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As the most popular tourist destination in the world France is obviously well served by flights from every part of the globe with Air France alone flying from 140+ destinations in over 80 countries. What this means is that Paris airports are amongst the busiest in the world so it can be a bit daunting arriving here after a long-haul flight and having to either get into the city or to continue on to your final destination in the Loire Valley.

You will most probably have arrived at  Paris - Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport, tired, disoriented and wondering how to get to the next stage of your trip.

We have put together some information to hopefully help make your arrival slightly less stressful:

 

Just landed:

You have just touched down and are about to enter France different language, different culture, a country where you will find many sources of misinformation (however well intentioned), here you will find the official way, the right way and the French way (last two being the same if you are French!) - but don't worry we are here to help and we know you'll enjoy the experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have arrived at 'Aéroport Charles de Gaulle' (CDG), or is that 'Paris-Charles de Gaulle', Roissy Charles de Gaulle? l’Aéroport de Roissy or just plain old Roissy? no matter, you are where you should be! Many people find the airport difficult to negotiate but although it is huge (see map) it is all well signposted in French and English. You'll pass through passport control and customs. If you leave the aircraft in the first group of passengers you should expect to get through immigration fairly quickly but allow yourself anything from 10 mins to 1hour.

 

 

 

Then its on to baggage reclamation - you can expect to wait around half an hour at the carousel  - there's a lot of bags going through here!  After collecting your bags you head through customs  - normally only random checks are done here so stroll confidently through! After customs you’ll exit into the general area of Charles de Gaulle Airport where you can  make your way to Paris or another destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For onward travel to the Loire Valley

 

Where to next?

If you are catching a train to the Loire Valley:

There are two train stations (Gare) at the airport, 'Aeroport Charles de Gaulle1at Terminal 3/ Roissypole for the RER regional train into Paris and 'Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 2 - TGV' within terminal 2 for both regional (RER) trains and TGV.

If you are travelling directly to one of the cities/towns of the Loire Valley* and have chosen the TGV as your choice of transport what you need to do is to make your way to the train station (Gare) 'Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 2 - TGV' within terminal 2. This is for both regional trains (RER) and TGV trains.

*We would suggest the train option then pick up your hire car at your Loire Valley destination rather than picking up a hire car from CDG and driving around Paris unless you really want the experience!

 

 

From Terminal 1 or 3 you'll need to make your way to the CDG VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) shuttle train over to Terminal 2.

As you can see from the above route the shuttle goes from terminal 1 to 3 to 2 ,with car-park stops in between ,so don't panic as you approach 3 - stay on!  

At terminal 2 you'll arrive very close to the train station.  

 

 

 

 

 

By following the signs you will arrive at the station area on level 4,here you should find the Sheraton hotel (see below ) - if you do you'll know you are in the right place! There is also a bank on this level so its a good place to get some euros plus it will also give you a chance to check out you credit card as in France you normally need a 'smart chip enabled' credit card for purchases.

 

 

Descend to Level 2 where you will find the ticket office for the station. The office is split into two sides, one side for tickets for Paris trains (RER B) and the other side for intercity Grandes Lignes trains tickets, which includes TGV trains to the Loire valley. You can pick up your 'internet bought' tickets, here.

 

 

The automated ticket machines here can be used to collect your TGV tickets that you purchased on the internet  - but you must use a 'smart chip enabled' card - and it must  be the card you used to purchase them originally!

Once you have your tickets you then descend to Level 1 - remember the station is split into two distinct sides, one for RER suburban trains (for Paris city centre), the other, the one you want, is for the TGV high speed intercity trains, which travel to destinations in the Loire valley.

 

 

 

Note: You will see signs saying 'Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV' but this does not mean you have arrived at the TGV platforms as this is just the general name for the station.

 

 

 

From Terminal 2:

 

The station can be reached from Terminal 2 locations (Halls) by walking/walkways (quite long) or  using the free airport bus Aeroports de Paris N1. You will find signs as to how far you are away from each of the other locations and the station within terminal 2. Once you arrive at the station at level 4 just follow procedure as above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TGV/RER station is underneath Terminal 2 (between terminals 2C/2E and 2D/2F).
Platforms are on level 1 while SNCF ticket purchase office / informations are available at level 2.
Access to terminal buildings and CDG VAL shuttle train station is at level 4

  • Level 5: Hotel shuttle bus shuttle lines N1 and N2

  • Level 4: Pedestrian access to Terminal 2 and the  CDG VAL.

  • Level 3: Transit Level

  • Level 2: Ticket information and sales & ticket offices and vending machines

  • Level 1: Access to the trains, remember there is a separate sides for TGV and the RER

 

 

You can travel from CDG on the TGV to these destinations which will give you access to the Loire Valley region:Centre-Val de Loire

 

Paris CDG to:

Time Cost 2nd class
Tours: (Saint Pierre des Corps**)  1hr 42mins 42 euro
Angers 2hrs 25mins 53 euro
Les Mans* 1 hr 38mins 42 euro
Poitiers* 2 hrs 23mins 55 euro

 

Please note information is for guidance only - please check with the network

 

**Saint Pierre des Corps is just outside the city of Tours. If you are heading into Tours itself you will find a non TGV train waiting to take you there on your arrival. You can also pick up a hire car from here for onward journey to you destination.

From Tours/Saint Pierre des Corps you can reach most  other major locations within the Loire Valley by train.

*Although Les Mans (north) and Poitiers (south) are not actually in Centre-Val de Loire they give you good access to this beautiful region.

 

 

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Information and photographs courtesy of About Paris

 

 

 

Click on your country flag for information on arriving at CDG

 

 

"Author: Jim Craig"