Summer Holiday by Train – Nice and the Côte d’Azur
While we have been blessed with some glorious British sunshine over the past few weeks, for many of us our thoughts turn to this year’s summer holiday. If you aren’t a fan of flying or choose not to fly for environmental reasons there are still plenty of holiday options. In this post we will be looking at an example train holiday to Nice and the Côte d’Azur.
Set on the shores of the crystal clear turquoise Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the ideal holiday destination if you are looking for sunshine, culture and fabulous food. Your rail holiday starts in beautifully restored London St. Pancras station. Why not arrive early and begin your getaway with a glass of Champagne or chilled wine while taking in the stunning curved glass ‘Barlow roof’. First travel by Eurostar to Paris, relax as you watch the British countryside glide past. You will be served a light meal and drinks on board in Standard Premier Class. Once you have arrived in Paris, a taxi transfer will be waiting for you to whisk you across the city. Continue your train holiday by TGV through France and take in the fabulous Mediterranean scenery as your train winds its way along the French coastline before arriving in Nice the capital of the Côte d’Azur region.
Your hotel in Nice is the stylish Palais de la Méditerranée a gorgeous 5 star hotel, centrally located on the Promenade des Anglais. The promenade was first named the Camin deis Anglés translated as ‘the English way’ after the increase of English holidaymakers during the 18th Century who chose to spend their winters in Nice. It was later renamed La Promenade des Anglais. The Palais de la Méditerranée is an Art Deco style hotel built in the 1930s and restored to its former beauty in 2004. The seafront luxury hotel is within walking distance of the old town of Nice making it the perfect place to explore and wander around the fashionable boutiques and traditional restaurants.
The Place Garibaldi located in the old town is a must-see, a monumental square of classic Baroque architecture shops, cafes and restaurants line the square and it is the ideal spot for a cool refreshment and chance to unwind and watch the world go by. If you want to dine al fresco there are plenty of mouth-watering restaurants to choose from such as the Grand Café de Turin – known for its seafood, the chilled seafood platter comes highly recommended! On weekends the square fills with market stalls selling antiques and local produce. The fountain in the squares centre is decorated with a statue of Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi who the square is named after.
Nice is a traffic free city and has plenty of museums to visit if you are in the mood for a bit of culture – including the Matisse and Chagall museums. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral with its imposing domed roof is the largest outside of Russia, and definitely worth a visit. If you choose to explore more of the beautiful Côte d’Azur coastline – Cannes, Monte Carlo and St. Tropez are all within easy access by train and make the perfect day trip destinations.
You might also like to head inland to stunning Provence and its charming foothills to explore different scenery on board the wonderful ‘Train des Pignes’.