The most obvious routes to the Alps are via Paris, but did you know that you can travel to ski resorts via Lille?
There are direct TGV trains from Lille Europe on the Tarentaise line to Moutiers, Aime la Plagne and Bourg St Maurice as well as through the Mont Blanc valley to Cluses, Sallanches and St Gervais.
These direct TGVs are special ‘ski services’ that depart on Saturday mornings from Lille. This means that to connect you will need to travel from London on a Friday and then stop over for the night. This will get you to resort earlier than a Saturday morning start from the UK.
Lille is “a splendid city”
According to Daniel Elkan from Snowcarbon, Lille is “a splendid city, with some cracking restaurants”.
Daniel also advises that through-rail websites rarely show journeys via Lille, because their algorithms default to routes via Paris, and also that they don’t offer a simple way to select stopover journeys in specific cities.
However, you can easily book your tickets yourself or through a rail specialist agent (see the bottom of this page for suggestions). Possible itineraries are shown below.
Outbound stopover journey via Lille
Depart London St Pancras 13:04 (Eurostar), arrive Lille-Europe at 15:26
Depart London St Pancras 15:04 (Eurostar), arrive Lille-Europe at 17:26
Depart London St Pancras 18:04 (Eurostar), arrive Lille-Europe at 20:26
Stopover in Lille
Saturdays to Tarentaise valley
Depart Lille-Europe 06:45 (TGV), arrive Moutiers 13:40, Aime la Plagne 14:06, Bourg St Maurice 14:29.
Saturdays to Mont Blanc Valley
Depart Lille-Europe 07:47 (TGV), arrive Cluses 13:18, Sallanches 13:48, St Gervais 13:59.
Return stopover journey via Lille
There’s no obligation to travel via Lille in both directions. However, these are some options for the return leg if you do choose to go that route.
Saturdays from Tarentaise
Depart Bourg St Maurice 13:51, Aime la Plagne 14:16, Moutiers 14:33 (TGV), arrive Lille-Europe 21:02
Saturdays from Mont Blanc Valley
Depart St Gervais 16:00, Sallanches 16:10, Cluses 16:26 (TGV), arrive Lille-Europe 22:39
Stopover in Lille
Depart Lille-Europe 09:30 (Eurostar), arrive London St Pancras 09:57
Depart Lille-Europe 13:35 (Eurostar), arrive London St Pancras 14:00
Depart Lille-Europe 18:35 (Eurostar), arrive London St Pancras 18:57