About getting to Provence by Train
It's surprisingly easy, quick and comfortable to travel overland by train...from and to just about anywhere. Especially between some of the major European cities.
The two main arrival points in Provence are the train stations of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. The TGV Méditerranée line connects Paris with the South and the Southeast of France, serving Lyon, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. To reach the towns and villages in the French Riviera, the TGV travels at a slower speed to Toulon, Cannes and the city of Nice. Avignon is also served by the Auto Train service where you deposit your car on the train and take a comfortable seat in the carriage to your destination. Perfect for long journeys.
More information on getting around Provence by train in our Local & Tourist Train Services Guide.
Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train from London to Paris & London to Brussels, which travels via the Channel Tunnel. Not to be confused with Eurotunnel, the company which owns the Channel Tunnel whose car-carrying trains shuttle road vehicles across the Channel.
Run by Eurostar International Limited, the company is owned by SNCF French Railways (55%), SNCB Belgian Railways (5%) & 40% originally by the UK government but now sold to overseas investors. Eurostar carries passengers, not cars. They now run a direct train from London to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille between one and five times a week all year round. You can also get a train to Geneva, but with one change, that takes approximately 6-7 hours.
Eurotunnel however provides a quick and simple method to get you and your car from England to France. From Folkestone to Calais in only 35 minutes, it is the fastest way to get across (or under) the English Channel. There are around four departures every hour - book early to get the best prices. If you are travelling with your bike, then see our Cycling Guide for information on taking you bike on the train.
The 'Train a Grand Vitesse' (TGV) is the high speed rail network of France. Reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, it's a great way to whip through the French countryside to your destination. Most journeys start in Paris, so if you are in the UK, you will need to take the Eurostar from London to Paris first (see above).
The SNCF website has the information for the TGV (high speed trains) & national rail service, or tgv-europe for all European train travel. TGV train tickets must be bought in advance. There are whole host of discounts available for families, seniors, and groups. Cats & dogs are allowed on the train for a fee.