All you need to know about ski holidays by train

How to book train travel to La Plagne

La Plagne ski resort is well connected by train, and this guide will show you how to book rail travel to La Plagne in the best ways possible.


Planning your journey to La Plagne

The closest stations to La Plagne are Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice. When it comes to routes and times, the Snowcarbon Journey Planner is your most reliable, punctual friend. It shows you the best, hand-researched rail journeys from London to La Plagne by train, for dates up to 12 months in advance, to help you plan your journey before tickets go on sale.

Once tickets are on sale, you can of course use rail company and ticketing websites such as Eurostar, Rail Europe, Trainline, and SBB to research and compare journey schedules. 


When to book travel to La Plagne

ski travel by train to Alps

Tickets for the direct Eurostar Ski Train go on sale at 8am on Wednesday 17th July for all dates of the 2019-20 ski season.
Indirect journeys via Paris go on sale about 90 to 120 days in advance (it varies depending on the date).
Generally, in terms of saving money, trains around Europe work the same way as flights do - i.e: the earlier you book, the lower the fares.
Package deals that include train travel are available from a number of tour operators. Best of all, some of these packages can be booked through operators even before the independent rail tickets have gone on general sale. This is particularly useful for popular dates such as Feb half term.  For more details, see the Packages section below or browse ski holidays by train to La Plagne.

Independent rail travel to La Plagne
Eurostar Ski Train
Travel period Tickets go on sale
20th Dec 2019 - 11th April 2020 8am on Wed 17th July 2019
Eurostar + TGV journeys
Travel period Tickets go on sale
15 Dec 2019  - 5 Jan 2020 3 October 2019
6 Jan - 8 March 2020 17 October 2019
9 March 2020 onwards Four months in advance

How much does it cost?

ski travel by train to Alps

Based on many years of experience and constant research, these are the rough costs for return rail travel from London to Aime la Plagne or Bourg St Maurice, in standard class:

Holiday date Adult return fare
Feb half term £320 - £525
Christmas, New Year, Easter £275 - £450
Off peak dates £120 - £280
Children aged 4-11 pay 30% less than adults
Under 4s: free without a reserved seat

Be aware that French school holidays also affect the cost of journeys that involve TGV trains.


Where the Eurostar Ski Train stops

We've created a graphic of railway stations in the Tarentaise area of the French Alps. You can see which stations the Eurostar Ski Train calls at and which railway stations TGV trains from Paris call at too. You'll see that the Eurostar Ski Train doesn't stop at Aime la Plagne on the return journey. If you are booking the Eurostar Ski Train to travel to La Plagne, book the train to Bourg St Maurice.  Then alight at Aime la Plagne on the outbound, and get on at Bourg St Maurice for the return. 

Snowcarbon Tips icon Top Tips

  • Star icon There is no inbound Eurostar Ski Train stop at Aime Le Plagne. If you’re staying in La Plagne, you’ll need to get the Ski Train back from Bourg St Maurice (Bourg St Maurice station is easier access from La Plagne than Moutiers station)
  • The Eurostar Ski Train has a daytime (Saturdays) and overnight service (Friday nights out, Saturday nights back) every week of winter.
  • The first outbound Eurostar Ski Train is Friday 20th December 2019 and the last returning train is Saturday 4th April 2020.
  • Multiple TGV trains depart throughout Saturdays and Sundays (and some weekdays) during the winter season.


How to book – online, phone or agency?

ski holidays by train

In this day and age, booking a train journey from the UK to the Alps should surely be about as simple as booking a flight, right?
Wrong. It’s fair to say that the various rail operators have made a veritable dog’s dinner of integrating their booking systems.
As a result, it’s very important not to treat as gospel the journey options or prices that you are given – whether you get them online or by phone. 

For journeys that involve two or more trains, more suitable schedules or better prices might exist. And indeed, in many cases journeys or trains that are definitely bookable show up as 'not available' online. It’s ridiculous. And somebody needs to say something. And now we have.

