Northern France

Amiens - © Sergey Dzyuba/shutterstock
Baie de Somme Railway - © Alba Bayes
River Odet, Lenair - © Vedettes de L'odet
Bridge over River Odet, Quimper - © Sergey Dzyuba/shutterstock
Quimper - © saint horant daniel/shutterstock
Rouen Medieval Quarter - © Catarina Belova/shutterstock
Rouen - © Catarina Belova/shutterstock
Sauzon, Brittany - © Captblack76/shutterstock
St Malo - © Antoine2K/shutterstock
River Odet - © Vedettes-Odet-Benodet
Chemin de Fer de la Vendee
Chemin de Fer de la Vendee

Holiday Highlights

  • Return journey on the Baie de Somme Railway
  • Return river cruise along the Seine River
  • Free time in Amiens, Rouen, St Malo, Quimper and Nantes
  • Return journey on the Vapeur du Trieux Steam Railway
  • Private guided tour of Belle Ile
  • Chartered ‘retro’ train on the Vendée Railway
  • Return river cruise along the Odet River
  • 15 Days from £2,365pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Wednesday 3 June to Wednesday 17 June 2020

Journey with us through Northern France, a destination known for its history, cuisine and spectacular coastline. With historic cities, rivers, coast and heritage railways there is something for everyone on this tour.


Day 1 – London to Amiens

Early afternoon Eurostar from London St Pancras to Amiens via Paris Nord for a 3-night stay. We arrive late afternoon and our hotel is located next to the railway station. A welcome dinner is included tonight.

Day 2 – Baie de Somme Railway

By train to the Baie de Somme Railway to spend a full day exploring this heritage line and its steam locos and rolling stock. We return by rail in the early evening to Amiens.

Day 3 – At Leisure in Amiens

A day at leisure in Amiens. The city’s famous UNESCO World Heritage Gothic Cathedral is certainly worth visiting. Wander through its medieval quarter and see the floating Marsh Gardens (Hortillonnages) within Amien’s winding network of canals, giving the city the nickname of “Little Venice of the North”. Or visit Paris, just over an hour away by train on a regular service.

Day 4 – Onwards to Rouen

A mid-morning train takes us to Rouen for a 2-night stay. We arrive early afternoon and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. There are several museums and churches in Rouen to explore including a tower where Joan of Arc was held while being tried for heresy.

Day 5 – Along the Seine

A journey up the River Seine to the village of La Bouille. We spend a few hours here to enjoy lunch and to explore the small but pretty medieval village which stretches along the Seine River. We retrace our steps back to Rouen along the Seine, arriving back late afternoon for an evening at leisure.

Day 6 – Rouen to St Malo

Departing by road this morning we travel to St Malo, a port city on the north coast of Brittany, for a 3-night stay in a centrally located hotel. En route we stop at the Pierre Huet Calvados Orchard in Normandy for a guided tour of the distillery and a tasting of its products.

Days 7 & 8 – Free Days in St Malo

This beautiful city curves out to sea on a stunning natural harbour and has some of the best beaches on the Emerald Coast. St Malo is a maze of medieval streets bursting with history and culture and the stunning Gothic and Romanesque Cathedral de St Malo dominates the skyline of the ancient walled town. A trip by boat or rail to the quaint medieval village of Dinan is highly recommended. It is also possible to take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont St Michel.

Day 9 – La Vapeur du Trieux

By road this morning to Paimpol where we will have a return journey on the Vapeur du Trieux steam railway to Pontrieux. There will be time for lunch in Pontrieux before returning to Paimpol to board our coach for a drive to Quimper for a 2-night stay.

Day 10 – The Odet River

We take a coach to the seaside town of Bénodet for a return journey by boat along the Odet river, regarded as “the most beautiful river in France”. After spending time in Bénodet we return by coach to Quimper and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 11 – Belle-Ile-en-Mer

Travel by rail and ferry to Belle Ile en Mer. On arrival we transfer to our hotel in the village of Sauzon for a 2-night stay.

Day 12 – Tour the Island

Today we have a private coach tour around the island to discover some of its most beautiful spots as well as visiting its main historical sites including the Aiguilles de Port Coton (the offshore rock formations that Monet once painted).

Day 13 – Journey to Nantes

By coach to the port of Le Palais to catch a morning ferry back to the mainland. From here we take a train to Nantes via Auray for a 2-night stay. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Day 14 – La Vendée Railway

Travel by road to visit the Chemin de Fer de la Vendée to ride a chartered ‘Picasso autorial’ retro train from the 1950’s. Our return journey departs from Mortagne-sur-Sèvre and travels 22km to the end of the line at Les Herbiers. We return by coach to Nantes.

Day 15 – Homeward Bound

Early morning train from Nantes, via Paris to arrive back into London St Pancras late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Campanile Centre Gare, Amiens

BW Hotel de Dieppe, Rouen

La Maison des Armateurs, St Malo

Escale Oceania, Quimper

Hotel Cardinal, Belle Ile

L’Hotel, Nantes

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Excursions as specified
  • Welcome dinner
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,365
Single room supplement: £600
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
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  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service