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3 nights in Pyrenees need help!

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Georgia
posts: 8
reviews: 8
3 nights in Pyrenees need help!

My family is planning to be in Spain in early April and will be travelling from Zaragoza to Barcelona by car for three night. We need help with an itinerary that will be enjoyable and not too stressfull.

We have a 15 year old daughter and 9 year old son.

Our priorities are:

Go into another country (France & Andorra)

Stay in a castle

Visit a parador

Our thought had been to drive North from Zaragoza through Huesca to Lourdes for the first night to take in the procession to the Grotto (we are Catholic). Next we would drive east to go through Andorra and into Seu d'urgell for the night. Next we would drive down to Cordona to stay in the hiltop Parador. Then into Barcelona.

I have many questions. I don't know if this is trying to do too much. I don't know if there is anything along the way in these areas to see. I also don't know if there are suggestions of an itinerary with less driving that will get us into the mountains and have more time to walk streets and relax.

I also am not sure where to stay along the way. Are there other paradors that are in castles that would be better? Where should we stay in Seu d'urgell? Is there a better town to stay in? Should we forget Lourdes and focus more on Costa Brava and that part of France?

The kids like the idea of going to Andorra, but realize that there is not much to do there is we are not staying to ski.

Lastly is this time of year (holy week) in that part of Spain and France overly crowded or are there special things we should do? Is this mud season for the mountains or will the ski season still be going? Will we have trouble driving.

So many questions...

Any help would be appreciated.

Rambler

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 1,566
reviews: 65
1. Re: 3 nights in Pyrenees need help!

I'll try to share with you some "ideas" more than a route:

-Staying in "La Seu d'Urgell" is a very good idea as "La Seu" is a nice village to visit. There is also a nice hotel: "Castell de Ciutat" http://www.hotelelcastell.com/

-Small villages along the road towards "Puigcerda" are also interesting.

-Andorra: If you aren't interested in skying os buying tobacco/suggar/butter, Andorra has few interest. But if you like going there, is just few minutes from "La Seu".

-The Parador of "Cardona" is the only Parador in a Castle in Catalonia, so there are no more options. "Cardona" isn't very interesting, but "Solsona" placed few kilometers ahead is.

Sky season usually ends at april, but don't worry about driving, roads will be clean.

If staying in a Parador or in a castle isn't really so important and prefer relaxin, I suggest you going towards Sort and Llavorsi. From "La Seu d''Urgell" to Sort there are one hour and from Sort to Llavorsí 30' more. There there is the "Hotel Riberies" a real jewel to relax and enjoy the area.

Another idea could be entering to Catalonia thru "Vall d'Aran" and going to Vielha or Arties (there is a Parador in each one) and from there to Llavorsi for another night or to the Parador of "Cardona".

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
posts: 14,271
reviews: 8
2. Re: 3 nights in Pyrenees need help!

Cardona castle is very spectacularly positioned and I think would be a good place to stay (we've not yet managed it!) Plua, in Cardona you can visit the salt mine (muntanya de sal) which I think wd appeal to a 9-year-old boy if he's anything like my son. Check out www.salcardona.com

Another different option for France but easy driving wd be to go from Seu d'Urgell via bellver to Puigcerda. Then cross into France and go down the valley of the Tet where you can visit the fortified towns of Montlouis and Villefranche.

Once you get to Perpignan you could head down to the coast via Elne. In Collioure you have a castle by the harbour to visit and the town itself is very pretty . If you look at fauve paintings by Matisse and derian you'll find lots of Collioure as that's where fauvism started.

Next towns, Port Vendres (a working port )and Banyuls (vineyards, promenade and small research aquarium) are also attractive . This is where the Pyrenees come down to the sea and is the start of the wild coast with cliffs which continues in Spain as the Costa Brava.

The quickest way to Spain is actually back to motorway at Le Boulou . Figureres with Dali museum is about half an hour from Le Boulou. Depends if Dali appeals.....

Of course that route takes you away from cardona completely though.

3. Re: 3 nights in Pyrenees need help!

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