Leaving Your Trip in Besançon

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on leaving your trip. Topics include...

  1. Where you Leave Your Trip (see immediately below)
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your ongoing travel, whether you are having us arrange it, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel from your trip end location.
  5. Suggested post-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  6. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel from the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Leave Your Trip?

Our trip disbands at the end of a full ride on Saturday, back in Besançon, where you spent the previous night.  The cycle can be long or short, as desired:  variants range from 40 flat to 120 hilly k.  And of course you can skip the whole business if you prefer a relaxing day in Besançon.  But we recommed taking full advantage of the ride, designed to be one of the trip’s most varied and beautiful, and then spending a second (Saturday) night in Besançon:  a beautiful and fun town.  You would travel onwards on Sunday.

If you wish to arrange your own ongoing travel (in other words, you do not want to set up any ongoing travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints regarding ongoing travel are offered at the bottom of this page.  Otherwise...


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 15, 2017

The closest intercontinental airport cities are Paris, Zurich, and Geneva, all approximately equidistant.  By departing Besançon early Saturday evening, you can get to any of these by late Saturday night, and we offer train tickets to any.  Or, take advantage of our Access Package, which includes a Saturday night Besançon hotel night, and an ongoing train on Sunday.  Other airport cities can be reached on Sunday with only a modest additional cost, most notably Milan and Frankfurt.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  139€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:   http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is not guaranteed.  The discount fares bundled into this package are capacity-controlled, and may not be available on all trains, with availability decreasing as date of travel approaches.  Afare 25€ higher will reliably be available until a week before travel. 

Included:

  • A hotel night in Besançon, based on double occupancy.
  • Breakfast if you have time / get up for it.
  • Rail tickets to Paris, Geneva (downtown or airport) or Zurich (downtown or airport).
    Tickets are train-specific, and not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (see below for extra cost first class and / or flexible tickets).
  • Seat reservations on trains which require them.
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • All taxes, booking or agency charges, baggage charges.

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.
For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Tickets to London.  Add 79€ euros if you are also purchasing tickets from London at the start of your trip, 109€ euros if not, or if you prefer a changeable ticket (in 1st cl., add 119€ euros or 145€ euros; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • Tickets to Milan or Frankfurt:  +19€.
  • First class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):   +16€ to Paris, +24€ to Zurich or Geneva, +35€ to Milan or Frankfurt (discount rates, subject to availability.  Double any rate for “full fare,” always available).
  • Flexible (modifiable) tickets.  +23€ to Paris, Geneva, or Zurich.  +35€ to Milan or Frankfurt.
    These tickets are exchangeable at any station, on a space-available basis, at any time until the train’s departure, for 10€ if the exchange is made 48 hours or more in advance, or for 20€ within 48 hours of travel.  Cost of the exchange is 10€ higher if you make it through us, as opposed to standing in line at the station yourself (but we know some tricks to get on trains that are supposedly “sold out”).  Tickets are refundable less 20%, provided they are turned in at a station before the train’s departure.
  • Extra cost of a single room in Besançon:   39€.
  • Paris Hotel in lieu of Besançon hotel.  For information on our usual Paris hotel, see here.  +16€, +25€ single room.
  • Tickets on the Paris airport train, to Charles de Gaulle or Orly from anywhere in the city.  Follow this link for details.


3. TIMING Your Trip

If you wish to travel onwards on Saturday evening, we recommend booking the latest possible train, to fully enjoy the riding day, and yet have time for at least a brief, apéritif-hour visit of Besançon, a beautiful and interesting city.  If at all possible, relax the day, and spend Saturday night in Besançon. Then arrange your ongoing travel for Sunday.


4. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.  Virtually all trains departing Besançon’s city center station require that you ride a shuttle train to a suburban “TGV port”, where you join the main-line train.

  • To Paris.  The best Saturday evening train leaves Besançon at 6p.  Sunday service starts at 6:30a, and there is another fast train at 12:30p.  Journey time to Paris is 2.5 hours.
    Other slower local services operate, notably an 8p train on Saturday, and trains at 8a and 10a on Sunday, but which take 4 hours for the trip.
  • To Geneva.  Saturday trains hourly at 5:30p and 7p.  First (and best) Sunday train is at 9a.  Trip time is 3.5 hours.
    Other services, an hour slower and requiring an additional connection, operate throughout the day.
  • To Zurich.  Saturday train at 7:30p.  Best Sunday train is at 11:30a (trip time 3 hours).
    Trains requiring an additional connection, and an extra 30 minutes to make the trip, operate at 10a, 1:30p and 5p. The first Sunday morning train is a local at 7:30a, but it takes a full 5-and-a-half hours to make the trip.
  • To Milan.   No Saturday evening service.  Sunday train at 10a, a 6.5 hour trip.
  • To Frankfurt (city or airport).  Saturday trains at 5p and 6p, taking 5 hours to make the trip.  Best Sunday train is at 12n (4-hour trip time), but an earlier one departs at 10a (adds a connection, and an hour, to the trip). 
  • To London.   Add 3.5 hours to Paris times.


5. Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS
We really like Besançon, if you feel like a night in a pleasant French provincial city.


6. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY After the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning post-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20 euro charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10 euro charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains.  Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Besançon is a junction station, with lines heading north, south, east and west.  It is not a huge place, however, and service is sparse.  Most relevant trains are listed above.

Planes.  The nearest airport city, 2 hours away, is Basel / Mulhouse (BSL MLH EAP — the multiple codes reflect the tri-national nature of the airport).  Basel / Mulhouse has only intra-Europe flights, however.  Lyon (also intra-Europe flights) is only slightly farther away.

After that, Paris, Zurich, and Geneva are all about equidistant, in the 4 - 5 hour range.


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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