Riviera Villages: Guided Tours

Menton

Want to get off the beaten track on the French Riviera without renting a car? Local tourist offices have put together a great deal that gives you guided tours of the Riviera’s most beautiful villages for only €2 a day! Beginning today and running through August 26, the Navette du Patrimoine will take you from Menton to Sospel, Moulinet, St Agnes, La Turbie, Castillon, Gorbio, Castellar, Roquebrune and Castillon. The bus leaves from the Menton bus station at 9.30am Monday to Friday and returns at 4pm. The itinerary changes each day with one or two villages visited on each itinerary. A local guide accompanies you, explaining the history, culture and architectural highlights at each stop. You’ll have time to wander the village and have lunch before returning to Menton. Not only are these mountain villages spectacular but you will be taking some of the Riviera’s most scenic routes. Did I mention that it only costs €2 (excluding entry fees for certain monuments)? It’s an unbeatable bargain. Click here for the schedule and to reserve on line.

Train des Pignes: Too popular?

One of the most popular trains on the French Riviera is the Train des Pignes that takes passengers through the hills and mountains from

traveller.com/Nice/Nice.htm">Nice to Digne-les-Bains.  It’s a gorgeous trip but it looks as though the train has become a victim of its own popularity.

From June until mid-August the train carried over 130,000 passengers, far more than desirable for a vacation experience. There are only 96 seats which means that many summer trains carry plenty of standees.  Last week the overload was so great that some passengers had to be brought back to Nice in a bus.

The good news is that another train car is on order and should be delivered at the end of the summer with four more ready to roll next summer. Meanwhile, here’s a tip: avoid the early 8.50am departure which tends to be the most crowded.