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Barcelona to Paris through Bordeaux? Any other suggestions?

Barcelona to Paris through Bordeaux? Any other suggestions?

Old Feb 18th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Barcelona to Paris through Bordeaux? Any other suggestions?

Hello. We will be in Barcelona for 3 days in June - Thursday through Saturday. I am thinking of renting a car from Barcelona and driving to Paris over the next 3-4 days making a wine road trip out of it. Then have a day or two in Paris and fly out of Paris the following Saturday. Does anyone have any suggestions/comments? Any other possible itineraries? We have to be in Barcelona for those 3 days, but after that we have no plans so could really go anywhere. I was thinking of possible alternatives:

1. Barcelona -> French Rivera->Rome (not sure if driving would be a possibility, and we were really hoping to visit a few wineries...)
2. Barcelona->road trip through Spain->Madrid (do not know much about Spain, so would need help with a road trip in Spain)

I will be with my husband and we are pretty adventurous and quite foodies in our mid 30's. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!!!

Thank you!
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Cross-border drop-offs of rentals are quite expensive. If cost is an issue, stick to Spain; Catalonia is known for its wines.
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Why not just fly to Paris? Making a road trip out of it will probably just end up with too much time in the car.
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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I don't understand what you are doing. You say you are doing a road trip to end up in Paris, but none of those choices end up in Paris.

But I agree, I wouldn't do any of these things until you have checked on the drop-off fees for foreign countries which I imagine would be extremely expensive (taking a Spanish-registered car to Paris or Italy). How are they supposed to get it back to Spain? By charging you, probably.

If you've never been in Paris, I'd just fly from BCN to Paris and spend those 4-5 days in Paris, that's all. Why are you flying out of Paris if you aren't going to spend any time there?
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 10:56 AM
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Christina, sorry for the confusion. The two options I listed were possible alternatives to the original plan of Barcelona->Bordeaux->Paris.

Michael, or anyone else, do you have any possible ideas/itineraries for Catalonia wine road trips?

Thank you for the tip about cross-boarder drop off...
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 11:02 AM
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The drop-off fee could be $500 or more, maybe even more than the rental cost. Driving from Barcelona to Paris, unless you take a week or more and stay on the N and D roads, is a huge bore and no fun at all. There are trains that will get you there much faster and more pleasantly. I would just go to Paris and enjoy a few days there. There's plenty of wine in Paris. Bordeaux wine country is not particularly attractive, and you can just waltz into a wine château; you'd need appointments and an organized tour.

The other scenarios that don't involve Paris would also be grueling, dull rides, and you'd have to get off the highway for any vineyard activity.

Why are you flying out of Paris, anyway?
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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Thank you for the replies. So I am scratching Paris and Italy and am sticking to Spain only. How about one of these ideas:

1. Barcelona (3days)->Cava area of Spain (1 day)->Rioja (2 days)->Madrid.

2. Barcelona (3days)->Cava area of Spain (1 day)->Valencia and other small towns on the sea (2 days)->Madrid.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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I think the op said all of these were possible itineraries.

Chicago travel - is there any one of those places that you have an interest in or is it just a chance to hang out with the other half and drink some good wine? Is there something you want to do or see in Rome or Paris? It looks as if southern Spain has some beautiful beaches,and tons of Moorish influence, the Alhambra Palace in Granada is supposed to be spectacular . Depending on what you decide to do , you might even be able to fly out of Lisbon spending a couple of days there. I have never been to Spain,but it seems there would be plenty to keep you entertained and well fed in Spain. Tapas, anyone?
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Not really... We are just hanging out without a little one for a week plus, which is quite a treat. And like I said, we have to start out in Barcelona so I am trying to plan something fun to do for the two of us. We have been in many places in Europe, but never in Spain, which is why I am a bit at a loss
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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It seems like you have 8 days available for your entire trip. If you take the fastest driving route possible, it will consume 12 hours to get to Paris from Barcelona. Five days for the drive, a visit to a wine region, and also Paris is absurd. If you plan to visit wineries - they will most likely be closed on Sunday - when you'll be there.

With all the wonderful stuff in France & Spain - why focus on wineries anyway? Personally, I would add a day to Barcelona and then train to Madrid or fly to Paris & stay there for 4 days. Forget the car. Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona are in my "top 5" list of large European cities that we've visited (love the Gaudi stuff).

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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You may also take a direct SNCF train from Barcelona to Paris in about 6 hours. See post from man_in_seat_61.
If you go to find train schedule at http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/, they have not loaded direct train schedules for this route beyond March 30th yet.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 08:59 AM
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After Barcelona you could drive or fly to San Sebastián, the culinary capital of Spain if not all of Europe. Recently voted #5 destination in the world at Condé Nast Traveler:
http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/
NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/tr...anted=all&_r=0

A five hours drive from Barcelona to San Sebastián on the highway, or you can drive through the beautiful Pyrenees and use a bit more time. 4-5 hours driving from San Sebastián to Madrid.

All about going for the famous pintxos in San Sebastián:
http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en

The best and always updated sites about Barcelona and Madrid:
http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/
http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do

Would give you a taste of three fabulous and very! different cities.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 03:21 AM
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Barcelona has the Torres winery not to be missed.
Crossing into France the whole Langdoc region is ahead of you, I suggest La Clape as an interesting wine.
http://www.daumas-gassac.com/ is also worth a drop by.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Max_I_Barnard, I have a question. So we decided to limit our stay to Spain. We will do 3 days in Barcelona, 3 days in Madrid, and 3 days on a road trip. We were thinking of driving to San Sebastian for a day and a half stay, but I really like you idea of small towns. Would you recommend scrapping San Sebastian and explore Pyrenees instead?
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 02:33 PM
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You will be doing enough driving as is. Split your time between Barcelona and Madrid and call it a wrap. It would be less stressful to take the train unless you like getting messed up in central cities and/or have a GPS.

For side trips from Madrid, there is public transportation. Remember, by themselves the art galleries in Madrid will take 3 days--assuming one a day. I don't know how anyone could do two of them in one day unless he just wants to see the outsides of buildings.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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We did a month long driving trip in Spain a year ago. IMO it is a lot to go to San Sebastian in the time you have. I would recommend the Pyrenees and maybe even some of the coast north of Barcelona. I can't remember if you told us if you will fly in and out the same city or open jaw? That might make a difference on what I would choose.
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