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The River Pau
2 adults, 2 seniors, 1 six year old and twin 11 month olds. Im looking to fly into paris and then take a train to lourdes. I was wondering what would be the cheapest way to go. I know there is a train that gets you there in a couple of hours and then there is the night train. Does anyone know what the prices are and how comfortale the train ride is with all the kids. Also does anyone know if you could rent wheelchairs anywhere in Lourdes because the 2 older folks also need some time to rest and if anyone has any info on some clean hotels that are not very expensive. I am so looking forward to this trip but dont know where to start. I am looking to arrive in paris the end of april. If anyone can give me any info i would greatly appriciate it. Thanks
The train ride is about 6hours on the TGV direct, which leaves from Gare Montparnasse at approx 10am each day. Can't help with the cost as I haven't done it for some time. There are plentyof well priced and very clean hotels in Lourdes. Try www.venere.com or www.bookings.com. I can recommend the Hotel Aneto and the Hotel St Andre.
TLong distance train fares in France depend on several factors, so it is hard to give an exact price. The cheapest fares are those purchased when the reservation window opens 90 days before travel. These tickets sell out quickly. The closer to the date of travel, the more expensive the tickets become.
As stated, the daytime TGV train takes about 6 hours to reach Lourdes. The trains are comfortable (but take your own food and drink on board if you can) and you may be able to reserve seats in a 'family' area but don't wait too long to assure seats close together. TGV trains are 'all reserved' and each passenger (except the little ones) has a numbered, allocated seat so you must make a reservation now. You will have to pay for six year old but not the babies.
You should go to www.voyages-sncf.com where you can view the available trains for your date(s) of travel and make the reservations on line. Tickets can be collected at the departure station or mailed to you.
I have just experimented with a Paris to Lourdes trip at 10.05 on Monday 3rd may. This quoted €324 for four adults, one-way. That's €81 Euros each. The 0740 train is 10 Euros per head cheaper. Both trains make the journey in a few minutes less than 6 hours. Later trains eg leaving Paris at 1740 arriving Lourdes at 2334 are priced as low as 25 Euros each. But these tickets will sell soon and are also non-exchangeable and non-refundable.
The overnight train has several prices ranging from about 35 Euros (sitting) to over 100 Euros (sleeping berth). I would not recommend 8 hours 36 minutes seated however!
Turning to Lourdes, I have read somewhere that wheelchairs can be hired locally but I cannot find the information. Hotels I cannot help with as I have never needed to stay overnight in Lourdes.
Wheelchairs can be hired from the Accueil Maris Saint Frai which is near the old bridge in Avenue Bernadette Soubirous. You'll need to leave a deposit of 30 Euros which will be returned to you when the wheelchair is returned. You'll also need to leave a contact name and the name of the hotel you are staying in. Opening times for the hire of wheelchairs is 08:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 18:30 every day.
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