Fastest journey7hr 1m
Head for the slopes with a direct ski train from Ashford International to Moûtiers – the station for Courchevel, Méribel and Val-Thorens. Eurostar offer an easy and comfortable way to reach the Tarentaise Valley. For the upcoming 2017-18 winter sports season, the direct ski trains from Ashford to the French Alps leave Ashford on Friday nights and Saturday mornings from just prior to Christmas 2017. The last direct return journey from the French Alps to Ashford International will be on 7 April 2018.
The daytime Eurostar ski train to Moûtiers offers a choice of two classes. These are called Standard and Standard Premier. The latter is broadly equivalent to First Class and includes complimentary meals and drinks (including wine). Whichever class you book, there’s plenty of space on board for you to take along skis or a snowboard without any extra charge. Remember that Eurostar require ski train passengers to check in at Ashford International at least one hour prior to the scheduled departure time.
Tickets for the direct Eurostar trains to the French Alps went on sale on 19 July 2017 for the entire 2017–2018 winter season. These services are hugely popular and it pays to book early. Apart from the direct daytime ski train, Eurostar also offer an overnight service on this route, and there are also both daytime and overnight options via Paris.
Ashford to Moûtiers
Shortly after leaving Ashford, the Eurostar ski train to the Alps enters the Channel Tunnel. The first stop in France is at Lille Europe, just for a crew change. From there, it’s a non-stop run to the Alps, skirting the east side of Paris and then dashing south on the high-speed line towards Burgundy. Running east from Lyon, the countryside becomes increasingly hilly.
Beyond Chambéry the train joins the Isère Valley, which it follows up into the Alps. The first scheduled stop in the Tarentaise ski region is Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains, from where it’s just a short transfer to the ski slopes. The train then continues further up the valley to Aime and Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The Eurostar journey from Ashford to Moûtiers takes just under seven hours.
Head for the slopes with a direct overnight ski train from Ashford in Kent to Moûtiers (for the Trois Vallées winter sports resorts). Eurostar’s overnight service from London and Ashford offers an easy way to reach the Tarentaise Valley. For the upcoming 2017-18 winter sports season, the direct ski trains from Ashford to the French Alps leave Ashford on Friday nights and Saturday mornings from just prior to Christmas 2017. The last direct return journey from the French Alps to Ashford International will be on 7 April 2018. No alcohol is served on overnight Eurostar trains. As these are alcohol-free trains, passengers are not permitted to bring any alcoholic drinks on board.
The overnight service to Moûtiers is operated by a regular Eurostar train. So there are no couchettes or sleeping berths on board, just normal seats. Eurostar offer a choice of two classes. These are called Standard and Standard Premier. The latter is broadly equivalent to First Class and offers comfier seats and complimentary refreshments.
Whichever class you book, there’s plenty of space on board for you to take along skis or a snowboard without any extra charge. Remember that Eurostar require ski train passengers to check in at Ashford International at least one hour prior to the scheduled departure time.
Tickets for the direct Eurostar trains to the French Alps went on sale on 19 July 2017 for the entire 2017–2018 winter season. These services are hugely popular and it pays to book early. Apart from the direct overnight train, Eurostar also offer a daytime service on this route, and there are also options via Paris.
Ashford to Moûtiers (night train)
The overnight Eurostar ski train to the Alps leaves Ashford International and after a few minutes enters the Channel Tunnel. The train makes a brief late-evening stop at Lille Europe for a crew change. From there, it’s a non-stop run through the night to the Alps, skirting the east side of Paris and then dashing south on the high-speed line towards Burgundy and beyond.
The first scheduled stop in the Alps is at Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains. From there it is an easy transfer to the nearby resorts including Courchevel, Méribel and Val-Thorens. The overnight journey from London to Moûtiers takes about 8 hrs 30 mins.
It is easy to travel by train from Ashford to Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains during the day. This route via Paris is available at any season. So even at times when the direct Eurostar ski trains are not running, it is easy to get to the Tarentaise Valley by train.
The journey from Ashford starts with a high-speed run to Paris with Eurostar. In the French capital, you transfer from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon where you join a sleek TGV train for the journey to the French Alps. On many days, the onward journey from Paris to your final destination of Moûtiers requires a change of train at Chambéry – and this is the route we describe below.
Bookings for the journey from Ashford to Moûtiers normally open three months in advance. However, for mid-summer travel Loco2 is often able to sell tickets on this route four months in advance.
There are other options for travelling from Ashford to Moûtiers, with direct daytime and overnight ski trains from Ashford on winter weekends.
Ashford to Paris
Board a Eurostar service from Ashford International to Paris Gare du Nord. There are normally three non-stop trains each day from Ashford to Paris. But note that there are just two departures on Sundays. The journey takes just under two hours. Within 20 minutes of leaving Ashford, the train reaches the Channel Tunnel. Less than an hour after leaving Ashford you’ll already be in northern France, tracking south through Flanders’ fields towards Paris.
Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar’s airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. This is a light-touch security scan, and there are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.
Paris interchange: Paris Nord to Paris Lyon
When you alight from the train at Gare du Nord look for signs to the Metro and RER. Once you've bought a ticket follow the signs to 'RER D', direction 'Melun' or 'Malesherbes'. So long as you're heading in the right direction, all the trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The actual train journey takes around 10 mins with just one stop on the way at Châtelet-les-Halles. Upon alighting from the RER train at Gare de Lyon, follow the signs to the mainline station. The signs read 'Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes'. The whole journey from the concourse at Gare du Nord to the mainline departure platforms at Gare de Lyon will normally take about 40 mins but we recommend leaving at least 50 mins.
If you are arriving at Gare du Nord from London, bear in mind that you can buy Paris Métro tickets at the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras and on board the Eurostar train. Similarly, passengers arriving at the Gare du Nord on Thalys trains from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands can buy Metro tickets on the train (at the Thalys Bar). Although universally referred to as Métro tickets, they are in fact valid on RER trains too.
Paris to Chambéry
The high-speed TGV trains from Paris to Chambéry leave from the Gare de Lyon in the French capital. There are up to six direct TGVs each day on this route. The journey takes about three hours with most trains making just one stop on the run from Paris to Chambéry. Some services are operated by double-deck TGV Duplex trains.
The journey from Paris to Chambéry in the French Alps takes in some very fine scenery. The train dashes south from Paris and before long you are skirting Burgundy vineyards. The last hour of the journey is through increasingly mountainous landscapes as the train cuts through the foothills of the Alps. In Chambéry, you’ll arrive at the modern Challes-les-Eaux station.
Chambéry to Moûtiers
SNCF run about seven direct regional trains (called TER services) each day from Chambéry Challes-les-Eaux to Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains. This schedule is supplemented by up to six SNCF bus services which follow exactly the same route up the Isère Valley to Moûtiers. Our system clearly shows which services are buses and which are trains.
The fares and journey time are much the same, whether you opt for a train or a bus. Reckon on about 90 minutes for the run from Chambéry to Moûtiers. Leaving Chambéry, the route skirts the Massif de Bauges. The last part of the journey is the most dramatic as the train or bus climbs up steadily towards the Vanoise Mountains.