Easy Tips for Getting to French Wine Regions

French Wine Explorers | Wednesday, Mar 16th 2022

You’re planning a trip to French wine country and are dreaming of seeing fabulous wine estates and beautiful chateaux. Are you confused about the best way to get to the major French wine regions? Many French wine regions do not have direct flights from the USA or other countries. So there is a good chance you may need to connect in Paris. Let’s dig into the easiest way to get to the major French wine regions.

Click above to watch the video on getting to French wine regions

Here are some tips if you’re connecting from Paris to French wine country:

  • First, you need 3 hours between connecting flights at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
  • Next, most transatlantic flights touch down before hotel check-in times. Tip: to avoid waiting for a room jet-lagged and cranky, book a spa treatment for your arrival. Then you check in once finished, feeling relaxed and revitalized.

To get to specific French wine regions:

  • Bordeaux: Connect through Paris on your travel day (1-hour flight). Or take the high-speed train (about 2-3 hours) from Paris or Paris CDG airport (See our Bordeaux tours here)
  • Burgundy: 1.5 hours by train (either Beaune or Dijon stations) OR fly into Geneva, it’s a 2-hour car ride. It’s about a 3.5-hour car ride from Paris CDG. Driver services can be arranged with your hotel. Another option is to arrive in Lyon, which is about 1.5 hours by car to Beaune. (Our Burgundy Wine Tours-click here)
  • Rhone Valley, Avignon: Connect through Paris to Marseilles on your travel day (1-hour flight-then a 45-minute drive to Avignon). Or take the high-speed train (about 3 hours) from Paris or Paris CDG airport (Our Rhone Wine Tours: Click here)
  • Loire Valley: one hour by high-speed train from Paris, arriving at the St. Pierre des Corps station. For Nantes, connecting flights from Paris CDG are available. (Loire Wine Tours: Click Here)
  • Finally, there are trains from Paris and from the Paris CDG Airport.
    • We highly recommend traveling First Class (sometimes noted as Comfort Class on Rail Europe).
    • Check with Rail Europe for schedules and fares.
    • But remember many train schedules are released only 60 days in advance when booking your train ticket.
    • Consider traveling first class. In the end, this is more comfortable for seating, and the additional cost is worth it.
  • Train times and air schedules are subject to change, so contact us for the most up-to-date information.

Three tips for flying internationally:

  • Plan for success. 
    • Sign up for Global Entry (for US residents).
    • Global Entry allows you to bypass all the lines in customs and passport control when re-entering the United States, just go through a kiosk. That has saved us an incredible amount of time and after a long international flight, it’s welcome.
  • Travel with only a carry-on.
    • Now I know what you’re thinking; that’s impossible. It is not impossible. I have an entire video dedicated to how to travel with a carry-on. And I’ve been doing it for over 20 years!
  • The third thing we recommend is a VIP meet and greet at the airport.
    • In your arrival country, somebody meets you as you exit the airplane and whisks you off to expedited passport and customs control, and helps you with your luggage.
    • After a long transatlantic flight, it is a necessity to have someone take you away and not have to worry about waiting in a line that could take you two hours to get through passport control.

Interested in learning more about our tours to Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, or any region in France? Check out our regional tour page here.

Want to travel with only a carry-on? It’s a gamechanger and eliminates so many potential travel issues such as lost luggage, and the hassle of dragging around clothes you end up not wearing! Click on the video below to find out how to do so.