Meet at London St Pancras International mid-morning, then it is a Eurostar to Lille and TGV to our hotel at Lyon Perrache arriving about 18.00. On arrival, and after checking in, you are invited to join your courier for a short stroll to where the local cafes are. A relaxed start to our “dash”.
A morning exploring the old parts of Lyon, including an optional (but included) walking tour of the “Traboules”. A scenic rail trip into the Loire Valley begins our afternoon trip and first excursion into the Ardeche. The train calls at Retournac where we join our coach for a splendid drive to St Agreve. Here we find our first “steam” of the holiday, chuffing from St Agreve to Tence aboard the Velay Express.
To the Alps today, via two stunning SNCF rail journeys from Lyon, via Aix-les-Bains to Grenoble. Two highlights, literally, to enjoy here. Lunch amid stunning views from the top of the St Hilaire Tramway, and fantastic views of the Isere River and Grenoble from high up on the Chartreuse Range, overlooking the Vercours Range – magnifique!
To the Ardeche, again, for the unsurpassable trip, steam hauled, from St Jean to L’Amastre aboard the Vivarais Railway. This two-hour journey is regarded as the finest, most scenic, narrow gauge railway ride in Europe. Enjoy incredible views as we travel through gorges, up hills and down dales to the lovely market town at L’Amastre. A lunch time break here and then we drive back down to Tournon, St Jean and rail back to Lyon. No visit to Lyon is complete without a meal in its most famous restaurant, George’s Brasserie. Enjoy a gastronomic, iconic, unique experience (included) – a fitting finale!
Homeward bound, but a lazy morning, then via Lille and back into London by 16.00 ish!
Why not have a night in Paris and join our Black, White and Gold holiday at Paris Gare d’Est tomorrow afternoon for a further 7 days touring the Alsace, Black Forest and Switzerland – price on application.
This four-star hotel is situated immediately adjacent to Lyon Perrache Station and within ten minutes walk of the city centre. It is a traditional railway hotel with high ceilings and a certain air of opulence. Recently modernised and renovated it serves an excellent buffet style breakfast – a quality base for a quality holiday.