All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Eurostar via Lyon

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 11:17 -- admin

Eurostar's direct service from London to Lyon creates a wider range of journey options to French ski resorts

Travel to the French Alps via Lyon

This winter season 2016-17, Eurostar's new direct service from London to Lyon will run on peak Saturdays, such as New Year, Feb half term and Easter. This new route opens up some interesting new possibilities, and is worth considering for three reasons:

1. Some resorts that you could only be reached by changing station in Paris, can now be reached by only changing platform in Lyon. And though changing station in Paris is easy when you do it by taxi, as this film shows, the simple change of platform in Lyon is certainly easier still. 

2. Even for resorts that are already accessed by the direct Eurostar Ski Train to the French Alps, this new route via Lyon adds capacity.  You may find that on peak dates when the direct Ski Train is sold out or expensive, the route via Lyon has seats available, or better pricing. Maybe.  The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

3. You can use the Lyon route on the outbound to create a stopover in Lyon, if your accommodation is Sunday - Sunday. Quite a nice way to do it.

So all in all, a welcome new addition to your train journey options.

Step 1: Take a Eurostar direct to Lyon

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You get on the Eurostar at St Pancras at 07:19, or at Ashford at 07:55.

You sit down, relax, feel good about the world, go to the cafe bar, come back from cafe bar with your friends, who are beaming at you because you got them stuff from the cafe bar, sit back down, eat, drink, chat...ok you get the picture...

Then at 13:00 exactly (1pm in old money) you arrive Lyon Part Dieu.

You may also want to see our guide to what the Eurostar is like.

Step 2: Change platform in Lyon

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You've arrived at Lyon, and you only have to change platform to take your onward local train to your ski resort.

There are escalators and lifts, so this is very easy and hassle-free.

Lyon station has cafes and restaurants in it and next to it.  So depending on the time of your onward local train, you might like to have some lunch first or buy some things to take on board to eat.

Step 3: Take a local train from Lyon to the Alps

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Speed out of Lyon by local train through the French countryside, headed for your ski resort.

Rolling hills, fields, farms, houses - you'll see what people do with their back gardens, what little villages look like here.  Soon the mountains will rear into view.

Head to the cafe bar, grab a meal, some snacks, coffees or a bottle of wine. Have a snooze, do some work, play games, chat, dream about the slopes. When you arrive at your destination station, it is a relatively short taxi or bus ride up to your ski resort.

You may also want to see our guide to what the TGV is like.

Step 4: Transfer to your resort

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The final step is to get from the train station to the ski resort.  These transfers are typically between 15 minutes and 45 minutes,  and are far shorter than airport transfers - which can take 1.5 - three hours - or even longer.

It's a good idea pre-book a taxi transfer (although at popular stations like Bourg St Maurice and Moutiers you can find a taxi driver on the spot too).

There are also buses from train stations to ski resorts, usually timed to coincide with the arrival of the TGV.

For every ski resort on the Snowcarbon website, we have a transfer guide page to show you taxi and bus options and how to book them.

Outbound schedules - London to the Alps via Lyon

Depart London Also calls Arrive Paris-Nord Runs
07:19 07:55 13:00  

We have a special page on Snowcarbon, called Live Ski Trains Price Check, where you can view ticket prices and book the journey.

Once you arrive in Lyon, you can have lunch at the station (see below) or grab a snack (from the many outlets at the station) to eat on the local train that you'll take to your resort.  Lyon is an easy station to change platform, with escalators and lifts. Here are the onward train schedules:

Depart Lyon Destination Arrive at Ski resorts
14:08 Annecy 16:07 La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand
14:14 Grenoble 15:49 Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes, Chamrousse
13:40 Cluses 16:35 Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens, Les Carroz, Flaine
13:40 Sallanches 16:46 Megeve
13:40 St Gervais 16:53 Les Contamines, St Gervais
13:50 Moutiers 16:20 Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Val Thorens
13:50 Aime la Plagne 16:40 La Plagne
13:50 Landry 16:49 Peisey-Vallandry
13:50 Bourg St Maurice 16:58 La Rosiere, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d'Isere, Sainte Foy
14:50 St Michel-Valloire 17:37 Valmeinier, Valloire
14:50 Modane 17:53 Val Cenis

All local trains listed above are direct onward services from Lyon.

How to book tickets:

Ticket prices
Adult return fares from London to Lyon start from £89 in Standard Class.  Lyon to the Alps return will cost you between £20 and £55 (see table below).

When you can book
Tickets from London to Lyon for the entire 2016-17 winter season go on sale at the start of October. You'll be able view live prices and book here.   Eurostar and SNCF haven't yet confirmed how they are going to do the ticket sales, but hopefully they will make it simple to book the through journey - i.e. London to Lyon by Eurostar, and the onward journey by local train, all in one go.  We'll update this page as soon as we know.

Who to book with:
London - Lyon Eurostar section: this is already bookable now:
Lyon - ski resort destination station, on local train: this is bookable 120 days in advance, from 15th October.
Once the entire journey is available to book, you can also do this on Loco2's website.
London - Lyon Eurostar section: this is already bookable now on Eurostar's website.
Lyon - ski resort destination station, on local train: this cannot be booked on Eurostar's website.

Voyages SNCF
London - Lyon Eurostar section: this is already bookable now on Voyage SNCF's website
Lyon - ski resort destination station, on local train: this is bookable 120 days in advance, from 15th October.
Once the entire journey is available to book, you can also do this on Voyage SNCF's website.

See live prices for London - Lyon on our Live Ski Trains Price Check page

You can also find useful information in our guide: How to book the lowest fares

Prices from Lyon to your ski resort

Adult fares from Lyon on local trains
Destination One-way fare Return fare Ski resorts served include
Aime la Plagne £25 £50 La Plagne
Annecy £10 £20 La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand
Bourg St Maurice £25 £50 La Rosiere, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d'Isere, Sainte Foy
Briancon £36 £70 Montgenevre, Serre Che
Cluses £26 £52 Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine
Grenoble £17 £34 Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes
Landry £25 £50 Peisey-Vallandry
Modane £25 £50 Val Cenis
Moutiers £25 £50 Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Val Thorens, Valmorel
St Gervais £26 £52 St Gervais, Les Contamines
Sallanches £26 £52 Megeve

Sunday - Sunday accommodation? Then stopover.


The London-Lyon service runs every Saturday in winter, but if your accommodation is Sunday-to-Sunday you can stopover in Lyon on the Saturday night, and then take a local train the next morning.  About 40 metres from Gare de Lyon station, on the same side of the road, there are several hotels, such as Hotel Ibis Styles.  Nice, clean comfortable rooms - and very reasonably priced at weekends - for example:

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

Then on the inbound journey back from the Alps, you could come back with a TGV train to Paris and then a Eurostar from there.

You can find out more in our  Guide to stopping over in Lyon

You may also find a useful overview about booking train travel generally in guide to booking ski holidays by train.