Grab tickets for trains to France (and beyond's) most popular destinations for this summer's holiday!
Every year, the French rail operator opens booking early for some of the most popular destinations, making it easier to plan your summer holidays by train. Here's everything you need to know:
- Booking opens on Thursday 2 February 2017.
- Travel dates are 30 June - 27 August 2017 inclusive.
- Includes high-speed TGV trains from Paris to destinations in Provence and the Côte d'Azur.
- The tickets aren't cheaper but they can be booked much further in advance so there's an opportunity to grab low cost tickets - they will sell out fast!
- Search now and set an alert for your intended destination and dates. We'll email you bright and early on Thursday 2 February 2017 with a link to your search results.
The sale includes popular holiday destinations in the south of France, and beyond, including Marseille, Nice, Toulon and Ventimiglia (see map below). Destinations not included this time will come on sale on Thursday 30 March. See our help article, Summer Train Timetable changes, for more information.
We’ve picked a few rail routes to inspire your French summer holiday, each of which can be easily combined with a Eurostar from London to Paris.
Paris to Nice by train
The route of the TGV from Paris to Nice cuts south-east from Paris, skirting Burgundy and crossing the River Rhône east of Lyon. Almost before you know it, you are in Provence!
Just short of Marseille, the TGV leaves the high-speed line and follows a traditional rail route east along the Mediterranean coast to Nice. This route is usually served by double-decker TGV Duplex trains, so book a seat on the upper deck for the best views.
Paris to Aix en Provence train
Aix en Provence with old house facade © Jorg Hackemann | Dreamstime.com
Travel from Paris to Aix-en-Provence by train in just 3 hours on high-speed, double-decker TGV Duplex. You’ll disembark at a station called Aix-en-Provence TGV, from where it is a 15-minute ride on a shuttle bus to the city centre.
Raise a glass in memory of Picasso, one of the many great artists and thinkers who frequented this beautiful Provence town.
Paris to Ventimiglia
On the edge of Italy, Ventimiglia lies just beyond Monaco and is the end of the line for high-speed TGV from Paris. The journey from Paris to Ventimiglia by train takes just 6 hrs 20 mins, several hours of which are along the Mediterranean coast on the rail route east of Toulon.
Once there, Ventimiglia is a good spot from which to explore the Côte d'Azur or head east on the Italian Riviera. A direct train runs twice-daily from Marseille to Milan, calling at Ventimiglia en route.
Paris to Cannes train
Hop on a train from Paris to Cannes in 5 hrs 5 mins to catch some rays on the Riviera and live it up in this glamorous town.
If the busy beaches of Cannes get too much for you, the peaceful Îles de Lérins are a short boat ride from the mainland.
Paris to Avignon by train
The sunny Provençal city of Avignon is among the best-connected destinations in Provence. High-speed TGV trains run directly from Paris to Avignon (the high-speed station is Avignon TGV) in well under three hours and if you're coming from the UK then consider the direct train from London to Avignon in 6 hours.
Map courtesy of Voyages-SNCF, all rights reserved.
If all or part of your holiday falls before the available travel dates, 30 June - 27 August 2017, you can book tickets 3 months before your intended travel date/s. See our help article, Summer Train Timetable changes, for more information.
Main image and thumbnail: TGV on Coast © Enzojz | iStock