We are travelling by train from Barcelona to Paris in February next year. We would like to stop off - possibly in Provence for a few days. We would like somewhere the train stops as we don't have much time for extra travel - but preferably not a large city. Any recommendations or suggestions please?
trains shedule between france and barcelona is really tricky because of the rail format
- if you manage to make it on time, you could stop in Avignon (Provence), wonderfull medium size town, north of Marseille. from Avignon, you'll have the TGV (high speed train) station, Avignon is a couple of hours from Paris
- OR : you could spend some days in Perpignan close to the FR/SP frontier (only if you rent a car to visit the coast and the countryside)
not strictly Provence, but it would be worth researching Montpellier. It has a largely pedestrianised centre with good tram and bus services. n.b. The SNCF station is very close to the centre - one tram stop from La Comedie. It is also very close to the beach by bus.
You will most likely be travelling through Languedoc, so I'd second the suggestion to stop off at Montpellier. You could then stop off at Avignon and then carry on via Lyon to Paris (Gare du Lyon surprisingly enough).
If you are travelling through this part of France I would not really reccomend visiting Perpignan, it's a slightly more industrial city, and you would need to go into some of the smaller areas to see the nice beaches (like St. Cyprien, which has a great beachside market) maybe 10-20km from Perpignan.
I would reccomend visiting Carcassone. It's a Medieval walled city and is beautiful. There are lots of places to stay around the actual site, but accomodations inside the "cité" can be quite costly.
To get back to Paris the train that runs from Toulouse to Paris is very quick.
Hope you enjoy your trip!
Thank you all for your great suggestions and advice. At this stage we are looking at taking the train from Barcelona to Montpellier and then on to Avignon and finally to Paris CDG airport, via Lyon. However when I try to check out train times, routes etc I can't seem to find direct links from Barcelona to Montpellier or Montpellier to Avignon. I have checked out several rail sites but am getting nowhere. Can anyone please point me in the right direction?