Barcelona and Paris with Wine In-between

May 29th, 2016, 10:19 PM
  #1  
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Barcelona and Paris with Wine In-between

I'm researching and researching until my eyes are crossed!
A group of 8 of us are treating our parish priest to a 12-night trip to Barcelona and Paris...to cross a few things off his bucket list. We are all traveling with him in early to mid November 2016.
We have Barcelona and Paris planned...4 nights in Barcelona and 5 nights in Paris (one of the 5 nights counted for Paris will actually be in Mont Saint Michel...too far for a day trip.)
With the first night of our trip being spent on a plane, that leaves us 2 nights to get from Barcelona to Paris.
We would love to travel by train via the most scenic route to get to Paris. After reading the forums, it appears we may have to do train AND car. We would also love to spend time in the Burgundy region to visit a vineyard or two...also on his bucket list. A Fodorite mentioned www.chateaudenobles

Can you help me figure out the logistics of the "middle portion" of our trip?

We already have our flights booked...flying in to Barcelona and flying home from Paris.

Many thanks!
jewelhawg is offline  
May 29th, 2016, 10:35 PM
  #2  
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OOOPS! I forgot the mention Avignon is also on his bucket list. It's a 2.5 hour TGV trip from Paris. Instead of a long day trip from Paris, would it make more sense to add it to the "middle portion" of our trip...on our way Paris from Barcelona via the Burgundy region?
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May 29th, 2016, 10:39 PM
  #3  
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I'll try this again...it's very, very late.

OOOPS! I forgot to mention Avignon is also on his bucket list. Avignon is a 2.5 hour TGV (high-speed train) trip from Paris. Instead of a long day trip from Paris, would it make more sense to add Avignon to the "middle portion" of our trip...on our way to Paris from Barcelona via the Burgundy region?
Thanks and good night!
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May 30th, 2016, 12:51 AM
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Sorry, but you don't have time to squeeze in Avignon and Burgundy in two days, which is what I understand you have. Just take a look at your map and calculate distances from Barcelona to Avignon, then north to Burgundy and then northwest to Paris. You simply can't criss-cross the entire country like that in such a short period of time.

And since you're already giving up what will essentially be 2 days from your time in Paris to visit le Mont St-Michel, a daytrip to Avignon from Paris makes no sense. Not to mention that it's more like a 3-hour ride each way, and that doesn't count getting to the train station, getting into Avignon, getting your bearings, getting back to the train station, and having time to actually seeing something.

Either the bucket list has to be pared down or you all need about another week. Frankly, if you ditched Barcelona you could make this work.
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May 30th, 2016, 04:21 AM
  #5  
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Thank you, StCirq...that's what I was afraid of. We can't skip Barcelona...La Basilica de la Sagrada Família (private tour and mass in the crypt), day trip to Montserrat Monastery and for personal reasons, he wants to visit Besalú, Spain.

However, somehow we have to get to Avignon. I'll figure something out.

Maybe...after our stay in Barcelona, take the train from Barcelona to Avignon and spend 2-3 nights there. Then take the high speed train to Paris. While in Avignon, take a day trip to the vineyards. Hummmmm.....
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May 30th, 2016, 04:51 AM
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You don't need to go to Burgundy to visit vineyards. There are plenty close to Avignon. Different wines, of course, but still vineyards.
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May 30th, 2016, 10:31 AM
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Not sure what I was thinking...train from Barcelona to Avignon is too long!
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May 30th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Hi jewelhag

Where were you looking to see how long it would take to get from Barcelona to Avignon? using bahn.de [the german website is probably the best train site, especially for inter country trains] you could catch a train from Barcelona Sants at 9.25, and be in the centre of Avignon at 13.48, with one change of train at Nimes.

Not only that, I happen to know [because I was at Avignon TGV station last week when it came through] that there is a non-stop TGV from Avignon to Paris at 9.37 am every day which gets into Paris at 12.23 - in time for lunch!

I think that you'd be lucky to rival those travel times wherever else you picked between Barcelona and Paris.

with your two days in Avignon you could spend a day there and another on a tour to the Pont du Gard, or Arles or the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape - and make another of your priest's dreams come true.

It's a wonderful basis for a trip - I hope you have a great time whatever you decide to do.
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May 30th, 2016, 11:06 AM
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Well, not THAT long! The direct train gets there in under 4 hours. The others are about 5-6 hours, with one correspondance.
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May 30th, 2016, 11:42 AM
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Why Avignon and why Burgundy ?
If you want 'wine' inbetween, then go to the Loire.
Good wine, churches, castles, close to Paris.
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May 30th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Why Avignon and why Burgundy ? >>

because Avignon is on the priest's bucket list, Whathello, as is a burgundy vineyard [I think]. Chateaunuef du Pape would make a good compromise, n'est-ce-pas?
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May 30th, 2016, 12:26 PM
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I discovered the post I read earlier was an old one...it showed the train from Barcelona to Avignon to be almost 8 hours... I guess my all-night planning caught up with me...TIRED!

