Gastronomy of France by Rail
- 13 Days
- From $2,899
- Start your trip in the beautiful city of Strasbourg, with its unique medieval taverns
- Travel South to Lyon, known as France’s capital of gastronomy, with more restaurants per head than anywhere else in the country
- Indulge in the famous wine-growing region of Bordeaux, home to some of the world’s most famous vineyards
- Spend two nights in Paris, the iconic French capital and city of romance
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class train tickets with seat reservations
- 12 nights handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
This holiday begins with a rail transfer from Frankfurt Airport, but we can add connecting trains from a different starting point if you would prefer. On arrival in Strasbourg, check in for a 3-night stay at the Maison Rouge (or similar).
Strasbourg’s unique location on the banks of the Rhine and pressed up against France’s border with Germany, means that the city’s identity and cuisine is a fascinating mix of two nations’ tastes and cultures. After a walk through the historic area of La Petite France, make sure you try some local dishes, such as choucroute – a delicious combination of pork and pickled cabbage – best enjoyed with a glass of the local Reisling!
Your direct service to Lyon departs after breakfast and the four hour journey on France’s high-speed rail network gives you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the French countryside. Refreshments are available on board (at an additional cost) but you might want to save your appetite for your arrival into France’s ‘gastronomic capital’, as you will arrive just in time for lunch. Your hotel, Grand Hotel des Terreaux (or similar) is in the city centre, a short taxi ride from the station, so after checking in for a 2-night stay, you will be ready to head out.
For foodies, there is perhaps only one place to start your day: at the legendary Les Halles de Lyon, the city’s famed indoor market. Groaning with fresh produce, from vegetables to chickens to cheeses, you will quickly understand at least part of the reason why Lyon’s restaurants are so highly-regarded. The city itself is remarkably beautiful, and after the market you might enjoy a stroll through its boulevards and squares before choosing one of Lyon’s unique bouchons to settle down for a long, hearty lunch. Be sure to consider trying some of the regional specialities, including quenelles, smoked sausages and local cheeses.
Your direct TGV service to Carcassonne takes around three hours. On arrival, check in at Hotel de la Cité (or similar), where you will stay for 2 nights.
Celebrated for its walled old town, complete with castle, turrets and battlements, the charming city of Carcassonne is also known for its restaurants and cafés, many of which serve traditional dishes from the South of France. Having explored the hilltop fortifications – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – find somewhere where you can sample cassoulet, a local stew of beans and sausages, or one of the numerous other local specialities.
Another direct service brings you into Bordeaux just in time for a late lunch. You have 3 nights here at the Best Western Bayonne Etche-Ona (or similar).
Surrounded by vineyards producing truly world-class wine, the city of Bordeaux is foody heaven. You might choose to do a wine tasting tour, learning more about the hard work that goes into the contents of your glass, before returning to the city, ready to sample some of the city’s many dining options which range from Michelin star dining to a lively street food scene. Bordeaux centre is also the world’s largest urban UNESCO World Heritage Site and manages to combine historic architecture with contemporary design, helping to create a thriving cultural scene.
A mid-morning train from Bordeaux takes a little over two hours to speed through the countryside and deliver you into the beating heart of Paris. You will spend 2 nights at Hotel Malte-Astotel (or similar).
Enjoy your stay in France’s capital, heaving with restaurants, cafés and bars catering to every whim and fancy. There are, of course, plenty of other attractions to help you build up your appetite, from the famous museums such as the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay, through to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the magnificent royal palace at Versailles. With so much choice, two nights might not feel long enough, and we would be delighted to discuss extending your stay in the City of Light.
It’s time to leave France today for your onward journey. You might like to hop across the English Channel to London or continue north to Belgium and the Netherlands. Let us know if we can help with your onward travel plans.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Situated in the pedestrian area around Place Kléber, the historic Maison Rouge features ancient stained-glass windows and rooms decorated with individual character. The rooms at Maison Rouge feature a minibar and satellite TV. Each is serviced by the hotel’s traditional lift and has an en suite bathroom with a bath or shower.
The Grand Hotel des Terreaux occupies a grand 19th century building on Lyon’s Presqu’île, within walking distance of Vieux Lyon (the Old Town area). Bedrooms are individually decorated with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and en suite bathrooms. Guests are welcome to relax in the cosy bar or enjoy a swim in the indoor pool.
The Hotel de la Cité occupies a beautiful chateau located within the medieval citadel of Carcassonne, with gardens overlooking the Basilica of Saint Nazaire. Bedrooms are decorated in a Provençal style with tea & coffee making facilities, iPod docking stations and complimentary Wi-Fi access provided. The hotel also boasts an outdoor pool, a Michelin starred restaurant, a brasserie and an on-site wine cellar where guests can enjoy tastings.
This boutique, contemporary style hotel is located in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Bordeaux. Each spacious bedroom has a private bathroom with bathrobes , as well as satellite TV, free Wi-Fi internet access and tea and coffee making facilities. Why not try some local Bordeaux wine in the hotel’s cosy bar?
The Saint Paul Rive Gauche is a family-run boutique hotel, located in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The building dates back to the 17th century and was once the home of Franciscan monks. The individually decorated bedrooms range from the traditional to the contemporary and there is also a cosy lounge area.