We slept well on the train

Resort:  Serre Chevalier
By:  Angela Mcreedy
Ski holiday Serre Chevalier

Whilst I have frequently taken the Snow train from St Pancras to Moutiers, I had never been to other European areas by train until this January.

We had a very successful return journey to Briancon on one of the Intercités de Nuit. We took a cheapish early afternoon Eurostar from St Pancras to Gare De Nord. Then a number 91 bus from outside the station across Paris, to just across the road from Gare de Austerlitz. This cost €2.20 and took about 25 minutes, a little longer than the Metro but less walking and no stairs!
The bus stopped outside the L’Eclipse restaurant which we would strongly recommend for a reasonably priced, quickish early supper. The management were friendly, accommodating and helpful to five people with large suitcases and skis.

From there it was a 5 – 8-minute walk to the sleeper train.

We had booked a 6-berth economy sleeper compartment. Bunks were plenty big enough and the bedding provided was adequate. But there was little room for luggage if the couchette was fully occupied, which ours was. 

Next year we will pay the €40 surcharge to keep one bunk free to pile luggage on; or we’ll go  First Class, where there are only four bunks in the same size compartment. 

If booked early the Train de Nuit is astonishing cheap. We paid just under £200 for the round trip from London to Briancon, having previously bought an over 60’s discount train card that entitles you to 30% off all train travel for a year. The station is in the town and a two-minute bus journey to our hotel. The same bus travels up the valley to the other Serre Chevalier villages and runs every 15 minutes. (free to over 60’s with a card acquired in the ResAlp office opposite the station). So, no long transfer from an airport.

I’d recommend this method of getting to the Serre Chevalier area. The train stopped briefly at stops close to Risoul and a few other resorts before arriving at Briancon at 8.30am. We slept well on the train and arrived rested and ready to hit the slopes after breakfast!

Photo: Angela Mcreedy