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France in February Question

Hello! Planning a 14 night trip in February (13-27th) where we land in Barcelona (where we have never been) and depart Paris (I have been twice and husband once). We have traveled in the winter a bunch and know we like bigger cities and no coastal towns. We will take the train and generally try to keep train rides under 3 hours. Here is my itinerary:

Barcelona 4 nights
Girona Spain 2 nights
Montpelier (1 night or skip it)
Lyon 3 or 4 nights
Paris 4 nights

Would you break up the train ride between Girona and Lyon with a stop on Montpellier? I was thinking taking a day trip to Annecy from Lyon might be a nice day trip?

Right now the only hotel reservations which are “set in stone” (they’re refundable but in my mind - set in stone) are Barcelona and Paris.

For reference, we are mid 50s and like walkable cities with lots of neighborhoods to explore. We will visit a few museums and I am interested in hiring a guide in Lyon but mostly we like wandering and being in neighborhoods where we can pop in for a bite and an afternoon beer (I don’t love a town that siestas!😂).

Thanks for any advice!

Posted by
1400 posts

A native son of Barcelona returned after 5 years away. He posted on RS that he feels that it is now over touristed. That prices are higher for tapas for less value, etc. He recommended going to Valencia instead. How about Madrid and Toledo?

Posted by
9855 posts

If you stop in Montpellier, be sure you choose trains that use Gare St. Roch in the city center and not the TGV station 6 kilomètres outside. As of now both the SNCF and RENFE trains from Girone use St Roch.

Posted by
7716 posts

You need another night for Paris -- I'd do lyon 3 nights and Paris 5. Or Barcelona 3 and Paris 5. Paris just has so much more to do than any of these other spots.