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Tarn Gorge And French Pyrenees


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I don't normally start thinking about next year's abroad holiday until I have finished the season in this country but I am home and bored at the moment so starting playing about looking.

 

I often see Valda recommending the Tarn Gorge and I know Glen and Les have enjoyed the Pyrenees so I am contemplating a holiday that takes in the two. John will be nearly 72 then and may not be able to do that amount of driving for much longer so using the Red Pennant 45 days package to the full I would like to cover them both next spring. However we do like to cover an area properly i. e. we don't do Scotland in a week and we would like to break the journey south and back with a couple of days stop each way so we don't have three days travelling consecutively so what do those that know these areas think? Any ideas and information will be gratefully received.

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Both are superb areas and you could spend years and not see them all!

 

You like National Trust, so stop for a couple of days on the way down somewhere in the Loire Valley, or maybe Bourges, for lots of historic buildings. Then a couple of nights at Royat, just east of Clermont Ferrand and explore the Puys, the amazing extinct volcano region. Continue along the toll free A75 to Millau where there are lots of sites. From here explore the Gorges du Tarn, the Gorge de la Jonte, the vulture sanctuary, Mount Aigoual, the highest peak in the area. Continue south on the A75 to the coast and the Corbieres wine region. Her you have the lovely (but very touristy) city of Carcassonne, and inland the Cathar Castles, perched precariously on the tops of rocky peaks in the Pyrennees foothills. Spring is a good time for this area, there is still snow on the mountain tops, the blossom is out, but it is not yet too hot and crowded.

 

I think that would fill your 45 days very fully!


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Thanks John I had already read your blog which helped inspire me that this would be a trip for us.

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Hi Jenny,

 

We love the Pyrenees, having been two years on the trot now, and I would love to do the Tarn Gorges, but we travelled into Bilbao which cut the driving time considerably and we came back up the west side of France, so missed the gorges on both occasions.

 

One thing to bear in mind with the high Pyrenees is that some of the high mountain passes don't open until middle/late June, so if you particularly want to drive over the Col du Tourmalet, be sure to go later. We still haven't driven over, but got pretty close to the top this year. We left there on 16th June and think it opened the following week, but it does depend how much snow has fallen during the winter.

 

Brittany Ferries have opened their bookings for 2015, so you're not too early to start planning. We were only saying today that we need to start thinking about 2015, so you're not the only ones thinking ahead!

 

Glen.

 

Edit - I should mention that we were trying to go over the passes without the caravan!

Edited by Glen and Les

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Can I suggest the Alps rather than the Pyrenees.

 

We've tried both and find the Alps have it in several ways, especially better scenery, and we combined Alps and Tarn gorge easily in June and July this year.

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John's itinerary is a good one! The only thing I would add is to keep an eye on the weather, and if the weather in the Pyrenees is poor then (as Moorgate suggests) try the Alps instead.

 

We've been going 'to do the Pyrenees' for several years, and always found poor weather. However, we did get there a year ago, and had superb weather, but we kept an eye on the forecast each day. We also managed the Col de Tourmalet - and saw marmots there (which I've always wanted to see) but we couldn't get back down the other side to Lourdes because the area was being cleared of flood damage from the floods which decimated Lourdes and areas.

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We also managed the Col de Tourmalet - and saw marmots there (which I've always wanted to see) but we couldn't get back down the other side to Lourdes because the area was being cleared of flood damage from the floods which decimated Lourdes and areas.

They're still repairing Val. The tarmac lorries were queued up waiting to repair the road up from Bareges, which was severely damaged. The Tour de France Passed through a few weeks ago and obviously they needed to get it done for that, but there's a lot more to do to restore things around the town. Such a shame, but still beautiful scenery. More beautiful than the Tyrolean Alps in my opinion - and I love Austria!

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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The Alps is a good suggestion but we have actually visited them and I am keen to try somewhere new while we still can. We suffered the flood damage while in Austria last year so I am not keen to repeat that experience, flooding that is not Austria.

 

I like the idea of the ferry to Bilbao, Glen, and have even checked the cost which seems reasonable in comparison to the fuel we would use driving down but I am not a very good traveller. However we have done Portsmouth/Caen and I managed that so maybe it would be possible. Food for thought anyway.

 

I think the next step is to get the Green Guides for the areas as they are always my bible when going somewhere new.

 

We saw marmots in Austria last year and I was like a child with excitement watching them.

Edited by LongTimeCaravaner

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