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Driving from Amsterdam to Barcelona. Any recommended stop offs? Avoiding Paris

Driving from Amsterdam to Barcelona. Any recommended stop offs? Avoiding Paris

Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:04 AM
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Driving from Amsterdam to Barcelona. Any recommended stop offs? Avoiding Paris

We have 7 days for a round trip road trip. One of us is an experienced European driver.
We are avoiding Paris this trip however would love to see different parts of France
We love all so really anything goes.
Leaving Friday or Saturday March 30-31
Thank You
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:19 AM
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That's 31+ hours of driving, just back and forth, on un-scenic motorways all the way, never mind any stops in between, so there goes at least 2 of your 7 days. Sounds horrible to me, but maybe you love macadum.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:22 AM
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Nothing along the way?
I don't mind the drive however if nothing scenic then sounds horrible I agree
Perhaps Thalys to somewhere in France and then fly to Barcelona?
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:34 AM
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If both Amsterdam and Barcelona are set in stone, why not just fly to Barcelona and do a day trip or 2 from there, using a day each, going & return, rather than 3 or more of the little time you have?
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:37 AM
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You can't fly from A'dam to Barcelona?

If not, then yes, I'd take Thalys to Paris and fly from there. I'd normally suggest a leisurely train trip through France stopping at lots of lovely places along the way like Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne, then down the coast to Barcelona, but the proposed SNCF strikes make that an iffy proposition right now.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 09:45 AM
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That is Easter weekend, so you can expect more traffic than normal. Your plane allows for no time in Barcelona, where you really do not want or need a car.
If it were me I would either spend the time in the Netherlands and maybe northern France if you really want to see some of France, or fly between Amsterdam and Barcelona if Barcelona is a must. Little chance of cheap tickets now, only a week away, and as I said Easter weekend.
There are some drivers who drive non stop from the Netherlands to Spain, but they are stupid and dangerous imho, even with two or three driver sharing the drive.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 02:01 PM
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If you decide to train part way, you may as well finish the journey by train, as it will likely take about the same amount of time as flying, city center to city center, rather than city to airport to airport to city center, and save yourself the whole airport folderol. Looking at rome2rio, Lyon (for instance) to Barcelona is 5 hours by train, extrapolate from there for other cities in France on the main N/S route. Then fly back to Amsterdam if you must return to Amsterdam.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 02:19 PM
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Yes really don't have much time to drive and stop off and also see Barcelona - but if you do there are literally so so many neat places you could stop by for a half day or so it would be hard to know what to begin with - what are your interests? Just look at the main recommended autoroute route and see what is along it and research various places. You do not have time to venture very far from autoroutes.

Yes as others have said that quick sounds like a boring autoroute marathon - you may find that yes taking high-speed trains that go up to nearly 200 mph is a better way to go and stop off at say Avignon area and rent a car there for a few days and see so many famous neat sights in a compact area (Avignon and Arles- two neat cities - Pont du Gard - awesome Roman aqueduct - Chateauneuf-d-Papes wineries - Les Baux de Provence, etc - research that area or others TGV trains stop at. Then spend more time in Barcelona than would be possible and fly back to Amsterdam.

For lots on trains check: www.thalys.com (Amsterdam to Brussels) - www.oui.sncf - TGVs Brussels to Avignon via Lyon but not via Paris (negating the hassle of changing stations in Paris) and www.oui.sncf also for Avignon-TGV station to Barcelona direct. www.seat61.com has oodles of great info on booking your own train tickets - a a discount if early enough - for general info trains and where to go: www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.

I think by train or car the Avignon area-the height of Provence for tourists- is perhaps the best most convenient stopping point if training or driving.
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