Arrival & Departure

Our arrival day is on Friday (except for special retreats for which it is stated otherwise). Please prepare your travel arrangements so that you can arrive at Plum Village on the arrival day.

We recommend that you prepare your trip in such a way so that you can arrive in your hamlet by 6pm at the latest. This will give you time to register, settle in and have dinner (we usually eat around 6pm) before your first evening session at 8pm (usually a stting meditation). We provide transportation to and from the station in Ste Foy la Grande on Arrival and Departure Days. You are invited to inform us of you arrival time at the train station if you have made the request to be picked up at Sainte Foy la Grande.

In order to support the collective energy and stability of our retreats, the community would appreciate if do not arrive on a day that is not the specified Arrival Day.

We offer an Orientation session about Plum Village practice and the week ahead to new retreatants either on Arrival Day evening (at 7.30pm) or the following morning. The orientation gives essential information about our practice and will help you enjoy your stay. We recommend all our newly arrived guest not to miss it.


During Spring, Autumn and Winter, please arrange your departure time between 9am-12 noon on our regular Departure Days, to give you time to relaxingly pack and say goodbye. 

Please note:

  • During the Summer Opening on Departure Day mornings there may be presentations by monastics in the hamlet where you’re staying, finishing around 11am. We provide shuttles to Ste Foy Train Station throughout the day on Departure Days, starting at about 7am.
  • During special short retreats with Thay (eg. Italian Retreat, Francophone Educators’ Retreat), there may be a Dharma Talk by Thay on the morning of Departure Day, finishing at midday. For such retreats we would recommend that you organise your departure for after lunch.

Here are a few options for train travel from Paris:

  1. Charles de Gaulle to BordeauxBordeaux to Ste. Foy La Grande
  2. Charles de Gaulle to Libourne, then Libourne to Ste. Foy La Grande
  3. Paris (Montparnasse) to BordeauxBordeaux to Ste. Foy La Grande
  4. Paris (Montparnasse) to Libourne, then Libourne to Ste. Foy La Grande

Find out more details about transportation.