One of the best ways to explore a country is to take a train and France is no exception.
The French countryside boasts thousands upon thousands of miles of railway lines running through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and the opportunity to see this close up should not be missed. One of the many advantages of taking the train includes being able to enjoy the views as you travel – something that could be dangerous when driving and missed altogether if taking a plane. In addition, those who choose to drive in France could find it expensive as there are regular motorway tolls which can really hike up the cost of a journey considerably.
It is often recommended for scenic journeys in France to try the southern and central regions, as there are a number of long trips that are ideal for seeing plenty of the countryside. One of the longest journeys covers 300 km and takes the traveller from Arvant to Beziers. The line for this journey reaches a height of 1100 metres at the tip of the Massif Central, ensuring amazing views of the mountains and the surrounding area.
Another popular journey through this region of the country is the trip from Nimes to Clermont Ferrand. This also takes travellers through the heart of the Massif Central, taking in the areas around Cevennes and journeying through no less than 106 tunnels and crossing around 1300 bridges. This includes the Chamborigaud Viaduct which boasts 41 arches. Nimes can be reached easily from Paris using the TGV and the line onwards to Clermont Ferrand measures more than 300 km. The scenery en-route includes plenty of vineyards and the highest point of the journey is more than 1000 metres above sea-level. This is a trip which can take just under 6 hours and takes in picturesque towns and villages such as Issoire, Langogne and Villefort.
Escorted train holidays are becoming an increasingly popular option for holidaymakers, as they are a very leisurely way to travel. One of the main features of this kind of break is that stressing over a travel itinerary is reduced to a minimum as it is all covered in the cost of the journey. In many respects, it is the ideal way of making new friends, as fellow passengers will be on the same trips at the same time. For a must-do trip, escorted holidays in the Dordogne are perfect. The trip begins at Rocamadour – a town famed for its setting in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne – and there are a number of excursions available in the region. The route takes in the village of Martel, which dates back to medieval times, and there are excursions to local caves, a boat trip and a trip on a steam train.
An escorted holiday is ideal for those who are concerned about making connections or the language barrier and as everything is planned in advance there is no need to worry about anything. Being able to take a holiday at such a leisurely pace is a must for those who want to get away from the stresses and strains of their usual routine and it is a great way to recharge the batteries.
When booking your escorted holiday ensure you take out travel insurance. You will then be covered in the even of cancellation and you recover and non-refundable deposits you may have paid out. Terms and conditions including exclusions apply of course and you should ensure you are familiar with your cover.