All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Lyon stopover journeys to the Alps

Use Eurostar's new direct service from London to Lyon you can explore the city and next morning take a local train to your ski resort

seatingphoto:Daniel Elkan Ibis Styles hotel reception

The Lyon stopover journey - an introduction

Why would you want to stopover anywhere on your way to the Alps? Surely you just want to get there ASAP, right?  Well in fact, there are three benefits that a stopover journey can deliver. 

1. If your accommodation in the Alps is Sunday-Sunday, stopping over on the Saturday night on the way out, can give you better rail options. This is because for some resorts (particularly those in the Tarentaise region served by the (Saturday) Ski Train, there are fewer convenient options travelling out on Sunday.

2. You can arrive in resort much earlier on the Sunday than if you would have travelled out all the way from London the same day.  You can even ski the same day, getting an extra day's skiing in.

3. You can get to see a city, such as Lyon, on the way - spending an afternoon seeing some of the highlights, and the evening with a relaxed meal or a night out. The journey is part of the holiday, and doing things this way is a relaxed way of travelling with your friends or family.

The new Eurostar service to Lyon runs on peak Saturdays in the winter season, arriving in Lyon at 1pm.  There are inexpensive, comfortable hotels about 50 metres from the station, so you can settle in quickly and then spend the afternoon enjoying the city. In the morning, local train journeys from Lyon to the Alps only take between 1.5 and three hours, and cost about 20 euros one way (although you don't need to book them separately, you can book the entire stopover journey in one go).

Hotel Ibis Styles, Lyon

seatingphoto:Daniel Elkan Ibis Styles, Lyon

About 40 metres from Gare de Lyon station, on the same side of the road, is the is the Hotel Ibis Styles.  It has a nice, open plan reception, next to its restaurant, and comfortable rooms - which are very reasonably priced:

Room for 1 person = €89; 2 people €99; 3 people €129; two adults + two children (age under 17) = €129.  All these prices include breakfast.

Contact details: Phone: +33 4 72 68 25 40; email:;

Hotel Mercure, Lyon

seatingphoto:Daniel Elkan Hotel Mercure, Lyon

Hotel Mercure is a very comfortable business hotel. Like the adjacent Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget, it has few business people at the weekend, and therefore offers some great rates - which you can take advantage of.

For example a family room for 1- 4 people costs €110 - €150.  Sometimes this includes breakfast (depending on the date, or promotional rates), or otherwise breakfast is €19

Contact details: Phone: +33 4 72 68 25 20; email:;

Hotel IBIS Budget, Lyon

seatingphoto:Daniel Elkan Ibis Budget

With clean, relatively unspacious rooms but excellent value, the Hotel Ibis Budget is also just about 40 metres from Lyon station.

A room for one to three people is €53 - €69 euros per night (at the weekend), with ensuite shower. 
Breatkfast is a €6

Contact details: Phone: +33 8 92 70 12 75; email:;

Like some help sourcing other Lyon hotels?

We've been beautifully surprised by the efficient service offered by in finding hotels in Paris, so you could try them for Lyon too..

They are an agency that sources all levels of hotels and hostels.  So if you give them your budget and the desired area, they come back quickly with availabilty and offers.

Snowcarbon Founder Daniel Elkan says:
"I had the idea of travelling to Alpe d'Huez and stopping in Paris, but there were 24 of us travelling. I wondered whether I'd find accommodation easily for so many. I found Budget places by Googling initally, contaced them by phone and within minutes had a couple of good options by the station. A very impressive service so far."

Contact details: Phone: 0207 100 4522; email:;

Via-Lyon stopover schedules

seatingphoto:Daniel Elkan Regiona train, Lyon station

Leave London on Saturday morning and you'll arrive on the direct Eurostat at Lyon at 1pm. 

Here's the schedule, below. By 1pm you are already in Lyon!

Depart London Depart Ashford Arrive Lyon Part Dieu
07:19 07:55 13:00

After checking into your hotel in Lyon, you are then free to explore the city in the afternoon and evening. Then, then next morning (Sunday), there are a suite of local trains that you can take to the ski resorts all over the French Alps.

Depart Lyon Destination Change train? Arrive Ski resorts
07:08 Annecy direct 09:10 La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand
07:12 Grenoble direct 08:38 Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes, Chamrousse
08:14 Grenoble direct 09:38 Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes, Chamrousse
08:31 Modane direct 10:49 Val Cenis
08:31 Bardonecchia direct 11:13 Bardonecchia
08:31 Oulx direct 11:23 Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx
08:38 Cluses Bellegarde 11:36 Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens, Les Carroz, Flaine
08:38 Sallanches Bellegarde 11:49 Megeve
08:38 St Gervais Bellegarde 11:56 Les Contamines, St Gervais
11:50 Moutiers direct 14:45 Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Val Thorens
11:50 Aime la Plagne direct 15:06 La Plagne
11:50 Landry direct 15:15 Peisey-Vallandry
11:50 Bourg St Maurice direct 15:25 La Rosiere, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d'Isere, Sainte Foy

If you'd like any more help with train schedules, you are welcome to contact Snowcarbon Founder, Daniel

Like more help and advice?

luggage on trains

If you'd like more help and advice the best train travel options, resorts and accommodation, feel free to contact Snowcarbon's founder, Daniel. 

He can help with specific advice and suggestions, using his years of experience as a ski journalist and expert on how to travel to the Alps by train. 

Daniel knows lots of great accommodation and tour operators and independent providers that can help, so you'll get some great suggestions.

Just send Daniel an email and he'll be back in touch.