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Nice to Monaco
Nice to Cannes
Chugging along a train on a leisurely circuit from Nice to Digne-les-Bains is an unmissable top sight on the French Riviera. The narrow gage Chemin de Fer train starts in Nice and makes a number of stops in the outlying suburbs before winding along the Var Valley to Digne-les-Bains in Haut-Provence. For 151km, the scenery is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of forested cliffs, rushing torrents, fertile plains and medieval villages. It's a far cry from the busy, flashy life along the coast.
Run by the Chemin de Fer de Provence, the train makes four trips a day between Nice and Digne-les-Bains and takes about 3 1/2 hours. You can get off, explore a village and re board as often as you like. The train also stops seemingly in the middle of nowhere to discharge hikers.
The train does not leave from the main railway station in Nice but from a much smaller one called the Gare de Nice CP at 4 bis rue Alfred Binet.
Rather than travelling as far as Digne, it's possible to get off the train at Annot or Puget-Theniers and take the Train des Pignes but you'll need to check the schedules carefully as they are run by different companies.
The train des pignes is a steam locomotive that swings into service Sundays and occasional Fridays and Saturdays from May to November. There are two routes, depending on the date. Route 1 runs from Puget-Theniers to Entrevaux where it makes a brief stop and then continues on to Annot. Route 2 runs from Saint André les Alpes to Thorame Haute. Check the schedule and book online at the Train des Pignes website .
There are 28 stops after you leave Nice and before arriving in Digne. If possible, it's best to avoid Monday as most shops and restaurants are closed. Here are some of the more interesting villages:
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