From the sparkling lights of Paris to the balmy breezes of the Mediterranean coast, France has so much to discover. Getting all your dream destinations into one holiday may seem overwhelming! Fortunately, thanks to the country’s vast rail network, discovering the majestic cities and hidden gems of the Hexagon is a comfortable, efficient and eco-friendly.
So, skip the airport. Let’s delve into the reasons that France is best experienced by train.
1. Avoid the stress of the airport with the train
French airports are located outside of city centres. So just getting there can be a hassle. Once you’ve arrived two hours ahead of time, there is the headache of going through security and the sprint to your gate. Did we mention luggage weight limits and hidden fees? None of this spells out “dream holiday.”
2. See more with the train
Discover France while en route. There’s no need to wait for arrival to take in the country’s beautiful landscapes and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Service from Marseille to Nice, for instance, boasts stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline! Plus, there’s no need for a window seat to enjoy the view, as you’re free to move around during your journey. Train travel also allows for multiple (planned or improvised!) stops along the way. Regional trains offer stops in small villages, where you can eat farm-to-table meals and discover the French art de vivre.
Regional train © istock- Rail Europe
3. Make yourself at home with the train
Take walks up and down the aisle at your convenience, visit the bistro or the dining car, and make yourself comfortable. If you prefer to settle into your cosy seat, you can recline for a nap or enjoy a game of cards with your family in carré seating (four seats arranged around a table). For travellers who are also outdoor adventurers, bike racks are available for booking. Hop off and cycle right out into nature.
SNCF train in the countryside © istock- Rail Europe
4. Stay connected in the train
No need to put your devices in flight mode. You can use them to your heart’s content. Whether you’d like to update your loved ones on your journey or sink into your seat with a good book on your e-reader, staying connected is just another perk of train travel. Most TGV INOUI trains in France are even equipped with free wifi!
5. Join the sustainable revolution with the train.
The last (and perhaps most important) reason to take the train is a big one. Air travel is now one of the fastest growing contributors to climate change. A recent study commissioned by Eurostar concluded that choosing the train over flying cuts CO2 emissions by 90% per passenger (for travel on a Paris to London route). So, you’re contributing to a greener future—not bad for a dream holiday!
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Pyrénéees © Adobe stock