So, instead of our usual route to Italy (Old Kent Road, channel tunnel, France/Belgium/Germany/Switzerland) we found ourselves in the Basque region of northern Spain. The plan now was to spend some time in San Sebastián, before making our way down the French (autoroute) side of the Pyrenees, a further stop in the Languedoc/Provence region, and then drive all along the South coast of France until we hit Italy.
Incidentally if you are driving through France then at around 2.5 hours from Calais, Reims is a perfect town to stop at with kids – either if you’ve had a a long pre-ferry/Eurotunnel journey already and can’t face another long drive, or if you are returning from further afield in France and need to stop before continuing on to the UK. You can read why in Dais Like These post on 24 Hours in Reims with Kids.
We stayed at the NH Aranzazu hotel, near the Onderetta beach. A quick word on the NH chain of hotels: they can be found in many large European towns, and we would highly recommend them. We have stayed in four different ones now (Budapest, Turin , Seville – and now San Sebastián) and they have all been immaculately clean, well located, spacious, and hugely generous with their breakfast offerings. I believe they are operating in the same mid-upper price bracket as Mercure, Novotel and Holiday Inn.