The famous Côte d’Azur or French Riviera, as it is more commonly known, corresponds to the Alpes Maritimes department at the extreme southeast of France and is bordered by Italy. Cradled by the sea and the mountains, the Côte d’Azur is bathed, all year long, in a bright light, sunny climate and a legendary douceur de vivre. Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Grasse, Eze, the Mercantour National Park are places that welcome amateurs of art de vivre, gastronomy, shopping, casinos, sports, culture and nature. Whether you are on a business trip, travelling as a couple or with your family … all year long and according to your budget, discover this magical place!
The train is the best way to discover the enchanting French Riviera: every village along the coastline and the backcountry has a main station. Cannes or Nice, the "stars" of the Côte d’Azur, can be reached in just over 5 hours from Paris and 2 hours from Marseille.
Cannes > Grasse
Cannes is famous all over the world for its International Festival du Film. Follow the steps of your favorite star and walk down the red-carpeted steps. If you are not much into celebrities, then Cannes has more to offer. Its prestigious Promenade de la Croisette, palaces and casinos are ideal for a relaxing moment. You can also choose a boat trip to the Lérins islands in the bay of Cannes (20 min trip) or have a stroll in Le Suquet, the old town centre.
In the afternoon, take a TER to Grasse (20 min trip). This little enchanting town with its picturesque pathways is the world capital of perfume. Visit the famous Galimard, Fragonard and Molinard perfumeries (free visits), but also the equally fascinating Musée International de la Parfumerie.
Cannes > Antibes
On the second day, take a TER from Cannes to Antibes (8 min trip), a fortified town with 2,600 years of history, to visit the Picasso Museum in the Château Grimaldi as well as its Provençal market. Don’t miss to visit Le Cap d’Antibes, a peninsula which links Antibes to Juan-les-Pins. It is home to sumptuous villas and the mythical Cap Eden Roc hotel, one of the ten most beautiful hotels in the world. Continue to Juan-les-Pins, famous for its Jazz Festival in July, and enjoy a relaxing moment amidst the festive ambiance of the local white-sanded beach.
Our tip: If you have time, take a TER from Antibes or Juan-les-Pins to Biot (2 min trip), where you can visit Marineland, the largest marine attraction in Europe.
Antibes > Nice > Menton
Take the TER from Antibes to Nice, the cosmopolitan capital of Côte d’Azur (16 min trip), known as a city of arts, history, culture and gastronomy. Have a stroll in the picturesque old city centre and along the famous Promenade des Anglais which borders the Baie des Anges. Afterwards, hop on a TER to Menton (30 min trip), city of art and history, nestled between Monaco and Italy. The little town is centered around its port, beaches and outstanding gardens. In winter you can take part in the annual Fêtes des Citrons which takes place at the same time as the Carnaval de Nice.
Nice’s back country
For a getaway between sea and mountains, you can either take the Train des Merveilles or the Train des Pignes from Nice, to explore the back country of the Côte d’Azur. The first option will allow you to experience a scenic ride through the Vallée de la Roya Bévéra before arriving to Tende, a medieval city with an exceptional Baroque heritage (1h40 trip). The second train departs from Nice to reach Pugnet Théniers and offers you an exceptional view over magnificent landscapes and some 25 traditional villages.
Use a France Rail Pass for free of charge travel on the Train des Merveilles and for 50% discount on the Train des Pignes.