French/Spanish Border

Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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French/Spanish Border

Hi,
Looking to do a 2 week trip along the French/Spanish border. We have been to Europe many times but not to this region.
We are thinking of flying into Barcelona for 2 or 3 nights and then pick up a car and head towards France (Perhaps via Andorra?)----maybe as far inland as Toulouse. We've heard that Toulouse is a fun town with good bike riding along the river. What would be a reasonable circular route for 10-12 days as we meander thru some quaint and charming villages & towns? We like to hike, bike, and sip coffee early in the morning. We can go for 2 weeks in the middle of April or May. Any thoughts on which month is perferable?
Thanks,
Pete
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Hi Pete,

I'd say you might encounter some snow in the higher reaches of the Pyrennes during April. May should be fine. Perhaps look into cycling along the Canal du Midi from Toulouse, although this would not offer you a circular route.

Also, again non-circular, you could consider doing some of the Camino de Santiago which passes from France into Spain through the western Pyrenees via St Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles.

This is a beautiful area and a fantastic historical route which could lead you down to Pamplona and beyond into northern Spain.

Muz
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Riding along the Canal du Midi will give you about five days of travelling. This is best heading towards the Med from Toulouse, since the path is going down. There are great places to stop and spend the evening. You can find Chateaux with rooms for the weary riders.

I used to have a friend which run a bike ride along this path. You're going to need a mountain bike or at least a hybrid version. The path has roots across the path sometimes and using a road bike isn't proper. There might be still have some bike routes along this area, so check with the bike magazines.

Heading towards Barcelona, you can find great bike riding in that area. I ride bike and this is my area. April to May is great. In fact today is 15 degrees C. at lunch time. I'll plan on riding on the weekend.

If you can, visit too Collioure on your way back. It's beautiful and it's close to the border. In fact, if you're driving, keep along the coastal roads into Spain. It's spectacular.

Enjoy

Blackduff
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:00 AM
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While in Andorra with a car, go for a drive through the mountains. The villages there are gorgeous in a very decadent way.

Also, do an internet search for biking in the Girona region. It is very popular and I am sure they have route maps that could interest you.

Don't forget the tax-free shopping in Andorra!

E-mail me and remind me to give you a bike route through Barcelona. It takes about 2 hours and gets you through a lot of the most beautiful areas.

Claire
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 08:34 AM
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Thank you all for responding.
When we bike ride we will simply rent the bikes in each town and go out for a day trip. Then come back to the town for dinner & hotel. We bike ride for 2 hours and then stop for a snack and to read a book. We do this all day long.
Yes, the Canal du Midi sounds nice also for a day or two.

O.K.; we will go in May, because there is less snow in the mountains; and better hiking/biking.
We could also fly into Barcelona and out of Toulouse. But I think there is much to see if we do a circle---with our rental car. There should be no problem with a rental car going between France & Spain. (Our last trip was between Portugal & Andalucia----which we loved!)
Thanks Claire---I'll e-mail you!
Pete

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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Pete...please try to inlcude Cadaques on your itinerary...NE of Barcelona, great riding along the bay...see the Dali home and museum..eye-popping.
Drive to France over the Pyrenee passes via the Tour de France routes ......may run into snow in April..be aware. Driving south from Toulouse area, stop in Pau, a lovely old city with great views of the Pyrenees. If you decide on Andorra, be prepared for the horrendous traffic jams, crawling up from Spain, or down from France...making the circular trip be sure to visit Coillure. Enjoy your trip.
Stu T.
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