March 26, 2013 by Jools Stone
There is only possibility when you escape to the land of coastal villages and fresh sea air. Who can resist the charm of the stunning Mediterranean hinterland? To see where the mountains meet blue waters, hop a train and explore the French Riviera.
So why not nip over to France, and grab the train for a laid back and comfortable tour of this amazing place; before you go, be sure to secure maximum relaxation this holiday. I recommend you avoid those expensive airport taxis and go with a simpler option to save!
Whether it be beaches of golden sand or charming rocky coves, the French Riviera can set your spirits free. If you wish to go unclothed, throw a party or seek a more low-key and family friendly setting, there are options of all types among the mythical beauty in the south of France. Take a seat on the terrace of a lovely cafe overlooking the water and enjoy a delicious cafe au lait or an evening glass of wine. The appeal of fresh produce in each village at the daily market calls to me every morning; I get the most excited about the fact that there are over 400 varieties of cheeses in the region. And the best part, you can try before you buy! I love to test all the rare flavors from the delicate to exquisite taste of fine French cheeses. Be sure to compliment the local cheese with its corresponding wine. Check out the shops around each village and set out on scenic hikes to feel the gentle sea air firsthand.
The French Riviera is an amazing destination to hop a train for the nearest towns perched at great height overlooking the sparkling blue sea. Keep in mind there are many ways to adjust the pace for every type of itinerary that include quick transit options or long, slow rides for a genuine scenic view into the heart of the Mediterranean hinterland. For a quick transit to major coastal towns from Fréjus to Vintimille, I suggest you check out the Transport Express Regional or just TER. The TER is a great way to stop and go on the Côte d’Azur on your journey to discover the glamor of southern France. The summer is a great time to take advantage of the “Isabelle” rail pass that will take you on an unforgettable journey! From July 1st to September 30th you have this efficient option for unlimited access to ride any train except express lines. On the “Carte Isabelle” you can chose any trip with available seats from Nice to Tende and Théoule-sur-Mer to Vintimiglia. This great way to explore the French Riviera by train with faster tracks to all major towns in half the time!
But if you are like me, you want to take things slow and just relax for the ride this holiday. The Chemins de Fer de Provence offers a fantastic sea-side view on the Train des Pignes. This picturesque ride between mountains and sea will stun and surprise as you journey along the impressive gorges of this lovely scenic route. Stop in and discover the charm within the 25 separate villages from Nice to Digne-les-Bains. The Train des Pignes departs from Nice at 7am, 10:33 am, 1:58 pm and 5:25 pm every day. I highly recommend the Train des Pignes, a unique ride that dives into the heart of the Upper Provence and excites the mind with spectacular seaside beauty. Another branch of the TER the Train des Merveilles offers a scenic view of the land and all the hinterland has in store. This tourist train departs from Nice at 9:05 am daily and takes you to Tende for a ride just under two hours.
Along the way, you will witness the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, a beautiful region where Van Gogh once escaped to paint in the serene countryside. On Train des Merveilles, you can witness the fantastic sights and authentic beauty of the Roya Bevera Valley and river Paillon along with the Mercantour National Park and Vallee des Merveilles, also known as the Valley of Marvels. One of the best things about the ride is that you will be well informed by a qualified guide about the culture and tiny villages with each its own story and traditions along the way.
When you have seen the amazing sights of the French Riviera from a train, rest at ease knowing your car is waiting in Parking at Gatwick from BCP
Relax this holiday and take a slow train across the French Riviera!
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