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Barcelona and southern France with children

Barcelona and southern France with children

Apr 19th, 2019, 05:49 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Barcelona and southern France with children

Hello,

So we booked a round trip flight to Barcelona for 12 nights in October. We are 2 families and will be travelling with 3 children ages 3,5, and 8. We were thinking of dividing the trip between Barcelona and Southern France.

We are doing preliminary research and were hoping some of you had suggestions/advice about Southern France. Ease of travel with children would be important to us. (In another post I wrote, someone suggested visiting the towns and villages of Dordogne and I fell in love with the idea but not sure if there would be other areas that will be easier for us to reach)

We are just in the beginning of our research. We are open to lots of suggestions and activities, but are limited with kids in mind.
Augusta78 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2019, 10:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Barcelona and the south of France in October

You can take the train from Barcelona to Nimes and either stay in Nimes or Uzès. *History, culture, good food and excellent wine.

https://www.nimes-tourisme.com/fr/
https://www.avignon-et-provence.com/...-provence/uzes



Arena of Nîmes, the Roman amphitheatre
*
Robert2016 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 01:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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With only 12 days it would have been prudent to fly into Spain and out of France (or vice versa) to avoid the time and expense of backtracking.

Without knowing how you plan to travel around, it is premature to make suggestions.

"Southern France," which isn't a geographical term, encompasses a huge swath of territory. You'll need to narrow it down - a LOT, based on your means of travel, your interests, and your timeframe.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 03:09 AM
  #4  
 
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I'd really minimise the travel time and maximise the sea/pool time. So Barcelona to Narbonne possibly including Carcassone. This area is full of Roman and Greek things to look, wine and food to eat and beaches to enjoy. Cities of interest include Perpignon, Figueres and Girona.
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 03:40 AM
  #5  
 
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I don't know about maximizing the sea/pool time in October.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 07:23 AM
  #6  
 
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Nimes is a good suggestion, but Montpellier and Sète are also nice -- and closer to Barcelona.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 08:16 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the suggestions. It definitely would have been easier to have flights that departed from different cities, but we saw a round trip deal from New York to Barcelona (under 300 US dollars) that we could not pass up. I find the hardest part of trip planning is narrowing it down. There are just so many options and when you do not know the intricacies of the region and transportation factors it can certainly become overwhelming. (thank you to all of those that offer your time and expertise! It is so appreciated) Once we narrow it down, we will know where and what to research.

We have young children , so this will not be a trip where we can enjoy museums or fine dining. We were thinking outdoors, beautiful scenery, good food, old midievil architecture.

The Dordogne area seems perfect for both children and adults. -Prehistoric parks, caves, castles, scenic villages! It seemed like the perfect contrast to the very unique city of Barcelona.I suppose we could take a flight when we arrive in Barcelona and while we are too jet lagged to really enjoy much else? But I am not sure if it will be too complicated.

Or if there is another area (like Nimes or Montpellier ) that would offer similar scenery and childrens activities? I am about to research those selected towns as well. Thank you.

Transportation is up in the air. We are not sure what will be needed. Driving might be complicated by car seats (we will bring a booster for the youngest) but might be an absolute necessity in an area with lots of villages to explore.
Augusta78 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 08:34 AM
  #8  
 
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Well, rule out the Dordogne right away if you won't have a car. It could also be half-dead, depending on when you go in October. And flying there (plus train or bus or driving, one of which will be required) will eat up a full day and not be any fun. I'd drop the whole notion of the Dordogne.

Since you're "stuck" going into and out of Barcelona, work with what you've got. There are myriad places you can go in both Spain and France that are close by and offer what it seems you're looking for. Just go up the coast and cross into France at Port Bou (by car or train) to Collioure, Narbonne, Perpignan, inland to Carcassonne if it appeals to you, or farther up the coast to/toward Montpellier. Or head up into the Pyrenées. You've got plenty of choices, and neither lovely scenery nor children's activities are going to limit you - France is full of beautiful scenery and has quite a number of children.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 10:48 AM
  #9  
 
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Transportation is up in the air. We are not sure what will be needed. Driving might be complicated by car seats (we will bring a booster for the youngest) but might be an absolute necessity in an area with lots of villages to explore.>

If staying near a rail line you can get around to so many places sans car (except places like Dorodogne where car is a must as StCirq, a local, says. For lots on trains and where to go with them check www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 10:53 AM
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I agree with St. Cirq-if you decide to drive then the Dordogne would be preferable but I think will involve a lot of driving for 12 nights not only to get there but also needing a car constantly to get around. And October could be rainier and cooler than you might like to be outdoors a lot with the kids.

still think a car might be nice-since you are coming in and out of Barcelona, you could go into Barcelona and rest a few days and then pick up a car and start up the coast and then return the car to the airport in Barcelona on your way out. We love Roses which is about a 2 hour drive from Barcelona and it would make a nice 1-2 night stop to visit that part of Spain. It has a nice wide walking boardwalk kind of promenade and it is a place you can just park your car and walk to shop and eat. It has a nice beach and while it will probably be too cold to swim it will still be fun for the kids to run and play-it is has lots of sand and very wide. In France I think some of the places mentioned like Nimes or Uzès or Sete could be good-honestly I think you might find smaller places a bit more accessible and easier with kids. However if you don't have a car, then some of the larger cities like Montpellier would be good-cities that size have good tram systems for instance which is great with kids. So I think it will all really depend a bit on the kind of transport you decide on, and also how your kids like to travel-if you think they do better on trains or planes versus sitting in cars....but honestly you will have lots of fun in both of these areas, lots to see and very scenic.
jpie is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 11:02 AM
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You'd need a minivan for 7 people plus luggage.
joannyc is online now  
Apr 20th, 2019, 11:11 AM
  #12  
 
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<<You'd need a minivan for 7 people plus luggage.>>

Yes, which could be a huge PITA on the D roads of the Dordogne, which is where you'd want to be to see the best of the area.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 01:44 PM
  #13  
 
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Seaside would be nice for kiddos - and besides tjhe Med coast check out the St-Jean-de-Luz area on the Atlantic - this beach town also has character and makes a great base for several neat places - like Biarritz area with some of Europe's best surfing if into that -San Sebastian is a short drive or train ride and from St-Jean-de-Luz.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 03:06 PM
  #14  
 
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Why would anyone cross Spain from Barcelona, from which plenty of seashore is easily accessible just to the north, to the Atlantic just to get a taste of the seaside, especially in October?

The surfing suggestion is beyond ridiculous.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2019, 03:56 PM
  #15  
 
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>>Seaside would be nice for kiddos - and besides tjhe Med coast check out the St-Jean-de-Luz area on the Atlantic - this beach town also has character and makes a great base for several neat places - like Biarritz area with some of Europe's best surfing if into that -San Sebastian is a short drive or train ride and from St-Jean-de-Luz.<<

None of this post makes sense. (Perhaps Pal didn't read that the trip is in Oct.). Average high in Biarritz and/or St-Jean-de-Luz in Oct o a little over 60°F. Plus it rains more days than not -- not really surfing weather.
janisj is online now  
Apr 20th, 2019, 04:02 PM
  #16  
 
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Not to mention that 3, 5, and 8-year-olds aren't exactly going to have a ball surfing on Europe's most volatile beach, in October or any other month.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 21st, 2019, 08:48 AM
  #17  
 
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Yup I missed October. Scratch seaside in October. At least on Atlantic side. Ca y'est!
PalenQ is offline  
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