Where to stop in between Paris and Barcelona?
November 24, 2012 10:16 AM   Subscribe

If you were driving from Paris to Barcelona next spring and had two nights to stay along the way, where would you stay and why? Indirect routes are ok but you also want to break up the trip so you aren't doing more than six hours of driving in one day.

Kids are involved so wine touring is out, but they like museums and climbing church towers, so pretty much everything else is in.
posted by stp123 to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
I'd make the two stops at:

1) The Loire Valley to see the Chateaus there.
Chambord is my highlight there. Beautiful place.
There's also Cheverny and its fun Tintin museum (totally for kids!)

2) The Dordogne/Lot to go see the amazing caves there.
Although Lascaux is closed you can see Lascaux II, a reproduction cave. There's beautiful villages in that area along the Dordogne and through the Lot. Just a gorgeous area. Also lots of other caves to choose from.
posted by vacapinta at 10:30 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Note I've not been but still really regret not hitting San Sebastian on the north coast of Spain when we were there, its on the coast, probably the best food in Spain, and seems like a perfect distance to stop at on your second night.
posted by bitdamaged at 1:03 PM on November 24, 2012

San Sebastian is great, especially if you like good and cheap food, but you said that you hadn't wine in mind, so I don't think you'd go out of your way to check its old borough. Pretty logical to stay in Toulouse, though.
posted by nicolin at 1:25 PM on November 24, 2012

San Sebastian is a great place to visit, but I don't think it's worth adding a few hundred extra kilometres to the trip.

The restored fortifications of Carcassonne are very impressive.
posted by Azara at 5:33 PM on November 24, 2012

I've been to San Sebastian twice and definitely would recommend it as part of a Basque country tour but I'd hesitate to recommend going out of the way for it. The center is charming but the larger city is, in my opinion, a bit overbuilt.

Toulouse is a great suggestion. It is a beautiful lively city, full of young people, that I think more people should see. Sunset is a magical time there as the rose-colored city lives up to its nickname. The Musee Saint Raymond is a great small museum just packed with Roman busts.

You might want to consider approaching Barcelona via Toulouse, Carcassone and then Figueres. The latter for the Dali museum.
posted by vacapinta at 7:42 PM on November 24, 2012

Collioure, France is wonderful.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:13 AM on November 25, 2012

I'd do roughly this route, (roughly the A6 and the A9) and stop in Dijon for a nice mid-sized French city, and Nîmes or Arles for the awesome Roman ruins. There's also an awesome open-air Roman ruins museum in Vienne.
posted by Liesl at 7:51 AM on November 25, 2012

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