Small village suport (Spain and France)


Hi guys! I’m planing a trip starting 13 July 2021 to Spain, France and Italy. I’m thinking of geting the global pass. My question is regards to how much flexiblity do I get with trains if I’m going to smaller villages. I’m Planning  on 16 July to Take a train from Barcellona to Carcossone France and then to Paris. (Leave Barcelona early in the morning and spend the day in Carcossone and then get to Paris late at night. Does this seem like a good idea? Will I get flexible times to and from a small city like Carcossone using Eurail? I want to make sure I can get to Carcossone with a cheaper ticket and be there in a good time but also leave Carcossone to get to Paris late at night (which i’m fine with). Thank you guys so much!


14 replies

Userlevel 5
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It totally depends on the timetables, Carcasonne has relatively frequent connections. You might wanna consider taking the night train to Paris from Carcasonne. This way you will have more time to explore this beautiful city. Carcasonne to Paris is a long journey and I don't think you would have time to explore otherwise.

It's also possible to travel Barcelona - Carcasonne without reservations, but this route takes about 7 hours instead of 3,5 hours.

Userlevel 4
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I’ll second the above; if you take the night train to Paris, which leaves Carcassonne at 21:13, it should compensate for the lateness of the first train north out of Barcelona, which only leaves at 08:15. After changing trains at Perpignan, you’d arrive in Carcassonne at 11:40. So you’d get 9h in total, and 5-6h before the museums shut.

Thank you for your reply Mattheas, I totally plan to do the night train as I know its such a long journey. I just hope they offer the night train  to Paris from Carcasonne when I’m there.

 

And how do I do the reservations? I have all my days planned out so would it be smart for me to reserve all my trains now? Would I do that with Eurail or the train companies I ride with? My trip starts 13 July. thank you so much. 

Userlevel 4
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Being in America at the moment, your options are limited; you’d have to book through the Interrail app (https://www.interrail.eu/en/book-reservations). But be very careful when you do, because when I looked up Barcelona-Perpignan in the Interrail timetable it displayed the maximum fee of €34 for 2nd class and €48 for 1st, which should only be charged for the maximum distance Barcelona-Paris journey. If you log in and it does try to charge you that, don’t pay it because Barcelona-Perpignan should only cost €11/15. Get in touch with Interrail themselves in good time and try to get them to sort out their booking system so you’re not paying over the odds.

Failing all of that, you can book in person at the station when you get to Europe, and save the €2 booking fee. Which country do you arrive in and how far ahead of the day you travel to Carcassonne?

I arrive in Barcellona early 14July and leave for carcassonne  the 16th from Barcellona.

Userlevel 4
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Agh, that is annoying. Much though I’d love to advise you to just wing it because of course there’ll be seats free, I can appreciate that it would royally muck up your plans if there weren’t. For my money, two days is cutting it a bit too fine. :confused:  The thing is, that train is the only high speed rail link between Spain and Paris, and 08:15 is the only mid-morning departure, so I’d hazard a guess it probably is quite popular in mid July!

I think on balance you’d best give the Interrail app a try.

EDIT: wrong link attached above, here’s the page for the Eurail (not Interrail) app page, which will be the relevant one for you: https://www.eurail.com/en/book-reservations

well thats okay, I know I’m not giving myself a lot of time but sadly its all I can do now. If I reserve my tickets - Barcellona to Carcassonne and Carcassonne to Paris now I should be good? Thank you so much for your help, im very new to all of this, i’m 20. 

Userlevel 4
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Yeah, I’m sure you will!

They’ll definitely have seats this early on.

Book Carcassonne to Paris already, and then make an attempt at Barcelona to Perpignan (Perpignan-Carcassonne won’t need reserving).

But even if the app displays €34 and not €11 - and you contact Eurail but they don’t sort out the problem in time - and you decide on that basis to book when you get there - and then when you do get there, there are no seats left…

Then you can still go by a series of three reservation-free regional trains and arrive in Carcassonne at 13:40, which still gives you plenty long enough to circumnavigate the city walls several times over :-)

Have you been to Carcassone? I feel like 6 to 9 hours is pleanty of time as it seems small, I sort of want to walk outside the city walls as well. For someone who loves medieval History im so excited. 

 

I’m going to look on the App, thank you. 

Userlevel 4
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I haven’t actually, though I’d really like to! When I was taking my History BA my lecturer put a lot of thought into planning a class trip to Carcassonne and Foix (he’d authored a book on the Albigensian Crusade), but it ended up getting substituted for Rome for some reason, haha

Thats funny, I’m gonna do some historical research soon. So do you recomend I just get the Global Pass now and I should be good to reserve the tickets in time? 

 

 

Userlevel 4
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I think so; provided you’re committed, know your dates, have your flights arranged, and know that you’re not going to be held up by covid measures anywhere. I’ve had to shelve my own trip til next summer because with the prevalence of the Delta variant here, the EU have quite understandably closed their borders to UK travellers.

What’ll your research be into, if you don’t mind my asking?

Well general medieval and ancient history of the areas I will being going to. I like seeing and discovering Obscure and strange historical anecdotes and facts. I want to go to historical areas so I can connect to the areas around me through history. 

 

Yeah, thats unforunate about the UK. How are the vaccines?

Userlevel 4
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Sounds fantastic, I wish you every success with it :-)

Btw, if you want superlative ancient and mediaeval history in one place, situated in the middle of the picturesque Moselle valley, I can very strongly recommend you extend your itinerary 30 miles over the German border and try Trier. Getting there from Paris is really straightforward as it’s just a €6 TGV to Luxembourg followed by a short hop by regional train, which takes just over 3 ½ hours altogether. Trier has several world class Roman monuments and ornate Romanesque and Gothic churches, along with some good museums. And for something a bit more modern, it also has a museum of Marxism housed in none other than the birthplace of the man himself.

Thanks for asking; the vaccines are good, but… and in fairness it is pretty hard to answer the question without getting at least slightly political… the government isn’t. The variant only got this bad because they suppressed information about rising infection rates until the day after the nationwide local elections. Most under-40s haven’t had a second jab yet (including key workers, for whom no preferential treatment was granted, unlike in the US) but the plan is still to remove all restrictions - including the obligation to wear masks - in about two weeks’ time, in spite of the aforementioned sharp rise in infection rates. It’s not brilliant.

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