Meeting Your Trip in BLOIS

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on reaching your trip.  Topics include...
  1. Where you Join Your Trip (see immediately below).
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your trip to the trip, whether you are having us arrange your travel, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel to your trip start location.
  5. Suggested pre-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 to 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 Join Your Trip?

Your trip assembles at our hotel in Blois in time for dinner on Saturday evening.

We will send you details of meeting time and place with your final itinerary.

If you wish to make your own way to the trip (in other words, not to set up your travel arrangements through us), hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of April 1, 2017

The closest intercontinental airport is Paris.  Our “Access Package” includes a rail ticket from Paris.  Our London “Access Package” additionally includes a train from London to Paris.


Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  29€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability at this price is reliable until 35 days prior to trip start (payment received by us).  Within 35 days, tickets can still be prepared, but fares may be higher, and shipping charges will generally apply (unless you wish to pick the tickets up in our Paris office).  Some extra-cost options have higher prices if ordered w/in 35 days, and are subject to availability.

Included:
  • A 2nd class train ticket from Paris to Blois.
    Tickets are train-specific, and are not refundable / exchangeable once ordered.  Allow ample time if you are making a same-day plane-train connection, or upgrade to an “open” ticket, good for travel on any train.  Discount tickets do not include a reserved seat:  if you opt for 2nd class, be sure to arrive at the station 20 minutes before your train’s departure time, in order to be sure of a seat.  Summer Saturday trains can be very crowded.  Modestly-priced first class upgrades are available (see below), and our experience is that weekend trains always have plenty of space in first class, with or without a reservation.
  • Ticket shipping charges if required.
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.

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 from London.  Add 79€ if you are also purchasing tickets back to London, 109€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable return (in 1st cl., add 109€ or 145€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • Tickets direct to Blois from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, via high-speed TGV to the Loire Valley, and a connecting local service to Blois.  +32€ 2nd class, +48€ 1st class.
  • 1st class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +11€ discount rate (if available), +19€ normal rate.
    First class may be worth the investment, since summer Saturday trains are often very crowded in 2nd class.
  • Flexible train tickets (good on any train):  +10€, either class.
    These tickets may be used on any departing train.   These tickets are recommended if you are making a direct plane-train connection.  
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.


3. TIMING Your Trip

If we may influence your thinking on the topic of timing...  Blois is interesting.  And, though you spend the trip’s first two nights there, you will not really have time to see it on the day in between, which involves a pretty bike ride out to Chambord.  If you have the flexibility to do so, try to schedule your arrival in time to walk around the old town, and especially to admire the remarkable château, just a couple of blocks from all of our usual hotels.


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.

  • From Paris.  Appropriately-timed express trains to Blois depart Paris at 8:30a, 12:30p, and 5:30p.  Trip time is 85 minutes.
    Additional services, requiring a change of train in Orléans and adding ±30 minutes to the trip, operate all day long.
  • From Charles de Gaulle Airport.  TGV high-speed trains for the Loire Valley depart at at 7:15a, 12:15p, and 4:15p.  Total trip time is 2'30", and a connection is required in suburban Tours.
    At other times, or if you prefer to travel on “open” tickets, it is necessary to travel via downtown.
  • From London.  Most service is via Paris, requiring a station change in Paris.
    A direct metro line (line 5) links the two Paris railway stations in 15 minutes, plus the time required to figure it out.


5. Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS

Stop for a couple of nights in Paris?


6. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY to 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 pre-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ 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

Blois is on a main rail line from Paris to Tours, the biggest town in the Loire Valley.  Trains to Blois depart from Paris’ Austerlitz station, and continue to Tours, 45 minutes to the southwest.

Planes.  Paris offers the nearest “real” airports; either one (Orly or Charles de Gaulle) is equally convenient to Austerlitz station (from whence trains to Blois depart).
Airport train tickets are available through us, if desired.   They include the connecting metro trip from the arrival point of the airport train at the Gare du Nord (Charles de Gaulle) or St.-Michel (Orly), to Austerlitz Station.
Beauvais Airport, served by some “low cost” lines, is a hike.   Allow 3 hours to travel to Austerlitz (the trip by train from central London is quicker!), though it can be as little as 2.5 in good traffic.

Ryanair serves the tiny Tours airport (as far as we know, it is the only carrier that does).  Tours is under an hour from Blois by frequent train, walk-up tickets available on the day of travel.


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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