(as of December 2007)


The XXth Rencontres de Blois, entitled «Challenges in Particle Astrophysics» will be held at the Château Royal de Blois, France, from Sunday, May 18th to Friday May 23rd, 2008. The postal address of the conference when in session is:

  Rencontres de Blois
Château de Blois
41000 BLOIS, France

The picturesque old French town of Blois, famous for its XIV-XVIIth century chateau, is about 170 km (100 miles) from Paris in the beautiful region of the «Châteaux de la Loire».


1. Welcome and registration

Participants are expected to arrive on Sunday afternoon, May 18th. Registration at the conference office in the Château de Blois will start at about 15:00 on Sunday, May 18th. A welcome cocktail will be offered to the participants and their families at 19:00. It will be followed by dinner at the Château.

2. Conference schedule

The conference will start on Monday, May 19th at 9:00 and will end at about 16:00 on Friday, May 23rd.

The conference room will be located at the Château Royal de Blois itself.

The conference organisers hope and trust that participants will stay for the entire conference. That is the spirit in which this meeting is organised, in order to maximise the opportunities for scientific exchange. We regret, but the conference expenses cannot be reduced for partial attendance.

3. Conference facilities

The following equipment will be available: a video projector for computer presentations and an overhead-projector for transparencies. Note that we may not supply the computer: you should bring your own. It is also advisable to come with a backup copy of your slides, on a USB key or CD.

4. Registration fee

If you wish to participate in the conference, you should register as soon as possible using the on-line registration form which is on this web site as part of a combined registration/hotel reservation form.

The deadline for registration and hotel reservation is April 15th, 2008.

The registration fee for participants will amount to 350 Euros.

Accompanying persons will be charged 150 Euros to cover the conference banquet and the standard excursions.

Payment of the registration fee can be made:

- by personal check in euros drawn on a French Bank only to the order of Rencontres de Blois, sent to the conference secretariat (if you wish, but prepayment of the registration fee is not obligatory) or on arrival at the conference. To avoid ruinous bank fees which are beyond our control, we will accept neither foreign currency personal cheques, nor indeed any personal cheques drawn on a non-French bank.

- by traveller's checks in euros or US dollars on arrival at the conference.

- prepayment (if you wish, but prepayment of the registration fee is not obligatory) by bank transfer (remember to add 23 Euros for bank fees if transferring from outside France) to the following account:(WARNING: changed as of early April)

It will take one month for our account to be credited, so please ensure with your bank that the transfer be made before April 20.

In any case, bring proof of the transfer and give it to the conference secretariat during registration in Blois.

Please note that as an educational organisation we unfortunately cannot accept Credit Card payment.

5. Accommodation

Hotel accommodation will be available in 3 categories :

one star (*), two stars (**) and three stars (***), all rooms having either a shower or a bath.

The price ranges per night per person are (very approximately):

Participants are asked to arrange their accommodation themselves, in order to reduce the workload on the conference secretary. A certain number of hotels have agreed to hold rooms for the conference until April 15, 2008; the list, can be found here.

Only if for some reason you are unable to do this, should you indicate on the registration form that you would like the conference secretary to do this for you, indicating your requirements.

6. Meals

In order to enhance the interaction and exchange between participants, all participants are requested to have lunch and dinner together. The conference has arranged with a caterer to serve lunch and dinner in the Château Royal de Blois.

The package cost for 5 days is approximately 250 Euros and should be paid to the caterer on the conference site; since this is a specially negotiated "package deal" for the conference, it cannot be reduced for partial attendance.

7. Funding

Some very limited financial support may be available for young European researchers, and European researchers who cannot obtain funding from their home institutes. A suitable funding application form is available on this site; if you need funding, you should fill in this form and send a signed copy by post or fax to the address indicated; please be aware that our budget is restricted.

Citizens of other countries, especially citizens of Eastern European countries, requiring financial support should also fill in the same funding application form. In this latter case, it is essential that the application form (even if incomplete) reach us before the end of January.

8. Social program

Various social activities are planned during the conference for participants, their families and guests : this will include visits of the Châteaux of Blois , and Chenonceau, the Clos Lucé (last home of Leonardo da Vinci) and a "Son et Lumière" show at the Chateau de Blois (in English on Wednesdays only). An additional program for the accompanying persons (cost not included in the above) will be organized in collaboration with the tourist office of Blois.

9. Travel

The most convenient way to reach Blois is to arrive in Paris and take a train (SNCF) from the Austerlitz railway station to Blois. There are frequent train from Paris to Blois; the following schedule (just a few particularly convenient trains are indicated) is approximately valid. You are strongly advised to check with your travel agency nevertheless!

Sunday, May 18th, 2008 Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Departure from Paris-Austerlitz Arrival in Blois Departure from Blois Arrival in Paris Austerlitz
11 h 41 13 h 47 13 h 40 15 h 38
13 h 35 15 h 30 15 h 39 17 h 34
15 h 38 17 h 28 17 h 28 18 h 59
17 h 03 18 h 58 18 h 04 19 h 59

For participants arriving by train, a conference bus will be waiting at the station at the following times:




Blois can also easily be reached by car. Take the exit "Blois" on the Motorway ("autoroute'') A10 connecting Paris to the Châteaux de la Loire area (about 2 hours drive). Once in Blois, follow the signs "Centre".