Visit France's opulent Côte d’Azur
Explore the famous sights of Nice with visits to some of the French Riviera's most picturesque resorts, such as Antibes and Cannes before unearthing hidden Villefranche-sur-Mer and the iconic principality of Monaco.
Begin your holiday early this morning at Rail Discoveries' dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International where you will meet the rest of your group and your Tour Manager. Depart on the direct Eurostar to Marseille before changing trains onto the high speed service to Nice arriving in the early evening. Here you enjoy a five night stay at the centrally located Boréal Hotel. The French Riviera is home to some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe and it makes for an ideal holiday location. Admire the deep blue Mediterranean Sea which is surrounded by pretty harbours and leafy trees as you relax in the typically warm climate on your rail holiday.
Please Note: For Departures 18NRS01 & 18NRS02 you will travel on the Eurostar to Lille and then change trains direct to Nice.
Please Note: For departure 18NRS03 & 18NRS04 you will travel from Marseille to your hotel in Nice by coach..
This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour of Nice taking in the city's key sights. Nice boasts many attractions, such as its Russian cathedral and port area and offers a combination of both modern and traditional towns and our guided walk allows you to discover its rich culture and history. Following the tour, your afternoon is free for you to continue exploring at your own pace. The Old Town consists of a network of narrow passageways and small courts where you can stroll around quaint shops and enjoy a drink in a cafe. Perhaps take a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and enjoy marvellous views of the glittering Mediterranean Sea.
Discover the charming harbour town of Antibes by train. Here you have time to discover the bustling marketplace where you can sample a wide array of local produce and people watch as the locals go about their daily lives. The market place has been the centre of local society for decades and it is still the same today. You also see the fascinating Picasso Museum, formerly the Château Grimaldi. This impressive fortress was built upon the foundations of the ancient Greek town of Antipolis and was used by the Grimaldi family as their stronghold in 1608 until it was repurposed as Antibes' Town Hall in 1702. In 1925 it became known as the Grimaldi Museum and was the home of Pablo Picasso himself for six months in 1946.
It is the only museum in the world dedicated to his works and enjoys a scenic perch overlooking the Antibes coastline whilst housing some of Picasso's most vivid pieces. This afternoon, continue by rail to Cannes, exulted for its annual film festival. After time to relax, perhaps upon one of its palm-tree lined beaches as you soak up the dazzling sunshine - why not make a visit to one of the town's fascinating museums? There are plenty to choose from including The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence and the Musée International de la Parfumerie. Later return to Nice by rail for dinner in a local restaurant.
Travel by rail to pretty Villefranche-sur-Mer. Hugging a hillside that sweeps down to a wide, deep bay between Monaco and Nice on south-east France's beautiful Cote d'Azur, this pretty town has long been a popular holiday resort thanks to its sunny Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, excellent restaurants and picturesque setting.
Although inhabited since prehistoric times, Villefranche-sur-Mer's natural harbour, the deepest on any Mediterranean coast, proved useful both to the ancient Greeks and later the Romans who established settlements here. Today tourism continues to sustain the economy here; its harbour is the most visited by cruise ships of any in France. You could perhaps make the most of the laid-back atmosphere here and relax in one of the pavement bistros overlooking the tranquil water, before exploring the Old Town.
Take a trip by along the spectacular coastline to the tiny principality of Monaco for a guided walking tour. Settled by the ancient Greeks in the sixth century BC, Monaco was claimed as a Genoese colony in the 12th century, and later owned by the Italian Grimaldi dynasty. France regained control of the principality during the French Revolution, with Monaco's sovereignty affirmed by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. In 1863 Monaco's first casino was built. In addition to this, the arrival of the railway in 1868 significantly boosted Monaco's tourism sector, confirming the city's reputation as the resort of choice for the rich and famous.
You can discover the historic Old Town, impressive Cathedral and the splendid 13th century Place du Palais. Visit Monte Carlo and the charming hilltop town of Èze before returning to Nice for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and journey back to Marseilles, where you take a guided orientation tour that includes Notre Dame de la Garde as well as free time in the Old Port area. Afterwards board the direct Eurostar service to London St Pancras, arriving late this evening.
Please Note: For Departures 18NRS01 & 18NRS02 you will travel by rail from Marseilles to Lille where you will meet the Eurostar for your journey back to London.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 14 verified reviews
Very enjoyable in every way.
Very well organised holiday. Perfect tour guide.
well organised, accommodation good, tours interesting and varied,
Exceeded my expectations in all respects. Made perfect by such an excellent guide
Well planned tour, saw lots,enjoyed the rail journey
The actual tour, itinerary and hotel were very good. BUT the party was 40 in numbers which is too large, an ideal number would be 30 max.
The location of the hotel in Nice was very central and it was very easy to explore the city from it.
Hotel well located for station and shops, and not too far to the sea and other places of onterest in Nice including the market and the cathedral.
Lovely to see the country your visiting before reaching your destination - but knowing that someone else (the courier) is taking the hassle and worry of the details. The courier was very pleasant and explained everything as we went through the holiday
A wonderful holiday that was organised par excellent. It contained some stunning experiences. The excursions were well managed by a perfect tour manager, Caz Hall, who looked after us so well and had good knowledge of wherever we were. The hotel chosen, Boreal, was situated ideally in Nice being near to all we required. The travel arrangements were handled well and all well organised. We had an excellent group who we travelled with. Our trip out were to stunning resorts. We would definitely travel with Rail Discoveries again. Our only wish we had exchanged details and photo's with our fellow group.
Visit France's opulent Côte d’Azur