Rail travel to France(3 Posts)
Hi Can anyone offer any gems of wisdom about travelling to France as a family of four with a car via auto rail. I want to go to the Dordogne or the South of France somewhere, destination not overly important however I want to travel by train and collect my car at or near my destination so that we can take camping equipment with us. My husband doesn't drive so I don't really relish driving that distance alone or want to put my car through the travel (it's old). How does it stack up in terms of cost? Say if we were to travel to Brive or Bordeaux or Marseille and how easy is it to plan and book? Thanks for consideration in advance
I believe the autotrain only goes from Paris nowadays, so you would have to drive as far as there anyway (and navigate central paris...). If goes down as far as Nice, with some stops on the way. A couple of years ago prices started from about €120 one-way, i think, although it depends on the size of your car. The sooner you book, the cheaper it is, and obviously midweek journeys sell out more slowly than friday and saturday nights. It can be booked online, but not in the normal sncf website. I seem to recall the correct website could sometimes, inexplicably, be hard to find...
How about getting the train from the uk instead, and hiring a car when you arrive, if you need one? Most major french railways stations have hire companies in them and near them ime. The journey time would be so much less than driving, you can get up and walk around, have a sleep etc on a train, and you would have a much larger choice of where you went.
Have a look at seat61.com for both options.
auto train booking site, i now remember that the reason it is hard to find is that if you wang to book from england they want you to ring up. You can book in french here though.
Have also just noticed in your op that you want to transport camping equipment, i would seriously consider a train and hiring a tent/chalet, if i were you though.
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