Travel to France and Spain

Mar 4th, 2001, 02:57 PM
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Travel to France and Spain


My husband and I are thinking of combining a trip to France and Northern/Central Spain late this Spring or early Fall.

We have already spent a good deal of time in Ile de Paris, Normandy and Burgundy, and would appreciate any suggestions for an itinerary where we drive from Paris and fly back to Paris from a convenient city in Spain. We're planning on spending approximately two weeks. Thanks!
Mar 4th, 2001, 05:11 PM
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One suggestion is drive down to the Loire Valley, then Bordeaux, Biarritz and then to San Sebastian in Spain. From there maybe west to Bilbao, Santander or to Pamplona, Zaragoza and Madrid.
Another suggestion: maybe drive to Carcassonne and from there go east and south to Barcelona, and then either Zaragoza and Madrid or south by the coast to Valencia and then Madrid.
Mar 7th, 2001, 09:22 AM
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Just did this trip last summer. Drove from Barcelona to Paris. Very cool, indeed. In your case, drive thru the Loire and see your favorite chateaux - we stayed in Amboise at the Hotel Blason. Then go south thru the Dordogne. It's slam-dunk gorgeous and the cliffside towns are a treat - as are the cave paintings and a canoe trip on the river with everyone else. We stayed in Beynac, but it could've been a half-dozen look alike towns. Of these along the way, Sarlat (Hotel de la Coulevuvrine) was by far the best of all. Then, go to the walled (old) city of Carcasonne and stay inside the walls, in the Hotel DonJon (ph:33-4-68-11-23-00),

Drive to the coast toward Perpignan, then south. Stay at least one night in the coastal town of Tossa de Mar. It's so gorgeous, you won't flippin' believe it. And the Hotel Diana (ph:34-972-1886 - designed by a student of Gaudi) is a sight to behold - and it's actually on the Mediterranean, too. Zowie. Then continue south into Barcelona. For convenience (not luxury), we stayed in the Hotel Jardi that's a block from the Ramblas. You can walk most places, or take the train to Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, etc. A side trip to Cardona to stay overnight in the Parador there is worth a an hour out and back. Or, just south to Sitges (beautiful beach/resort town - gay heaven). And with that, you should be pretty cool. Drop off the car, take the train to the airport, and fly out of Barcelona.

If you actually drive to Madrid, you'll feel like a dog by the time the trip is over. South-central Spain is whole 'nother trip.

Note: renting a car in France, leaving it in Spain is muy expensive-o. Better to leave it in Perpignan, take the train in the rain into Spain and get another one on the plain - in Gerona. (It's not really on the plain, but it's irresistable, no?).

c'est fantastique!
Mar 7th, 2001, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the great information. We will probably skip Madrid on this trip, but would like to head over to Bilbao to see the museum if we have time.

We've picked up cars in France and dropped them off in other countries before with a dropoff fee. Wonder if it's quite a bit more to drop off in Spain. I think Italy is the worst, since so many cars are stolen there.
Mar 7th, 2001, 10:26 AM
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Fran, Dan's itinerary is great. Regarding car rental, if you'll be more than a couple of weeks the Renault Eurodrive lease program ( has good rates; the dropoff fee at Barcelona airport is only US$50. We stayed in Sitges at a nice family hotel with a parking lot - made for easy touring of the area.
The weather in Languedoc and Catalonia in early autumn is likely to be pretty warm, so plan accordingly.
Mar 9th, 2001, 10:29 PM
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If you haven't already taken care of the airfare part of it, try to Spain.

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