Christmas in the Savoie by Rail

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Travel Editions

You'll love this tour if you like: 

  • Atmospheric hotels - this one is a converted 15th century chateau! 
  • Wonderfully festive scenery
  • Historic cities
  • French cuisine - Lyon is a gastronomic capital 

Enjoy a peaceful Christmas surrounded by the wild and wintry rugged landscapes, fragrant evergreen forests and sparkling lakes of the breath-taking Savoie region. Based in the atmospheric Château des Comtes de Challes, a beautifully converted 15th-century fortified house, explore the culturally rich cities such as Annecy, Chambéry and Aix-les-Bains, the beautiful scenery and enjoy a wonderful festive atmosphere.

This tour is based at the comfortable and atmospheric, family-run three-star Chateau des Comtes de Challes, set in extensive grounds about 6km from Chambéry and offering excellent local cuisine as well as comfortable accommodation.


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Accommodation

Chateau des Comtes de Challes
This tour is based at the beautiful Chateau des Comtes de Challes, located in the pretty village of Challes-les-Eaux about 6km from Chambery. Dating from the 15th century this atmospheric hotel was converted from a fortified house and offers a very high level of comfort and service. Facilities at this friendly, family-owned hotel include an elegant restaurant (where dinner is included each evening), bar, delightful grounds, outdoor pool and charming, well-appointed rooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone and minibar. It even has its own private chapel! Upgraded "charming rooms" which have more stylish decor are also available at a reasonable supplement.

Please note that there is no lift in the Chateau itself.

Chateau des Comtes de Challes Website

OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
The Chateau des Comtes de Challes is an impressive and charming hotel, owned and run by the Trèves family since 2002, which exudes a lovely atmosphere from its setting within two hectares of peaceful grounds. The hotel has been welcoming our guests for nearly a decade. Ask the charismatic manager, Florian Trèves, for a tour of his extensive wine cellars - he has vintages worth up to €1800!

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Travel Inn, London King's Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minute walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website

More Info

PASSPORTS
Valid passport required by all, except:

(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;

(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.

VISAS
Are not required by EU citizens. All other nationalities should enquire at the French consulate (PO Box 57, 6A Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW

Tel: (020) 7838 2000/1. Information Service: Tel: (0891) 887 733. Fax: (020) 7838 2046. Opening hours: 0900-1130 (and 1600-1630 for visa collection only) Monday to Friday (except French and British national holidays).

TRAIN
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.  Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras.  The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat.  On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket. 

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890.

HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website,  there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.

Places of Interest

Chambéry
Once the capital of Savoy, the dignified town of Chambéry has a distinctly Italianate feel that betrays its history as part of Italy. Highlights here include its much-loved and extravagant Fontaine des Eléphants, Chateau of the Dukes of Savoy dating back to the 14th century and 17th century country house, Les Charmettes, once home to the philosopher Rousseau.

Annecy & the Lake
The town of Annecy is one of the most attractive and charming towns in the Alps, set at the northern tip of Lac d’Annecy and surrounded by mountains. Its small medieval quarter is laced with canals, flower-covered bridges and arcaded streets. Perfect for leisurely and relaxing browsing, there are nonetheless some major sights - the formidable 12th Century Palais de l’Isle and the turreted Chateau d’Annecy. One of the largest lakes in France, Lake Annecy is surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and attractive towns and villages.

Lyon
Dramatically sited on the banks of the Rhone and Saone rivers, France’s second city, Lyon, has long been a vital gateway between north and south. It is renowned as the gastronomic centre of the country with a wealth of excellent restaurants from humble bistros to Michelin-starred centres of excellence and is bordered by the two important wine regions of Beaujolais and Cotes-du-Rhone. Sights here date back to Roman times with two theatres which still stage events (and an excellent Gallo-Romaine museum). The old town is an atmospheric warren of cobbled streets, covered walkways and Renaissance palaces, perfect for a leisurely promenade. The main sights include the Basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Roman theatres, Cathédrale St Jean, 15th century Hotel de Gadagne that houses two museums and Chemin du Rosaire, a beautiful path that leads down from Fourvière offering spectacular views of the city.

Abbey d’Hautecombe & Aix-les-Bains
The beautiful and peacful Abbaye d'Hautecombe, spectacularly situated on Lake Bourget with a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. This Benedictine monastery contains the mausoleum of the Savoyard dynasty and was transformed by Piedmontese architect, Ernest Melano. Aix-les-Bains, a gracious spa town on Lac du Bourget, famed for its thermal baths and Faure Museum housing the 2nd largest collection of Impressionist paintings in France, including works by Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Sisley and a collection of some 30 Rodin statues. 

