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Nantes to Toulouse by land and river

Old Mar 27th, 2019, 05:03 PM
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Nantes to Toulouse by land and river

I am thinking about taking a combo tour (land and river cruise) from Nantes to Toulouse with stops in La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bourg, Blaye, Pauillac, Libourne, Saint Emilion and Carcassonne. What weather can I expect in July/August? Any thoughts about this itinerary? Thanks. Diane
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 03:31 AM
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Well the weather will be as nice as it can be, that late in July and into August most hotels will be fully booked, so get your bookings in now. You can use this "google" thing to check on "Climate" BTW ;-) Pauillac will be very busy during the day as will St Em. as the tourist buses soon pack the places out.

If you are doing it by bicycle or walking my thoughts might be, the St Emillion part is a step backwards and a pain to get to by bike. The rest is easy as you just follow EuroVelo6 until you hit Bordeaux and then follow the Canal du Midi to Carcassone.

If on a car, then you have a choice of ferries at the Gironde which may be a long wait, alternatively if you use the big bridge just north of Bordeaux then you would do St Em. before tidying up Pauillac etc.

If on a boat then again this is high season so get bookings in early unless you own the boat.

Libourne? Why?
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 03:45 AM
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What kind of land tour? How many days total?

It's usually very, very hot here (in the Dordogne) in July and August.

I haven't been to Pauillac in late summer, but I would expect it to be jammed with tourists. Saint-Emilion is a nightmare in summer - elbow-to-elbow tourists with selfie-sticks, obscene prices for a glass of wine (as in 32 euros for 3cl in an average-looking café - this was two summers ago), impossible parking. Libourne? I agree - why? Cacassonne will also be jammed.

If it were me, and it isn't, I wouldn't choose that route and I wouldn't choose that time of year.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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We stayed in a gite just outside of Trebes (next to Carcassonne) for 2 weeks about 3 years ago. This was mid June. We passed the Canal du Midi river cruise people almost every day. Temps were in the upper 90s F. People were roasting on the boats. Carcassonne was shoulder-to-shoulder people when we finished exploring it around 11:30 am.

We were in southern Brittany (1 1/4 hrs from Nantes) for 4 weeks last year - and the temps were in the 90s most days then too (exceptionally hot weather that year).

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 11:35 AM
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This is a two-week tour so I don't have to worry about accommodations. There will be a few nights at the beginning in a hotel, then a week's river cruise, ending with a few nights in a hotel. I appreciate your feedback.
Diane
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 03:27 PM
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Yes how much on land and how much on rivers - a mainly river tour would be sweet and a fairly nice route hitting some neat places - Toulouse is exceptional IMO leave a few days there at the end if possible. The fabled Canal du Midi the boat plies to get to Carcassonne, presumably, is really neat.

Taking trains to Nantes from Paris and then from Toulouse back to Paris or other places booking tickets weeks/months early can yield deep discounts over normal fares - book your own at www.oui.sncf or www.thetrainline.eu - later has same fares and is said to be easier to use. www.seat61.com has great tips on actually booking your own discount tickets - general info trains - BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

Last edited by PalenQ; Mar 28th, 2019 at 03:31 PM.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 03:36 PM
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<<a mainly river tour would be sweet>>

No it wouldn't, not in a typical July or August in these parts. Those boats are broiling.

Pal, when, if ever, were you on a river here in July or August?
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 04:08 PM
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River boats can be stifling in the heat of summer.

>>presumably, is really neat<<. Operative word 'presumably' . . . meaning 'just guessing'.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 04:37 PM
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The hotel boats for tour groups could have AC.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
The hotel boats for tour groups could have AC.

Yes -- they do -- but that would require one to stay INSIDE. That would be a drag . . .
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 08:41 PM
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Like I started previously, the people we saw on the boats (daily) were grasping for coolness and shade. It was in the upper 90s F. There is no way I would have wanted to be on one of those boats. People were all outside standing on the decks. If the inside was air conditioned - why were they outside (perhaps no AC?)?. We were in our pool at the gite during mid-day. Or in our "old" building - which had 1 meter thick walls & was quite cool.

During our trips to France in the last 4 years in June & Sept, we have encountered "record" high temps on at least 1 of our trips each year. In the Dordogne & Correze in ( I think) 2016, corn crops were not picked because the corn was dried & roasted when it was time to pick. Lots of brown trees.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 01:42 AM
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There are one or two larger barges that do the Canal du Midi and the other canals that make up your journey, they tend to have large steel which stay the same temp as the water (it soon warms up) in which they are dipped though the tops of the boats will heat up hence air-con. The Canals are generally (at least 30% of the time) very well shaded (however the rest is open to the sky so you will want the awnings up) the very air is hot. I would not mind sitting on the deck of such a boat as it motors along but take sunscreen and make sure you can borrow the bikes from the boat to get off because, frankly sitting on your [email protected]@@ for a week will bore you silly.

Eating supper on the boat or in someone's garden at 9 at night can be a grand experience. If the canal begins to run out of water (see global warming) it should be interesting. I was at the head of the canal last June and it was chucking it down.

The rules on the canals for many years (300+) is the loos flush out into the canal, do not dive into the inviting water, anyone who does fall in is advised to pop down to the local hospital for a full clean and rinse.

How are you getting about on the rest of the tour, bus, taxi, shank's pony? It will be very hot.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 03:53 PM
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I think some barges have bicycles too so you can pedal from dock to dock or use when barge is docked.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 03:56 PM
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Wonderful, so you get off the barge and pedal through insufferable heat to the next spot. Sounds like a great vacation.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 04:19 PM
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I enjoyed reading all your posts. We have decided this is NOT the tour for us, at least during the summer. Thank you all.
Diane
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 11:04 AM
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Lots of barge tours in northern France that do not have that hot of weather. Seine-Burgundy is a nice one.
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