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Is it practical to tour French Riviera by scenic train?

Is it practical to tour French Riviera by scenic train?

Old Oct 5th, 2019, 03:59 PM
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Is it practical to tour French Riviera by scenic train?

We are 4 Texans. We will be staying in St. Tropez. We have visited the area several times in the past. We will have a car but would like to see if it would be possible to take a scenic train along the Riviera (as far as NIce of Monte Carlo) for a day tour. Want to avoid driving along coast and looking for parking lots, etc. Have looked on the internet but coming up short.

Would prefer a train car with the scenic windows. Also, if such a train exist, would like to be able to get off, tour an area and jump back onto the train to the next destination (say we select 2 or 3 of the possible destinations). Then return at the end of the day to a station near St. Tropez. Would be on a Friday. Obviously, scheduling is very important. Any help, including websites to review, would be very much appreciated. Would not mind driving to the best station to start and end tour day.

THANKS!
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 04:46 PM
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The regular regional train is scenic! From St. Tropez, the closest station would be St Raphael. It would cost about 25 euro round trip from there to Nice. And you can get off at various stops, like Cannes, Antibes, Nice. You can continue on to Monte Carlo, Menton, all the way to the Italian border. It's quite a fabulous journey. About 1 1/2 hours between St Raphael and Nice. When we stationed ourselves in this Juan les Pins, we used it all the time!
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 06:45 PM
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Train website is https://en.oui.sncf/en/

Buses also available to visit the interior away from the coast.
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 06:47 PM
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Thanks "Surfergirl". Went on the internet to get more information on the info you shared. From St. Raphael they have several good departure times. Let's say, for example, we want to visit Antibes and Monte Carlo: Is the Antibes station close to the touristy parts of Antibes? Is the Monte Carlo station also close to the harbor? No problem with taxies otherwise?

Couple of other questions - do we purchase separate tickets (e.g., St. R to Antibes and then Antibes to Monte Carlo) or just a ticket to Monte Carlo? Is there a France railway ticketing agency (say The Train Line) that is good about answering our questions (we don't mind paying a premium for helpful travel consulting)?

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
We are 4 Texans. We will be staying in St. Tropez. We have visited the area several times in the past. We will have a car but would like to see if it would be possible to take a scenic train along the Riviera (as far as NIce of Monte Carlo) for a day tour. Want to avoid driving along coast and looking for parking lots, etc. Have looked on the internet but coming up short.

Would prefer a train car with the scenic windows. Also, if such a train exist, would like to be able to get off, tour an area and jump back onto the train to the next destination (say we select 2 or 3 of the possible destinations). Then return at the end of the day to a station near St. Tropez. Would be on a Friday. Obviously, scheduling is very important. Any help, including websites to review, would be very much appreciated. Would not mind driving to the best station to start and end tour day.

THANKS!
You're describing the regular train line Marseille - Nice, but especially the bit past Fréjus to Nice.*
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Thanks "Surfergirl". Went on the internet to get more information on the info you shared. From St. Raphael they have several good departure times. Let's say, for example, we want to visit Antibes and Monte Carlo: Is the Antibes station close to the touristy parts of Antibes? Is the Monte Carlo station also close to the harbor? No problem with taxies otherwise?

Couple of other questions - do we purchase separate tickets (e.g., St. R to Antibes and then Antibes to Monte Carlo) or just a ticket to Monte Carlo? Is there a France railway ticketing agency (say The Train Line) that is good about answering our questions (we don't mind paying a premium for helpful travel consulting)?

Thanks again!
Maybe you can check that out on google maps yourself?
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 09:13 PM
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For the locations of stations and distances to various places, check google maps.
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Old Oct 5th, 2019, 11:21 PM
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It's worth to take a look at openstreetmap.org if you don't know it. I think it's much better than googlemap(don't want to explain, this is my opinion) and it features railways and railway stations much more prominently than googlemap.

The train stations of the French Riviera are pretty close to the town centres.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 01:00 AM
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Train websites are
FH_04_Mandelieu_Grasse_Cannes_Nice_Vintimille_02_septembre_2019_tcm65-104502_tcm65-113868.pdf
FH_03_Les_Arcs_Frej_St_Raph_Cannes_Nice_11_septembre_2019_tcm65-173452_tcm65-173441.pdf

Buses also available along the coast.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 02:08 AM
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There is a Friday market in Ventimiglia, just over the French border. We tried to go there once on a day trip from Nice but there was a French train strike, the train stopped in Monaco and that was that. The train normally continues on to Ventimiglia. Not speaking French, we had no idea what was going on but ended up with a really good day in Monaco. If any of your group love shopping, the market could be nice for a few hours.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attra...a_Liguria.html

Kay
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 02:50 AM
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The French national railway is SNCF. They don't charge for information, but neither are they a travel consulting agency. Their website is quite comprehensive. Trainline is an independent affiliate of SNCF and other European national railways, but they aren't travel consultants, either. I can't imagine having to need a special consultant to take this train. It's just the normal train that runs along the coast.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 04:12 AM
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I have walked from the train station to the 'touristy' parts of both Antibes and Monaco but that doesn't mean you would want to - everyone's idea of walkable is different. That's why people are suggesting you google map it to see how far it actually is. But my memory is that in neither case was is 'very far'.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 05:25 AM
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Good advice. Have gone to both Google and, previously unknown to me, openstreetmap.org. I was impressed in that the train route/stations came up immediately with openstreetmap. Antibes is extremely close and "walkable". Monte Carlo probably taxi. Thanks for teaching me about openstreetmap and saying wake up Philip - Google Maps.

