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Train Tickets: Great deals for summer 2010 rail travel

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Eurostar trains in Paris

It is that time of year when Europeans enjoy a number of weekdays off work, variously celebrating this or that religious feast or national festival. This month has already seen public holidays associated with Mayday and the Liberation or end of World War II (the latter understandably marked more by victors than by the vanquished). This past Monday (May 24, 2010) was a public holiday in some three dozen countries on account of Pentecost.There is more to come next week (on Thursday, June 3) when Corpus Christi offers workers yet another free day in more than a dozen countries across Europe.

These bonus days off work are the prompt for many Europeans to finalize their summer travel plans, and with that ash cloud still lingering menacingly over the North Atlantic, many train operators are offering limited-time deals to persuade die-hard fliers that 2010 is the year when they really should forsake the airlines and rediscover rail travel.

Here are some of the best rail deals we’ve come across for summer 2010 travel. But take note — some of these tickets must be purchased quite soon!

From London to the Mediterranean in June (book by June 1, 2010)

Eurostar has an amazing deal this week on journeys from London to the Rhône valley and the south of France. For just £69 round trip, passengers can speed from London to Lyon, Aix, Avignon or Marseille with just a single change of train in Lille. But hurry, as this offer, valid for return journeys anytime in June, must be booked by June 1.

Paris to Italy in June (book by May 30)

Rail Europe’s UK office also has a great deal for those who act quickly. Just until next Sunday, you can nab a one-way ticket from Paris to six Italian destinations from just £23.50. Like the Eurostar offer above, this Rail Europe special is valid for travel anytime in June and can be used on the daytime Artesia trains from Paris to Italy. Traveling from the French capital to Milan takes just seven hours,  and this route has become so popular that an extra daily return daytime service will be added on July 4, 2010.

Rewards for early bookers

We just picked up a couple of cheap tickets for the Paris to Geneva route on www.tgv-europe.com. The Piccolissimo fare of just €20 one way is a regular offering on the TGV Lyria services that link the two cities in less than three and a half hours. But it does need to be booked 60 days in advance of travel.

Thalys also has some good advance booking offers on its seasonal routes from the Netherlands and Belgium to the south of France. For example, a one-way Smoove fare, booked a minimum of 30 days in advance, allows travel from any station in Belgium to sunny Provence for just €50.

Roam Germany this summer

German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) have a superb range of summer offers for 2010, including a so-called Jubiläums-Pass that offers a full month of unlimited rail travel in Germany for €299 (or €246 for travelers aged 26 or less). A cheaper pass is available for those who just want a one-week option (or, to be strictly correct, a pass valid for 175 hours). These special summer rail passes can be used between June 13 and August 31, 2010.

About the author

hiddeneurope

About the authors: Nicky and Susanne manage a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine.

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5 thoughts on “Train Tickets: Great deals for summer 2010 rail travel”

  1. Awesome. Cannot believe what a great deal that German Rail Pass is. I was just about to buy a 7 day German rail pass from an agent, and they were charging $349 for that.

    But then I saw here that if I get the Jubilee 175 hour pass direct from the Deutsche Bahn website, I pay just 146 euros for a pass valid for 7 days (with an extra 7 hours thrown in for free). I benefit particularly because I am 26 years old, which still counts for the youth discount with the DB 175 pass, but with Eurail products a 26 year old must pay the adult fare. I just purchased the pass online. Easy.

    Thank you, Eurocheapo. You have saved me a packet.

    Reply
  2. Thanks Natalia. It would be good if you could get back and say what happens. We find that the DB UK office is absolutely superb – no complaints about them whatsoever. But we do just wonder if possibly this is a product that can only be purchased online, in which case you can easily purchase it by going to the link above.

    DB do sometimes have promotions which are only for sale on one day. For example they had a Valentines’ Day special in February. And they had just such a special on 17 May. That was a ‘€35 for two’ ticket allowing two people, travelling together, to make a one-way journey across Germany anytime in June for just €35. It is possible that whoever you spoke to thought you were asking about that ticket.

    Good luck next time round. And do say what you discover.

    Susanne and Nicky
    editors / hidden europe

    Reply
  3. Thanks guys. I rang the DB UK office and the person I spoke to said it was only for sale on the 17th of May! Armed with your information I will ring them again tomorrow and try to organise a pass!
    Eurocheapo saves the day again!

    Reply
  4. Natalia – the Jubilaeums-Pass went on sale on 17 May, which is why we judged it worthy of a mention. It was not for sale only on 17 May as you imply. It is available for sale from 17 May until 31 August 2010. These details are clearly mentioned on the DB website, where you can order the passes online.

    Here is a useful link to the Deutsche Bahn website which gives full details about the Jubiläums-Pässe (in German of course): http://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/aktionspreis/jubilaeumspass.shtml

    Reply

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