Meeting Your Trip in the Jura

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on reaching your trip.  Topics include...

  1. Where you Join Your Trip (see immediately below)
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your trip to the trip, whether you are having us arrange your travel, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel to your trip start location.
  5. Suggested pre-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  6. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel to the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Join Your on Trip?

Our trip meets on Sunday, the date of the trip start.  It offers two different meeting points, depending on how much you would like to ride on Sunday: 

  1. A light but “real” riding day (more than you would want to do in street clothes), or
  2. A short pedal from a rural train station to the night’s hotel.

1. The first meeting is in Le Pont, a small town on the Lac de Joux, at any time from 12n until 2:30p.  You then have a pleasant, mostly flat ride up a valley to Les Rousses.  Le Pont offers hiking opportunities aplenty, and a nice inn... if you arrive on Saturday, spending the evening and sleeping in a bit on Sunday is a nice way to get started.

2. The second meeting is in La Cure, a tiny village on the spine of the Jura Mountains’s highest ridge and almost exactly on the French / Swiss border, at 4p (corresponding to the arrival of the 2:30p train from Geneva or the 12n train from Zurich. 
By piror arrangemet, we can also meet the 12n train from Paris, at 6p.
T
he goal is to reach Les Rousses, 4 kilometers away, in time for supper.  It is assumed that you will cycle from La Cure to Les Rousses:  the route is all downhill on a quiet lane closed to most car traffic, and we will handle your baggage if you have a transfer bag.  But we can arrange for a taxi for you if need be, for instance if you wish to arrive significantly before the meeting time. 

We will send you details of meeting time and place with your final itinerary.

If you wish to make your own way to the trip (in other words, not to set up your travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 1, 2017

The closest intercontinental airport is Geneva, 2 hours away by train.  Better-served intercontinental airports are in Zurich (4 hours), Paris (5 hours), Milan (5 hours), and Frankfurt (7 hours, but service is direct from the airport, which saves a couple of hours over arrivals in Paris or Milan).  Airports served only by intra-European flights are in Basel (3.5 hours) and Lyon (4.5 hours). 

We offer tickets and schedules from any of these.  Our base package includes a rail ticket from Geneva Airport’s rail station to either La Cure or Le Pont.   Tickets from other points are available at additional cost.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price: 

  1. To La Cure: 39 CHF (Swiss Francs)
  2. To Le Pont: 49 CHF (Swiss Francs)

To see what this these prices are in your currency, look here:   http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability from Geneva or Zurich is guaranteed until 5 days prior to trip start ( we send tickets as print-at-home .pdf files).  Within 5 days, availability must be confirmed. 
Some extra-cost options, and especially tickets from Paris, have higher prices if ordered w/in 35 days, and availability is not guaranteed (though we will always find a way to get you to the trip).
Tickets are train-specific, not refundable or modifiable once ordered.  Tickets from Geneva or Zurich may, however, be used on the prior or following train without penalty or modification.

Included:

  • A train ticket from Geneva Airport’s rail station to La Cure or Le Pont.
    Even if you are tempted, do not upgrade to first class for this trip.  The mountain train which represents half of the total trip time is one class only.
  • Transfer of baggage from either rail station to the hotel in Les Rousses
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • All agency charges, booking fees, taxes, baggage charges...
    All those things that airlines add at the last minute, right before you push the “buy” button.

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.
For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • First class upgrade (to Le Pont only):  +26 CHF.
  • Tickets from Zurich (downtown or airport, as you specify) instead of Geneva:  +65 CHF 2nd class, +105 CHF 1st class.
    If travelling to La Cure, the mountain train for the final hour of the trip is one class only.
    A discount 2nd class fare is available if you are willing to “lock in” to a specific train:  saves 30 CHF.
  • Paris Hotel Bookings.  For bookings at our usual Paris hotel, see here.  Family rooms available.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual package (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)

  • Tickets from Paris, Milan or Frankfurt.  89 €uros 2nd class, 139€ 1st class; 1st class tickets from Paris include a light meal service.
    - The mountain train for the final hour of the trip up to La Cure is one class only.
    - Train tickets from Paris and Milan are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  Higher cost flexible tickets are available for 20€ additional:  exchangeable, on a space-available basis, at any time until the train’s departure.  In France, they may even be exchanged up to one hour after the train’s departure, provided you do so in the departing station.  Cost is 12€ if you make the exchange yourself at the station, 22€ if you make it through us.  Tickets are refundable less 20% before the train’s departure (the physical ticket must be returned to the issuing office to obtain a refund).
  • Tickets from London.  Add 79 €uros to Paris prices if you are also purchasing tickets back to London, 109 € if not, or if you prefer a changeable return (in 1st cl., add 109 € or 149€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • Tickets from Munich or other points:  enquire if interested.


3. TIMING Your Trip

Les Rousses (our night stop) is in a beautiful spot (pretty walks, short cycle loops, fun stuff in the village...).  If you are arriving after a long flight, and time your arrival to reach La Cure significantly before we do, we can arrange for a taxi to meet your train, and bring you to the village.


4. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections. 
Note that one connection is always required:  from the junction station on Lac Leman for the mountain railway up to La Cure.  Connections mentioned below are additional.

  • From Geneva Airport:  hourly service.  90 minutes with one connection to La Cure, 2-hours with two connections to Le Pont.
  • From Zurich:  hourly service.  Trip time is 4 hours to either destination, and two connections are required.
  • From Paris:  services every few hours.  5-hour trip with one connection to Le Pont. 6-hour trip with two connections to La Cure.
  • From Milan:   service roughly every two hours.  5-hour trip time with two connections.
  • From Frankfurt or Frankfurt Airport:  hourly trains, 7-hour trip with two connections. 


5. Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS

Anywhere in Switzerland.  Perhaps a couple of days of hiking in Zermatt, to get over jet lag?


6. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY to the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning pre-trip individual travel. In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains. Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

La Cure is the end of the line for a mountain railway that climbs up from Nyon, on Lake Geneva.  Nyon, in turn, is on the main line from Zurich to Geneva, passing through Bern and Lausanne (service from each of these four cities is at least hourly).  It also has direct trains from Basel, and is easy to reach from Milan, Paris, or Munich, in roughly that order. 

Le Pont is on a different mountain railway, branching off of the Paris - Lausanne main line at Vallorbe.  Trains up from Lausanne are hourly.  4 trains a day serve Vallorbe from Paris.

Planes.  The closest airport (within 2 hours trip time) is Geneva.  It is easy to use, as trains depart directly from the airport:  it is not necessary to take a shuttle downtown.  Zurich replicates this ease of use, but is a couple of hours further away.  Paris, Milan, Basel and Lyon are also easily accessible by rail (the last two offer only intra-Europe flights).  Frankfurt is a bit further afield, but the Frankfurt - Switzerland trains are particularly luxurious, especially in 1st class.


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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