Let us take you on a journey to France

The Loire Valley is only an hour beyond Paris, while the great wine city of Bordeaux is two. Journeys to Provence, the Dordogne and other parts of southern France naturally take longer – although not as long as you might think – but reward you with views of subtly changing landscapes. 

Travelling by train to France

From Lille Europe or Paris Gare de Lyon you board one of the sleek TGV Duplex trains. This high-speed line crosses Burgundy then goes down the scenic Rhône Valley, repeatedly crossing the river on spectacular viaducts (including an impressive one just north of Avignon, from which you can glimpse the famous papal palace) to reach the Mediterranean at Marseille. The most captivating scenery is saved until last – a ride through the Luberon Hills revealing quintessential Provençal landscapes.
The Canal du Midi & Côte Vermeille
To get you to these south-western corners nestling between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, we usually book trains via Paris taking the same route as our Provençal holidays departing from the Gare de Lyon.

For the Canal du Midi, you take a TGV from Paris to Narbonne where you change to a local train to medieval Carcassonne.

For our Collioure to Cadaqués holiday on the Côte Vermeille, you continue all the way to Perpignan, passing through distinctly southern-feeling hills coated in wild herbs, at times just a few kilometres from the Mediterranean, which you might glimpse in the distance. At Perpignan you change to a local train for a short ride to Collioure.
Western Loire, Bordeaux Vineyards & Basque Pyrenees
After boarding the TGV Atlantique at Paris Montparnasse, you arrive in the heart of the Loire about an hour later.

If you are not holidaying amid the châteaux of the Vallée des Rois, then you continue south-westwards, across fertile countryside planted with sunflowers, wheat and vines, to Bordeaux. The journey time between Paris and the famous wine city is just 2 hours.

Of course, to reach the Basque Pyrenees, you must continue across beguiling Aquitaine countryside to Bayonne, just north of Biarritz. This is a direct service from Paris taking 4-and-a-half hours.
For holidays in Alsace, you change in Paris. The TGV line which serves eastern France from the aptly named Gare de l’Est is the fastest in France – the comfortable, stylish trains travel at a top speed of 198mph, whisking you through Champagne and into increasingly undulating scenery as you approach Strasbourg and the German border.
Key journey times
London to Paris = 2hrs 25mins
Paris to Avignon = 2hrs 40 mins
Paris to St Pierre des Corps (Tours) = 1hr
Paris to Bordeaux = 2hrs
The Dordogne
Reaching the Dordogne by rail from London is sometimes quicker than flying via Toulouse – transferring from the Gare du Nord to the Gare d’Austerlitz is easy, and from there it is a direct service to Brive or Souillac, crossing the Loire Valley, passing through Limoges and continuing southwards through the very picturesque Vézère Valley.

Key journey times

London to Paris = 2hrs 25mins
Paris to Avignon (Provence) = 2hrs 40mins
Paris to St Pierre des Corps (Loire) = 1hr
Paris to Bordeaux = 2hrs
Paris to Montauban (south-west) = 3hrs 55mins

Let us take you on a journey to...

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