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Eurostar's London to Avignon tickets go on sale

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 04:19 on Tuesday 17 December 2013

Tickets for Eurostar's direct summer service from London St Pancras to Avignon in the south of France will go on sale today for an extended travel period.

Dining alfresco in the centre of Avignon. Photo © Avignon TourismeDining alfresco in the centre of Avignon. Photo © Avignon Tourisme

Between 28 June and 13 September 2014 inclusive, Eurostar will operate a weekly direct service to Avignon from St Pancras International and Ashford International every Saturday. Tickets are available from £109 return in standard class and £249 return in Standard Premier. Connecting fares are also available from over 200 towns and cities across the UK, including Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol, and Newcastle.

With direct journey times of under six hours from London St Pancras International and Ashford International, each year sees high demand for the summer Avignon service tickets. Eurostar’s spring services to Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence proved highly popular with holidaymakers keen to explore more of Provence and plans are afoot to launch an extended year round service to the south of France in 2015.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar said; “The popularity of our 2013 Lyon Provence trial and our annual summer Avignon services shows us that the Brits love affair with the South of France is stronger than ever. By opening sales to Avignon earlier than usual and by extending services we are serving the growing number of people choosing high-speed rail over air. Journeys with Eurostar avoid the summer scramble at the airports and increasingly passengers see their rail journey as part of the holiday itself.”

Watch our short 3-minute video on how easy it is to take the train from London to Avignon in the south of France:

(copyright Greentraveller Limited, uploaded via Vimeo)

>> Book train tickets to Avignon

>> Holidays in Provence reachable by train

Travelling from London to Avignon on the direct summer service

The London to Avignon Direct Service on Eurostar takes just 5 hours 36 minutes and is the quickest route, but it only operates in summer. It departs London St Pancras at 7:17, arrives Avignon 13:53 – the train station is just outside the city walls, from where it's a two minute walk into the city. The return leg leaves Avignon at 16:39 and arrives into London at 21:42. A return ticket costs from £109 return in Standard Class (returns are also Saturdays only). For timings and details of how to plan the journey, see our rail journey planner.

What to see in Avignon

The ancient city of Avignon is regarded as one of Europe’s loveliest medieval cities: flanked by the Rhône and approached through tall stone ramparts, it has cobbled, shady squares, covered markets and quirky museums, the famous Palace of Popes (home of medieval popes), as well as the twelfth-century Pont St-Benezet, the fabled bridge featured in the French children’s song Sur le Pont d’Avignon. 

Getting around the city
By bike: as featured in the video (see above), there's an excellent city bike hire scheme – they're free for the first half hour, then it costs a Euro for every hour. You can also hire bikes at Provence Bikes (website is in French only) on Boulevard St Roch (tel. +33 (0) 490 279 261). If you take the year-round TGV to the TGV train station 3km outside Avignon, you can pre-order bikes from Holiday Bikes (tel +33 0810 808 609).

Where to stay in and around Avignon
Beautiful interiors. Photo: Canvas ChicBeautiful interiors. Photo: Canvas ChicWhile there are plenty of places to stay in the city (see www.ot-avignon.fr), the surrounding region of the Ardèche is home to some hidden gems. Canvas Chic is a large yurt camp in a stunning setting near Mas de Serret above the Ardèche Gorge. There are twelve yurts: nine designed for families (with access to a conventional tent with a kitchen) and three intended for couples, a short walk into an oak forest in a more secluded part of the camp. The yurts provide the novelty, but the main feature here is the setting: a trail from the camp leads down the side of the gorge to an opening in the forest and out on to La Chataigneraie beach, where there’s an idyllic natural bathing area surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.

For higher views of the Ardèche, stay at Les Roudils, a renovated three-room guesthouse near the village of Jaujac in theArdèche Hills. The house is built of chestnut wood and stone, heating is solar-powered and you can enjoy views of the Tanargue Range from the terrace over a breakfast of poached eggs, pancakes made with chestnut flour, honey cakes and home-made jams. There are lots of walks available to work off that breakfast: in the valley, along the riverbank or higher up in the hills.

Travelling in the Ardeche and beyond
Avignon is a bridge to the south of France: it is well connected by train and is the gateway to Provence and the Côte d’Azur. For B&Bs, holiday gîtes, hotels and camp-sites in the Ardèche as well as suggestions for where to go walking, canoeing and riding and a guide to local restaurants, see Ardeche Tourism.

For a comprehensive guide to Provence, see www.provenceweb.fr.

>> Book a train ticket on Eurostar's direct train service to Avignon

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