I've since found the high speed train from Barcelona to Montpelier is 3 hours and Montpelier to Avignon is 1 hour...that's awesome! So that itinerary is back on!

No Burgundy...but why Avignon? It's on our priest's bucket list. You probably already know, but it was Vatican City for 67 years in the 14th century. We'll celebrate mass at Cathedral Our Lady of the Doms. And I'm scheduling an all day trip with François through the vineyards of Rhône Valley. He gets rave reviews.

So, after our 3 night stay in Avignon, we'll take the 2.5 hour high speed train to Paris!
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May 30th, 2016, 12:31 PM
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Here's one of François' several itineraries:
Châteauneuf du Pape

Departure from Avignon at 09:00
Stop in the vineyards
Visit of "museum of Wine growers" and tasting at "Brotte winerie".
Tasting at "Roger Sabon" and visit of cellar or "Fines roches winery".
Lunch at restaurant "Le Verger des Papes" and winery.
Tasting at "Domaine de Beaurenard".
Visit and stop at the castle.
Return to Avignon at 05:00 pm
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May 30th, 2016, 12:32 PM
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It used to be that long, but isn't now. I was going to suggest what I guess you are doing -- spend several days in Avignon en route as that is easy and he wants to see it. I'd either forget the vineywards ideas (I'm surprised a priest is interested in collecting wines or would have the $$$ to do that, even though I know many are not teetotalers). I just don't think visiting a vineyard is that important unless you are buying. If he has never visited one in his life and is curious about winemaking or something, I guess I could see it, but I'm sure it would vary by vineyard as to what actually happens when you visit it. if it's just to taste wines, I don't see the point unless he is buying.

But if you found a good tour from Avignon, it has all worked out. I prefer wine from the Rhone myself, anyway (or Provence), to Burgundy.
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May 30th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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He appreciates and enjoys nice wines (thanks to his parishioners!)...and so does the rest of the group. So I guess you could say, a day in the vineyards of France is on ALL of our bucket lists! But he's actually the one who brought it up in the original planning.

Several of us visit Napa frequently. I understand the experience here will be very different! We'll purchase wines to enjoy for the rest of our trip as well as to ship home.
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May 30th, 2016, 12:51 PM
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You don't have to change trains in Montpellier, by the way. There is at least one direct train from Barcelona to Avignon every day that takes 3 hours 48 minutes. I don't know where you're researching train schedules and prices, but it should either be the French version of the SNCF site (www.voyages-sncf.com - do NOT choose the English option), or www.capitainetrain.com. You will get the cheapest tickets by scheduling 92 days out from your dates of travel. After that, fares creap upwards.

Don't assume you can ship wine home. It depends on the laws of the state you live in, and can be ridiculously expensive. Better to drink what you can while there and pack a few bottles in your suitcase to take home.
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May 30th, 2016, 01:18 PM
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Blimey ! I hadn't seen that the priest was the one choosing the itinerary, thanks Ann.
Definitely, what better wine for a priest than a Chateauneuf du Pape !
What is great with wines is that they are all different. And yes Côtes du Rhône can be absolutely fantastic - my preference goes for the moment to the Côte Rôtie.
Good advice to drink what you can from StCirq. That's the kind of advice I listen to. This week-end we opened a champagne, a rosé from côtes du Rhône, a côte de Provence, a Gigondas, a St Emilion grand cru. The vodka as a 'pousse-café' (nightcap or close) could have been avoided.
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May 30th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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This week-end we opened a champagne, a rosé from côtes du Rhône, a côte de Provence, a Gigondas, a St Emilion grand cru. The vodka as a 'pousse-café' (nightcap or close) could have been avoided.>>

Was this an example of your everyday drinking, What, or a special occasion?

in either case, cheers!
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May 30th, 2016, 01:25 PM
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We had our first rosé côte du Rhône ever this past weekend, whathello. Something entirely new for us. I loved it! We weren't tempted to have vodka as the pousse-café, though - oh no! We had a sip of a digestif de violet.
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May 30th, 2016, 01:39 PM
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When I am at home I travel with wine.
We were a few around the table, a good occasoin to open nice bottles. (fortunate that I wasn't alone - I hadn't too much of a hangover the next day).
I still have to find a region where I don't like the wine. Except China (for the moment), or I didn't find the right wines.
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