Journées du Patrimoine on the Vivarais
- Experience France’s ‘Heritage’ weekend on the old Vivarais network
- Ride the lines on either side of the Rhone-Loire watershed
- Visit 'le Jardin des Trains Ardéchois'
- Private coach transfers to 'hard to reach' locations
- 5 Days from £1,155pp
Thursday 19 September to Monday 23 September 2019
This tour capitalises on France's annual 'Journées du Patrimoine' ('Heritage Days') when the public gain free access to the country's buildings, landmarks and monuments. It is an ideal time to visit one of the country's famous railway networks, the Vivarais.
Day 1 – Rail to Lyon
Leaving London St Pancras mid-morning, we change in Lille for our train to Lyon for a welcome dinner and 1-night stay.
Day 2 – Ardèche Miniatures
We take a morning train from Lyon to Saint-Étienne where we are met by our private coach. From now on we shall be seeking to see and experience as much as possible of the remaining portions of the former Vivarais metre gauge railway that was built to cross the watershed between the Rhone and the Loire rivers. Leaving Saint-Étienne, we will make our way to the Rhone, then down the west bank, following one of SNCF’s principal freight routes. Passing through Tournon we will travel to Soyons, the home of 'le Jardin des Trains Ardéchois'. This realistic representation of 'Le Mastrou' and other features of the Ardèche region is a wonderful introduction to the Vivarais network. We travel back to Tournon for a 3-night stay.
Days 3 & 4 – Steam on the Vivarais
Whilst details of the Journées du Patrimoine are still under wraps, you can be confident that there will be special events running. We shall seek to offer travel on both the Rhone (Tournon, St Jean de Muzols to Lamastre) section, and the Loire-side lines operated as the ‘Voies Ferrées du Velay’. Past experience suggests options for journeys with steam locomotives (both sections have Mallets), railcars, and locotracteurs. There is also the possibility of descending 'Les Etroits' by vélorail (cycle railcar). A rare opportunity to ride most of the remaining lines of the old Vivarais network, it promises to be a spectacular two days.
Day 5 – Homeward Bound
We take a morning coach back to Valence where we begin our journey back to London via Lille. We arrive into St Pancras late afternoon.
Ibis Styles Lyon Centre Gare Part Dieu, Lyon
Hotel Azalées, Tournon
Please note - hotels can be subject to change
- All rail travel as stated in standard class
- Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
- Welcome dinner in Lyon
- Admission to Ardèche Miniatures
- 2-days on the Vivarais network
- All coach transfers as specified
- Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour
Price per person
|Single room supplement:||£155|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£100|
Download your tour booking form here.