How to get to France

Smart ways to travel to France

Paris, Saint-Malo, Brest, Camaret, Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Jean de Luz, Perpignan… you’d love to visit those magnificent cities and book a trip with France écotours… but don’t know how to come? Here are some insider tips to travel to your dream French city!

Important note about Corona virus

Traveling in times of Covid can be quite a challenge. Restrictions change all the time depending on your travel dates, country of origin etc. To make life easier for you, we have created a page which we update daily with all the information about travel restrictions you need to know before coming to France. Just click on the link to learn more.

Smart ways to travel in Europe: Cheap and eco-friendly

Get an initial overview on Gopili, the website compares the pricing of different transport means whilst traveling in Europe.

Infographic listing four hints about traveling to France cheap

Traveling by plane

Taking the plane might sometimes be the only reasonable way to get to France. However, planes are a very polluting means of transport, and one needs to think about it when traveling. That’s why we suggest you take the time to compensate your flight emissions with our partner Atmosfair. This is a climate protection organisation with a focus on travel that publishes climate rankings of airlines (very interesting!). Have a quick look at their comparator, go climate conscious!
To learn more about this eco-friendly organisation, read our post.

Most people traveling to France by plane will land in one of the 2 airports in Paris: Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY). Both airports are well linked to the city center by shuttle buses and suburban trains (RER) (fares range from 6 to 13€/person).
However, most big cities in France have an international airport such as Toulouse, Lyon or Marseille. These airports and smaller ones are all well linked to Paris.
Many of these smaller airports (Rennes, Nantes, Strasbourg…) offer seasonal flights to the UK and Ireland and/or operate only one or two services per week.

From the US: Direct flights to France are available with Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines and Air France. The average price of a return flight in economy class is around 600$.
From the UK: Direct flights are available with Air France, British airways, Ryanair, easyJet… to different airports in the country.
From Ireland: Many airlines link Ireland to different cities in France (Paris, Toulouse, Marseille…). A trip from Dublin to Paris lasts about 1h45min.

Prices vary greatly according to the company, the time of year you are traveling… Here is some advice on how to save money on your next flight:

Book with a low-cost company: there are more and more low-cost plane companies allowing you to travel for a very small budget. However, you won’t be permitted to carry a lot of luggage on board.
The most popular ones: Ryanair, EasyJet, Transavia.

Book with a travel search engine: many of them will enable you to find your flight at the cheapest price. We recommend: Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo and Google Flights!
Don’t hesitate to compare the results of those search engines! Although a bit time-consuming, this method might save you a few hundred of pounds or dollars.

Be sure to pay the cheapest price: with OptionWay, you can buy a ticket… and the website will reimburse the difference if the ticket goes any cheaper!
Does not work for low-cost and group tickets. OptionWay takes a 30% commission.

If you are from Canada: Yulair will tell you all the cheapest flights from Montréal.

Some useful tips to get the cheapest flight:

  • Book your flight ticket on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between 1 and 4 o’clock.
  • Book as early as you can.
  • Use incognito mode to search your flight. / Before booking it, delete your Google browsing history and reboot your internet box or use a vpn connection. Many flight companies will else track you and make you pay more expensive prices.
  • Set up your computer/smartphone in order to only accept cookies from visited sites and refuse geolocation if it is not necessary.
  • Use more confidential browser software like Brave or Tor browser
  • Be flexible on your departure dates: arriving one or two days before the start of your organized France écotours holidays can save you tens, even hundreds (if you come by plane) of euros… and it will give you extra time to discover the area!
  • Before paying, remember to check that you have not inadvertently taken out any additional options (snack, seat reservation, etc).

Traveling by ferry

Book a ferry: you can book with several companies: Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Stena Line. However, we recommend using the following comparison website A Ferry. This site compares all the ferry companies and routes to France for you.
Ferry prices vary according to your travel dates, the route you are taking or if you also bring your car, your caravan, your motorcycle etc. All companies usually allow traveling with pets

Traveling by ferry from Ireland

3 ferry routes operate between Ireland and France:
- Dublin to Cherbourg (Irish Ferries)
- Rosslare to Cherboug (Brittany Ferries or Stena Lines),
- Cork to Roscoff (Brittany Ferries)
The average sailing time is around 18h.

