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terrilyn2827 Nov 16th, 2013 08:44 AM

21 days in France & Spain - 2 energetic couples 60ish years old
Flying into CDG April 19. Flying out of CDG May 9. Planned 3 days in Paris. 3 days in and around Semur en Axois 7 nights in Barcelona 2 nights in Beget 3 nights in Saint Emilion. Trek back to Paris. wanting to stay between Saint Emilion & Paris for last 3 days. Thoughts? Also interested in day trips while in Barcelona. We will have a car all 21 days but would love to experience a fast train (maybe a day trip while in Barcelona? We've never been to these places. I read tons of material. Did i miss something I don't want to miss?

amer_can Nov 16th, 2013 09:03 AM

From BCN try Monsarrat..train, funicular, feet!!! or drive. Easy drive after you get out of BCN. Car in Spanish cities are a pain!!

Michael Nov 16th, 2013 09:11 AM

On the way back to Paris stay in the Loire valley to visit some of the chateaux. Or go east to the Dordogne, visit Sarlat, the villages on the Dordogne (Domme, Beynac, etc.) and Lascaux II. The drive back to Paris can be done in 5 to 6 hours.

Michael Nov 16th, 2013 09:14 AM

Other suggestion. Frop the car off in Bordeaux and take the TGV back to Paris. Order the tickets three months in advance for better pricing.

Of if going to the Dordogne, drop the car off in Brive-la-Gaillarde and take the train to Paris. However, if you are leasing a car, that probably is not an option. On the other hand, leasing is probably more expensive than renting for 21 days. Just compare lease prices with the <b>basic</b> rental rate on

Judy Nov 16th, 2013 09:44 AM

I think 3 nights in Paris is not enough, especially if you will be jetlagged on arrival.

StCirq Nov 16th, 2013 09:47 AM

Three nights in Paris is not enough. Three nights in St-Emilion is two too many.

nytraveler Nov 16th, 2013 09:51 AM

A couple of notes:

3 nights (2 days) is not enough for paris unless you have been there before and seen a bunch of major sights

A car is worse than useless in Paris - and in Barcelona - all you can do is put it in a garage and pay for that as well as rental. You can;t get around either city by car - no places to park and just a waste of time and money.

Also - if you haven;t already go tcikets ehy not fly into Paris and out of Barcelona - it won;t cost any more and will avoid wasting days getting back to Paris.

DeborahAnn Nov 16th, 2013 10:50 AM

Welcome to Fodors, You've selected some lovely places to visit. Flying into Paris and out of Barcelona is a good idea as stated by nytraveler. Have you planned out how much driving you will be doing with your current schedule? Use to see the distances to be driven and the time it will take. Have fun planning. Deborah

DeborahAnn Nov 16th, 2013 11:10 AM

terrilyn, I'm curious why you picked Semur en Auxois, St. Emilion and Beget for your destinations. You will be driving past some worthwhile stops without having the time to see them. I've been to all three but in three different trips ;;) Deborah

ParisAmsterdam Nov 16th, 2013 12:04 PM

Have the airline tickets been purchased already? If not, arrange to fly into Paris and out of Barcelona or vice versa. I agree that if this is your first time in Paris 3 days is far from enough.

terrilyn2827 Nov 16th, 2013 02:22 PM

We already have our plane tickets. We chose Semur en Axois based on a winemaker we know who was born there. He lead a trip there last year and I have their schedule of day trips. To Champagne, Dijon, and a cooperage in the area. Our goal is to hit small family wineries as we drive from Paris to Semur en Axois; from
SenA to Barcelona and all the treks to and from cities. One of our main interests is seeing the countryside and visiting family wineries. I picked Beget because another friend of ours went there a couple years ago and thought we would love several small cities around there. Saint Emilion was chosen because of a restaurant here in Fort Worth (named Saint Emilion) whose owner is from there. We have 3 days open at end of trip and obviously we need to spend those back in Paris.

terrilyn2827 Nov 16th, 2013 02:29 PM

So, we will choose to not get a car in Paris until we are heading to Semur en Auxois. We were interested in making each city simply a hub and use the car to trek around interesting sites close by. So, while in Barcelona, we will spend some days doing special sightseeing in Barcelona that will Not require a car, but want to do day trips from our " hub" city. (In this case:Barcelona) Same for Saint Emilion. Won't spend all 3 days in Saint Emilion, we will Use it as a hub from which to scope out French Wineries. We would do only trains but one of us had Polio as a child and she is concerned she could not meneuvre well enough.

Judy Nov 16th, 2013 02:29 PM

terrilyn2827, if you've not been to Paris you may want to cut time from a stop or two to increase your time there. As St Cirq said, St Emilion is a great stop but not worth 3 nights.

Judy Nov 16th, 2013 02:31 PM

Meant to add, looks like you are counting 21 days, including travel days, but I count only 20 nights.

StCirq Nov 16th, 2013 02:35 PM

You're not going to easily be able to use St-Emilion as a hub to scope out wineries, except the ones that are right there surrounding St-Emilion. Maybe that's what you had in mind, but it would make far more sense to base yourself in Bordeaux and scope out the Médoc if wine is what you're after. Or go farther east and check out the montbazillac, pécharmant, and bergerac vineyards. St-Emilion is pretty for about 3 hours, then quickly becomes a vastly overpriced self-righteous little place.

terrilyn2827 Nov 16th, 2013 02:36 PM

Judy, if we are using Saint Emilion as a base from which to enjoy driving to other nearby sites, where would suggest we hit? Obviously, one day in the actual city of Saint Emilion is all we need. But what about driving to the coast and hitting interesting wineries while we drive??? Other suggestions?

Judy Nov 16th, 2013 02:52 PM

terrilyn2827, we found that interesting wineries in the Bordeaux area required appointments and the area is just not that picturesque to drive around. We spent 3 nights in St Emilion and we spent one day there (took a great wine tasting course) seeing the village a winery, one day in Bordeaux and the third day sort of wandering. Your other stops are more compelling and I'd suggest taking at least one day and adding it elsewhere

nytraveler Nov 16th, 2013 05:02 PM

Have you looked into visiting thee wineries? You can;t just turn up. Many are open only limited times and visits need to be scheduled in advance. Wandering down country roads and just popping into random places isn;t going to happen.

rogandgee Nov 16th, 2013 05:23 PM

I agree on Saint Emilion. Pretty but you don't need much time there. I agree that Bordeaux would be a better base for visiting wineries but you do need appointments as was pointed out. I spent 5 nights in the fabulous Dordogne further east and I highly recommend exploring that area. We based ourselves in beautiful Beynac. If I had to do it again I would certainly not stay in Bordeaux but spend extra time in the Dordogne. By the way, a tip on car rentals. make sure that you get specific directions as to where pickup and drop off points are or it could be a nightmare to locate them, especially if they are at rail stations.

terrilyn2827 Nov 16th, 2013 05:41 PM

Great info! Our plan was to
Pick up rental car at CDG. And return to CDG when we return to Paris May 6.

"In the dordogne"? Is that a region? So, it would be good to stay 4-5 nights in Beynac? For hopping around beautiful countryside & wineries?

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