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The French Lakes, Chamonix & Mont Blanc

Advance registration only
Overall quality was excellent
Mr P Cooke
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(Tour code: CAL19)

Beautiful lakes and mountain scenery by rail

Glorious lakes and mountains form the backdrop of this relaxing French retreat. We combine the picturesque scenery of Lake Bourget and Lake Annecy with the Alpine charm of bustling Chamonix, travelling into the mountains by rail and enjoying a leisurely cruise.

  • Guided tour of Annecy
  • Cruise on Lake Bourget
  • Hautecombe Abbey
  • Montenvers Mountain Railway
  • Mont Blanc Express
  • Guided tour of Vienne
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursions
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
    1 Lunch
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

The French Lakes, Chamonix & Mont Blanc 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Eurostar

London to Annecy

Meet your group and Tour Manager at our exclusive Departure Office in St Pancras, before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. As we travel in Standard Premier Class, a light meal and drinks are served at our seats. After crossing the city by coach, we continue by TGV, travelling eastwards into the Savoy Alps, with the scenery increasing in beauty as the train gently climbs.

Our destination is Annecy, a picturesque town located in this peaceful corner of France, with a delightful medieval heart, criss-crossed by a network of pretty canals, cobbled bridges and winding streets. The 'Venice of the Savoy' has at its centre a charming, unusual castle, which sits in the middle of the Canal du Thiou and is surrounded by the timber-framed houses on preserved medieval streets. In Annecy we stay for three nights at the 4-Star Novotel Annecy, close to the railway station and just a short walk from the charming Old Town and lake. We enjoy dinner together in our hotel tonight.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 Lake Bourget
Lake Bourget

Lake Bourget lunch cruise

Today is one of the real highlights of our tour, as we take sail on the crystal clear waters of Lake Bourget. The tranquil water reflects the vistas of the surrounding mountain scenery, providing us with incredible panoramas during our relaxing cruise, which includes a three-course lunch. Along the way we make a visit to Hautecombe Abbey which juts out into the lake and dates back to the 12th century.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 Vienne


Enjoy a full-day excursion to Vienne today. Known for its Roman remains, we embark on a guided tour that includes sights such as the Temple d'Auguste et Livie, the city's cathedral, the Theatre Romain and Renaissance Courtyard.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 Chamonix

Annecy and Chamonix

Today we travel by coach to Annecy for a walking tour to before some free time to uncover the delightful medieval centre, criss-crossed by a network of pretty canals, cobbled bridges and winding street for ourselves. After lunch you are free to sightsee on your own, a popular option is to take a cruise on fabulous Lake Annecy. We then continue to the bustling mountain town of Chamonix- Mont-Blanc for four nights, travelling via the Col des Aravis, a mountain pass from where you can admire truly stunning views.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 5-6 Montenvers Railway
Montenvers Railway

The Montenvers Mountain Railway

We depart late morning for a journey on the Montenvers Mountain Railway, which climbs from the valley floor through the pine forests above Chamonix to Montenvers at 6,275 feet (1,913m). The train arrives at Montenvers station and you have free time to look around. It may be possible to descend by cable car to the glacier itself and visit the ice grottos inside. Day 6 is at leisure.

  • Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 7-8 Mont Blanc Express
Mont Blanc Express

The Mont Blanc Express and homeward bound

We leave Chamonix this morning and head to Lake Geneva in Switzerland where we begin our journey on the fabulous Mont Blanc Express- a narrowgauge railway built over 100 years ago - to Martigny and back. We transfer to Annecy on Day 8, catching the high-speed train to Paris where we connect with the Eurostar back to London.

  • Day 7 - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Breakfast
Airport waiting room

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure Times

You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

What’s included

An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • Standard Class rail travel throughout
  • All transfers

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 7 nights' hotel accommodation including 3 nights at the 4-Star Mercure Aix-les-Bains Domaine de Marlioz and 4 nights at the 4-Star Mercure Chamonix Centre

Delicious meals included

  • 11 meals including 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners, including a farewell meal in Chamonix


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Cruise on Lake Bourget
  • Visit Hautecombe Abbey
  • Guided tours of Vienne and Annecy
  • Journey on the Montenvers Mountain Railway
  • Journey on the Mont Blanc Express
  • Free time in Martigny

Not Included

  • Flights and Airport transfers
Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
Yung-Mei Choi
The French Lakes, Chamonix & Mont Blanc

Beautiful lakes and mountain scenery by rail


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