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Plans, Trains, and Automobiles Spain/France

Plans, Trains, and Automobiles Spain/France

Old Jun 29th, 2002, 08:44 PM
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Plans, Trains, and Automobiles Spain/France

My wife and I are going to Spain/France in September (1st to the 15th). We will stop in Santander for a wedding, so this complicates the itenerary a bit. Here's what I'm thinking - please tell me if this makes sense to those of you you've been to Spain and France:

-Fly from US into Barcelona
-Stay in Barcelona through Sep 5
-Fly from Barcelona to Bilbao (take a bus to Santander)
-Fly back from Bilbao to Barcelona (Sep 8)
-Take a train from Barcelona to Pernignan (France) in order to rent a car WITHIN France
-Drive from Pernignan to Avignon and see the south of France
-Take the TGV from Avignon to Paris
-Stay in Paris and then fly back home.

Sounds like too many ons and offs from cars, planes, and trains?

Thanks for any advice
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 02:04 AM
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I think you did a good job of planning your itinerary - if you really want to see the S. of France on this trip.

There are flights from Barcelona to Santander (on Iberia), but I assume the Bilbao route is cheaper. Bear in mind that you will need to take a taxi to the bus station in Bilbao however. It's a relatively painless trip - did it a few years ago, but definitely less convenient than flying right into Santander.

Personally, I would spend my entire trip in Spain though. For example, I would rent a car in Bilbao/Santander and drive towards Madrid through Burgos, Segovia, Salamanca and spend a few days in Madrid & surroundings. So many great places to visit! Another option would be to continue down the coast to Santiago de Compostella, then fly to Madrid.

If you fly Iberia transatlantic, they will probably allow a stopover in Barcelona at no extra charge on an open jaw ticket US-Santander and Madrid (or Santigo de Compostella)-US.

Hope this helps,
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 09:12 AM
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Old Jun 30th, 2002, 10:05 AM
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It does sound like too much transferring here and there with multiple modes of transportation, to excess.

A lot depends on whether you have already locked yourself into the air travel as outlined. Have you?

If not there are some other ways to structure this, and as a corollary question - - do you have to go to Barcelona both before and after the wedding?

I'll look forward to thinking through the options with you, if you choose to respond with some more info clarifying these items.

Best wishes,

Old Jun 30th, 2002, 02:09 PM
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Rex - thanks for helping us through this. Here is some more information:

-Air travel: not fully locked in yet. We are using miles so there is *some* flexibility. What we have so far is this: Fly into Barcelona Sep 1, out of Paris Sep 16, with an option to fly Barcelona/Paris in between at no extra charge.
-No need to go back to Barcelona after the wedding, I was just thinking along the lines of one of your postings about taking the train from there to France to rent a car there.
-You're right about too many forms of transportation.
Any ideas? Maybe Barcelona-Santander-Madrid-Barcelona/Paris? All by plane?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide,
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 02:46 PM
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Still rather confused here. Your newest idea omits seeing any of the south of France. Is it dispensable in your mind? Is France important to you at all? I'm guessing that it is, with your keeping the end-up-in-Paris in both the original and revised plans.

Since you have a freebie BCN-PAR flight option, then why not just rent the car in Spain and end up back in Spain after seeing some of the south (west, Atlantic region) of France (or the Mediterranean coast, north of Barcelona).

What airline are you using?
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 03:02 PM
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Rex - sorry for the omission. Yes, the south is dispensable. But that's a good point you mention; let me see if I understand it: Do the Barcelona/Santander/Barcelona leg, rent a car in Barcelona to drive around the south of France, then FLY from Barcelona to Paris.
I have never been to Paris but my wife has, she's been nice enough to 'do it again'.
Old Jun 30th, 2002, 03:10 PM
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AND...we're using Air France (through Delta)
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 08:38 AM
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Pablo - I just can't make sense of you going to Barcelona twice. Are your dates fixed? Why not fly into Madrid around Sept 5th, attend the wedding in Santander and then proceed onto Barcelona and the remainder of your trip into France.

Alternatively, you could set out from Santander into the Bordeaux and Dordogne regions of France (having already seen Barcelona prior to the wedding)and on to Paris for the end of the trip.
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 12:21 PM
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I was trying to get at the exact same question, Leslie.
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