Ardeche France Steam Railway Holiday
SaturdayMeet at London St Pancras International mid-morning, then it’s a Eurostar to Lille and TGV to our hotel at Lyon Perrache arriving about 18.00. On arrival, and after checking in you will have the opportunity to familiarise the local area, then will be invited to a “get together” evening meal (included) at the hotel. A relaxed start to our “dash”.
SundayA 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, journeying from St Agreve to Tence aboard the Velay Express (which is tres lentement!)
MondayTo 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 a beer/coffee break high above Grenoble itself. Fantastic views of the Isere River and Grenoble from high up on the Chartreuse Range, overlooking the Vercours Range – magnifique – Sacre Bleu!
To the Ardeche, again, for the absolutely unsurpassable journey, 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 journey in Europe. Hauled by an historic Mallet locomotive and aboard our exclusively hired carriage, 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 then rail back to Lyon.
No visit to Lyon is complete without a meal in Lyon’s 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!