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Bucket list experience:

Small railway platform in a valley with a red train
Last updated: 16 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Get above it all on the picturesque, human-scale, and wonderfully scenic Train des Pignes.

The historic steam engine takes 90 minutes to chug from Puget-Theniers to Annot, and on special occasions goes as far Le Fugeret.

Along the way, you pass through verdant French countryside, peppered with mountains and gorges, olive-oil mills and walled villages.

Choose to disembark at medieval Entrevaux with its citadel, or Annot and Le Fugeret for lovely walks.

It’s a spectacular route and a great day out in the South of France: kids love it too.

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Price from: £22
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 1 day

Getting there & doing it

The train departs from Puget-Theniers at 11am; if you are starting in Nice, the corresponding train from Nice CP station (north of the city centre) leaves at just after 9am (buy a combination ticket).

The train returns from Annot at around 3.30pm, allowing to you catch the corresponding train back to Nice, arriving back at 6pm.

When to do it

Trains leave Puget-Theniers at 11am on Sundays from May until the first Sunday in November, as well as on Fridays in July and August, and also Thursdays in August.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Villa Victoria

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[0.6 miles]

This attractive, friendly and affordable 4-star boutique hotel stands out for its lovely garden. It’s handily located just outside the pedestrianised area of Old Nice, close to Nice’s main sights, and a short walk to its beach.

Official star rating:

Deck Hotel

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[0.8 miles]

This fun, colourful and affordable design hotel channels this area’s beach clubs, just off Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

Official star rating:

Hyatt Regency Palais de la Mediterranee

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[1 miles]

Big, full-service hotel with a flashy image, set in a historic casino on Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais seafront.

Official star rating:

Palais Saleya

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[1.3 miles]

Contemporary suites and apartments set in an attractive 18th-century building, in a superb location in Old Nice. A great base for a few days in Nice.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

French Riviera

Cote d'Azur, France

Money, glamour and bombshell looks: this beach-trimmed stretch of French coast offers decadent hotels, lounging in beach clubs, fine restaurants and world-class art.

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Cote d'Azur, France

The buzzing, art-filled, foodie capital of the French Riviera, with a charming, Italian-influenced historic centre. The ideal base for a first-time visit to the Cote d’Azur, and home to the world-renowned Nice Carnival.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Nice Carnival

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[0.7 miles]

Parades, costumes, flower ‘battles’, lights, and sun: Nice holds one of the world’s best carnivals – second only to Rio.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free | 2 weeks

Marc Chagall National Museum

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[0.9 miles]

This modern museum showcases Chagall’s joyful series of artworks inspired by the Bible – an explosion of colour and light. It’s the biggest public collection of works by one of the greatest 20th-century artists.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

Massena Museum of Art & History

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[1 miles]

One of France’s most splendid Belle Epoque villas, donated to the city of Nice by the aristocratic Massena family, is now home to a compelling collection of art, furniture and artifacts that track Nice’s rich history.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

External facade of the beautiful ornate orange and cream vill building

Nice Museum of Fine Arts

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[1.6 miles]

This magnificent former private mansion – built by a Russian princess – contains a fine collection of paintings and sculptures from the 16th to 20th century, by artists who lived in the Cote D’Azur.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

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White sand beach with blue waters at Villefranche-sur-Mer

Marinieres Beach

Villefranche-sur-Mer , Cote d'Azur, France[4.5 miles]

Tucked between chi-chi St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Nice, the charming Medieval village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is the relaxed, boho antidote to the moneybags Riviera. A kilometre of coarse, gently shelving golden sand and crystalline waters, it’s all free and open to the public.

Best for ages: Any | Free

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Large white villa built on a pinnacle stretching out into the sea

Villa Kerylos

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[5.8 miles]

Built in 1908 in an ancient-Greek-style, this villa in a ravishing seaside garden setting features replica 2nd-century AD interiors typical of the island of Delos. The project of two scholars obsessed with the period.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

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