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Carcassonne, Tour de France and Bastille Day

Carcassonne, Tour de France and Bastille Day

May 9th, 2016, 03:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 55
Carcassonne, Tour de France and Bastille Day

We're staying in Le Plan de la Tour for 14 days, arriving on July 2, 2016. We want to work in a trip to visit Carcassonne during our stay and I just discovered that Stage 11 of this year's Tour de France will be Carcassonne to Montpelier on July 13th. My husband is an avid cyclist and follows this race (we have been at the finish in Paris before) and he would LOVE to see some of the cyclists race through this stage. I could use help pulling together an itinerary that would involve one or two over-night stays somewhere between our place in the Riviera (near St. Maxime) and Carcassonne and some interesting sights in between. We have a rental car and ideally, I'd also like to figure out where we might enjoy some Bastille Day activities (i.e., Fireworks) on 7/14. So it sounds like we may have to figure out 2 overnight stops to work in being in Carcassonne for the Tour de France and Bastille Day. What are your suggestions? We also have on our list for this year's trip other areas in Provence such as Avignon, Arles if this helps. We love touring small villages, love architecture, art, food, markets and history. I appreciate your help!
sherry_toly is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,064
Why wouldn't you see the TdF closer to Montpellier???? It is a 4 1/2 hr drive to Carcassonne, and a 3 hr drive to Montpellier. Personally, I would rather be near the finish of a stage, than be there at the start. We stayed near the finish of the tour in a gite near Foix - and it was virtually impossible to drive to the route from about 3-4 hrs before the pelaton passed, to a couple of hours after. Some routes were blocked the night before.

IMO, 9 hrs in the car is a long way to drive just to visit Carcassonne. It is a zoo mid day - and probably horrible in & around the TdF days. We were in a gite near Carcassonne for 2 weeks last June. It will likely be quite hot also. It was in the high 90sF when we were there last year.

It is a 2 1/2 hr drive to Avignon. That's beyond my limit for a day trip. Five hrs in the car in July is not how I would want to spend my vacation. There is plenty of stuff to see & do around your Gite. We've stayed in St Tropez for 6 weeks and inland near Cotignac for 4 weeks - and kept "active" all the time.

If you would like my 32 page itinerary for things to "see & do" - e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach it to the reply e-mail. I've sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 06:22 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,003
Hi Sherry, we will be in Provence at the same time and are hoping to catch some of the tour when they climb Mont Ventoux which is actually on the 14th... it would be much closer for you than Montpellier?
The only time I visited Carcassone it was in July - only because we were in France to see Le Tour - and it WAS hot and very busy.
Obviously this might not be as much of an issue for you as it for Stu but just thought I would share my experience.
We are also trying to find the best place to be to experience Bastille Day celebrations
ozgirl is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Carcassonne will be extremely crowded on July 13 and 14. First the TdF, then the fireworks which attract enormous crowds, something like 700,000 people. Traffic in an out of the town will be very difficult. I would avoid being there on those 2 days.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,064
And Pvoyageuse lives about 1 hr from Carcassonne - so she should know.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
May 10th, 2016, 09:33 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 55
Thank you for your responses. I will have to ponder my options further. Stu, I already have your doc (you sent to me last week). We have spent several weeks in the Riviera over the past few years, so I was trying to "branch out" and see some new areas, one of which was Carcassonne. Perhaps separating that trip out from anything to do with the Tour de France or Bastille Day might be best.
sherry_toly is offline  
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