Fastest journey8hr 28m
With a change of train in Paris, the journey by train from London to Oulx (and the ski slopes of the Via Lattea) takes less than 9 hours. The journey starts with a morning ride on Eurostar from London to Paris. You’ll need to change stations in the French capital, joining the direct train to Oulx at Paris Lyon station. It’s an interesting journey, with the best scenery in the last couple of hours as the train weaves through the valleys of Savoy. The train then enters the Fréjus Tunnel, cutting through the Alps to emerge in Piedmont in Italy.
Bookings for the rail journey from London to Oulx normally open about four months prior to travel, and that's when you'll find the cheapest tickets.
London to Paris
Board a Eurostar service from London to Paris. There are upwards of 15 trains to Paris from London each day with departures at least hourly from the beautifully restored station at St Pancras in London. The fastest trains speed to Paris in just 2 hrs 16 mins, with slower services taking up to 20 mins longer to reach the Gare du Nord in Paris. The first part of the journey from London sweeps through Thameside landscapes and rural Kent to reach the Channel Tunnel. Little more than an hour after leaving London 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. There is a luggage and body scan and you'll be asked to show your passport. 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 Oulx
Fast TGV trains leave the Gare de Lyon in Paris three times each day for Milan – all stopping at Oulx along the way. These direct services speed south from the French capital, cutting through Burgundy to reach their first stop in Lyon. Thereafter the pace slows as the terrain becomes more mountainous. All trains on this route stop at Chambéry and Modane before entering Italy, where the train makes two stops in quick succession – at Bardonecchia and then at Oulx.
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Image credits: SK51