Barcelona: Yes or No?...

Jan 21st, 2011, 07:59 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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amer_can: that was a cute typo!

mamamia2: I've had some good success with

airbnb.com

what I usually do is to open up airbnb and also a google map of the particular city, then I try to find the approximate location of the b&b with its proximity to a metro station, tram station, etc.

The other considerations are safe neighborhood and cleanliness.

It takes a bit of research but it shouldn't be hard to find something very reasonable for two people (euros 60-80 on the low end).

You can also find some listings on the Uk site: qype.

Good luck!
easytraveler is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 01:09 AM
  #22  
 
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90 euros for the flight may be cheap when you add up the fuel and time you are spending. In googlemaps it estimates Frankfurt - Provence - Barcelona - Frankfurt will take +24 hours driving time and cost 345euros in gas. Plus the fastest route is the same both ways so you wont see anything different.

That is a long time in the car for only two nights in Barcelona, especially staying in the suburbs. I would drop Barcelona and focus on Provence.
jamikins is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 09:08 AM
  #23  
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Thanks for the info, amer_can, Aduchamp1 and easytraveler, I will do my homework.

jamikins: We're traveling in Europe for 2 full weeks. 3 days in Prague (RT flight from FRA) and then the rest in Provence and maybe Barcelona. driving a total of 24 hrs within a 1.5 week period is acceptable to us, especially when the trip goes thru such scenery roads... We don't have to use only the Autostradas, side roads are nicer and less expensive to use....

BTW, I find Michelin a better source for road maps: www.viamichelin.com
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 09:15 AM
  #24  
 
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Just adding my two cents. We spent three days in Barcelona in June of '09 and enjoyed it very much. Would definitely go back. In fact, DH has said on more than one occasion how much he'd like to include it in a driving trip to/from southern France.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 09:32 AM
  #25  
 
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The 24 hours was based on using autoroutes that are NOT scenic - I've driven them. If you want to use the smaller roads I would add about 3X as much time!! I live in London and travel 5weeks + in France/Italy a year and would never do that drive to save 90 euros each. but its your trip. I prefer to spend my time eating/drinking/enjoying where I am as opposed to driving grey highways and staying in suburbs.
jamikins is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 04:38 PM
  #26  
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The car is essential for us in Provence and the French Riviera. That's the focus of our trip. I found an EasyJet flight Prague to Lyon for some $95 (no flights on the day we're to leave Prague, and the next day is $95). We already have a RT ticket PRG-FRA (one way was WAY more expensive).

I was contemplating flying Prague to Lyon and renting a car in Lyon, but then we need a flight back to Frankfurt, which is a late night RyanAir flight (from Montpellier) that takes you to Hahn, from where you still need a 2 hour bus to FRA the next morning....

...I just don't find it a good solution for us 4, and the flights are not that cheap once we add our luggage, and the chance of missing our return flight to the USA, if RyanAir screws up, which, as I read, happens not too rarely....

...It's just not worth it.... I absolutely HATE those vacations when you have to RUSH to catch a train, or a flight..... I'd rather have few of those, as possible.
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 02:19 AM
  #27  
 
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Given that you want to drive, I would still cut Barcelona and split up the 9+ hour drive from Frankfurt to Provence. two full weeks I am guessing means 14 days/13 nights?

So you have:

NIght 1 - Frankfurt
NIght 2 - Prague
Night 3 - Prague
Night 4 - Prague
Night 5 -
Night 6 -
Night 7 -
Night 8 -
Night 9 -
Night 10 -
Night 11 -
Night 12 -
Night 13 - need to be somewhere that you can make a late night flight from Frankfurt.

So you have 8 nights to play with. I would maybe drive to Beaune (4ish hours from Frankfurt and en route anyways) and spend the day in this lovely Burgundy town, then the next day head to Provence as that seems to be your focus.

NIght 1 - Frankfurt
NIght 2 - Prague
Night 3 - Prague
Night 4 - Prague
Night 5 - fly back to Frankfurt, pick up the car and drive to Beaune (4ish hours) stay in Beaune
Night 6 - Drive the remaining 4ish hours to Provence/Riviera and stay there
Night 7 - Provence/Riviera
Night 8 - Provence/Riviera
Night 9 - Provence/Riviera
Night 10 - Provence/Riviera
Night 11 - Provence/Riviera
Night 12 - Provence/Riviera
Night 13 - Drive 5+ hours to somewhere in Alsace like Mulhouse as its en route but different from Beaune and then drive to Franfurt 3+ hours your last day.

