Barcelona to France

Feb 24th, 2009, 09:44 AM
  #1  
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Barcelona to France

I'm thinking of a trip to Barcelone in October and then driving to somewhere in France from there. Eventually returning to New York. Has anyone done this drive and do you have any recommendations of areas in France that are close to Barcelona. Would love to see Arles but not sure if that is too far? We are interested in quaint villages, etc.

Thanks very much.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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Check out Carcassonne and Couilllere (sp?!)One is walled city, the other a nice coastal village. Arles is a way, you would not have to go so far for some enjoyable sites.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Thanks very much. I'm reading about the added expense of driving a car across the border. I'll have to consider that as well.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Hi; You have received some good suggestions. Couillere is probably only two hours, or less. Carcassonne, about three hours and Arles four hours. How many days in France? Where are you flying home from? iris1745/dick
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Feb 24th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Unless you want to pay hefty cross-border fees on your rental, you need to return the car in Spain if rented in Spain.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Ditto about the car drop-off fees.

Also, I can't think of anything I'd call a quaint village along the Mediterranean route. It's a pretty heavily trafficked area. Collioure (which is the correct spelling in case you need to look it up) is lovely, but mobbed in the summer. Same for Carcassonne and Arles. All well worth visiting, but hardly quaint. If you want quaint, you'll need to head up into the hills west of the Mediterranean route.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Hmmmm - could a village be "quaint" (esp. by U.S. cookie cutter suburb standards) yet crowded? maybe because it is quaint and worth seeing?! Just a thought. Why not offer some suggestions St.Crq? of a village you find worthy.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Thanks...we are going in October so hopefully that will help with the crowds issue? We are flying back to New York. Is Arles well worth the drive?
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Feb 24th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Hi, mikster. It should be lovely in October.

Arles is a bit of a mixed bag. Some love it, some hate it. It's got a big, bustling Saturday market that's fun to visit. And the Roman ruins and Van Gogh sites are definite attractions, but I wouldn't say overall it's a city with enormous appeal. You can see Roman ruins in other places (Nîmes, Orange, Pont du Gard, around St-Rémy...), and there are more attractive venues nearby, IMO - for example, Aigues-Mortes, Avignon, even Montpellier. I wouldn't make the drive just to visit Arles, personally, but the general area is fantastic.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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We did a round trip from Barcelona, but spent most of our time in France. Here's my trip report, some of it may be useful to you.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-lot-and-t.cfm
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Feb 24th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Vueling has cheap flights to Nice from Barcelona.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Thanks...very helpful indeed....Images2...if I only have about 5 days and don't want to move accomodations in France can you be more specific on where you recommend we stay...it's just my husband and I and we would like to do day trips from the one location. Would you suggest Belcastel? Is this area near Avignon for a day trip? We will be returning to Spain to fly home, probably from Barcelona.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Hi mikster; Can you consider flying into France [ Marseille or Toulouse]and out of Barcelona. Flying into Europe, you would need a connection either choice you made. But doing France first, there would be no backtracking. ENJOY iris1745/dick
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:10 AM
  #14  
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Yes...I'm not thrilled about the back tracking but I can fly direct from Barcelona to/from NY...other issue is car...i understand that there are hefty fees picking up in Spain and dropping off in France. Ideally, we would like to drive from Barcelona to France...nothing is written in stone..but the Barcelona part was the main focus of the trip...I just thought that if i was going to spend on the airfare, I would like to see as much as possible, hopefully, without it becoming too crazy...and I do love France.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Backtracking might be a false issue. One could drive up the coast and drive back through the Pyrenees via La Tour de Carol. The sites would be completely different.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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That sounds like a good alternative...thank you.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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Hi mikster; There are some great towns to visit, both south, west and north of Barcelonia. Have you considered just staying in Spain? Then a car rental would not be a problem. In southern France there is so much to do and see. Think about saving it for your next trip. iris1745/dick
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Feb 25th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Take the Talgo train to Perpignon or Montpellier or just to the border and rent your car in France and return it at the border and train to Spain as yes two country rentals can be expensive if not dropping and picking up in the same country - plus Spain apparently required the International Driving Permit whereas France IME don't
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Feb 25th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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At th moment I am considering all options..thank you very much..will look into Perpignon and Monpellier...I must admit...staying in Spain would be easier...iris1745, do you know the names of the towns that you are suggesting in Spain and do some stand out over others??
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Feb 25th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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I was going to wait and start a new thread once my plans get finalized, but I's also love to hear about smaller towns surrounding Barcelona that people highly recommend, so as to target my research.
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