Meeting Your Trip in NIMES

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?

Our trip assembles at our usual Nimes hotel, close to the train station, on Sunday morning between 9 & 10a.  We will send you the precise address with your final itinerary.

If you wish to take the first Sunday morning train from Paris or Nice (see service information, below), we will wait for you.  But, if you have recently flown from North America, be aware of the challenges involved in getting up at 5a when your biological clock is telling you it is 11p....

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


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of February 16, 2017

Nimes is too remote to be reachable by 10a from anywhere outside of France, so you must travel on Saturday to reach the trip (typically flying on Friday night if you are taking off from outside of Europe or the Middle East).  The Nimes “Access Packages” all include a bed of one sort or another on Saturday night.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  135€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is usually good until a month before the trip, provided you have a couple of hours’ flexibility regarding your travel schedule.  This flexibility is absent if you are arriving via Charles de Gaulle airport:  book as far in advance as possible to benefit from discount prices on trains direct from the airport. 

Once the lowest discount fares are sold out,  the next fare code increases the cost of the package by 27€ (15€ from Nice or Barcelona). 

And a warning:  it can be hard to find hotels in Nimes.  The town hosts many special events of the type that fill hotels (bull fights, wrestling matches, those odd things where trucks with big tires climb all over each other...).  We hold a block of hotel rooms until 30 days prior to trip start, but then release our excess spaces.  Bottom line:  book as soon as you know your plans....


Included:

  • Train tickets to Nimes from Paris, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, Geneva, Nice or Barcelona.
    Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.   Changeable tickets are available at an additional cost, and are suggested if you are attempting a tight plane-train connection.
  • Seat reservations on your selected train(s).
  • A schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • A Saturday hotel night in Nimes, based on shared occupancy (unless you choose the overnight train).
    If you are a single guest staying at whichever of our usual Nimes hotels has our room allotment for your trip, you are guaranteed the share price (provided, of course, that you are willing to share, and that we have a room for you) until 35 days pre-trip, even if we do not wind up finding you a roommate.
    Our usual Nimes hotels are simple ones, well-located and a short walk from the train station.  But the accent should be on “easy and convenient.”  If you prefer greater creature comfort for the first night off the plane, for example, you may want to eschew our package (or just buy the train through us), and make an alternate hotel booking.  We have a favorite 3-star that we can recommend and reserve, but our consulting charge applies.
    Hotel is not included for passengers on the overnight train, where a berth on the train is included, instead.
  • Breakfast on Sunday morning.
  • All taxes, booking charges, baggage charges.
    In other words, no surprise extra fees.

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 class, add 109€ or 149€.
    1st class tickets include meal service on the Eurostar between London and Lille or Paris.
    A Paris stop-over is available for 10€ additional.
  • Tickets from Madrid. +49€.
  • Exchangeable / refundable tickets.
    These tickets can be cancelled at any time until the train’s departure, and their value applied to new, alternate tickets.  They are refundable less 20% before the train’s departure (if the ticket is a paper ticket, the physical ticket must be returned to the issuing office to obtain a refund, but this can happen at any time within 2 months of the travel date).
    From Paris, CdG airport, Geneva, Barcelona or Madrid:  +21€.  From Nice, +11€.  From all other points within France:  +29€ maximum.
  • First class train tickets, in lieu of 2nd class.  +28€ discount rate from most points (+19€ from Nice, +45€ from Madrid).
    Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  Changeable tickets are available at an additional cost, and are suggested if you are attempting a tight plane-train connection (see previous point).
  • Private single room in Nimes:  +30€.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to anywhere in Paris. 

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual packages (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)

  • Hotel in Nimes (additional nights, or without rail tickets):  60€ for a single bed in a shared room, 88€ private single room, 102€ for a double or twin room.  Prices include breakfast, all taxes, booking charge.
    Shared occupancy rate often available to singles (on the pre-trip Saturday night).