Barcelona is the outlyer and would take up 2 days just driving there and back as its about a 5-6 hour drive (on big grey autoroutes with tolls I believe - add even more time if you want to do smaller roads) each way, and then you want to stay in the suburbs. With two nights there you would only have 1 day in Barcelona, and would still have to travel to get into the centre and back. That just seems like too much travel time and not enough enjoying time to me.

Hope this helps!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 08:00 AM
  #28  
 
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While I wasn't blown away by Barcelona, I don't regret having visited it. I visited it in 2009 at the end of June and I thought the weather was fine. I spent a week and I didn't have time to visit everything I wanted or even day trip.

I was a bit worried about the security in Barcelona, however, I felt safe the whole time. I always kept an eye on my belongings, though, and used common sense. Choosing tapas bars and types of tapas was fun and delicious, of course.
OrlandoFato is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 08:43 AM
  #29  
ita
 
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we stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast in a town between Beaune and Dijon. From there we travelled out each day. It was a few years ago, but if it is of interest to you I will dig up the information. At that time the owner was an eonophile and helped us plan our route for each day,
ita is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:31 AM
  #30  
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Thanks so much, jamikins. We actually have a total of 14 nights, the 1st (and the last too) is spent in a FRA airport hotel, catching the PRG flight (or back home at the end of our trip) the next morning,..

So the beautiful Provence area starts actually NORTH of Lyon? I thought it's South of Lyon... Either way, I agree, why spend more than 4 hours driving, if we can stay the night in a nice place on the way.

My original plan was spending 2 night in Lyon, travel around, and then drive down to the Riviera, stay at ONE local B&B and go out for day trips heading East to Nice or Monaco, or West to visit the other beauties.... BUT ISN'T 6-7 NIGHTS TOO MUCH IN THAT AREA? That's why I came up with the Barcelona trip, though I tend to agree it's gonna be a stretch...

ita, YES, PLEASE, I'd be happy to get that B&B between Beaune and Dijon...

...And any recommendation for a B&B in the Riviera -- outside of the main cities would be an advantage -- would be appreciated.

Thanks!
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:43 AM
  #31  
 
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Provence is south of Lyon, Burgundy is above - Beaune being a lovely wine town that we have stayed in twice and really enjoyed.

I dont think 6-7 days is alot in Provence. We spent a week there in 2006 and didnt see everything we wanted to see. You could spend 4 nights in Provence, and 3 nights on the Riviera and that would be a lovely trip.

If you search Provence on this forum you should across Stu Dudley who will send you a fantastic file of drives and things to do in Provence and the Riviera if you email him. I strongly urge you to spend a week in the area - part of the joy is enjoying a glass of cold white wine in a square of a lovely town and relaxing.

Some things to see in Provence:
Sunday market of Isle sur La Sorgue
Luberon villages
St Remy and Glanum
Les Baux
Avignon - home to the pope for a period
Pont du Gard
Camargue
Aigues Morte
Nimes
Aix en Provence

just to name a few...
jamikins is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:45 AM
  #32  
 
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Here is Stu's email (hope its ok to pass it on Stu - your files are such a great help!) [email protected]

Email him and ask for his Provence and Riviera files - they are fabulous!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:49 AM
  #33  
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Thanks so much, jamikins..... Stu? Stu? You're gonna hear from !
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:50 AM
  #34  
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ME !
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
  #35  
 
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You may want to read our trip report that talks about Beaune and Provence: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
jamikins is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 12:13 PM
  #36  
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Grrrrreat... I will print out the Burgundy-Provence parts....

Thanks!
mamamia2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:27 PM
  #37  
ita
 
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This b&b is in the town of Nuit St. Georges halfway between Beaune and Dijon. We never got lost because we would just use the signs to those places as markers. www.domaine-de-loisy.com . This is the name of the beautiful house we stayed in. I see that the rates have increased, but I don't know how they compare to other places.

Another trip we stayed in a lovely cottage on the outskirts of Vence. If I can remember the name i will post it.
ita is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 05:30 PM
  #38  
ita
 
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www.maisondelaurence.com is the address of the gite in Vence.
ita is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 06:09 PM
  #39  
 
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A couple of years ago, we flew into Nice in March and drove across the south of France to Lourdes, then back to Nice through Provence. It was lovely ... but, last April, we flew into Barcelona (spent 5 days there) and drove up into the Languedoc region of France ... I'd take Barcelona over Provence in a heartbeat. (We stayed in the Bari Gotic, which is probably not where you want to be with a car. Rented the car from the airport on the way out of town.) For the short time you'll be traveling, I'd consider less distance, no matter where you decide to visit.
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