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Loire valley

My teenage son and I are traveling to Barcelona in early June. My son really wants to see castles and countryside sights. Any advice on travel to/from Loire Valley would be appreciated. We'll only have 3 days. Thank you.

Posted by
4132 posts

Any advice on travel to/from Loire Valley would be appreciated. We'll
only have 3 days.

My advice, and please do not shoot the messenger, is not to travel to the Loire Valley from Barcelona if you only have 3 days.

Posted by
11503 posts

vep we need some clarification. You are travelling to Barcelona , but want to visit the Loire Valley in France for three days. Well first off you will have to fly to Paris. .Then from Paris you will have to either rent a car and drive for about 2-3 hours.. or take a train to a city like Tours .. and then you can rent a car there to tour the valley and chateaus or you can catch bus tours to the chateaus. This will likely take more then 3 days really.. since day one you will be travelling there , and day three you will be travelling back to Barcelona .. so that leaves you one day in the valley to really tour. I would not take my son to another country to only tour for one day!!

I suggest you find something to see in Spain that he will like.. or give more time to this visit.

Posted by
6915 posts

Vep, this may or may not be helpful but I'll throw it out there anyway.

First of all, I agree with Adam and Pat - it doesn't make sense to travel all the way from Barcelona to Loire Valley in only 3 days just to see castles and countryside sights. For one thing, it may make a difference what type of castles your son is interested in. The chateaux around Loire are beautiful and yes, they are castles, but they were mostly built as grand residences (and most with elaborate gardens), not as fortified castles. I don't mean to discourage you and your son if that is what you are after. But if he wants to see more medieval fortified castles that is not the place to go.

That being said, if I were in your shoes I would do some research and try to find castles (and other countryside sights) closer to Barcelona so that I didn't waste so much of my 3 days in travel.

Why don't you post a question in the Spain forum asking for suggestions/recommendations about castles to visit within a reasonable distance from Barcelona. I'm not very familiar with Spain but I know from googling "Castles in Spain" that there seem to be a lot of them out there, so I would assume there are some around the area of Spain where Barcelona is. Hopefully you'll get some good suggestions.

Good luck with your research and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
6179 posts

Carcassonne, in southwestern France, is much closer to Barcelona than the Loire Valley is. It's a medieval fortified city with walls you can walk along, turrets, all that stuff. I don't know how long it would take to get there and back, and it's very crowded in the tourists season (like June), but it might be a good alternative if he's looking for that kind of place. As previously said, the Loire chateaux are really big mansions, not "castles" as we boys understand the term!

I can't really tell from your message whether your whole trip to Barcelona is 3 days or you have 3 free days to venture out from Barcelona as part of a longer trip. If the whole trip is just 3 days, I'd look for something else in Catalonia (which I don't know) instead of heading off to France.