3. TIMING Your Trip

If we may influence your thinking on the topic of timing... Nimes is interesting, the center of antiquity in Provence, and a pretty city even without the historical references.  You will not have time to see it on Sunday morning (when the trip assembles, and cycles out of town).

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 Roman arena, just a couple of blocks from the hotel.

Like airplanes, trains to Nimes require reservations.  You must not only tell us by which gateway you wish to arrive, but at what time of day you wish to travel.  Allow ample time to connect from a flight:  the railroad is not responsible for (chronically) late planes.  Moreover, it can take intercontinental travellers up to 90 minutes to clear customs, immigration and baggage claim upon arrival.  If you are attempting a tight plane > train connection, we suggest modifiable tickets, even though these carry an extra cost.


4. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted in English at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • From Paris, Gare de Lyon.  Travel time is 3 hours.  Service is every hour until 10a, then every two hours until 4p (later trains operate, but require a connection, and an extra 10€ fare).
    The first Sunday morning service (and the only one that gets you to the trip start on time) is at 7:15a.
    Saturday “bike trains” are scheduled through the day.  Trip time is circa 6 hours, and a connection is required.  You may make your choice contingent upon a travel time if you wish (as in, “I would like to take the bike train so long as I can be in Nimes by 3p.“)
  • From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Travel time is 3.5 hours.  Direct trains at 7a, 10a, 5p and 6p.
    Fast services with one connection operate at 8:30a and 12n.
  • From Geneva.  Trains opererate roughly every two hours, with one connection. Trip time is about 4 hours.
  • From Barcelona.  4 fast services daily, at 8:30a, 9:30a, 1:30p and 4:30p:  a 3.5-hour trip.
    There is a service with one connection at 6:30p, but which adds 10€ to the fare and 45 minutes to the trip.
  • From Madrid.  On direct train, depart 1:30p, arrive 8:30p.
    Otherwise, via Barcelona (Madrid train departs 4 hours before Barcelona time).
  • From Nice.  Travel time is 4 - 5 hours, and one or two connections are required, generally in Marseille or in Avignon (the Avignon connection uses two different stations with a shuttle train between them:.  hence the two connections).
    Fast services (close to 4 hours) operate at 9a, 10a, and 3p.  Slower services, taking 5 hours+, run throughout the day.
  • From London.  9a and 1p, with a connection in Lille (the 9a requires a second connection in Lyon).  6.5 - 7 hours.  Trip includes a 1-hour time change (clock face time is an hour more).
    It may not sound like it, but this is generally faster than flying, unless you happen to live on a runway.  And it is more pleasant....
    Alternate service via Paris throughout the day, with an equivalent overall travel time.  But a station change in Paris is required, from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon (there is a direct métro line between the two).


5. Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS

The Swiss Alps, the Basque Country (Biarritz and / or San Sebastian), Madrid and / or Barcelona....


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

Nimes is served by TGV (high-speed train) from northern France, including direct service from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, and also from downtown Barcelona (once a day from downtown Madrid).  Main line trains also run from elsewhere in France, Switzerland (one daily TGV), and northern Italy. 

Planes.  Nimes has a tiny airport, offering Ryanair flights from Great Britain.  Nearby Montpellier and Marseille both have more service.  Montpellier offers many direct Air France flights from Paris.  Marseille has some flights from other European capitals.
Other Ryanair airports within two hours by train are Montpellier, Béziers, Marseille, Carcassone and Perpignan, in rough order of proximity / convenience.

Train frequencies and travel times from regional airports on to Nimes are as follows.  Montpellier:  hourly, a 30-miute trip. Béziers:  hourly, trip time = 75 minutes.  Marseille:  every 2 hours, trip time = 90 minutes.  Carcassone or Perpignan:  irregular, but every 2 hours on average; trip time is 2 hours.


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.

Info for
Trip Members


Getting Ready

Access Packages
How to meet & leave your trip.


Related Travel Services
About Your Bike

____________________

Our Trips

Ready to Sign Up?

Trip Prices

Who Are We?
Our Trip Philosophy

Where Are We?
Contact Information

Home