Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Good base to explore Arles to Carcassone?

Good base to explore Arles to Carcassone?

Old Jan 13th, 2003, 08:56 AM
  #1  
Johanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Good base to explore Arles to Carcassone?

My husband and I are planning a trip for April, starting in Lyon and driving south. We want to visit Avignon, Arles and that area and head west (and southwest) to Carcassone and the Cartha castles. Is there one place we could use as a base and take day trips or should we spend a couple of nights in Arles or Avignon and then a couple of nights in someplace like Montpellier?
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #2  
ttt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ttt
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 11:02 AM
  #3  
elle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hmm, we're planning a similar trip. While I prefer your approach--staying in one place and branching out--my husband is leaning toward a different place each night (yikes!).

I think Montpellier would be fine for Arles, Nimes, and Avignon (that's what we're doing, except we're not really doing Avignon; have already been there). Then we're staying somewhere between Montpelier and Carcassone for one night, probably in the Minervois. Then we'll leave for the Corbieres and use that base for the Cathar castles before heading to either Colliure or Perpignan and back to Montpellier (phew!)

I'm trying to convince him that we don't need to stay mid-way between Montpellier and Carcassone and that instead we can just use Montpellier and Carcassone as two bases for two-three days each before heading to Colliure/Perp area. But I doubt I'll succeed. . .

 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #4  
jj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I did a similar trip last year only I started in Nice and went to Carcassonne and back. My trip included Arles, Sete (consider Auques Mortes(sp)too), Carcasonne, Avignon and Nice. If you stay in Sete (recommended large fishing town) there is little english spoken- but I made it okay as a non-french speaking person. I had a great time but I don't mind moving around to new places. I would guess in april you should have little problem finding a place to stay.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 11:47 AM
  #5  
Johanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the comments. How about Sete as a base for the Cathar castles? Is it doable in a day?
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 12:44 PM
  #6  
kam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We used Toulouse for a base because friends lived there, but if I ever could go back, I wouldn't miss staying at least one night in Carcassonne at the Hotel de la Cite. What a marvelous place. From there you can easily visit Albi.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 01:14 PM
  #7  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Johanna, it took us about 3 hours (plus lunch) to drive from the Arles area to the Chateau de Peyrepertuse, one of the Cathars castles. Please don't plan on doing both this castle and Carcassonne in the same day. The drive from the Cathar castle area to Carcassonne gives you the chance to see the Galamus gorges, which are breathtaking. However, the road is narrow and winding and can't be rushed.

If you're interested you can pull up my trip report Southern France to Paris, London; it will give you an idea of timing. Good luck.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 01:20 PM
  #8  
elle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue, I'd love to see it if that's possible. Thanks!
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 01:21 PM
  #9  
mpprh
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi

General info on this area is on my home page at : http://tlp.netfirms.com

Peter
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 03:44 PM
  #10  
jj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Johanna

Sete is a fishing port and has all that goes along with it, from seedy bars to interesting local color. We went there because it was off the beaten path, had few english speaking tourist and offered a different take on France. It is the anti-Disney of the South of France, just what we wanted. I could only recommend Sete for those who like to have a few beers or wine along the canals with local fishermen and eat at very good, but not fancy, restaurants.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 06:25 PM
  #11  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
elle, since I don't know when you'll next be on the board, type in 'trip report southern' (only don't put in the quote marks) in the text search box and specify 'france' as the region of interest. There should be only one thread come up when you specify these search terms. I should warn you it's a bit long, but if you scroll down, you'll find the info you want around day 3 to day 7, I think...hope it is of some help. Enjoy France.
 
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 07:13 AM
  #12  
Johanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue, Thanks for pointing me to your trip report. I've just had a chance to glance through it and it looks very helpful.

Did you reserve the hotels in advance or just play it by ear? We're very much the reserve in advance people, but just winging it certainly gives you more flexibility. Of course, you have to balance that with hunting for a hotel late in the day when you are tired and cranky!
 
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 07:34 AM
  #13  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Johanna

If you scan down the trip report to the near end, you will find someone asked me that very question. Vacancy rates in a given region can vary quite a bit, even from one week to the next. So given that it's often difficult to know what's going to happen in a given town, you have to go with what you know about yourself, your 'worry profile.' Will you feel more constrained by knowing where you have to be on night x, or will you feel more constrained by, well, not knowing where you'll sleep on night x?

Glad you found the report helpful. But truly, I'm open to any pointers for improvement. Such as what things could have been cut, for example.
 
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 11:19 AM
  #14  
Joe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Johanna: We stayed at Avignon and within the castle walls at Carcassone. Wouldn't have missed either experience. Arles was an easy trip from Avignon as was Nime. Avignon at night was magical.
Carcassone in the early morning and again at night was enchanting; no crowds, the place to yourself. Great fun. There are some excellent restaurants within the castle walls. I remember a great cassoulet.
Our rule of thumb, if the road trip in a given day is going to be more than an hour and a half each way, we move our lodgings to the area in question. Otherwise, in our humble opinion, you just lose too much touring time. Travelling in July/August, we did have advance reservations at both places. Have a great trip.
 
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 01:26 PM
  #15  
cathy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
we spent two nights in carcassone, at la dite- it was the highlight of our 3 week trip to france in august of 2001. by nighttime, the crowds are gone, and the city is magical. my two teenage daughters still talk about it. We also stayed in the camargue, but i wouldnt do that again- it just was not as extraordinary as carcassone/ rest of provence.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
swagman
Europe
7
Jul 10th, 2006 08:18 AM
TheGastons
Europe
9
Feb 14th, 2005 12:06 PM
preeya
Europe
7
May 27th, 2004 01:08 PM
kanoneli
Europe
4
Feb 21st, 2003 09:07 PM
Mariarosa
Europe
16
Jan 29th, 2003 10:35 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:14 AM.