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Advice for 2 weeks Barcelona to Dordogne with teens

Advice for 2 weeks Barcelona to Dordogne with teens

Old Apr 16th, 2024, 06:57 PM
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Advice for 2 weeks Barcelona to Dordogne with teens

Hello all, I am planning a two week trip with teens/tweens in late June/early July. We are thinking to fly in and out of Barcelona, rent a car and spend some time in Spain and some in southern France.

For France, we have visited the Dordogne in the past and loved it, but this time would like to take a more relaxed and teen friendly approach, rent a self-catering accommodation and not push to see too many things. We are happy to enjoy just being in a beautiful environment with great food and the challenge to practice our french.

For Spain, we have never been to Barcelona or the eastern side of northern Spain and would be grateful for advice about where to stay and what to do.

In two weeks we would ideally only stay in two or three places (plus maybe an initial night or two near Barcelona while we adjust to jet lag). It is not important to us to see everything, or necessarily the most historically or architecturally important sights, just enough to give the kids something to do each day, and allow us all to experience culture, scenery and food.

I prefer to stay in rural places or small towns but the kids risk being bored. I would welcome suggestions of places to stay that are are not too urban but would allow the kids to get out and explore and shop on their own.

Just looking at the map, would it make sense to spend a couple of nights in or around Barcelona, and then drive north, passing through Ax-Les-Thermes (is that worth an overnight stop?)
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Old Apr 16th, 2024, 10:03 PM
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Given the cost of returning a car which has been taken across the border I would do the first half of the journey by train until you are in France.

That works out well as so many Spanish towns are great to visit by train in this area.

Girona and Figueres are the two obvious but Sitges as a beach destination is also interesting

Going into France Narbonne, Perpignan and Minerve (one of those has-to-be-seen places) are all attractive and the first two offer good places to pick up a car. Do consder hiring bikes and follow some of the ancient waterways in the area. There is one canal which passes through a salt water lake, given that itself is a fresh water canal and it was built back in the 1700s it is a pretty impressive piece of work.
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 12:14 AM
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Autoeurope did not charge me extra for crossing borders as long as the car was returned in the country of origin.

Why fly in and out of Barcelona if wanting to spend most of the time in France? Bordeaux or Toulouse would make more sense. Even from Paris it is only 4.5 hours to Brive-la-Gaillarde.

On the other hand, there is a lot to see between Barcelona and the Dordogne. What are the particular interests of the children? On the French side of the Pyrénées, driving from Prades to La Tour-de-Carol one can visit Villefranche-de-Conflent (a plus beau village which is also declared a monument historique)

and farther up the road there is Mont-Louis, another monument historique (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont-Louis), but only parts of the fortress can be visited.

Another possibility, depending on the maturity of the children, is to drop them of in Vernets-les-Bains to take the train jaune to La-Tour-de-Carol where you would pick them up to continue to Foix. https://www.pyrenees-cerdagne.com/de...e/les-horaires

Overnight in Foix on your way to the Dordogne.

Last edited by Michael; Apr 17th, 2024 at 12:21 AM.
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 07:11 AM
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Thanks so much Michael and Bilboburgler, this is really helpful information!
Why fly in and out of Barcelona: because flights from where we live (Ottawa) to Barcelona are considerably cheaper than flights to Toulouse or Bordeaux. For four people it adds up. Plus, perhaps it would be fun to see a bit of Spain on the way? And it sounds like it would - thanks for some great recommendations that I would not have known about.
Is it reasonable to ask people's take on which is "better" to prioritize - northern Spain or Dordogne/Lot valley in France? Better, for me, would be things like access to good food (price being a bit of a consideration), beautiful scenery (Lot/Dordogne being quite green and lush - not sure about this part of Spain?), enough sights and outings in close proximity to a home base to fill our days.
Thanks again!
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 07:37 AM
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The food north of Barcelona is pretty good and the prices very attractive, I like both areas but in many ways I think I prefer the Spanish side, especially up in the mountains. Girona is the centre of bicycling culture in this area with loads of city and country trails once away from the coast.
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 08:11 AM
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See attached Languedoc itinerary

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 10:23 AM
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Ages ago but we took a train from Barcelona to Montpellier and enjoyed that college town very much.

Please let everyone know what you end up doing.
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Old Apr 17th, 2024, 10:28 AM
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Barcelona is a pretty awesome place with so much to see and do. It will be very crowded so you should look for hotels beginning immediately as well as rough out an itinerary of how many days/nights you might want to spend there. . It will also likely be hot.
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