Paris, Lyon & Marseille
- 8 Days
- From £879
- Travel by Eurostar to Paris, the City of Light
- Continue south to Lyon, one of France’s most important gastronomic capitals
- Speed down to the Med for 3 nights in the historic port city of Marseille
- Return via Paris or Lille – or on the direct train from Marseille to London on selected days in the summer
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 7 nights handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets and hotel vouchers
- All credit card surcharges and delivery of your travel documents
Speed under the English Channel to Paris, disembark at the Gare du Nord and head for the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche (or similar) where you will have a 2-night stay.
Only 300 miles from London, Paris is a treasure trove of art, culture, history and iconic architecture. Like London, you’ll find distinct districts, each with their own vibe and topography from the narrow lined, hilly streets of Montmartre to the wide, elegant boulevards of the 1ere arrondissement. If you’ve not been before, don’t miss a visit to the Musée d’Orsay (we can add tickets for this so you can skip the queues) or a leisurely cruise down the Seine, taking in the city’s beautiful bridges. If you want the best views of the city, avoid the Eiffel Tower crowds and head for the Montparnasse Tower.
It takes around 2 hours by high-speed TGV from Paris to Lyon and there are regular services, so we can include a morning or afternoon departure, depending on how long you want to stay in Paris. Seat reservations are compulsory though so you’ll have a scheduled departure taking you though the centre of France and arriving into Lyon’s Part-Dieu station.
When you arrive, make your way to the Grand Hotel des Terreaux (or similar) and settle in for a 2-night stay.
Lyon is one of France’s most important cities. It has a history going back to Roman times, with remains of an arena on the Fourvière Hill dating back to 15 BC. It was also significant centre of trade and artistic development. In the late 19th century, the Lumière Brothers invented the cinematograph here, paving the way for modern cinema. You can find out more about this at the Institut Lumière or visit the roman arena en route to the stunning Fourvière Basilica which boasts sweeping city views.
In the evening, why not wander around the buzzing streets of Vieux Lyon and enjoy some justly famous Lyonnaise cuisine in one of a fabulous choice of restaurants.
After breakfast this morning, return to Lyon Part-Dieu station for your onward journey south to the French coast, arriving under 2 hours later into Marseille St-Charles. On arrival, head to the conveniently located Escale Oceania Vieux Port (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
Founded around 600 BC, Marseille has long been an important port on the Mediterranean Sea. You can spend your first night here enjoying a stroll around the old port area, perhaps with some fresh fish for dinner?
Enjoy two full days to explore in and around Marseille. The city itself is one of France’s most cosmopolitan and has embraced its role as the country’s second city since becoming European Capital of Culture in 2013 with fascinating museums and vibrant districts to discover. Among the new museums, MuCEM, or Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, should be at the top of anyone’s must-see attractions.
Elsewhere, if the weather is good, it’s well worth visiting the stunning Calanques, a series of mini fjords between Marseille and Cassis or the Chateau d’If, a forbidding island castle which is said to be the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo. You can also simply relax on one of the beaches on the Corniche.
Leave Marseille today for your journey back to London. On three days a week from May to September you can catch a direct service from Marseille to London St Pancras (though you will currently need to disembark at Lille for border formalities). Otherwise, there are regular services via Paris or Lille.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Saint Paul Rive Gauche is a family-run boutique hotel, located in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The building dates back to the 17th century and was once the home of Franciscan monks. The individually decorated bedrooms range from the traditional to the contemporary and there is also a cosy lounge area.
Within walking distance of the Place Bellecour, the river and Lyon’s pretty Old Town area, the Grand Hotel des Terreaux is a great base in the heart of the city. You can enjoy comfortable, modern accommodation with individually decorated air-conditioned bedrooms, a stylish bar and an indoor swimming pool. When it comes to eating out, you will be spoiled for choice with options in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
The Escale Oceania Marseilleis a boutique hotel conveniently situated on the famous Canebière, with easy access to the main train station and old port area. The hotel offers air-conditioned bedrooms, all with with free Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning and soundproofing. Upgraded rooms also have a kettle. Other facilities include a breakfast room, vending machines for drinks and a dry-cleaning service.
Upgrade your accommodation
Occupying a central location just a short walk from the Place de la Corcorde and the Palais du Louvre, the Sofitel le Fabourg is a luxurious hotel with classically furnished guestrooms. The elegant bar with its pavement terrace is the perfect place to relax after a busy day of sightseeing.
Located in the centre of Lyon on the Place Bellecour, Hotel Le Royal has been welcoming guests since 1912. The hotel offers 72 bedrooms and suites, including 10 suites, with classic décor and luxury amenities. Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Côté Cuisine, a dinner prepared by chefs from the well-known Paul Bocuse Institute for dinner and a signature cocktail to round off the day at the Côté Bellecour bar.
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the old port area of Marseille when you stay at the lovely Sofitel Marseille Vieux-Port, which features welcoming bedrooms with Sofitel MyBeds, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations. The hotel also offers free access to a spa with a plunge pool, sauna and hammam as well as an outdoor pool shared with the adjacent hotel. There are also two on-site restaurants and a cocktail bar.