French Connections - Travel to East France

A guide outlining the travel options available to eastern France

Travel connections to the Alps and Burgundy in east France

The eastern areas of France include the Alps and the Burgundy wine and gourmet region.

Ferries to France

The ferry is no longer a quick method of transport, as the area is too far for easy travel from the ports. But it does, of course, afford the possibility of taking a car which can be very useful. The long journey can be made from ferry ports in the north of France, or even from Bilbao and Santander, just over the border into Spain.

Ferry companies

The ferry companies serving the north of France and Spain are:

P&O ferries: Portsmouth - Bilbao / Dover - Calais
Brittany ferries: Plymouth - Santander, Roscoff / Poole - Cherbourg / Portsmouth - Cherbourg, Caen, St Malo
Speed ferries (Sea Cat): Dover - Boulogne
Norfolk Line: Dover - Dunkerque
LD Lines: Portsmouth, Newhaven - Le Havre
Transmarche: Newhaven - Dieppe

Flights to the Alps and Burgundy in east France

The regions in the east of France, although popular due to their fantastic natural and cultural resources, are perhaps the most difficult to access by air. There are some usefully situated airports, but the chances are that you will have some distance to travel to your destination after landing.

Airlines and airports

The airlines serving eastern France are:

Ryanair
easyJet
Air France
British Airways
Jet2

The airports used in eastern France are:

Geneva
Chambéry
Grenoble
Lyon

French rail travel - Eurostar and TGV trains

Many people enjoy rail travel, and these days reaching their favoured French destinations by rail has been made possible by the Eurostar service and extended TGV lines throughout France. The Eurostar train will take you to Paris, Lille, Disneyland Paris or Calais from London or Kent. The excellent rail network in France can then transport you to your destination.

Trains to the east of France

Having said that, the Alpine regions benefit from the special ski trains which will take you direct from England to Bourg St Maurice or Moutiers. There is also a TGV from Paris to Lyon.

French road travel - Eurotunnel car train

A great many people choose to drive to their French destination, making use of the cross channel car ferries or the channel tunnel car train service. The Eurotunnel car train leaves from Folkestone and arrives at Calais after a remarkably quick journey spent in the comfort of your own car. This can be an important consideration for those carrying live animals as you can remain with them at all times. (Be warned, though, if you have an LPG car you cannot take it on the Eurotunnel train.)

Road travel to the east of France

The A6 runs from Paris to Lyon. Or the route from Spain involves taking the A64, A61, A9 and the A7.

The French motorway system

The French motorway system consists of both toll roads (auto routes) and corresponding non toll roads (Routes Nationales). Both are excellent and almost always much less crowded than British roads. You will find, however, that the auto routes are significantly faster than the Routes Nationales.

You may also find the following article interesting: French Connections.

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