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Where to visit around Toulouse

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Oct 10th, 2015, 12:24 PM
  #1
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Where to visit around Toulouse

My husband has a meeting the first of December in Toulouse. I am trying to decide if I should join him and spend some extra time in the area, maybe even flying to Paris or driving to Barcelona. I have read that there are some nice villages in the area but didn't know if December would be a good time to visit. I would appreciate any thoughts!
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Oct 10th, 2015, 12:36 PM
  #2
 
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Toulouse itself is a fabulous city. And yes, there are a multitude of nice villages in the area, but they'd require a car. Personally, I wouldn't drive to Barcelona at that time of year -I'd take a train.
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Oct 10th, 2015, 02:21 PM
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I haven't visited villages, but I visited Carcassonne and Albi by train from Toulouse. Both worthwhile.

The idea of visiting villages (assuming that is what is meant, to me that is a place of less than 10K population) has never really appealed to me in and of itself, but would have little appeal in December. I'd have to have some reason to go there and most villages don't have much in them.

If a village is a suburb, usually buses go there, though.

Here are a few that might be of interest, though http://www.francethisway.com/places/...-noble-val.php

http://www.cordessurciel.fr/en/coming/

It looks like you can get the train close to Cordes sur Ciel, only 5 km away. There is a bus from Albi.
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Oct 10th, 2015, 03:16 PM
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There is a lot to do in Toulouse - museums, churches, free walking tour, gardens, markets. I would also take the train to Carcassonne and be one of the "daytrippers" to the castle. You might enjoy Bordeaux for the day, as well. You didn't mention how much time you have there but I would surely go......it's a great city.
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Oct 10th, 2015, 05:15 PM
  #5
kja
 
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I adored Toulouse, which has a wealth of delightful options -- easily worth several days IMO. I also thoroughly enjoyed Albi; depending on your interests, a day trip might be sufficient, but beware of its REALLY long mid-day break. Enjoy!
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Oct 10th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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I very much enjoyed Toulouse this July for 5 nights. Lots to see and do. Day trips can be done to Albi and Carcassonne ( I spent 2 nights in Carcassonne.)

I posted a TR in pictures. It starts in Toulouse, Albi, Lourdes, and Carcassonne. Some of the pics have captions of where they were taken. Each city/town has the name on the first pic of that area.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-pictures.cfm
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Oct 11th, 2015, 12:01 AM
  #7
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Thank you for all of your replies and information. It sounds like we will love Toulouse, and that there is plenty to do there and in the surrounding villages. We will be on a short trip, only a week. So I just need to decide if we should just stay there and do some day trips, or drive to Barcelona (where we have visited years ago but would like to go back), and spend a few days.
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Oct 11th, 2015, 04:46 AM
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it will take you 4 hours or so to drive to Barcelona [or more depending on the weather - and of course the 4 hours back] and bearing in mind this will be December I'm not sure that being in Barcelona is going to be any better than being in Toulouse.

personally I'd stick with Toulouse - with the odd day trip you should find more than enough to do and see.
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Oct 11th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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I live 50 minutes SW of Toulouse but wouldn't recommend any villages around mine in December.

If you drive to Carcassonne, the old road along the canal du midi is pretty, going through many villages. Mirepoix is a bit special and not too much of a detour. I personally don't need a lot of time in Carcassonne and Mirepoix is tiny so you could do both by car in one day.

Cahors is a town so would be more lively in winter, interesting old town, covered market and Pont Valentré on the Lot.
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Oct 11th, 2015, 10:43 AM
  #10
 
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I would go to Albi, maybe Cordes-sur-Ciel, and Cahors. As I said previously, driving to Barcelona at that time of year could be a long and arduous trip. If you want to visit your friends, fly.
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Oct 12th, 2015, 12:41 AM
  #11
 
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Hi DebbieKincan

I too was surprised by how much Toulouse had to offer on all sorts of levels, from small things like having breakfast in the main square, the interesting shops, vibrant evening scene in the bars and restaurants, visiting historic sites, to walks along the banks of the river.

I think if I was there in December I'd make sure I spent time getting to know Toulouse itself, I would check out what's on at the opera house and would probably head into the mountains if there is any snow and do some snow shoe walking.

Do have a Cassoulet whilst your there..

I went a couple of times recently in the summer and the warm sunshine obviously helps, what it will be like there in winter...

Best

Peter
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Oct 12th, 2015, 05:10 AM
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Good point, Peter, there's much to see in the "rose city." In December there will be a big Christmas market in the Place Capitole. Merchandise will be for the most part the usual ---- but the atmosphere is great.
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Oct 13th, 2015, 12:35 AM
  #13
 
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That's good to know about the Christmas market, thanks

Cathinjoetown

My French wife loves a good Christmas market, we have a very good one over our way in Nice by the way. You've tempted me to head over to Toulouse around Christmas some time. You've hit the nail on the head, its the atmosphere which matters.

We are big fans of Nice but found Toulouse to be every bit as good, better in some ways.

Best

Peter
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Oct 13th, 2015, 08:51 AM
  #14
 
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Besides Carcassonne and Albi, train day trips could include Montauban which has a nice Place Nationale and an Ingres (a native son) Museum in the bishop's former palace, and Moissac which has a church and cloister of international renown.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623877915948/ and the next pictures.
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