Getting There


Travellers from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will most likely visit France via the UK. Many airlines fly from London to Paris, but why fly when you can take the Eurostar? The St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord journey takes less than three hours and some trains stop at Calais and Lille where you can change for Bordeaux, Nice or Lyon. Plan ahead for the best prices.

Otherwise, budget airlines fly to other major transport hubs including Nice, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nantes, Toulouse, Marseille and Grenoble. Consider flying to Geneva in Switzerland if you are heading to the French Alps.


If you’re feeling a little bit old-school you can take the train to Dover and head over to France on the ferry to Calais. It is a relaxing trip and you get to wave goodbye to those famous White Cliffs. The main ferry companies are P&O Ferries and Sea France.


Getting Around


If you are really strapped for time consider flying internally. Although after you take into account the distances to airports and the likely queues and delays, you may be better off taking a train to your destination.


France’s train network SNCF is comprehensive, comfortable and user-friendly. TGV trains are capable of doing more than 300km/h and link Paris with other destinations such as Lille, Lyon, Nice and Bordeux. The Corail Téoz trains are slower than the TGV, but are still comfortable.


Consider hiring a car in France, though avoid driving in Paris unless you want to circle the Arc du Triomphe for all eternity. A car will allow you to explore the smaller towns at your leisure and drive on some spectacular roads such as the Corniches on the French Riviera.