In 2015 Eurostar plan a service from London to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille
In 2014 a direct Eurostar service ran every summer Saturday from London St Pancras to Avignon Centre. From May 2015 Eurostar plan a more extensive all-year-round service from London to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille. The new service will run on Mondays and Fridays in addition to Saturdays, with an additional service on Thursdays during July and August.
Provisional times for the southbound train are:- London St Pancras depart 07:17, Lyon Part Dieu arrive 13:00, Avignon TGV 14:08, Marseille St Charles 14:45. Provisional northbound times are:- Marseille St Charles depart 15:22, Avignon TGV depart 15:58, Lyon Part Dieu depart 17:25, London St Pancras arrive 22:40. There will be a stop at Lille Europe for UK customs and security where passengers will be required to alight and re-board the train.
This new train service to Marseille opens up a all sorts of possibilities for anyone wishing to visit the South of France without taking to the air. It will be possible to leave London first thing in the morning and be enjoying a drink in a café in Marseille by tea time, after having checked in to a city centre hotel.
Marseille is a lively city and whist it lacks major historical monuments, it has an infectious lively atmosphere which will captivate the city break tourist. The Vieux Port is a focal point for visitors with its countless restaurants and bars.
The Canebière, Marseille’s main thoroughfare, will appeal to anyone who enjoys shopping. It became the glamorous centre of Marseille’s vibrant café society in the 19th century when many grand hotels along the Canebière catered for commercial travellers and wealthy tourists passing through the port, then the largest on the Mediterranean.
For many British visitors an attractive option would be to visit Marseille in combination with Paris, making a very appealing twin centre city break. The journey to Paris by fast TGV train takes less than 4 hours so an additional couple of nights spent in Paris would enable the traveller to see a number of sights such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Nôtre Dame before taking the Eurostar back to London.