Cheapest way across France

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Ian99, 24 Mar 2019.

  1. Ian99

    Ian99 Member

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    I'm in no hurry but need to go from Calais Ville (or maybe Dieppe) to Hendaye this coming weekend. Does anyone have any thoughts on the cheapest way? As I say, no hurry and I don't mind paying for overnight accommodation on the way..
     
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  3. TRAX

    TRAX Member

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    Ouigo can take you across the country for very cheap (and quickly) - you’ll need something else to do Calais > Ouigo and Ouigo > Hendaye though.
     
  4. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    The sleeper from Paris Austerlitz to Bordeaux/Toulouse might be an idea. Seats can be had for around €20 (remember a sleeping mask though!) with couchette berths from around €35-40. Might be a bit more at relatively short notice, mind.
     
  5. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    From a quick look on http://en.oui.sncf/en/

    One possible itinerary, using separate tickets for each leg next Saturday:
    (Prices correct at time of posting)

    Calais Ville 09:01 €7.20 (TER)
    Boulogne Ville 09:24

    Boulogne Ville 09:41 €15 (TER, Advance)
    Paris Nord 12:10

    Paris Montparnasse 15:22 €29 (Ouigo TGV, Advance)
    Bordeaux 18:08

    Bordeaux 18:45 €20 (TER, Advance)
    Hendaye 21:23

    Other routes are available - and there may well be cheaper alternatives, but I think this is an interesting and do-able plan, with a good price - €71.20 at present.
     
  6. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    Since I'd been looking at the booking site anyway, I had a quick look at this option and found that Paris to Toulouse next Saturday night is currently €36 in a reclining seat or €59/€65 for a couchette.
     
  7. Alfonso

    Alfonso Member

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    A "Prix casses hauts de France" for Saturday gives a days unlimited TER, including Calais to Paris, for 20 Euros. Then take an Intercites 100% eco to Bordeaux, Limoges, or Brives, then another TER bargain, such as a 20euro billet petit Prix from Bordeaux to Hendaye? TER often has excellent offers, very well hidden, with each region calling pretty much the same thing something different
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2019
  8. Ian99

    Ian99 Member

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    Thanks. Your mention of the €20 TER day ticket begs the question, "how many TER regions are there between Calais and Hendaye?"
     
  9. Alfonso

    Alfonso Member

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    That particular ticket is for TER Haut De France only, but will get you to Paris. Then there's TER centre- Val de Loire, then TER Nouvelle Aquitaine...only 3.
     
  10. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    As some time has now passed, how did you get on?

    I learnt something new in this thread and purchased some "Prix casses hauts de France" for a forthcoming trip. However, these tickets appear to be advance purchase single tickets that aren't train-specific, as opposed to being a day rover for unlimited travel, which is how they were described in one post. Perhaps they've changed recently?
     
  11. dutchflyer

    dutchflyer Member

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    No, dont think so. Rover-tix as such are very, very rare in FR and the few that existed have been scrapped or made route-specific. But its new for me that this ticket exist, so I'll also have a peep. TREU/mr David Haydock always claims ''SNCF does not like them!''.
    The ONLY region (old style!!-they have been merged some 2 years ago, hence this hauts-de-france thing) that offer them are Alsace (as in Germany with also bustram) and Pays de Loire (around Nantes)-for 2 days, plus Transilien around Paris.
    In september in de EU-public transport/mobilty week many more offer it, but only for that weekend.
    Since 1/1/18 the regions also set the LOCAL TER-fares and it took some time for them to adapt and/or try out new offers.
    A special offer I noted last yr (check if its still there) is in the Languedoc/Roussillon region (Toulouse and Montpellier): ANY local monthly can be extended for 20 € to have weekend-only all-region validity-the cheapest such season is about 30 €, so 50 eur pays for 5 weekends! And its a scenic and tourist-heavy area too. Info on this is well hidden and only in french, I saw it from a leaflet picked up when passing through.
     
  12. dutchflyer

    dutchflyer Member

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    Oh-BTW, its too late now anyway, but ian99 probably also would like to travel back to UK and perhaps also travel a fair distance on exBR/ATOC to get to LONdon. In that case the cheapest 3 day InterRail, even lower priced for junior/senior and also with 10% discount in that time, would have been much more cost-effective and also allow much more flexibility.
     
  13. Alfonso

    Alfonso Member

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    Sorry, my post with poor/misleading wording. I meant that it was not train-specific, only limited to TER trains on the route selected, in this case Calais-Paris, on the day selected, not that it was a rover-type ticket.
     
  14. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    That would be very handy for anyone spending, say, the summer down there.

    In 2016 and 2017, I purchased a fair few their €1 tickets, which saved me a small fortune on some long trips along the south coast - mostly loco hauled, when they still had a couple of sets out between Avignon and Cerbere/Port Bou.

    No worries - thank you for clarifying - and a bigger thank you for mentioning the tickets in the first place, as it introduced me to something I was unaware of and have already been able to make use of for a trip next month.
     
  15. Ian99

    Ian99 Member

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    Yes I think you're correct - that could have worked nicely
     
  16. Ian99

    Ian99 Member

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    I cheated in the end and paid a bit more to get the Eurostar rather than the ferry so then went Paris - Hendaye direct.

    Now planning my return:

    Should be in Hendaye at 1130 on Saturday morning. Trying to return to south London. Best I've got so far is €152 Hendaye to Le Havre then 2345 hrs overnight ferry to Portsmouth at c. £35 then c. £16 to London on Sunday morning.

    I'd be happy to stick around in Bordeaux or some where else if I can get back cheaper as long as it's not for more than a day or two.

    Any thoughts please?
     
  17. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    At this notice I doubt you'll beat that, assuming the cabi on the Etretat is OK price wise.

    Oui.sncf are saying EUR142 for the throughout trip

    There are basically no PREMS tickets left over the weekend, and the only way of saving more than the odd Euro is by using the OUIGO to Massy or Montparnasse in the evening and catching the Sunday afternoon sailing from Le Havre (other ferries are available, but the only cheaper one is Dieppe-Newhaven and it's sold out for Sunday evening).
     
  18. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    the cheapest way is probably to hitch-hike.
     
  19. Alfonso

    Alfonso Member

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    Usually I enjoy the challenge of finding good/interesting options, but navigating SNCFs site with different pages for each TER, Intercites 100%ECO, and plain vanilla pages is a PITA. Sorry I didn't get far, but did find that TER Normandy has weekend rover/ranger tickets for weekends around Easter for 20 Euros for two people,supplements for more. Useless for you but interesting in the light of other comments that regional rovers few and far between in France
     
  20. Shimbleshanks

    Shimbleshanks Member

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    Or use the Blabla Car online ride-sharing service, if you like that sort of thing. (Sharing a stranger's car would be torture for me...)
     

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