nigel

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

"Don't bother to ask for a receipt at the motorway tollbooths, the very notion is bizarre!" Really? I guess if you don't speak the language it might be a little intimidating, but since we cross often on business, I need my receipts.

Biarritz, France
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for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
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7. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

Sorry for digging up this post but I recently made a time lapse video of the journey from Biarritz to San Sebastian. Hopefully it will be of use if people stumble across it sometime in the future: biarritzairporttransfers.com/Biarritz-to-San…

You can sort of see the hilly sections when you join the motorway. There are lanes for slow moving vehicles. And as Robert has said, receipts are easy to get.

8. Re: Highway from Bordeaux to San Sebastian

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