Traveling by ferry from England

Brittany Ferries, P&O Ferries, Irish Ferries and DFDS operate crossings between England and France.
Ferries connect 5 ports in England (Plymouth, Portsmouth, Dover, Newhaven and Poole) to 8 ports in the north of France (Dunkirk, Saint-Malo, Dieppe…)
Duration of crossing vary. The fastest crossing is between Dover and Calais (1h30min)

Eurostar

The Eurostar is a high-speed train linking London (St Pancras) to Paris (Gare du Nord), with stops in Calais and Lille via the Channel Tunnel.
It is the easiest and fastest way to go from the UK to France as the journey lasts only 2h30 from London to Paris.
You can get a return ticket from 66€.

Don´t confuse Eurostar and Eurotunnel!
The Eurotunnel is operated by the company GetLink, who offer a railway shuttle service between Folkestone and Calais. This service is also known as “Le shuttle” and allows you to travel with your car or with any other vehicle from England to France in just 35min!
Prices start at 31£ and depend on how long you are staying in France, if the ticket is refundable or not etc.

Traveling through France

Traveling by train

Book an exchangeable and refundable ticket: book as early as you can to benefit from SNCF offers. And with those “exchangeable and refundable tickets” (make sure to choose this option !), you will get to exchange your ticket for a few euros if you can't make it!

Take a night train: in France, night trains are often cheaper and sometimes more direct than regular day tickets!

Take a Ouigo train: those “low budget” trains are stopping at less-frequented railway stations, but can be an amazing way to travel through France. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t check only this website, but also others such as SNCF.fr, as “last minute” train tickets with SNCF can be cheaper.
/!\ Website in French.

Take a regional train: regional trains are much slower, but at the same time much cheaper. A nice way to discover magnificent French landscapes and to easily get to the starting point of your hike. Moreover, you can take your bicycle with you!

Book with a train ticket comparator: we highly recommend you use TrainLine. Register with an email address and fill up your profile to benefit from the best prices in Europe.

Buy second-hand tickets: many people book a train they won’t be able to attend and then resell it on the Internet. Why not buy it there?

In region Languedoc-Roussillon (where we offer a lot of travels…): you can get a regional train or a bus for 1€!

If your flight lands in Belgium: Izy offers Brussels-Paris from 10€!

Be clever and use the interrail'pass if you intend to travel through several European countries!

You still don’t know how to get there?

Search with a comparator: Gopili will help you find the cheapest way to get there (plane, bus, carsharing, train…).

Traveling by car

Share a car!: Carsharing is cheap and eco-friendly, so why not try using it? You can choose your partners over some particular criteria: non-smoking, ladies-only, luggage size, etc. We highly recommend Blablacar , a really easy website to use!

Rent someone else’s car: TravelerCar enables you to rent a car from someone who went on holidays. The car is insured. You can also have a look at Drivy.

Traveling by bus

Buses are one of the most eco-friendly means of transport. Besides, since 2015, they are really cheap in France.

Book directly with the bus company: FlixBus, Ouibus, Eurolines, etc. Journeys will be longer, but these buses often offer Wifi, WC, and plugs!

Book with a comparator: ComparaBUS or TicTacTrip analyse most of the bus transfers in Western Europe to help you get yours at the cheapest price!

Infographic telling that 61% of our customers travel by car to france while 30% travel by train and 9% by plane.

Off to France: Travel smart and travel cheap!

Travel the #ecoholidays way. Paris, Saint-Malo, Brest, Camaret, Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Perpignan: these special French cities are where most of our ecofriendly trips start – most of them can be reached with great ease. You can find the different means of reaching these destinations above. We have included useful links for online bookings and carpooling.

Do you speak some French per chance? Make use of our French price checking websites. Clients often ask us for the best ways of getting in and around France. So we gathered some information on travelling cheap but also travelling eco-friendly. Find all you need in our infographic below.

We do our best to update travel options regularly. We hope that you will recommend us! Good or bad, your feedback is always welcome – it it always possible to improve!

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