This rail holiday combines the fast rail connections between the UK and the south of France with the convenience of a hire car to travel between destinations. After arriving by train in in Avignon you travel around glorious inland Provence with its lavender beds, olive groves and landscapes that inspired Van Gogh among many others. The holiday takes in Terre Blanche resort, Gordes and Avignon.DAY BY DAY ITINERARYDay one Leave London St Pancras at midday to travel to Avignon by train. On summer Saturdays there is a direct service with no need to change trains. On any other days the journey can be made with a very straightforward change of train at Lille Europe station. On arrival in Avignon TGV station in the evening, collect your hire car and at drive to the hotel La Magnaneraie which is a short distance away across the river in Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Spend two nights here.Day two At leisure to explore Avignon and surroundings. Sights to see in Avignon include the Palais des Papes, the Pont d'Avignon and Pont du Gard.Day three Drive from Avignon to the Terre Blanche Hotel and Spa Resort, near the village of Fayence – this is a journey of approximately three hours. Spend three nights at the Terre Blanche resort.Days four and five At leisure to explore the area around Terre Blanche.Day six Drive from Terre Blanche to Crillon le Brave in beautiful countryside east of the Rhone Valley. This is a drive of approximately three hours. Stay three nights at the Hostellerie de Crillon le Brave.Days seven and eight At leisure to explore the area.Day nine Drive to Avignon – about 45 minutes away and leave the hire car. Take the train back to London either direct or via Lille, leaving early afternoon and arriving at about 9pm.HOTELSHostellerie la Magnanerie – 4 star – near Avignon A charming house with pretty gardens across the river from Avignon yet within easy reach for exploring the city and the area. Good restaurant serving local cuisine.Terre Blanche Hotel and Spa Resort – 5 star – Terre Blanche This is an elegant resort in a quiet area close to the pretty little village of Fayence. There are spectacular views across hills and hamlets to the Alpes Maritimes. There are 115 suites, all situated in villa-style buildings. The hilltop Faventia restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine. There is a large spa and fitness centre, two golf courses and an outdoor poolHotel Crillon le Brave - 4 star - near GigondasThis is an exquisite bolt-hole in the village centre of Crillon le Brave, a village that nestles near the foot of Mont Ventoux and a short distance from the wine producing villages of Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise. Stylish and relaxing. PRICESFrom £1,600 per person for first class rail travel.From £1,560 per person for second class rail travel. Prices based on two sharing a double or twin room.What’s included?First or second class travel on all trains (as above) including EurostarAt the hotels: 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at La Magnaneraie near Avignon3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Terre Blanche Hotel & Spa Resort in Provence3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Crillon le Brave near Gigondas Category A car hire for the duration of your stay in ProvenceWhat’s not included?Meals other than breakfast at the hotelsAny services not mentioned aboveDatesThis rail holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.For more information regarding rail services to and within France, view our train guide.
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Paris Airport Main airports are in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, with scheduled and low cost airlines flying into the country from all over the UK. Currency Euro (£1 = Euro 1.24) Size Roughly 600 miles wide and 700 miles long Population 66 million Average temperature Varies dramatically, from about 8 degrees in winter in Brittany to 26 degrees in summer in Corsica, with snow on the Alps and Pyrenees year-round
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