I used the wrong term consulting. Have looked at the train station website and still looking for any specific helpful info about purchasing tickets that work best with walk off and walk on -- different trains at different times to continue tour of coast.. I will get there. I am reminded of a corporate function I sponsored a few years ago when I had a chef from Florence come to Texas to cook/school our clients -- the chef had no idea how to purchase and especially pay for the groceries. I feel the same way about accurately purchasing the right tickets for the trip we are considering.

Thanks again for great advice.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 06:01 AM
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For everything you need/want to know about buying train tickets in Europe, go here:

https://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm

If you are just taking local trains along the coast you are way overthinking this.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 06:51 AM
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I've driven along the coast from St Tropez to Menton several times (we've vacationed for 21 weeks on the Cote) and didn't think the trip was particularly scenic - except for a short portion around the Cote d'Esterel & the Corniches (by car). Isn't much of the route from just east of Nice to Monte Carlo & beyond underground?? IMO, both the Nice Ville station & Antibes are a bit of a walk to the tourist center - but certainly doable (we've done it several times).

IMO, I don't think a one-day train trip is the way I would want to explore the coast & cities from St Tropez to Italy. Anitbes, Cannes & Menton are at least a half-day visit. Nice is a 2 day visit. Not a fan of Monte Carlo.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Good advice. Have gone to both Google and, previously unknown to me, openstreetmap.org. I was impressed in that the train route/stations came up immediately with openstreetmap. Antibes is extremely close and "walkable". Monte Carlo probably taxi. Thanks for teaching me about openstreetmap and saying wake up Philip - Google Maps.

I used the wrong term consulting. Have looked at the train station website and still looking for any specific helpful info about purchasing tickets that work best with walk off and walk on -- different trains at different times to continue tour of coast.. I will get there. I am reminded of a corporate function I sponsored a few years ago when I had a chef from Florence come to Texas to cook/school our clients -- the chef had no idea how to purchase and especially pay for the groceries. I feel the same way about accurately purchasing the right tickets for the trip we are considering.

Thanks again for great advice.
Uhm.... go to the station and buy tickets? It's very much an ordinary, local, commuter train. With the best views of course.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 06:58 AM
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Agree with everything Stu said. I think the OP is harboring some romantic idea of a "tourist train" along the coast, which is surprising if he's been there "several times in the past." Doesn't exist.

If you want a pretty train ride along the Med, start around Montpellier and hug the coast all the way to Collioure. It's gorgeous and plenty of lovely, relatively undiscovered spots to stop off at along the way. Probably not the thing for this crew, though.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 07:18 AM
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Philip, you just go to the station and buy a ticket for the next train. There are no seat reservations, and the tickets do not sell out. It's just a regular local train, nothing special about it.
Cannes station is pretty much central. Antibes is maybe 10 minutes walk to the old town. You could include Beaulieu, Villefranche.

What time of year is this? If it's the summer months, traffic between St Tropez and St Raphael can be hell, though less so if you drive out of St Tropez in the morning.
There is no problem driving and finding parking in Antibes, Nice or Monaco. We park in Antibes in July all the time, there's a large underground carpark next to the old town, that I have never seen full even in july. Nice has several large car parks; the one underneath the Meridien/Casino Ruhl is convenient.
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 07:55 AM
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The views going west from St. Raphael are indeed more scenic than heading east. That said, it is imo still a very scenic ride often with views of vineyards or the sea and a very relaxing way for all in the group (including the designated driver, who is generally ME).

Your checking out the supposition of the stations at Antibes and Monaco are correct. Old Town in Antibes is an.easy walk from the station and back, and a pleasant walk. Even my mother at 83 was able to do it. Monte Carlo is built up a mountain, very hilly, and the train station is up on the mountain and requires a taxi (unless you enjoy hiking) to get down to the harbor and Casino, which is my guess what you want to see there.

Agree with Stu on it not being a favorite place of my, both in terms of not much to do and the very high prices. That said, if you are going in summer, you may wish to check out the entertainment at Le Sporting complex on the far side of Monaco. They have these dinner and shows for very reasonable prices with fabulous food and a beautiful venue with retractable room; great music venue with world renowned performers. People do dress up for this, but you can do it very rock n roll dressy!
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 08:43 AM
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There isn't any special scenic trains along there, nothing like you find in Switzerland (or even the US, I think they have some). I didn't find that route that scenic myself, so don't get your expectations up too much.

The problem is that websites that simply sell train tickets with no markup are NOT travel agents and won't fiogure out routes for you, answer questions, etc., that's why they are just cheap. Trainline is NOT going to do that for you.

You can buy one ticket for an entire journey and get off midpoint and get back on the same day usually with no problem IF it isn't a special train with reserved seats, of course, like TGVs. Then you cannot. So for TERs you could do that. There are some TGVs on that route.

The touristy part of Antibes is walkable from the train station, yes, I did it. It's not right there, though, I can't recall but it is within ia mile, I believe.

I think the TER train between St Raphael (at least you realize St Tropez doesn't have a train station) and Nice only stops in Cannes and Antibes. I don't really understand how you think you can leave from St Raphael and then just return to a station somewhere near there. You would have to drive there and leave your car, I presume, so would have to return to the same train station. I don't think there is any other choice anyway. There would be no point in going to Nice on such a trip, you wouldn't have any time at all to see anything so why go there, if you are stopping in other places and doing all that in one day. You don't have time to go to Monaco, either.
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