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Travel Guide to France
Here are a few links to plan your next trip to France. Prices often change and the best deals are found on the various companies' websites. Easyjet wins the prize for being the quickest and cheapest to reach many cities if you book well in advance. Sometimes you could pay the same amount for a coach fare to Calais as you would for flying directly to Paris! It just takes a bit of searching and luck.
* www.day-tripper.net/ is a very complete website and a goldmine of information, but it will take time to find your way around.
* www.go-by-coach.co.uk offers a list of hundreds of coach companies with telephone numbers and addresses but has very few links to websites.
* www.eurolines.co.uk/ (National Express) will take you from London (Victoria) to Calais.
tel : 08705 808080.
For exemple, the coaches will take you from London to Paris from £14 one way (booking at least 15 days before departure) or from London to City Europe in Calais.
For ski fans, trips from London-Victoria, Earl's Court, Chiswick, Baker Street or Euston to Chamonix and Chambery between December and March. The journey last 18 hours or so but this is the cheapest way to the slopes.
* www.cross-channel-ferries-france.co.uk/ allows you to book a ferry ticket with the various ferry companies to France but also Ireland, England (UK), Scotland, Holland, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, and Norway. As a rule, it is better to travel mid-week and of course not during school holidays.
You can also select a particular ferry operator from the list below.
* www.hoverspeed.co.uk goes from Dover To Calais and from Newhaven to Dieppe, mid-week special prices for a car and 5 passengers, early bookings available. It will take you some time to read the complicated price list and time table. We found the booking online difficult to use.
Tel : 0870 240 8070 or 00800 1211 1211
* www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ is an easy way to go to Normandy and Brittany. Trips from Portsmouth to Caen, St Malo, and Cherbourg. Also Poole to Cherbourg and Plymouth/Cork to Roscoff. The website is user-friendly to book online. You can select the dates of your trip and a calendar of the month of your travel is displayed, showing the time of the various departures.
Tel: 08703 665 333
* www.condorferries.co.uk from Poole, Weymouth and Portsmouth to Cherbourg, St Malo and also Jersey & Guernsey.
tel: 0845 345 2000
* www.norfolkline.com goes from Dover to Dunkerque (Dunkirk). This is a plain and easy-to-navigate website, where you can book online and see a clear table of the fare prices.
Tel: 0870 870 1020
* P&O Ferries goes from Dover to Calais, from Hull to Rotterdam and to Zeebrugge and from Portsmouth to Bilbao and to Le Havre (only until 30th Sept). Prices vary depending on the date of the booking, the period of the year and the number of days travelling. Booking online is simple but we could not find the difference between a DB4 Berth Outside Cabin or JB4 Berth Inside Cabin!
Tel:08705 20 20 20
Mon-Fri : 8am-8pm & Sat-Sun : 8am-6.30pm
* www.seafrance.com from Dover to Calais. There are different prices for 3 Days, 5 days'stays or more. Early booking are available for 2004. A busy website but once you have found the right button, booking is easy.
Tel : 08705 711 711
* www.eurostar.com/. Eurostar is doing well with its new campaign "Fly to Paris" in just 2h35 to 2h50. It is easy to book online or by telephone on 08705 186 186.
* www.raileurope.co.uk/ is dealing with tickets for Eurostar, TGV, French Motorail, Inter-Rail and Snow trains.
Tel : 08708 371 371 Europe, 08702 415 415 French Motorail, 08701 244 646 snow trains
* www.eurotunnel.com : Prices vary depending on the length of the stay, from one day trip to 7 days or more.
It is a popular way of crossing the channel with the high-speed link between Folkestone and Calais taking only 35 minutes. The link runs 24hrs/ è days a week. During the crossing you remain inside your vehicle in the air-conditioned brightly lit carriages and members of staff are always available to answer questions.
Tel : 08705 353535 from Mon-Fri : 8am to 7pm and Sat-Bank holidays 8am-5.30pm; Sun : 9am-5.30pm
* www.sncf.com is the official train company. You can of course book online, there is an English version although you don't get the same offers as the French one. There are also links to special offers flights to destinations such as New York, Rome and Lisbonne.
For bookings in UK www.raileurope.co.uk
* www.airfrance.co.uk/ has flights from London Heathrow to Paris CDG, Lyon, Toulouse and Nice, from Gatwick to Bordeaux, Nantes, Montpellier, Biarritz, Avignon, Rennes and Strasbourg. It also flies from London City Airport to Paris CDG, Orly and Bastia in Corsica. Other flights go from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Aberdeen and Southampton. Prices are very competitive and it is easy to book online.
Tel : 0845 0845 111
* www.ryanair.co.uk flies mainly from Stansted Airport, Luton and Liverpool to the largest number of cities of any Airline : St Etienne (Lyon), Rodez, Perpignan, Nimes, Dinard, Tours, Montpellier, Poitiers, Biarritz, Bergerac, Limoges, Rochefort, Grenoble, Carcassonne.
* www.easyjet.com flies to Lyon, Marseilles, Nice, Paris CDG and Orly, and Toulouse. Fares to Marseilles in January range from £2.99 to £31.99. Great as long as you don't mind the early morning start.
* www.flybmi.com mainly flies to Paris CDG and Nice from London and Leeds.
* www.ba.com offers very good prices to Lyon and Paris.
Tel : 7 days a week from 6am till 9.45pm at 0870 850 9850
* Also, other airlines travel from London to Paris or Nice such as Lufthansa and Swiss Air, from Heathrow to Paris CDG.
* www.expedia.co.uk offers deals to ski resorts from January to Chamonix, La Plagne, Meribel, Avoriaz, Val d'Isère, Tignes, Les Menuires, Les Arcs, l'Alpe d'Huez .
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