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1st time going to Southern France

Boston
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1st time going to Southern France

My gf and I will be traveling to Barcelona next year and we're contemplating renting a car and driving to Southern France for a side trip but we're not sure of how where to go.

Any suggestions for someone who loves good food, good drink and maybe a little entertainment? We might stay overnight so a lodging suggestion would also be appreciated.

We're on a budget as well.

Thanks!

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

Hi!!

What are your tastes, interests? Are you interested in architecture, or beaches?

How long are you planning on going for?

There are 2 areas that alot of people end up going to, Provence and the French Riviera. Are you planning on going to one or both?

Thanks!

Suzanne

Perpignan, France
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for Languedoc-Roussillon, Perpignan
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2. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

If you're based in Barcelona, the nearest place to drive to in France would be Languedoc Roussillon. Provence and Côte d'Azur are too far for a day trip or even for two days.

When are you going?

In summer, you could drive to Collioure, spend the night in Céret and drive back to Spain via Col d'Ares and Camrodon. This would give you a taste of the mountains.

Boston
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3. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

I love architecture and food and my gf loves food and wine. We both enjoy modern music and entertainment geared toward the 30+ crowd so something with a pulse of enegy would be nice. I was just speaking with her and we may decide to leave Barcelona and either train or drive our way to Southern France and onto Paris where we will spend a night or two and fly home. She mentioned Bordeaux.

Perpignan, France
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4. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

Bordeaux is quite a distance from Barcelona.

If you rent a car in Spain and return it in Bordeaux, you are going to pay a lot in drop off fees.

I would train from Barcelona to Montpellier, then take a TGV from Montpellier to Paris.

Ohio, USA
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5. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

Besides being very time-consuming, renting a car in one country and dropping it in another is really not an option as you will incur drop-off fees of several hundred €uros. Travelling by train from Barcelona to most of southern France is also a bit of an ordeal. It will take you ~10 hours to travel to Bordeaux and about the same to get to Nice, which given your interests would probably be a more interesting place for you to visit.

Your time seems to be somewhat limited. My suggestion would be that you visit Barcelona and Paris on this trip arranging your travel so that you fly into one and home from the other. You can fly inexpensively between the two cities with EasyJet if you book far enough in advance. There are limited low-cost flights between Barcelona and Marseille or Nice with Spanair, but none AFAIK between Barcelona and Bordeaux.

If you have a day or two to spare there are many worthwhile day-trips you could make from Paris, including for example to Reims and/or Épernay at the heart of champagne country.

Edited: 04 November 2010, 17:56
Liverpool
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6. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

You could get a train to Montpellier from Barcelona - a lively city, plenty of entertainment, interesting architecture - old and new - and lots to explore along the coast and countryside if you want to hire a car from there. You can also get a train from there to Paris.

Tierra Verde...
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7. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

I agree with Irish Rover. Fly open jaw into Barcelona and out of either Nice (French Riviera) or Paris...

8. Re: 1st time going to Southern France

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