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-   -   Driving from Paris to Madrid - any senic suggestions? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/driving-from-paris-to-madrid-any-senic-suggestions-38822/)

Erika Feb 22nd, 1999 03:51 PM

Driving from Paris to Madrid - any senic suggestions?
 
Greetings! <BR> <BR>I'm planning a trip through France (beginning in Paris) and Spain (ending in Madrid) at the end of March and am looking for recommendations on things to see, places to stay, etc. We'll be driving and are hoping to break the trip up with frequent stops lasting a day to two days. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have, the more eccentric the better! Any suggestions as to route would be appreciated as well. We've both spent time in Paris and Madrid but little time in between. <BR> <BR>Cheers!

Erika Feb 22nd, 1999 03:54 PM

Apologies to all about the glaring misspelling of scenic..

Vincent Feb 23rd, 1999 12:48 AM

Actually, you have the choice between two routes : the shorter one through Tours, Poitiers, Bordeaux and Biarritz, and the longer one through Beaune, Lyon, Avignon, Montpellier and Barcelona. The most direct route is inbetween, through the Massif Central, but it is kind of dull (in my opinion, I am ready for a big shooting from all massif central fans ! ). With the first route, you can stop in the Loire Valley for the castles and the wine country, then further south in the nice towns of La Rochelle or Rochefort by the sea, then Bordeaux, Biarritz. The East route, although a bit longer, is much richer : Dijon and its surroundings, Lyon, our 2nd city (see some postings on it), then Provence and Lubéron around Avignon, then Languedoc around Montpellier, and Roussillon, with Narbonne and Perpignan. It's up to you !

lawrence.downs Mar 9th, 1999 10:25 PM

There is a lot of scenery. I agree, if you haven't seen the Loire Chateau that is a must. If you are interested in pre-history the cave-painting center of France is between Perigeuax and Cahors. The former city has a nice unusual domed Gothic Cathedral. Rocamadour is interesting, especially if you know of the musician Poulenc, there is a museum for him there. Then a little further south, there is another unusual and beautiful cathedral and almost next door is the Lautrec museum at Albi. To the west the Rolling Gascon contryside is very attractive. Stop in Condom and send your special friends a postcard.

lawrence.downs Mar 13th, 1999 11:32 PM

continued...The French Basque countryside is still better.bright green fields, white houses and tan sheep.The main road from the border to Madrid is not real special. Go over the historic pass at St Jean Pied Port. you can bypass Pamploma to the east,the castle/Parador at Olite is worth a short stop.Be sure to eat some Asparagus de Tudela, it is special. The town of Tarazona is great scenery and there is another castle/parador at Siguenza. Good luck. L.D.

Angela Mar 14th, 1999 03:54 AM

You should definitely hit a bunch of chateaux in the Loire Valley. My favorites are Chambord (impressively huge), Blois (intriguing assassinations), Cheverny (homey place to live) and Usse (nicely furnished fairy tale castle). If you then go south along the coast, Bayonne has a nice art museum. BILBAO (where I'm living at present) is like a phoenix rising from the ashes: the astonishing Guggenheim museum, the performinging arts center "Euskalduna", floral Plaza Moyua, small old quarter. You could do it in a day. Come to see the Guggenheim building inside and out. The modern art exhibits are incidental. <BR> <BR>However, if you take a southeastern route, you MUST visit Barcelona. Miro museum, early Picasso museum, lots of Gaudi architecture, neat aquarium, beach, Las Ramblas strolling street, old quarter. Very cosmopolitan, very lively. <BR> <BR>Halcon Viajes has special coupons that are worth a night in select hotels for $45. Maybe a travel agency in France has a similar program. Enjoy!


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