Eurostar is launching a trial service to Lyon and Provence in May and June next year to complement its annual Avignon summer services.

Tickets for the weekly service go on sale on December 11 with prices starting at £99 return to Lyon and £109 to Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.

Trains will run through the Channel Tunnel to the new destinations between May 4 and June 29 from London St Pancras and Ashford.

Passengers will need to disembark in Lille on the return journey to complete security and passport checks required for transit through the Channel Tunnel before re-boarding.

Eurostar commercial director Nick Mercer said: “Our direct Avignon summer services grow in popularity year on year and our customers tell us they’d like to see it extended to offer even more choice of holiday destinations.

“We’re committed to listening to their feedback, which is why we’re testing this new service to Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, three of the most popular destinations in the south of France.

“By trialling this new service for future years, and by opening sales to our existing annual summer Avignon services earlier than usual, we are giving customers even more flexibility and choice when planning their trips to the south of France next year.

“Journeys with Eurostar avoid the summer scramble at the airports and we encourage passengers to book early to avoid disappointment.”