LivingTravelLondon to Marseille by direct train

London to Marseille by direct train

Traveling by train to France is fun, fast and cheap. But until now he has had to change trains and / or stations to get to the south of France. Now a direct train departs from London St. Pancras International, stopping only in Lyon and Avignon before ending in Marseille. It does not change any of the station trains, and it takes only 6 hours and 27 minutes. So a short break in the south of France is now a reality. And with Marseille’s newfound reputation as a tourist destination, it makes for an exciting and affordable mini-vacation.



The service that began on May 1 st , is currently established at the following times:

May-June, September-October Monday, Friday, Saturday

July, August Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

November Saturday

Departs at 07.19 am, arriving in Marseille at 2.46 pm (French time, 1 hour before UK time). Travel time is 6 hours and 27 minutes.

The return trips are the same day with the train prepared and ready by 3.22 pm local time. It takes longer on the return trip (arriving in London at 10.12pm local time), a journey of 7 hours and 12 minutes. As there are no UK customs or border controls in Marseille, you need to get off the train at Lille with your luggage, go through security, and then get back on the same train to finish your journey to London.

Eurostar timetable

But if it is very popular, the Eurostar will offer more frequent services.

From London St. Pancras International to Marseille.

Travel in style

There are 3 classes on Eurostar – choose from Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier. If you take Business Premier, you can use the excellent private lounge at London St. Pancras. Standard Premier is almost as good on board, with a meal served to your seat (not quite as elaborate as in Business Premiere), but you can’t use the lounge in St. Pancras where there are newspapers and magazines, tea, coffee and champagne and Very Good pastries and sandwiches to prepare you for the trip.

Check-in time is 30 minutes before departure, but with the increasing popularity of train service, the station and check-in get very crowded, so wait 45 minutes.

The journey from London to Marseille

It’s a good trip, with the first stop at Ashford International to pick up passengers from the South East of England. The train takes about 20 minutes through the canal tunnel, then you find yourself in a totally different field. You glimpse Calais in the distance before traversing the plains of northern France.

It circles Paris, past Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, and heads southeast through Burgundy. Warm colored stone houses with tile roofs; large farms and vineyards pass quickly.

You see the distant mountains of the Massif Central and the Puy-de-Dome road in the distance, one of the lesser-known regions of France.

Lyon is the first stop and arrives at the Lyon Part-Dieu station at 1 pm French time, with 4 hours and 41 minutes.

You are now in the Rhone Valley, its massive white limestone cliffs rising to one side. Your next stop is Avignon TGV station, in the countryside outside Avignon, at 2.08pm, the whole trip takes 5 hours 49 minutes. You see the towers of the famous Palace of the Popes, but little else.

You get glimpses of Mont St Victoire near Aix-en-Provence, painted so many times by Paul Cézanne, a native of this beautiful southern French city.

Then you arrive in Marseille at Marseille Saint Charles in the early afternoon at 2.46 pm

Advantages of traveling by train instead of by plane

There is no doubt that taking the train is the most relaxing way to travel to the south of France. I flew back, and door to door was actually 20 minutes faster by train. In addition to the new fast travel method, you can take as much luggage as possible on the train; you can drink liquids and cosmetics without restrictions; you can work if you want and easily move around the train. There are two soda cars on the train, but the choice is quite limited, so many people take their own picnics, simply filling up on drinks on the train.

It is also very affordable. Prices start from £ 99 and as it is city center to city center, you don’t have to take a tube or train to the terminal.

Travel with great train rides

I traveled with Great Rail Journeys, a company that is flexible, helpful, and efficient. This UK company organizes a very good and accompanied group rail holiday. Take a look at some of his ideas on his website. Typical accompanied group holidays include 6 days in the Dordogne and Lot from £ 645 per person; and Languedoc and Carcassonne (7 days from £ 795 per person).

They will also make you a tailor-made vacation, combining river excursions, city breaks and everything you want to see. Take a look at 4 days on the Côte d’Azur from Nice and Monaco at a cost of £ 320 per person, which includes train travel, 3 nights in a 3-star hotel in Nice and a train excursion to Monaco. Other destinations include Paris and Reims (from £ £ 470 per person); Paris and Avignon (5 days from £ 515 per person).

Contact Great Rail Journeys by phone on 0800 140 4444 (from the UK) or check their website.

  • Great Rail Journeys overview
  • Great Rail Journeys tailor made trips

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