Bookings open 10 March 2020 for summer train travel in France.
From 10 March 2020, you can book newly released French train tickets for travel between 04 July to 30 August 2020. As always, when it comes to rail travel, the further in advance you book, the easier it will be to find cheap fares. From the Alps to the Ardèche, Paris to Provence, France is one of Europe’s most visited countries for good reason. Why not try a new region this year, with copious long-distance hiking trails, cycling routes or wild swimming spots.
Travel by train within France
Travel from Paris to Strasbourg in just 1 hr 45 mins. As well as exploring the Grande-Île medieval quarter which boasts world-class restaurants, particularly in La Petite France area, you can head to the Black Forest by train by taking a 1 hr journey to Freiburg. Or take a train from Paris to Aix-en-Provence in just 3 hrs on high-speed, double-decker trains. Raise a glass in memory of Picasso, one of the many great artists and thinkers who frequented this beautiful Provençal town.
Travel from Paris to Montpellier in under 3 hrs 30 mins. Montpellier is a young lively city bursting with contemporary chic, starting with its stunning, modern station. Pick up a Vélomagg bike scheme to cycle to the Mediterranean, just 12km away.
It’s under 6 hrs from Paris to Nice. As well as being a world-renowned city of chic, Nice is also a great base for exploring more secluded spots such as the Mercantour National Park or Menton on the Italian border.
The Loire Valley is a Renaissance-rich region with over a hundred chateaux peppered around its hills. It was also once home to father of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci. Take the train to Amboise, Chenonceau and Blois to visit chateaus celebrating the artist's work and philosophy. Discover Leonardo’s landscapes by bike, following segments of the Loire à Vélo trail. Access it at Tours, Angers, Nantes, Orléans or Saint-Nazaire with plenty of places to hire bikes en route.
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The best train station restaurants
We love trains and we love to eat, so we've gone in search of Europe's finest train station restaurants. Please note that this article was originally written by Kate Andrews, founder of Loco2, which went on to be rebranded as Rail Europe. It has been tweaked by our editor to give up to date links in the body of the text. Bon appetit.
Wild swimming in France by train
If swimming outdoors has never crossed your mind, it will once you see these fantastic photos of France's best wild swimming destinations, all easily reached by train.