Meeting Your Trip in SOUILLAC

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?

At the Souillac station, between 1 and 2:30p.

Souillac is too remote for a same-day arrival from any intercontinental origin point, or from London by train, so you must travel on Friday to reach the trip (flying on Thursday night if coming from North America).  The Souillac “Access Packages” all include a bed of one sort or another on Friday night.

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), a couple of hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 18, 2017

The closest intercontinental airport is Paris.  Our “Access Package” includes a rail ticket from Paris, and a Friday night hotel in Souillac.

Our London “Access Package” additionally includes a train from London to Paris.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  118€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is not guaranteed.  Capacity controls on trains mean that discount prices may not be available, and Friday evening trains fill well in advance.  Moreover, Souillac is a popular weekend destination, and we may not be able to get a room at our usual hotel on short notice.  Book as soon as you are sure what you want to do....

Included:

  • Friday train tickets to Souillac from Paris or Toulouse.
    - Tickets from Paris are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  Allow ample time for plane-train connections, as the railroad is not responsible for chronically late planes.
    - Tickets from Toulouse are “open,” and can be used on any train, any date.  If seat reservations are required on the next departing train, they can be made at travel time, in the Toulouse station, without risk (the train will always have space available between Toulouse and Souillac — when it sells out, it sells out north of Souillac).
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • A Friday night hotel in Souillac, based on shared occupancy.
  • Breakfast at our Souillac hotel
  • All taxes, booking fees, baggage charges.
    In other words, there are no irritating add-on costs.

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.

  • Our 2-night Sarlat Package.  See details, below.
  • 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 119€ or 159€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
    Price includes a metro ticket, to smooth the cross-city station change in Paris (a direct metro line makes the connection, Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz).
  • Friday night in Paris, Saturday train to Souillac, in lieu of Friday train to Souillac and a night there:  +11€.
  • Daylight tickets from Barcelona in lieu of Paris, +28€.
  • Private single room in Paris or Souillac, +31€.
  • First class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class), from each of these cities.
    With the exception of tickets from Toulouse, which are “open,” 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 next term.
    - Paris (also daylight connection on train from Lisbon):  +23€
    - Toulouse:  +12€
    - Barcelona:  +32€
  • Modifiable / refundable tickets:  +21€ from all points except Toulouse (no cost from Toulouse).
    Can be modified at any French rail station on a space-available basis, without penalty until the day before travel, for 12€ on the day of travel (until train departure).  Not refundable after train departure.  Can be refunded less 20 percent.
  • Upgrade to “Comfort Couchette” on overnight train from Paris:  +21€ discount rate.
    Sleeping cars are not offered on this train.  For modifiable / refundable tickets, see previous term.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.

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)

  • Overnight couchette train from Paris.  89€ in a “Comfort Couchette.”
    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 above.  Regular, 2nd class couchettes (6 people per cabin in lieu of 4) are available for 20€ less.  We do not recommend this train, which reaches Souillac at 5a.  There is nowhere to leave your luggage, and nothing open in Souillac at 5a.  If you choose to ride it, we propose that you stay aboard to a stop further south, Montauban, reached at 6a, and then double back to Souillac, arriving at a more reasonable 8:30a.  The cost of the detour is an additional 15€.


3. TIMING Your Trip

If we may influence your thinking on the topic of timing... Souillac is interesting.  A pretty town with an imposing abbey church....  Try to schedule your arrival for Friday evening, in order to have a few hours to visit on Saturday morning before your trip assembles.


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.  Travel time is 4.5 hours.  Friday departures are at 9:45a, 2p, 6p and 7p (this last is a slower train, arriving after midnight).  The first Saturday morning train leaves Paris at 9:45a, arriving Souillac at 2:30p.
    Evening trains do not reach Souillac in time for dinner, and offer only sandwich and beverage service aboard – plan accordingly.
    There is also an overnight couchette train which reaches Souillac at 5a (editorial:  yuk).  There is nothing open in Souillac at 5a:  if you opt for the overnight train, we suggest that you “sleep in.”  That is, stay aboard to a station further south (Montauban), and double back to Souillac, arriving at 8:30a. 
  • From Toulouse.  A 2-hour trip, Friday trains currently scheduled at 11a, 1:30p, every hour from 3:30p to 6:30p, and then at 10:30p.  Saturday morning trains run at 6:30a and 10:30a.
  • From Barcelona:  trains depart at 7:30a, 9:30a, and 1p, with 2 connections:   an 8-hour trip on the morning services, 7 hours on the afternoon train.  A late service departs at 4:30p, arriving at 12:30a.
  • Thursday overnight travel is possible from Lisbon, with Friday daylight connections to Souillac.
  • From London.  Via Paris, with a station change there:  Gare du Nord to Gare d’Austerlitz (direct via métro line 5, 9 stops, 15-minutes plus the time to figure it out).  Depart London 3.5 hours prior to any given departure from Paris.


5. Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS

Recover from your travels in beautiful Sarlat, a 16th century town in the heart of the Perigord.

We offer a 2-night Sarlat package, including the following:

  • Thursday train to Sarlat instead of to Souillac.
    A discount 1st class upgrade is available for 29€, and may be worth it for this 6-hour trip.
  • 2 hotel nights in Sarlat (Thursday and Friday).
    Use Friday to explore the beautiful town, one of France’s most idyllic.  Saturday is market day.  Visit the market, and travel on to Souillac at noon....
  • 2 breakfasts.
  • A 3-course dinner on Friday night.
  • The services of a Blue Marble Coordinator, present to help you get oriented.
  • Travel from Sarlat to Souillac for the start of your trip.
    Trip is made via bus, departing Sarlat at 11:30a.
  • All taxes, booking charges, baggage charges.
    In other words, no irritating surprises.

    Add-on Prices (in addition to cost of selected Souillac Access Package):  158€ single.  126€ twin or double.
    “Twin / double” prices available to singles willing to share until 35 days prior to trip start.  Within that time, you may request a roommate, and we will assign one if someone else does the same.  But you must be willing to pay the single rate if none can be found.



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

Souillac is a small station on the line between Paris and Toulouse.  Service is limited, and should be coordinated with flights if at all possible.  There is also a single morning train from Bordeaux that travels to Souillac via a connection in Sarlat, and arrives in time for trip assembly.

Planes.  The Brive / Vallée de la Dordogne airport,, 30 minutes away by taxi, has a tiny airport served by tiny planes from Paris, and seasonal services from London or Amsterdam.  Otherwise, Toulouse, Limoges, and Bergerac are roughly equidistant.  Toulouse has many European flights, Limoges and Bergerac are served by Ryanair.  Connecting rail service to Souillac is limited, and should be coordinated with flights before booking, if at all possible.
Hire us if you have trouble with this:  getting to Souillac is not simple, and we can probably save you a day's research (or a seriously bizarre route) for 20€.


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.


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