Oh, and by the way, if you want extra time in Paris, either when changing trains or to stopover, then you’ll find that online booking - which automatically minimises the time between trains - isn’t suitable. 

So what’s the solution? Essentially, you need to be prepared to use a combination of phone, online or booking agency until you’re satisfied you’ve got the best options.


Booking online

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For the more straightforward journeys by Eurostar + TGV journeys, online booking generally works fine.

As mentioned, be aware that some journey or fare options just don’t show up online and if you want to stopover in Paris, or have extra time changing trains, online booking generally is too inflexible to allow this.  Don’t accept that what you see online is all that there is. Here are the most suitable booking websites to use.

Eurostar.com
Eurostar’s website is good for some Eurostar + TGV journeys, but has a limited range of destinations and can't book local trains.

Rail Europe
Formerly known as Loco2, this online ticket retailer was recently bought by SNCF. It is relatively easy to use with well-written guides.

Trainline.eu

This ticket retailer has a fairly user-friendly website and helpful guidance, which we rate as on a par with Rail Europe.

OUI.sncf
The French rail company SNCF’s website isn’t very user friendly. Although some people manage fine using it, others end up frustrated and listening to Edith Piaf at a high volume whilst swigging from a bottle of pastis. Now you know.
 


Booking by phone

ski holidays by train

We’d advise booking by phone for journeys where each leg involves two or more trains and/or you want more flexibility, such as allowing for more time to change station in Paris, or to stopover in Paris - or simply when you want to check whether what you’ve been offered online really is the best option. Be aware that, in many cases, online systems won’t allow you to book combinations of trains that you could book if you picked up the phone.  So, in essence. Double check by making a phone call – a retro pleasure that people used to indulge in before the inter-web came along. Be mindful that the person at the end of the phone may not be familiar with the best journey options to the Alps, so have your own pre-researched train-journey schedule to hand.

Eurostar
Phone: 03432 186 186
Mon-Fri 8am - 7pm; Sat-Sun 9am - 5pm.
Booking fee: £10 per booking (not per person)
Eurostar can book journeys Eurostar + TGV to Annecy, but not to St-Gervais-les-Bains. Occassionaly, if your journey to St-Gervais-les-Bains was to include a change of train at Annecy, this is worth doing, and then booking the local connection separately.

SNCF
Please note: Very annoyingly, SNCF no longer offers telephone booking.

Phoning a rail-booking agent
You can also phone a rail-booking agent - please see list below.
Before phoning intially, we'd advise emailing them with the dates of travel, how many people it's for and your desired journey schedule. You can click the 'Journey Planner' tab at the top of this page to view schedules.


Booking with an expert rail-booking agent

new exterior

One of the best ways to book independent travel is with an expert rail-booking agents. The main reasons are: 
1. The agents have experienced, knowledgeable staff and sophisticated booking systems.
2. They can get hold of tickets as soon as they go on sale, giving you access to lower fares than you might find yourself, and have access to rail options and types of fare that you may not be able to find online yourself.
3. In cases where tickets for various legs of a journey go on sale at different times, these agents can hold tickets for a train (e.g Eurostar) while waiting for tickets for antoher train (eg TGV) to go on sale, and then combine them to give you a no-committment quote at the best available fare.
4. You save time and hassle - because the agents do the booking for you.

For their service, these agents charge a modest fee, which is excellent value in view of the time and money you save overall.

Trainseurope Ltd
Helping people book rail travel since 1986, Trainseurope has an expert, knowledgeable team who can book journeys for you.
Can help with any journey.
Trainseurope charges a fee of £10 per traveller.
Phone: (+44) 01354 660222 (09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 15:00 Saturday)
Email: info@trainseurope.co.uk

International Rail
A family run, Hampshire-based rail-booking agent with an experienced team of staff. 
Can help with any journey.
Booking fees are depend on the total value of the order: Under £100.00 = £15.00; between £100.00 - £300.00 = £25.00; over £300.00 = £35.00
Phone: (+44) 03330 030 413.  (Calls free within inclusive minutes package on mobile; otherwise standard rates apply.)
Call centre times: 09:00 – 17:00 Monday-Friday
Email: sales@internationalrail.com

