Hi all. I'm visiting family in Montpelier this summer, but I'm hoping to make it a bit more of an exciting trip by flying into another city, then taking the train, with perhaps a stop or two, to our final destination. Right now I'm toying with flying into Spain and traveling up the coast to Montpelier, or flying into Brussels and traveling down through Paris. I really don't think I can go wrong either way, but I was wondering if anyone else has done something similar and had any recs. Looking to travel mid June, will probably have around 2 weeks total.
If I understand you correctly, you want to fly into the first place, then stopover in Paris on the way to Montpelier. So the first place needs to be a big international airport city. If flying in from the US, probably the easiest would be Brussels, then take the TGV to Paris in only 1.5 hours. Another option would be Zurich to Paris in 4 hours. A good stop on the TGV between Paris and Montpelier I would suggest would be Lyon, there's a lot to see there and it's a big foodie mecca.
Thanks Ed. I edited the post a little because there was some stream of consciousness thinking going on;)
The Brussels route does sound intriguing, and might openup a possibility to go London to visit friends-->Brussels for a couple days-->stop in Paris-->head south...
I also just have the problem that the Spain route doesn't cross through quite as many places where I have contacts, but I really just love Spain....
Not the worst decision to make but I'm really starting to stress about my indecision;)
When in Brussels you might want to consider a side trip to Bruges, one of the most romantic and historical places in Europe. Takes about one hour by train to get there but ideally you want to stay for a night to really embrace it. Place to stay: Huis Koning, a gem of a B&B with the most hospitable family you can imagine. They are for a reason rated #1 B&B/Inn in Bruges for many years in a row. 18th century building with the comfort of the 21st century and a breakfast to die for.
Thanks, @Liketraveling. I actually went to Bruges on a bike trip through Belgium a few years ago, and I thought it was really beautiful, but I'm not sure I feel a strong urge to go back. I am going to look up that B&B though, it sounds really interesting!
We flew into Barcelona and from there we took a train to Montpellier. If I remember correctly, we had to change trains at the border, but it was easy to do. Check out the website "Man in Seat 61" for all of the details.
After you explore Montpellier, try to make time for a quick train visit ot Avignon. It is a charming little town, well worth a visit.