Rail Holidays in France

S o close to home yet so beautifully varied, la belle France is the perfect rail destination. Speed under the English Channel (known as La Manche once you arrive in France) and explore cities modern and medieval, landscapes of rolling vineyards or fields of lavender and diverse coastline from wild and unspoilt to ultra chic. The famous high-speed TGV trains run up and down the length of the country servicing all main holiday regions, such as Paris, Provence, the Côte d’Azur and Bordeaux. Why not tailor make your own French holiday by rail or let one of our expert consultants help inspire you?

Recommended Holiday Ideas

Tailor Made Rail

Destination France

There are thirteen regions in continental France which might almost be thirteen independent nation states, such is the enormous variety between each one. From the dramatic Atlantic coast in the north to the sunny beaches in the south, via great cities, great mountains and so many great places to eat, France is a country to which you can return again and again.

For those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities, Paris is one of the world’s great destinations. Its handsome, wide boulevards echo the shape and grace of the River Seine which sweeps through the city centre. World-famous art galleries, including the Louvre, jostle for attention with beautiful architecture, historic monuments, chic bars and a dazzling array of shops. From the capital, it is easy to get to some of the country’s other great towns and cities, with high-speed trains connecting you to exciting destinations such as Avignon, Nice, Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.

However, if your idea of a holiday is to escape the hustle and bustle, rather than revel in it, France’s countryside has a richness and variety envied the world over. Provence’s lavender fields and meandering rivers give way to the beautiful and dramatic Alps, whilst to the South the Mediterranean welcomes paddlers, swimmers and divers alike. So whether you want to hike, bike, row, swim or just relax, France offers you the opportunity to do all of these things in beautiful surroundings.

The train from London St Pancras to Paris’ Gare du Nord takes approximately 2.5 hours and once in the French capital, you are at the centre of one of the world’s finest high-speed networks, connecting Paris with the rest of the nation. In the summer, you can even get a direct train from London to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille! Bon voyage!

France Highlights

Tailor Made Rail
Paris Across the English Channel, only just over 2 hours by Eurostar from London, Paris is one of the top city destinations on the average travel bucket list. View More
French Riviera Stretching from the famous Calanques around Marseille to the Italian border east of Menton, the glamorous French Riviera has been attracting British tourists since the late 18th century. View More
Provence From the red soil to the fields of lavender and the blue shutters on village houses, it’s hardly surprising that the colours of Provence have inspired a profusion of Impressionist paintings. View More

Itineraries in France

Tailor Made Rail
7 Days
  • Nice
  • Cannes
Speed through France and enjoy a week soaking up the sunshine and scenery on the Côte d'Azur. With 3 nights in Nice and Cannes, there's plenty of time to explore this glamorous stretch of coastline.
From £729
8 Days
  • Avignon
Speed through France by high-speed TGV and then pick up a hire car and head into the beautiful region of Provence, staying for 7 nights in the stunning surroundings of the Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles. Enjoy time at leisure to explore nearby Arles, Avignon, Aix and the unique landscapes of the Camargue.
From £799
8 Days
  • Paris
  • Lyon
  • Marseille
Hop across the Channel by Eurostar and visit the wonderful city of Paris on this fabulous French itinerary, before speeding south to gastronomic capital Lyon and Mediterranean Marseille.
From £879
8 Days
  • Avignon
  • Aix en Provence
Travel down to Avignon on high-speed Eurostar and TGV trains. Spend time here with a choice of tours before moving onto Aix-en-Provence and visiting the beautiful natural landscapes of the Camargue.
From £929
9 Days
  • Reims
  • Dijon
  • Strasbourg
Enjoy a lovely tour by rail around some of France's best loved wine regions. Start in Champagne capital Reims and then take a short train journey to Dijon, at the heart of Burgundy. Then, continue to Strasbourg, where you'll find half-timbered houses and cosy Alsatian wine taverns.
From £949
9 Days
  • Paris
  • Bordeaux
  • San Sebastian
Take a culinary journey by train, starting in French capital Paris before heading south-west to Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world. From here, cross the border into Spain and visit San Sebastian, home to some of Europe's most renowned restaurants.
From £999
Offer
7 Days
  • Bordeaux
  • Barcelona
  • Avignon
Take the train to vibrant Catalan capital Barcelona via Bordeaux and Pyrenees. With 4 nights in Barcelona, there's time for a daytrip to the Roman city of Tarragona too before you return to the UK with a stop in Avignon to break your journey home.
From £999
13 Days
  • Nice
  • Bastia
  • Calvi
  • Ajaccio
  • Marseille
Soak up the sunshine on a holiday by rail and sea to the beautiful French island of Corsica. Your journey takes you south to Nice for an overnight stop before you make a ferry crossing to Bastia. From here, continue to Calvi and Ajaccio before returning to the mainline and travelling up through France back to the UK.
From £1,399
6 Days
  • Monte Carlo
  • Venice
Enjoy the glitz and glamour of Monaco then take the ornate Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Italy, through Austria, Switzerland and France to London Victoria.
From £3,499

Blogs About France

14 Jul, 2020
Provence is a place that seems to sum up all things that are enviable about French life. From the fantastic climate, delicious food, hilltop villages, amazing wines, bustling markets and pastoral landscapes, it is understandable that it is a popular tourist destination.
8 Jun, 2020
Enjoying a meal on board a train around Europe is one of the pleasures of travelling by rail.  Many trains around Europe have excellent catering facilities and are a wonderful way to pass the time while taking in the scenery as you move from one city to the next.
2 Apr, 2019
Looking for some sightseeing inspiration? Have a look at our top tips for must-see museums in Continental Europe.