Ffestiniog Travel
Ffestiniog Travel is an experienced rail-booking agent — and also a charitable trust — based in Wales. Profits go to the upkeep of a local heritage railway. Their ticket-booking service is also branded as ‘MyRailTrip’.
Can help with any journey.
Ffestiniog charges 9% per booking, to a maximum of £40 per traveller.
Phone: (+44) 01766 515630 (09:00 – 16:45 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 13:00 Saturday)
Email: rail@ffestiniogtravel.co.uk

Rail Canterbury
Husband-and-wife team Jacky and Phil run this small Canterbury-based agency and are hugely experienced in booking train travel.
Can help with any journey.
Rail Canterbury charges £10% per booking, with a minimum of £10 per traveller.
Phone: (+44) 01227 450088 (09:00 – 17:30 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 16:00 Saturday)
Email: rail@rail-canterbury.co.uk


Group bookings for 10 or more people

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If you are a group of 10 or more, you can get discounts on your fare - normally around 10%, sometimes more.

Tickets for 10 or more people can't be booked online. French train company SNCF used to have a group booking department that served the UK market, but has since closed it down.

We would certainly recommend the following agencies for booking for groups of 10 or more.  They have the expertise and experience to book the journeys you need, and for a modest fee take the hassle out of booking, and save you time and money.

Trainseurope Ltd
Helping people book rail travel since 1986, Trainseurope has an expert, knowledgeable team who can book journeys for you.
Can help with any journey.
Trainseurope charges a fee of £10 per traveller.
Phone: (+44) 01354 660222 (09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 15:00 Saturday)
Email: info@trainseurope.co.uk

International Rail
A family run, Hampshire-based rail-booking agent with an experienced team of staff. 
Can help with any journey.
Booking fees are depend on the total value of the order: Under £100.00 = £15.00; between £100.00 - £300.00 = £25.00; over £300.00 = £35.00
Phone: (+44) 03330 030 413.  (Calls free within inclusive minutes package on mobile; otherwise standard rates apply.)
Call centre times: 09:00 – 17:00 Monday-Friday
Email: sales@internationalrail.com


Rail-inclusive ski holidays to La Plagne

ski package with train

Some ski tour operators offer ski holidays to La Plagne with rail travel included as part of the package. In some cases the rail element is from a special allocation of seats bought by the tour operator in advance; and in other cases the tour operator will purchase rail tickets at your request (at roughly the standard rate).
You can visit the rail-packages section on Snowcarbon to browse ski holidays by train to La Plagne.

For more tailored advice and suggestions for suitable ski holidays by train to La Plagne, Snowcarbon’s founder Daniel Elkan has an ‘Ask Daniel’ service and will be happy to help. Just send Daniel and email to let him know what you are ideally looking for.


Transfers from Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice to La Plagne

transfer to resort from station

You can transfer from Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice station to La Plagne by bus or taxi.  You can find out more in our special guide on how to transfer from Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice to La Plagne.

It’s always worth checking whether your accommodation or tour operator can provide or arrange a transfer for you, so that it’s all made as easy as possible.

If you are booking a rail-inclusive package with a ski-tour operator, then the transfer will normally be included as part of the holiday package.


More about train travel to La Plagne

TGV cafe bar

Before you book travel to La Plagne, you might like to find out more about the train options. We’ve already mentioned that you can use the Snowcarbon Journey Planner to research train travel from London to La Plagne.

You can also read our guide to the daytime Eurostar Ski Train and the overnight Eurostar Ski Train, as well as guides to journeys by Eurostar + TGV

We also have more in-depth guides for how to book train travel, how to book the lowest fares and how to book train travel for groups of 10 or more.


Find fantastic accommodation in La Plagne

There’s plenty of great accommodation in La Plagne.  If you’d like some advice, suggestions or contacts, just send an email to Snowcarbon’s founder, Daniel.