How to get away this fall
Is there a more peaceful means of transportation than the train? Choose between these 7 journeys in various areas in France that offer awe-inspiring sights: gaze at the fiery colors of fall and the gorgeous landmarks, and indulge in some daydreaming courtesy of our beautiful regions.
The Swallow Railway in the Jura Mountains
Have you ever heard of this legendary line crossing the Jura Mountains in the east of France? Built by men working on scaffoldings so high in the sky they could spot swallows flying up close, it was designed to connect the towns of Dole and Saint-Claude and covers 120 km. Travel between heaven and earth aboard the Swallow Railway and enjoy breathtaking views outside your window.
Travel between Nîmes and Le Grau-du-Roi
Trains taking you from the “French Rome” to the seaside resort of Le Grau-du-Roi go through the beautiful little Camargue, in the South-East. Marvel at the 13th century fortifications around the town of Aigues-Mortes, and don’t miss the flocks of pink flamingoes in the marshy plains. The wildlife in the Gard area is especially spectacular this time of year.
The line between Libourne and Bergerac
Recently renovated, this railway takes you across the Purple Périgord, in south-west France. Settle down in your seat and behold: charming hillside villages, vineyards and glowing chestnut woods… You might even glimpse a picturesque castle perched above a river during your trip.
The “yellow train” in the Pyrénées-Orientales
This train, which colors are reminiscent of the catalan flag, connects the stations of Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains and Latour-de-Carol — Enveitg. Ranked among the World Heritage Sites, this railway near the Spanish border will grant you an exceptional experience. Along this steep journey, you will discover the plunging Tet valley and you will be gifted with incredible views of the Pyrenees Mountains. You might even spot an old village or a Norman church hidden in plain sight.
The Paris-Mulhouse railway
This famous line which used to connect Paris to Switzerland back in the 19th century takes you for a surprising ride across eastern France. The variety of landscapes will fill you with wonder: the old industrial buildings near the city of Troyes, the succession of locks along the canals, the famous Chaumont viaduct with its 50 arches and 3 tiers… Pro tip: illuminated by hundreds of LEDs, the viaduct is a sight to be seen at night!
Between Paris and Annecy
Ski lovers are familiar with this line on the way to the French Alps that offers many outstanding viewpoints. First are the plains and the vineyards in beautiful Burgundy, then the Lake Bourget which inspired many French poets. Near the pretty city of Annecy, behold the green mountain pastures and, at long last, the clear waters of the lake bordered by steep summits.
The “ligne des Causses” in central southern France
This iconic single-track line links the towns of Béziers and Neussargues-Moissac by winding through the Massif Central. Highlights include the viaduct of Garabit, one of the masterpieces of the famous French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, and the descent into the valley of the Tarn River. This railway also goes through the little town of Roquefort, named after the famous French cheese.
Why taking the train is better for the environment
Were you aware that trains are among the most eco-friendly modes of transportation? Indeed, by traveling by train, you will emit 25 times less greenhouse gases than by driving your car.