All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Paris stopover journeys to the Alps

Stopping one night in Paris opens up a range of morning TGV train-travel options, getting you into resort earlier


Introduction

seating

Paris stopover journeys are a great way of travelling to the Alps.  They make the journey very relaxed, give you a wider choice of train options, and enable you to arrive at your ski resort earlier than you would have done if you'd travelled straight through from the UK.

When you arrive in Paris on the Eurostar, you take a taxi - from the taxi rank at Gare du Nord or with a pre-booked taxi that meets you at the Eruostar platform.  There are lots of clean, comfortable, inexpensive hotels close to Gare de Lyon, and the journey from Gare du Nord (where your Eurostar arrives) takes about 20 minutes.  You arrive at hotel and can then go out for dinner or to explore Paris if you like. Then, next morning you just walk about 150 metres to Gare de Lyon, and walk onto your TGV train and head to the Alps.

There are lots of TGVs that depart Paris in the morning headed for French, Italian, Swiss and even Austrian ski resorts.

Travelling this way, you can arrive in resort by lunchtime and in many cases can ski in the afternoon - a bonus half-day's skiing that no one else travelling straight through will have.

Below are some example hotels that you can stay at right by Gare de Lyon.


Le Paris Stopover - the film


Snowcarbon Founder, Daniel, has travelled this way with big groups of friends and found that it works really well. 

The relaxed journey and the stop in Paris give even more opportunity for making the journey part of the holiday. In Paris there are lots of hotels that are right by Gare de Lyon, so that after a good nights sleep you can wake up freshed, walk out of your hotel, then 100 metres to the station and straight onto the train (perhaps picking up freshly baked croissant from the bakery by the station or the cafes inside).

He has created a two-minute film from the most recent trip this way, showing how the group travelled and had fun on the way.

By travelling this way you can sneak in an afternoon skiing on the slopes - the day that you arrive.  As this film shows.


Hotel Palym, Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotel Palym, Paris Gare de Lyonphoto:Daniel Elkan Hotel Palym

Just around the corner from Gare de Lyon station is the comfortable Hotel Palym.

The rooms are clean, attractive and very reasonably priced:

Single €89 - €95; Double or twin €105; Triple €140; Quadruple €160; A buffet breakfast is €8
Contact details: Phone: +33 1 43 43 24 48; email: infos@hotel-palym.com; www.paris-hotel-palym.com


Hotel Viator, Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotel Viator, Paris Gare de Lyonphoto:Daniel Elkan Hotel Viator

Equally close to Gare de Lyon station is the cute and comfortable Hotel Viator.
The rooms are attractive and very well presented.  The room rates are listed below, but the hotel said that if you phone they sometimes have special offers.
Single €127; Double or twin €130 - 225
Contact details: Phone: +33 1 43 43 11 00; email: info@hotelviator.com; www.paris-hotel-viator.com


Like some help sourcing Paris hotels?

We've been beautifully surprised by the efficient service offered by Budgetplaces.com in finding hotels near Gare de Lyon.

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: reservations@budgetplaces.com; web:Budgetplaces.com
 


Getting from Paris-Nord to your hotel

seating Taxi driver waiting at Paris-Nord

From Paris-Nord, to the Eurostar, it's a simple transfer to your hotel.  You can do this in three ways:  by pre-booked taxi, with a taxi from the taxi rank or by  RER (part of the Metro).

The taxi journey is a 15 - 20 minute drive, and costs about €18 for a four-seater taxi, or for the pre-booked taxi is €55 - €65 for an eight-person vehicle. All types of transfer can take skis and snowboard bags, so there's no problem there. 

All in all, you should factor in one hour from your Eurostar arriving to you arriving at the hotel, although it would usually take less time.

Once that's done, you are free to enjoy your day and/or evening in Paris, knowing the next day you'll be hitting the slopes!

To find out how to change easily, just view our guide to changing station from Paris-Nord to Paris-Lyon.


Pre-booked taxi to your hotel

 

When you arrive in Paris, wouldn't it be lovely to be greeted at the end of the Eurostar platform by a taxi driver waiting with a namecard, with your name on it, and taken smoothly in a people-carrier across to your hotel. Well you can.

We made a one-minute film about it to show exactly what it is like (and had fun doing it!).

This is a brilliant way of crossing Paris for a family or a group of friends. It just makes things very easy.


Choosing how long you stay in Paris

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As long as you stay in Paris less than 24 hours, you can still book the journey on one ticket and take advantage of lower "Connection Fares".

So if you want to spend a day or an afternoon in Paris, this won't affect the price of your rail ticket.

Here are some of the Eurostar's you could take, for example:

London Paris Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
13:31 16:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
14:01 17:17           Yes  
14:31 17:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
15:01 18:17             Yes
15:31 18:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
16:22 19:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
16:52 20:17           Yes  
17:31 20:47 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
18:01 21:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
18:31 21:47         Yes    
19:01 22:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
20:01 23:17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Morning TGV trains to the Alps

Depart Paris-Lyon Destination Arrive Resorts served include Days of week
06:28 Oulx 11:23 Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere Everyday
06:49 Moutiers 11:03 Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens Saturdays
07:11 Cluses 11:08 Avoriaz, Flaine, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens Sat-Sun
07:11 Sallanches 11:36 Megeve Sat-Sat
07:11 St Gervais 11:45 St Gervais, Les Contamines, Chamonix Sat-Sun
07:49 Moutiers 12:13 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat-Sun
07:49 Aime-la-Plagne 12:31 La Plagne Sat-Sun
07:49 Bourg St Maurice 12:52 Les Arcs, Sainte Foy, La Rosiere, Tignes, Val d'Isere Sat-Sun
08:45 Moutiers 12:59 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat-Sun
09:49 Moutiers 14:29 Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Valmorel, Val Thorens Sat-Sun
10:11 Cluses 14:50 Avoriaz, Flaine, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens Saturdays
10:11 Sallanches 15:08 Megeve Saturdays
10:11 St Gervais 15:19 St Gervais, Les Contamines, Chamonix Saturdays
10:41 Oulx 15:23 Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere Everyday

You can find out more about how to book these journeys in our guide to booking ski holidays by train.


Booking your rail travel

As long as you stay in Paris less than 24 hours, you can still book the journey on one ticket. This gives the opportunity to get a "Connection Fare" which is a cheaper fare available on many Eurostar + TGV journeys.

You can find out more about how to book these journeys in our guide to booking ski holidays by train.


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.