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Summer in the South of France by train

Southern France is known for blissful weather and clean beaches, probably why some 30 million tourists visit every year. If you’re planning a holiday to the South of France, we’d recommend taking the train, instead of flying, as you’ll get much better views from your train window than a plane. There’ll be no need to switch your phone to flight mode either, so you can add to your Instagram story in real time (#trainwindowviews).

Download our Trainline Europe app and your phone’s all you need. In an instant you can get tickets on your phone to scan at the barriers, instead of queueing to print paper tickets.

Trains from London to Lyon

The fastest trains from London to Lyon take under five hours, with one change, and fares start at just €52. Lyon is a great choice for family holidays to France as there are attractions to suit all ages. The ziplines, rope bridges and outdoor courses at France Adventures are divided into levels for different abilities, so a top pick if you have children of varying ages. The Tête d’Or Park, just a 20-minute walk from Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu, does things on a larger scale. Its 290-acre site has a boating lake, small zoo, mini golf course, and even a miniature train.

L'assomption fut dure...

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Trains to Annecy

You’ve probably heard of Avignon, but you may not know about Annecy. This small town tucked away in South-East France often slips under the radar, but that just adds to its charm. Getting there from London is easiest via Paris on the Eurostar, the perfect chance to see some of the capital’s famous sights, like the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe. From Paris, Annecy is a further three and a half hours by train.

This town is set on the shores of Lake Annecy, overlooking steep French mountains. Cycling is a popular way to get around, and you can either hire one locally or bring your bike on the train. We’d recommend spending time at the 12th Century Palais de l’Île, which been used as everything from a mint to a prison over the years. Alternatively, take your loved ones to the Pont des Amours (Lovers’ Bridge). One kiss with your loved one on this bridge and you’ll be together for life, according to the legend.

Trains to Provence

The lavender fields and wild countryside of Provence was popular with Dutch artist, Van Gogh, who took inspiration for some of his work here. The Saturday market in the provincial town of Arles is well known with locals and tourists. Arles is also just a stone’s throw from the Camargue region, where herds of white horses and flocks of flamingos make it a nature lover’s paradise.

Can I get any closer ! #camargue #pinkflamingo

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Jump off a Marseilles-bound train at Montélimar and take a peek at one of France’s most dramatic river landscapes. Outdoorsy types will love the spectacular scenery of the Ardèche Gorges, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Europe. Rent a canoe at Pont d’Arc near Vallon and snap some great pictures of the craggy cliffs as you glide down the river.

Start planning your holiday to the South of France today and book train or bus tickets on our site or app. 

 

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