Fastest journey5hr 33m
Getting by train from Paris to Bourg-Saint-Maurice is easy. In the ski season and on some peak summer days there are direct daytime TGVs from Paris to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and other towns in the Tarentaise Valley. But don’t worry if your preferred travel date is not one with a direct daytime train. You’ll still have a choice of four to six other daytime options, using a high-speed TGV from Paris to Chambéry where you connect onto a comfortable regional train service (or a bus operated by SNCF) for the final part of the journey to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. This is the journey we describe here.
Bookings for journeys from Paris to Bourg-Saint-Maurice normally open three months in advance. However, for mid-summer travel we are often able to sell tickets for this route four months or even longer in advance.
There are alternative routings to Bourg-Saint-Maurice via Lyon or Aix-les-Bains – both with the same scenic appeal as the more popular option via Chambéry. If you do not mind an overnight journey, you’ll also find that there’s a direct TGV train (just seats, no couchettes or sleepers) from Paris to Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the ski season and at certain other holiday times.
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 Bourg-Saint-Maurice
SNCF run about seven direct regional trains (called TER services) each day from Chambéry Challes-les-Eaux to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Additionally there are up to six SNCF bus services which follow exactly the same route up the Isère Valley to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. 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. Expect the run from Chambéry to Bourg-Saint-Maurice to be two hours. 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 of the train or bus for the best views.
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Image credits: Bourg St Maurice by 60D Man