20 days in France, San Sebastian - Donostia & Bilbao Itinerary

20 days in France, San Sebastian - Donostia & Bilbao Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in France, San Sebastian - Donostia & Bilbao Itinerary

Start: San Francisco, United States
Fly:  14 h 30 min
1
Paris, France
— 6 nights
Train:  15 min
2
Versailles, France
— 1 night
Train + Shuttle:  6 h
3
Mont-Saint-Michel, France
— 1 night
+2
Train + Bus + Fly:  7 h 45 min
4
Bayonne, France
— 1 night
Drive:  30 min
5
Biarritz, France
— 3 nights
Drive:  45 min
6
San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h 15 min
7
Bilbao, Spain
— 3 nights
Fly:  16 h 45 min
End: San Francisco, United States

6
nights
Paris, France

Paris ©
A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Get some cultural insight at Eiffel Tower and Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre. Escape the urban bustle at Île de la Cité and Scuba & Snorkeling. Change things up with these side-trips from Paris: Reims (Basilique Saint-Remi & La Maison Mumm), Epernay (Paul-Etienne Saint Germain, Avenue de Champagne, &more) and Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte (in Maincy). And it doesn't end there: explore the world behind art at Louvre Museum, appreciate the extensive heritage of Montmartre, appreciate the history behind Arc de Triomphe, and see the interesting displays at Musee Rodin.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Paris tour itinerary maker.

San Francisco, USA to Paris is an approximately 14.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 9 hours traveling from San Francisco to Paris. When traveling from San Francisco in July, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Paris: temperatures range from 79°F by day to 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to catch the train to Versailles.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Epernay, Reims, Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Eglise Saint Pierre
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 6:
Highlights from your plan
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower

1
night
Versailles, France

Versailles ©
Renowned for its vast royal palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV, Versailles is also one of the wealthiest suburbs of Paris and home to a new cultural notability, such as a thriving artistic and musical scene.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): don't miss a visit to The Water Parterres, make a trip to The Hall of Mirrors, don't miss a visit to La Galerie des Batailles, then explore the striking landscape of L'Orangerie, then admire the landmark architecture of The Trianons & The Hamlet, and finally take an in-depth tour of Galerie des Carrosses.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Versailles route planning app.

Versailles is just a short distance from Paris. In August, daily temperatures in Versailles can reach 77°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to travel to Mont-Saint-Michel.

Things to do in Versailles

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
The Trianons & The Hamlet ©
The Trianons & The Hamlet
Académie Équestre de Versailles ©
Académie Équestre de Versailles
Galerie des Carrosses ©
Galerie des Carrosses

1
night
Mont-Saint-Michel, France

Mont-Saint-Michel ©
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. On the 8th (Sat), don't miss a visit to La Poste, Mont-Saint-Michel, pause for some serene contemplation at Église Saint-Pierre - Le Mont-Saint-Michel, and then make a trip to La Grande Rue.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Mont-Saint-Michel sightseeing planner.

Getting from Versailles to Mont-Saint-Michel by combination of train and shuttle takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle. When traveling from Versailles in August, plan for slightly colder days in Mont-Saint-Michel, with highs around 72°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 55°F. On the 8th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Bayonne.

Things to do in Mont-Saint-Michel

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
La Poste, Mont-Saint-Michel ©
La Poste, Mont-Saint-Michel

1
night
Bayonne, France

Bayonne ©
Bayonne is a city and commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. On the 9th (Sun), appreciate the history behind Cathedrale Sainte-Marie de Bayonne, contemplate the long history of Maison Moulis, see the interesting displays at Musee du Jambon de Bayonne, don't miss a visit to Eglise Saint-Andre, then stop by Loreztia Boutik'expo, and finally take an in-depth tour of Basque Museum (Musee Basque).

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Bayonne trip planner.

Do a combination of train and flight from Mont-Saint-Michel to Bayonne in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Mont-Saint-Michel in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 63°F in Bayonne. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to drive to Biarritz.

Things to do in Bayonne

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Basque Museum (Musee Basque) ©
Basque Museum (Musee Basque)
Cathedrale Sainte-Marie de Bayonne ©
Maison Moulis ©
Maison Moulis

3
nights
Biarritz, France

Biarritz ©
A popular holiday destination with world-class surfing, Biarritz has interesting coastal rock formations and stellar waves that make this luxurious seaside town popular with tourists and surfers alike.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Chocolaterie-Musee Puyodebat and then enjoy the sand and surf at La Cote des Basques. On the 10th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Plage du Miramar, head outdoors with La Grande Plage, look for gifts at Mercado Les Halles, then take an in-depth tour of Musee Asiatica, then pause for some serene contemplation at Paroisse Notre-Dame du Rocher - Église Sainte-Eugenie, and finally don't miss a visit to Phare de Biarritz.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Biarritz day trip planning website.

Biarritz is just a short distance from Bayonne. In August, daily temperatures in Biarritz can reach 77°F, while at night they dip to 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Sebastian - Donostia.

Things to do in Biarritz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Chocolaterie-Musee Puyodebat, Socoa Beach, Scuba & Snorkeling, Grande Plage
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Phare de Biarritz ©
Phare de Biarritz
Scuba & Snorkeling
Chocolaterie-Musee Puyodebat ©
Chocolaterie-Musee Puyodebat

3
nights
San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain

San Sebastian - Donostia ©
As one of the anchoring cities of the beautiful Basque Country, San Sebastián boasts a trendy, cosmopolitan vibe while still harboring a relaxed, coastal charm.
We've included these beaches for you: La Concha Beach and Playa de Itzurun. Parte Vieja and Basilica de Santa Maria del Coro are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Sebastian - Donostia: Getaria (Iglesia de San Salvador & Cristobal Balenciaga Museum) and Ermita de San Telmo (in Zumaia). There's still lots to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Monte Urgull, get a taste of the local shopping with Mercado de la Bretxa, expand your understanding of the military at Castillo de la Mota, and don't miss a visit to Calle San Pedro.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Sebastian - Donostia online holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Biarritz to San Sebastian - Donostia takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In August, plan for daily highs up to 77°F, and evening lows to 63°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to catch the bus to Bilbao.

Things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Getaria, Zumaia, Santa Maria la Real, Albaola, The Sea Factory of the Basques, Calle San Pedro
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Monte Urgull ©
Monte Urgull
Parte Vieja ©
Parte Vieja
Cristobal Balenciaga Museum ©
Cristobal Balenciaga Museum

3
nights
Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao ©
A city of stunning architectural and artistic heritage, Bilbao is situated on the banks of the Nervión River.
You'll get in some beach time at Playa de El Puntal and Playa del Camello. Do your shopping at La Ribera Market and Paragueria Leoz. Venture out of the city with trips to Haro (Church of Santo Tomas, Bodegas Muga, &more), Santander (Ermita de la Virgen del Mar, Prehistory and Archaeology Museum of Cantabria, &more) and Castillo de Sajazarra (in Sajazarra). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Euskal Museoa Bilbao Basque Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral de Santiago, appreciate the history behind Puppy, and don't miss a visit to Taberna Plaza Nueva.

To see traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Bilbao vacation planning site.

Getting from San Sebastian - Donostia to Bilbao by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in August, and nighttime lows around 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bilbao

Historic Sites Wineries Museums

Side Trips

Santander, Haro, Castillo de Sajazarra
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Bodega La Rioja Alta S.A. ©
Bodega La Rioja Alta S.A.
Bodegas Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia ©
Bodegas Muga ©
Bodegas Muga

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