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Champagne and canapés: A rail holiday to France and Spain

Rail Europe, in conjunction with France Rail Pass and France-Spain High Speed, treated travel media recently on the latest developments in rail on the old continent.

Rail Europe, in conjunction with France Rail Pass and France-Spain High Speed, treated travel media recently on the latest developments in rail on the old continent.

And here’s the great news for travel agents: your clients can receive a 20 percent discount on any bookings made by 31 March 2016 on the range of France Rail Passes.

Also, up to two children (aged 4-11) travel for free with each adult.

Agents can also look out for the France-Spain High Speed sale that will start in March.

Train travel within Europe remains as popular as ever, with convenience, comfort and affordability continually attracting travellers both young and old.

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For example, a rail holiday gives travellers direct access to the destination city, no boarding checks and allows boarding up to two minutes before the departure time.

Compare that with flying – where airports are usually located far out from the city centre – and a rail holiday is not only convenient but time-saving.

Australia is one of the most popular overseas markets in terms of passenger numbers for France-Spain High Speed trains, and for this reason, several online campaigns are in the works this year to drum up even more interest in train travel in France and Spain.

Interrailing is especially popular with the youth market – a rite of passage it seems for the 18 – 25-year-old demographic.

And increasingly, more and more passengers are experiencing the Spain-France high-speed link. Since opening in late 2013 for example, 4-million travellers have used the service, with 1.7 million of them being international travellers.

The partnership between Renfe and SNCF connects 21 international destinations, taking passengers from city centre to city centre in Madrid, Zaragoza, Tarragona, Barcelona, Girona and Figueres in Spain, and Perpignan, Narbonne, Beziers, Agde, Sète, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, Valence, Lyon and Paris in France.

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Five daily trains join the two countries year-round, a figure that rises to six in spring and seven in summer.

Direct connections link Barcelona and Paris in 6 hours 19 minutes, Madrid and Marseille in 7 hours 40 minutes, Barcelona and Lyon in 5 hours and Barcelona and Toulouse in 3 hours, significantly cutting down travel times and offering a new transport option to the public, considering that France is one of the main tourist destinations for Spanish passengers and Spain for French tourists.

Recently, Rail Europe took 100 percent ownership over Rail Plus – Australasia’s international rail specialist – 18 years after partially purchasing the company.

Have you sent your clients on a rail holiday lately? What has been their feedback? Let us know in the comments below.