Use Eurostar's new direct service from London to Lyon you can explore the city and next morning take a local train to your ski resort
The Lyon stopover journey - an introduction
Why would you want to stopover anywhere on your way to the Alps? Surely you just want to get there ASAP, right? Well in fact, there are three benefits that a stopover journey can deliver.
1. If your accommodation in the Alps is Sunday-Sunday, stopping over on the Saturday night on the way out, can give you better rail options. This is because for some resorts (particularly those in the Tarentaise region served by the (Saturday) Ski Train, there are fewer convenient options travelling out on Sunday.
2. You can arrive in resort much earlier on the Sunday than if you would have travelled out all the way from London the same day. You can even ski the same day, getting an extra day's skiing in.
3. You can get to see a city, such as Lyon, on the way - spending an afternoon seeing some of the highlights, and the evening with a relaxed meal or a night out. The journey is part of the holiday, and doing things this way is a relaxed way of travelling with your friends or family.
The new Eurostar service to Lyon runs on peak Saturdays in the winter season, arriving in Lyon at 1pm. There are inexpensive, comfortable hotels about 50 metres from the station, so you can settle in quickly and then spend the afternoon enjoying the city. In the morning, local train journeys from Lyon to the Alps only take between 1.5 and three hours, and cost about 20 euros one way (although you don't need to book them separately, you can book the entire stopover journey in one go).
Hotel Ibis Styles, Lyon
About 40 metres from Gare de Lyon station, on the same side of the road, is the is the Hotel Ibis Styles. It has a nice, open plan reception, next to its restaurant, and comfortable rooms - which are very reasonably priced:
Room for 1 person = €89; 2 people €99; 3 people €129; two adults + two children (age under 17) = €129. All these prices include breakfast.
Contact details: Phone: +33 4 72 68 25 40; email: email@example.com; www.ibis-styles-lyon.com/
Hotel Mercure, Lyon
Hotel Mercure is a very comfortable business hotel. Like the adjacent Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget, it has few business people at the weekend, and therefore offers some great rates - which you can take advantage of.
For example a family room for 1- 4 people costs €110 - €150. Sometimes this includes breakfast (depending on the date, or promotional rates), or otherwise breakfast is €19
Contact details: Phone: +33 4 72 68 25 20; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-7360-mercure-lyon-la-part-dieu-hotel/index.shtml
Hotel IBIS Budget, Lyon
With clean, relatively unspacious rooms but excellent value, the Hotel Ibis Budget is also just about 40 metres from Lyon station.
A room for one to three people is €53 - €69 euros per night (at the weekend), with ensuite shower.
Breatkfast is a €6
Contact details: Phone: +33 8 92 70 12 75; email: email@example.com; http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-7413-ibis-budget-lyon-la-part-dieu/index.shtml
Like some help sourcing other Lyon hotels?
We've been beautifully surprised by the efficient service offered by Budgetplaces.com in finding hotels in Paris, so you could try them for Lyon too..
They are an agency that sources all levels of hotels and hostels. So if you give them your budget and the desired area, they come back quickly with availabilty and offers.
Snowcarbon Founder Daniel Elkan says:
"I had the idea of travelling to Alpe d'Huez and stopping in Paris, but there were 24 of us travelling. I wondered whether I'd find accommodation easily for so many. I found Budget places by Googling initally, contaced them by phone and within minutes had a couple of good options by the station. A very impressive service so far."
Contact details: Phone: 0207 100 4522; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:Budgetplaces.com
Via-Lyon stopover schedules
Leave London on Saturday morning and you'll arrive on the direct Eurostat at Lyon at 1pm.
Here's the schedule, below. By 1pm you are already in Lyon!
|Depart London||Depart Ashford||Arrive Lyon Part Dieu|
After checking into your hotel in Lyon, you are then free to explore the city in the afternoon and evening. Then, then next morning (Sunday), there are a suite of local trains that you can take to the ski resorts all over the French Alps.
|Depart Lyon||Destination||Change train?||Arrive||Ski resorts|
|07:08||Annecy||direct||09:10||La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand|
|07:12||Grenoble||direct||08:38||Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes, Chamrousse|
|08:14||Grenoble||direct||09:38||Alpe d'Huez, Les2Alpes, Chamrousse|
|08:31||Oulx||direct||11:23||Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx|
|08:38||Cluses||Bellegarde||11:36||Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine, Samoens, Les Carroz, Flaine|
|08:38||St Gervais||Bellegarde||11:56||Les Contamines, St Gervais|
|11:50||Moutiers||direct||14:45||Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Val Thorens|
|11:50||Aime la Plagne||direct||15:06||La Plagne|
|11:50||Bourg St Maurice||direct||15:25||La Rosiere, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d'Isere, Sainte Foy|
If you'd like any more help with train schedules, you are welcome to contact Snowcarbon Founder, Daniel
Like more help and advice?
If you'd like more help and advice the best train travel options, resorts and accommodation, feel free to contact Snowcarbon's founder, Daniel.
He can help with specific advice and suggestions, using his years of experience as a ski journalist and expert on how to travel to the Alps by train.
Daniel knows lots of great accommodation and tour operators and independent providers that can help, so you'll get some great suggestions.
Just send Daniel an email and he'll be back in touch.