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Lanes through vineyards are popular for cyclists "en trek"

Train à Grande Vitesse speeds through French farm country

Peaceful and Idyllic cruising on the Canal du Midi

Numbered yellow marker indicates a regional, country road

Pau Pyrénées Airport, gateway to the southwestern mountains and Lourdes

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Trains, planes and automobiles in France


 dense mesh of rail connections brings most of France within convenient access. SNCF is the national rail operator, running a network of bullet trains and conventional speed rail services around the country. Local commuter lines branch out into the suburbs of smaller cities and towns so that there is almost no destination that cannot be reached by a combination of rail and local bus or taxi. 


Numbered French roads reach into every corner of France. High speed toll highways and national roads connect to smaller, regional and local roads that range from country lanes and mountain routes to périphériques, or ring roads, around cities and towns.

All principal cities have airports. Since Paris is the main hub, it can be easier to fly between French cities by connecting through the capital. Air France, along with a host of domestic and European budget airlines fly to smaller airports that were, until a few years ago, simply mail and cargo hubs, opening up new destinations to domestic air travel all the time.

And the French are a nation of leisure cyclists. Long-distance and regional cycle trails run along quiet country roads and cut through woodlands on dedicated "pistes". Park your bicycle on deck for a luxury canal boat or barge trip along the French waterways, surely the gentlest, laziest way to get around.