Try the train for days out in France
Trains may not be the most obvious transport to show visitors a region, particularly with recent strikes; however, there are some worthwhile deals.
Each region has cheap offers and special tourist deals on its Transport Express Régional (TER) trains. Regions are independent of each other so packages vary and are often tailored to local needs.
In PACA-Région Sud, for example, a €30-a-year Zou! card is open to all ages, without conditions and offers a 50% discount on all TER journeys (any time of the day). This can be extended to three other people travelling with you, allowing you to leave the car at home and bypass the issue – and costs – of finding parking.
Areas with cultural festivals also have deals, like Brittany’s Offre Festival with €18 return tickets to any station, often with free buses to and from several partner music events.
Certain tourist sites, such as Cité du Chocolat Valrhona in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, offer reductions for TER users and ski stations also have deals for skiers arriving by train with bus shuttles and cut prices.
Normandy’s Pass Découverte at €20 gives weekend travel in the region for two adults and three under-12s or with three adults added for €5 each.