An overnight train to the Alps
Ailefroide is a small village situated in the Hautes Alpes in France about 35 minutes’ drive from Briancon and only a stone’s throw on the map from Alp D’Huez and Argentiere. I recently visited with my daughter and around thirty members of our mountaineering club – KMC. This is one in a series of blog posts about how to get there and what to do when you do.
Return train to London: £30 (with family railcard)
Return Eurostar to Paris: £89
Sleeper train Paris to Briancon return: £110
**Due to arriving more than one hour late (four, in our case), we were given an envelope to send in our tickets and receive a full refund from SNCF. I thought this was brilliant. They also provided an aeroplane-style breakfast box, as we had no opportunity to buy food or drink during the journey or with the delay.
Pros of the train option
You can read or do work on the way
Get to see the countryside
No need to worry about driving / breaking down in a foreign place
No petrol costs which could be unpredictable
No ferries to wait for
It forces you to pack light and be minimal (a good thing for me!)
Good if other people you now can take a few heavy things over for you
You get to speak the lingo more !
You learn things you wouldn’t find out if you were driving
SNCF were very organised when the train broke down – coach arrived within 20 mins
Cheaper than two people driving
You have to carry everything you might need, unless someone else can take some of your bags
You can’t take everything for every eventuality
No transport when you’re there
Trains sometimes break down
Transfers for the final stage were expensive
Plane to Lyon & Drive a hire car
Plane to Geneva & Drive a hire car
Drive from the UK (Total of around £550 – £650 per car)
Any questions, please feel free to ask.
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