Train Travel

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Train Travel

Nice is the rail crossroads for trains arriving from Paris and other northern cities and from Italy, too. To get from Paris to Nice (with stops along the coast), you can take the TGV (3635 [€0.34 per min] www.tgv.com), though it only maintains high speeds to Valence. Night trains arrive at Nice in the morning from Paris.

You can easily move along the coast between Cannes, Nice, and Ventimiglia by train on the slick double-decker Côte d'Azur line, a dramatic and highly tourist-pleasing branch of the SNCF (3635 [€0.34 per min] www.sncf.com) that offers panoramic views as it rolls from one famous resort to the next, with more than two-dozen trains running a day. This line is also called Marseille–Vintimille (Ventimiglia, in Italy) heading east to Italy and Vintimille–Marseille in the west direction. Some main stops on this line are: Antibes, Cannes, Menton, and Monaco; other stops include Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu, Cap-Martin, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Èze-sur-Mer. However, to reach St-Paul, Vence, Peillon, and other backcountry villages, you must take a bus or car.

For the western parts of the French Riviera, catch trains at Fréjus's main station on Rue Martin-Bidoure and St-Raphaël's Gare de St-Raphaël on Rue Waldeck-Rousseau, where the rail route begins its scenic crawl along the coast. St-Raphaël is the main hub on the line between Menton and Marseille (it's about 1hr 40mins from the latter by rail, with hourly trains costing €25). The resort port of Mandelieu-La Napoule is on the main rail line between St-Raphaël and Cannes. There's no rail access to St-Tropez; St-Raphaël and Fréjus are the nearest stops. "Tarifs prem" are the cheapest train fares available from SNCF on a limited number of tickets purchased 90 days before travel date, but there is no exchange. "Loisir" fares are flexible and offer peace of mind for the spontaneous traveler.

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