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Paris to Barcelona - First Time - Help...

This is my very first trip to Europe. I will be traveling with my wife and two very active boys (11 & 8). We will be arriving in PARIS at the end of May 2014 and leaving from BARCELONA (back to our home in Florida). We have a total of 15 days. 
I am looking for any suggestions on an itinerary for these 15 days. We plan to spend 4 days in Paris and start traveling south to Barcelona (car or train?). We really would like to see the rural areas, hike the Pyrenees, I heard of interesting cave (Grotte du Peche Merle ? ), and medieval cities. The truth is ..... we have no clue on where and what to do and time is ticking as this was a last minute decision..... Thank you.

Posted by
1390 posts

First time, keep it simple.
Take the high speed train from paris to barc. Kids, and you, will love it.
Check out Airbnb to learn about renting apts in paris and barc. Our first choice is always apts. more space to spread out, separate bedrooms, kitchen, better economics and a landlord typically interested in helping you enjoy your time in their apt (positive referrals are important to their success) and the area.
Barc - subway and trains are excellent, use them for day trips (Montserrat and plenty of other choices), spend a half day at the beach and swim in the Med, go to the chocolate museum, there is an excellent amusement park and a ton of other experiences to enjoy. Stay hydrated. Overall i think you could spend five days in barc.
With your four days in paris and five in barc there is room for another destination and i am confudent other posters will help identify great choices.
Finally, be bold in experimenting w food choices!

Posted by
1178 posts

Marbleskies gives a great route. The AVE train (name in Spain, not sure what it is called in France), at any rate the high speed train from Paris to Barcelona...about 6_ hours I think. Check out the site the man in seat 61 for specifics on the train, routes, prices, schedule, etc. There is plenty to do and see in Barcelona that will excite the two boys and be entertaining to you as well. You will see great landscape from the train route. Or, you can drive, but will face extra expense renting the car in France and leaving it in Spain. I would take the train, and do a day trip from Barcelona to some surrounding area via Auto. The home of Dali is on the coast, a few hours away, as well as Girona, both interesting places. You must get tickets for admission to the Dali house in advance and they have specific admission times. The drive along the coast is amazing!!!