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  1. #1

    Traveler

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    27
    This September I plan to spend 4-5 days on the Costa Brava (Spain) and then stop in Collioure for 2 or 3 nights before driving to Marseille (have rented a gite near here for 2 weeks).

    My questions have to do with the drive (distance/time/type) from Collioure to Marseille. Mapquest shows the distance to be about 219 miles (just over 3 hours). I plan to leave Collioure in the morning, stop along the way for lunch and maybe a bit of sightseeing and continue on to Marseille. Does this sound like a reasonable plan or is there anything about the drive that I should be concerned with (technical/traffic/other)?

    Any recommendations for a good way to spend the day (perhaps a must-see highlight/restaurant along the way)?

    Thanks,
    Karen

  2. #2


    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    Posts
    573
    Chacun a son gout (minus the accents!)Not knowing your tastes, you might want to consider Fontfroide Abbey just outside Narbonne for a visit/stop. The restaurant serves fine food and it may just about be lunch time when you hit the area if you take something other than the toll road..

    At three hours it sounds like you'll be on the Autopiste all the way. Nearing Arles and about 40-50 kms off the main highway is Aigues Mortes on the edge of the Carmargue.

    We enjoyed the museum at Arles. It is just off the highway. The town itself has many worthwhile Roman sites.

    Although others may suggest Carcassonne, We did not find it to our liking, other than the stained glass in the church. It had a Niagara Falls tourist hussle about it.

    For a rest stop a walk along the Canal du Midi is relaxing.

    Have a great trip. Dennis

  3. #3

    Traveler

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    27
    Hi Dennis,

    Thank you so much for your reply. In my haste to get off to see our local 4th of July parade I neglected to mention my interests/tastes, etc. I enjoy fine and casual dining (who wouldn't in France?), wine tasting, scenic drives/views, wandering around villages (incl. small villages near the water). I also prefer small out of the way places and historic sites (churches/ruins, etc.).

    Just took a gander at the Fontfroide Abbaye website and it looks like a lovely place to visit. Will put this on my list as a definite possibility.

    Will also check out your other suggestions (Aigues & Canal) in my travel guides. As for Arles, I hope to spend a day or two there later during my stay.

    Thanks again,
    Karen

  4. #4

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Languedoc, France
    Posts
    428
    Hi

    The good news is that the traffic will be quiet in September and there are lots of places close to the A9.

    But the A9 is not very scenic. It is slightly inland, much of it in cuttings. There are sea views closer to Marseille, and if you look closely you should see some paddy fields around Arles.

    Narbonne, Beziers, Montpellier, Nimes, Arles, and a host of smaller villages are close to the A9.

    Bouzigues is a charming fishing port specialising in fruits de mer which is close to the A9, but probably you will arrive there too early for lunch.

    As someone said, Aigues Mortes is worth a visit, but it is quite a way from the autoroute. On the other hand it offers a good selection of restaurants. A loop from the A9 along the coast road through Carnon, Grand Travers and Aigues Mortes could be interesting.

    Montpellier could also be useful for lunch. The A9 passes very close to the Odysseum tram terminus. There are many good restaurants near the Comedie tram stop.

    Too many to chose from ?

    Peter

  5. #5

    Traveler

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    27
    Hi Peter,

    This is wonderful. Thank you so much!

    And now, decisions, decisions...

    Also, I had seen the Languedoc site before but lost the URL & didn't remember where I'd seen it. Alas, it has appeared once more.

    Thanks again,
    Karen

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