Great Scenic Rail Journeys
#1 Train des Pignes
Take a trip back in time an as beautifully restored steam train
Discover the charm and heritage of a real narrow gauge steam train. With faithfully restored carriages and original wooden benches, traditional paintwork and fully restored coal fired steam engine. Follow the line along the scenic hills and valleys amongst the olive groves and chestnut trees, through the villages and ancient towns of this picturesque landscape.
The train has been restored and is operated by the volunteers of the Groupe d’Etude pour les Chemins de Fer de Provence. www.gecp-asso.fr
A trip on the “Train des Pignes” of about 20 km, from Puget-Théniers and Annot in the morning with the return trip in the afternoon and a stop at the ancient border town of Entrevaux, on Sundays from May to the end of October and on Thursday, Friday and Sunday in summer.
How to get there
By car (about a 1 hour drive):
Starting from Nice, follow the direction Digne – Grenoble to Puget-Théniers via the Var valley. Take the A8 motorway to Nice Saint-Isidore, exit 51. Follow the direction Digne-Grenoble by the RM6202 then the RD6202 to Puget-Théniers.
By train (1 Hour 5 Min):
Go to the Nice CP station located at 4bis rue Alfred Binet 06000 Nice, Liberation district.
For more information and departure times go to: https://trainprovence.com/accueil/
By bus (1.5 Hours approx):
Go to the Grand Arenas multimodal hub, west of Nice. Take line 790 towards Guillaumes – Entraunes of the Zou network and get off at Puget-Théniers Village (station 100m away).
For any information, please contact +33 (0) 8 09 40 00 13 or on the internet https://zou.maregionsud.fr/
When you arrive Puget-Théniers:
The station is located opposite the village (landmark: Hôtel Alizé). Attention, please do not cross the level crossing giving access to the cable-stayed bridge, the station is located 300 m further on, on the left.
GPS coordinates: Longitude 43 ° 57 ‘16.5 “N / Latitude: 6 ° 53’ 28.8” E
Parking is possible in front of the station or in the village (about 100m)
Special day outings are also offered on the steam train, from Puget-Théniers to Le Fugeret and between Saint-André-les-Alpes and Thorame-Haute.
Get the Chemins de Fer de Provence app!
For more information, dates and detailed timetables on tourisme.trainprovence.com/accueil-english/
#2 Le Train des Merveilles! ‘The train of Wonders’
Embark on one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe, from Nice to Tende. (2 hour 7 Minutes)
The route starts at sea level and rises to more than 1km in altitude. A true feat of engineering through a rugged region requiring an impressive succession of engineering structures including viaducts over deep canyons and tunnels through mountains.
A monumental work that features:
- A drop of more than 1km in altitude
- 81 tunnels for a total of 44 km including 3 helical tunnels:
- 1 at Berghe and the famous Scarassouï viaduct
- 1 between Saint-Dalmas de Tende and La Brigue
- 1 between Tende and Viévola (Rio Freddo and Morga tunnels)
- 407 bridges including the 300 m long Rivoira viaduct
- 15 arches for 45 m of absolute height
- 130 retaining walls
Much of the line was rebuilt after the Second World War after it was destroyed to prevent the supply of German troops installed in Haute Roya. The line was reopened in its entirety in 1979.
What to do in Tende
Visit the remains of the castle of the Counts Lascaris with it’s panorama of the village perched in the surrounding mountains.
- The little road to Pia, a pretty, peaceful space close to the river
- The hill of the Eagle, A 40 minute scenic round trip along a path
- The Museum of Wonders (free entry) sheds light on the origin of local engravings and the occupation of the Alpes-Maritimes from the Neolithic period to the second millennium BC. Visitors can see weapons and tools made of flint and metal, as well as local ceramics. The ornaments highlight the dexterity of the people who lived here, from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the slopes of Mont Bégo. The museum of wonders at Tende is a great way to experience the way of life of the breeders and farmers behind the engravings.
- La Maison du Mercantour (free entry) A fascinating insight into the flora, fauna and geology of the area.
- The Honey and Bee House Activities by beekeepers in July and August
- For the more adventurous, the Saint-Sauveur chapel with it’s fantastic panoramic views is perched on a cliff accessible by a path from the village. (1 hour walk)
Getting the Train from Nice
The regular TER which leaves from Nice-Ville at 9:17 am (arrival in Tende at 11:24 am), a tour guide is often present on board a train to comment on the route!
For more information and departure and arrival information please visit:
(Please note, A day pass is available!)