If you’re planning a trip to Paris this year then do think about taking a day trip down to the Loire valley by train. It’s so easy to hop on the TGV at Montparnasse – the journey is direct and will have you in Angers by 09h30. In just half an hour we can have you in the heart of the Loire countryside just a stones throw from the river. The drive from the station to our tasting room takes you along the riverside and through a series of pretty villages built from the local limestone before you reach our sleepy hamlet. You’ll spend the morning tasting a range of wines from all over the Loire and then you’ll enjoy a lovely relaxing lunch prepared by us and served in our old barrel cellar. In the afternoon we visit a winery or take a walk down to the river and enjoy its beauty. Here are a few tips for planning your trip.
- Think ahead – tickets for the TGV are released 3 months in advance and this is when you will get the best prices. If you book early you can save as much as 50% on the cost of your ticket.
- The French site www.sncf.com has the best choice of trains and the most competitive prices. You can book through other sites such as Rail Europe but fewer trains are offered and generally the price is higher. If you have a little French then have a go using the French site or if you plan to spend a day with us then ask me – I can help.
- Prems are the cheapest tickets – they are non exchangeable and non-refundable so you need to be sure of your plans.
- Loisir tickets are the next best option – you can exchange them up until the night before your travel date if necessary so offer a bit more flexibility
- Seats are comfortable and the service is efficient – upgrade to first class if you’re seeking a bit of luxury but it’s not essential.
- If you order your tickets on-line then choose an e-ticket that you can print off yourself. E-tickets don’t need composting at the station so you can hop straight on the train.
- When you travel on the TGV you are allocated a specific seat number – be sure to sit in the right seat or you may be asked to move.
- The carriage numbers are marked on the train by the doors. Look for the plan of the train on the platform that shows the location of each carriage and make your way to the right spot before the train arrives.
- Arrive at the station in good time, particularly if you need to pick up your tickets. Trains that leave early in the morning also have commuters on them so it will be busy. Avoid the stress and if you’re passing by, collect your tickets in advance if you don’t have an e-ticket.
- Don’t panic when you don’t see a platform up on the departures board. The platform will only be shown 20 minutes before departure.
- When checking your train, look for the TGV number on your ticket – your destination is not necessarily the final destination of the train. If traveling to Angers, Nantes is often the final stop.
- Remember to get off the train at Angers! Trains don’t stop for long so be prepared and ready to hop off at the right stop.
- Relax and enjoy the journey – before you know it you’ll be in the lovely Loire valley.
A day trip from Paris by train makes a fabulous change of pace from Paris . Come on – let us share a little of our life in the Loire countryside with you!