One important point to note is that when travelling with a Railpass, you'll need to pay the compulsory reservations fees separately! These usually apply on the fast trains such as the TGV, but not usually on slower local trains.
While in Paris, you can stop by any SNCF Boutique. Tell them which trains you'll be using, and they'll take care of any reservations (if applicable). There are numerous SNCF Boutique locations in various parts of Paris (SNCF is the French national rail system).
Depending on which places you want to visit in the vicinity of Nice, it may be easier to use Bus rather than rail. For example, if you want to visit Monaco and Monte Carlo, while you can go by train the Bus is a bit easier. Also, the fare is only €1 each way!
There's LOTS to see in Nice including the Chagall and Matisse Museums (if that interests you). Also, it's wonderful to walk through the old town and see the small street markets, restaurants, street entertainers, etc.
You could also visit Eze or Villefranche sur Mer.
Hopefully, MTH will spot this post as I'm sure she will have some excellent suggestions.
You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
Yes I am particularly interested in quaint little towns like Eze. That one is on my list. I have now added your suggestion VilleFranche. I will be visiting avignon arles aix en provence with my bus tour but I will be spending time alone in Nice as a base. Still looking for a few more places to visit in and around Nice.
Sounds like it may not have been the best idea to get a pass. I just thought it might be less of a hassle but in the end perhaps not. I even bought the first class pass. I figured go big or go home. LOL Please tell me there is a difference in the first class versus economy experience.
Post by madamtrashheap on Jun 5, 2011 22:50:38 GMT -5
clever1963, you've posted quite a few different questions across the Boards, so to make it easier to follow for all (you and those offering advice) why don't we keep them all together as there are a few points of note in the other posts which will affect suggestions (esp meeting your sister, train passes, the tour itinerary). I can't recall if you've noted what time of year you'll be travelling - will have to look in other posts to find out - but the Riviera in Autumn/Winter doesn't mean beaches, it means sightseeing.
With that in mind, and trying to recall the list of places you'll visit on your tour, suggestions for the South of France include:
St Paul de Vence - best reached from Nice by bus; very pretty medieval town with an artists enclave Juan-les-Pins - for a bit of old-school Riviera glamour
Eze, as mentioned, is very pretty and on the way to Monaco. The trip up by bus is very pretty, but train is fine too. If you take the train to Eze, you'll have to take another village bus to Eze itself as the train station is not in the centre. Not sure how long you'll be be in the region, so not suggesting too many options at the moment.
Sorry Madamtrashheap. I thought I was making things easier by dividing things up like that but I guess I should have done things differently.
I will be in Nice for 3 days but this is in addition to 2 days with my tour.
Thank you for those suggestions. I guess I should try to avoid allowing the cost incurred on my rail pass to weigh too heavily on my choice of transportation. If a bus makes more sense then perhaps I should just do that.
Post by madamtrashheap on Jun 7, 2011 22:08:09 GMT -5
No problem, just means we'll keep asking when you're travelling (I've now looked back in other Posts - this Summer) and how long you'll be in places. Having that information easily to hand just allows us to help with suggestions, etc.
I'm guessing that part of your tour will involve a trip up to Monaco, likely at night. Is that correct? Or does the tour involve going to Grasse, Cannes?
It is a shame that you bought the rail pass before deciding on places to visit, but it won't be a waste, you'll just have to configure some things a little differently. For example, train travel around the Cote d'Azur is the best way to visit towns on the coastline (eg Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez) and getting to Aix (although you're there on your tour), Arles, etc. But some places, like Eze and St Paul de Vence, are better served by busses in terms of proximity to town centres. This is especially true for St Paul as the closest train station is Cagny sur Mer, then you still need the bus (# 400 which takes 1 hour from Nice anyway, main bus station in Nice is Gare Routier, just near Place Messina) from that station to St Paul. Same place for the bus to Eze. Fares are around Euro1 from memory, so it won't eat into your budget and add to the transport costs too much.
Sorry, I will be travelling for the month of July. First 3 weeks of July in France. Last week in Italy. I knew that I would would be travelling from Paris to Nice, Nice to Dijon, and Dijon to Paris, Paris to Laspezia, Laspezia to Nice. So that gave me 5 travel days. I still have 5 days of day trips in France and 2 or 3 days in Italy. In Italy we will mostly stay in the Cinque Terre area which I know we can do by hiking, by bus, or boat. So I bought a 10 day pass. Not sure if that can be reimbursed or not. If it makes more sense to travel b by bus to certain places then I will certainly do that. I do speak French so hopefully I'll get good advice from locals.