Chartreuse & Grenoble
The Chartreuse is a magnificent region of mountains and forests, famed for the Monastery whose monks produced the renowned liqueur, but which is now produced in the town of Voiron. The monks still inhabit the monastery and live in silence and seclusion. Grenoble is a thriving university city, home to the 1968 Winter Olympics, whose sights include the cable car to the Fort de la Bastille, lively Place St-André in the heart of the medieval city, 13th century Church of St-André and several museums.

Travel Info

 

Destinations
  • Challes-les-Eaux
  • France
  • Europe
  • Lyon
  • Paris
Tour Types
  • Seniors
  • Winter
  • Mountains
  • 50 plus
  • Rail Tours
  • Christmas Tours
Departure Points
  • St Pancras

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar direct from St Pancras to Lyon (Ebbsfleet option is not available on this direct service). On arrival, transfer to the village of Challes-les-Eaux (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes) for check-in. 

Day 2: Full day tour to Abbaye d’Hautecombe and Aix-les-Bains, with Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel. The tranquil Abbaye d’Hautecombe, located on the shores of Lake Bourget, is a former Cistercian then Benedictine monastery and burial place of the House of Savoy. The spa town of Aix-les-Bains, known since Roman times, is renowned for the healing qualities of its waters. The elegant Belle-Époque buildings, that sprung up in the late 1800s, are best enjoyed at a relaxed pace whilst the Faure Museum houses a collection of Impressionist works and Rodin statues.

Day 3: Day free to relax with festive lunch and dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Full day tour to Lyon. Rich from industry that spans back to the 16th century, Lyon is a clean and charming city, particularly known for its gastronomy – it is said that the old town has the largest concentration of restaurants in the world! There are plenty of cultural attractions to visit including a textile museum, a Gallo-Roman Museum and the impressive Basilica Notre Dame. There is much enjoyment to be had wandering the atmospheric warren of streets in the older quarters of the city, where you’ll find lots of Renaissance buildings and a multitude of restaurants to choose from.

Day 5: Full day tour to Grenoble and Chartreuse. Grenoble is a vivacious place nestled amongst the peaks of the Belledonne, Chartreuse and Vercors mountains. Being a university city it is cosmopolitan with a buzzing arts scene whilst at its centre you’ll find a tightly packed maze of modern and medieval buildings. Travelling into the Chartreuse massif you will find a glorious landscape of peaks, valleys, pine forests and pastures – a breath-taking view at every turn. The name is perhaps best known from the Carthusian monastery named from the mountains, as well as the liqueur that was produced by the monks and is still produced in Voiron today.

Day 6: Full day in Chambéry with guided tour and free afternoon for personal exploration. Chambéry has guarded the mountain passes that lead to Italy for centuires. Originally just a château built by the Count of Savoie in 1232, the town grew around it and became an important commerical and cultural centre - there is plenty of majestic Italianate architecture from this golden age to admire. Highlights include its much-loved and extravagant Fontaine des Eléphants, Chateau of the Dukes of Savoy dating back to the 14th century and 17th century country house, Le Charmettes, once home to the philosopher Rousseau.

Day 7: Full day to Annecy and Lake Annecy. One of the most attractive and popular towns in the French Alps, the town of Annecy sits on the banks of the lake of the same name surrounded by breathtaking alpine scenery. The imposing château on the hill and the Palais de l’Ile provide much historical interest, and you’ll find the canals and narrow passages of the 16th century old town enchanting. One of the largest lakes in France, Lake Annecy is surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and attractive towns and villages.

Day 8: Transfer to Chambéry for return TGV to Paris and onward Eurostar to Ebbsfleet or St Pancras.

NB: Exact order or excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar from St Pancras direct to Lyon, returning by Eurostar and TGV from Chambery via Paris with coach transfer in Paris
  • Seven nights' accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis at the three-star Chateau des Comtes de Challes, based on shared occupancy of twin room 
  • Festive Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch and dinner 
  • Transfers and full coach touring itinerary conducted by tour manager
  • Tour manager throughout 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement 
  • Room upgrades for twin/double occupancy - "Charming room" (nicer decor) or Junior Suite (with sitting area). Upgraded rooms are not available for single occupancy 
  • Standard Premier/1st class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities 

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras, but bags do need to be carried onto the platform. 

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890.

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
22-Dec-2021
7 Nights
Standard Room View live deal View live deal

Touring with Travel Editions

Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.

Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.

As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.

One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.

In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.

Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.

In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Travel Editions

7 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:St Pancras
Finish:St Pancras
Group size:0 - 36
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