Caribbean, Lyon and the Med by train: Great getaways

Plus deals for a midweek city break in January

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The Independent Travel

Southbound train

Travel from the Thames to the Mediterranean by train for less than the price of a London-Peterborough rail ticket. That is the offer from Eurostar as it takes on the budget airlines between the UK and southern France. The cross-Channel train operator launches its first direct service from St Pancras to Lyon and Provence on 1 May. One-way fares to Avignon and Marseille start at just £49.50, which is 50p less than an Anytime single from London to Peterborough. Lyon is £5 cheaper. Availability is currently excellent.

Roaming charges

If you are willing and able to take a midweek city break in January, the travel firms are lining up to offer you deals. British Airways is offering a two-night trip from Gatwick to Rome for £127 per person on 26 January. The venue is the four-star Gambrinus on Via Veneto, in the heart of the city. Breakfast included.

Caribbean connection

Anecdotal reports suggest that worry about Chikungunya virus, which is spreading through the Caribbean, is diminishing demand for the islands this winter. Virgin Holidays is offering a week in Barbados for £994 per person, with non-stop flights from Manchester on 6 March. Accommodation is at the South Beach hotel, with breakfast.

Lyon skies

Monarch's new winter-sports Saturday flight from Gatwick to Lyon has tempting fares and good availability all the way up to the start of half-term: between 27 December and 7 February, you should be able to find fares of £30 each way.