Fastest journey3hr 26m
It is an easy journey by train from Lyon to Bourg-Saint-Maurice (for the Les Arcs winter sports resort) and other stations in the Tarentaise Valley. The route is served by regular TER regional trains, with a couple of daily year-round direct services and up to six additional trains per day during the winter sports season, especially at weekends. The 311-km journey from Lyon to Bourg-Saint-Maurice wins no prizes for speed but this route gets top marks for scenery.
Bookings for this route normally open three months in advance, though for summer season bookings Loco2 is sometimes able to sell tickets four months or even longer in advance. However, the fare on TER trains from Lyon to stations in the Tarentaise Valley is fixed, so it matters little whether you book a week or a month in advance.
For extra choice, it’s also possible to take a TER or TGV from Lyon to Chambéry, changing there onto a connecting train or SNCF bus to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Changing thus at Challes-les-Eaux station in Chambéry opens up several additional options per day.
Lyon to Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Whether you opt for a direct train to Bourg-Saint-Maurice or choose one of the services with a change in Chambéry, your journey in Lyon starts at Part-Dieu station. The route tracks east from the Rhône Valley through terrain that becomes progressively more hilly. Leaving Chambéry, the route skirts the Massif de Bauges. The last hour of the journey becomes ever more dramatic, with fine views of the Vanoise range away to the south. Sit on the right for the best views in the latter part of the ride to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
TER trains from Lyon-Part-Dieu to Bourg-Saint-Maurice generally make about seven stops along the way. The principal stations on the journey are Chambéry-Challes-les-Eaux and Albertville.
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Image credits: Bourg St Maurice by 60D Man