Tailormade tour French Catalonia by train holiday France

7 nights/8 days

Paris • Molitg-les-Bains • French Catalonia

This rail holiday to French Catalonia transports you by train from London to the foothills of the Pyrenees in French Catalonia. You travel first to Paris or Lyon for one night, then continue by train to Perpignan where you collect a hire-car. You then spend six nights amidst the pine and oleander-clad foothills of the Pyrenees, facing the revered Mount Canigou, with time to explore the region, coast and country, on foot and by car.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotel, from £1,760 per person.

Luxury single-centre rail holiday to French Catalonia with hire-car

Highlights

Paris • Molitg-les-Bains • Prades • French Catalonia •Pyrenees • Collioure • Mount Canigou • Perpignan • Ceret • Visit Gorges de la Fou

Day by day

Begin your luxury rail holiday to French Catalonia by Eurostar from London to Paris or Lyon, depending on the season. Departures are hourly to Paris and the journey takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. There is one direct Eurostar service to Lyon three or four times a week during the summer. It usually departs just before 07:30 hrs arriving into Lyon at 13:00 hrs. Check-in to your hotel for one night and spend the rest of the day exploring the city. Depending on the season, another option to avoid an overnight stay on the outbound journey would be to take a direct Eurostar service to Avignon. You would then arrive in Avignon just after 14:00 hrs and collect your hire-car for the three-hour drive to your hotel. 

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before boarding a train to Perpignan. If you are travelling from Paris, there is a direct service. If you are travelling from Lyon, you will need to change at Montpellier. You arrive at Perpignan at about 16:00 hrs. Collect your hire car and drive 40-minutes or so to your hotel in the spa town of Molitg-les-Bains. 

You have five whole days in French Catalonia to use your boutique hotel as a base to enjoy the natural surroundings of Molitg-les-Bains. Your hotel looks out onto snow topped Mount Canigou in this thermal spa town in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Enjoy exploring on foot with hikes through the nearby forest-clad hills and orchards with plenty of time to unwind by the pool. A short drive away is the town of Prades, situated at the foot of the Canigou, home to a weekly farmers’ market and the Pablo Casals museum, once home to the Spanish-born cellist, composer and conductor.  Another nearby town is Villefranche de Conflent. This fortified town dates from the 11th century and has the 12th century Church of St Jacques. Nearby, visit the Canalettes caves. Spend a day on the Mediterranean coast in the town of Collioure, just over an hour’s drive away. Situated in the Roussillon wine area, the town enjoys a pretty location on a bay. Continue south towards the Spanish border to Port Vendres where you find Vauban fortifications. Visit the historic city of Perpignan to discover the citadel and royal castle. Near to the town of Arles sur Tech, you can find the spectacular Gorges de la Fou. This is well-worth visiting and takes about an hour to walk. Céret is about a 1 hour 10-minute drive from your hotel. The old town is composed of narrow, winding streets and alleyways. Notable sights include the 12th century church of St Pierre, the old town gates, museum of modern art composed of works presented by artists who worked in Céret such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Dali.

Drive back to Perpignan and board a direct train to Paris. There is a train which leaves at 11:40 hrs. After a change of stations in Paris, travel by Eurostar back to London. You arrive in London just after 20:30 hrs.

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,760 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including standard class rail travel. Supplement for standard premier/first class about £335 per person.

Holiday Code FRBR17

Luxury single-centre rail holiday to French Catalonia with hire-car

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,760 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including standard class rail travel. Supplement for standard premier/first class about £335 per person.

Holiday Code FRBR17

Our prices include ● Second-class travel on all trains, with standard class on Eurostar (first and standard premier can be booked at a supplement)
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a superior room at Hotel Bourgogne et Montana, Paris or 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a classic room at Hotel La Cour des Loges, Lyon
● 6 nights’ bed and breakfast in a superior room in the castle at Chateau de Riell, Molitg-les-Bains
● Hire of a group B car for 6 days in French Catalonia
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers, entrance fees and meals except daily breakfast at each hotel
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in Paris or Lyon

Additional information This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Additional nights can be added at any point on this itinerary. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.

Luxury single-centre rail holiday to French Catalonia with hire-car

Highlights of Languedoc-Roussillon

Sample the earliest cherries in France and other seasonal fruit. Take a visit to see the local ceramics and paintings, travel on the narrow-gauge railway from Villefranche de Conflent to Font Romeu. There are Folklore and music festivals in August. Gastronomy Sample anchovies, macaroons, Rousquilles aniseed biscuits. Local wines include Banyuls and Rivesaltes wines and Cotes de Roussillon wine. This is one of the most highly-regarded new wine regions of France.

Climate of Languedoc-Roussillon

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan: 12.4, Feb: 11.5, Mar: 12.5, Apr: 17.6, May: 20.1, Jun: 26.5, Jul: 28.4, Aug: 28.1, Sep: 26.1, Oct: 21.1, Nov: 15.8, Dec :13.5. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France

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