Happy smiling redhead woman looks out from window traveling by trainHappy smiling redhead woman looks out from window traveling by train
©Happy smiling redhead woman looks out from window traveling by train|hobo_018 / Istock
A trip from the Côte d’Azur to the foothills of the Alps

The Train des Chemins de fer de Provence

Climb aboard the Train des Pignes and set off on a great trip from the Côte d’Azur to the Southern French Alps and Provence. From Nice to Digne-les-Bains, this itinerary of the Chemins de Fer de Provence – Zou ! offers an exceptional trip: you’ll get lovely views of the beaches of the Mediterranean, and you’ll feel really small when you see the heights of the Alps – and be on the lookout for the charming villages dotted along this unique railway escapade. Stand clear for departure!

Published on 21 June 2021

On the Train des Chemins de fer de Provence

Panoramas to discover in comfort

A trip on the Train des Chemins de fer de Provence is an extraordinary 151-km journey with contrasting panoramas from seaside to lush green valleys, with a succession of hilltop villages, along streams or even through olive groves… A little gem for your holidays on the Côte d’Azur! It’s easy as pie to board this Train: just buy your ticket in any of the stations along the line and you’re off! Take the little steam train which links the village of Puget-Théniers to Annot for a trip back in time. Keep your eyes skinned, you’ll be crossing a number of bridges and structures. You’ll be astonished… and thrilled. During the summer, make the most of the guided outing. The guide’s comment will help you to learn even more about these beautiful landscapes of the South of France.

From Nice to Touët-sur-Var

Explore a magnificent heritage

Your exploration of the Mediterranean coast starts in Nice. Before you leave, head for the famous Promenade des Anglais , with its gentle airs of dolce vita. Once on board the train, the landscape changes as you move away from the coast, with a succession of hilltop villages and your destination: Villars-sur-Var. If you are looking for things to visit in the Var Valley, it’s a great starting point for beautiful hikes in the valley. A stone’s throw from the Massif du Mercantour, the Circuit des Templiers takes you off on the discovery of the natural and historical heritage around the village, while the botanical trail of the Canal du Moulin offers you a cool walk with waterfalls and remarkable plants. Board the train again to continue your trip to Touët-sur-Var, where a number of hikes await you. We recommend: The church of Saint-Martin and its strange architecture above the torrent: the view below is breath taking!

From Puget-Théniers to Annot

Nature in all its splendour

Next stop: Puget-Théniers. This little town has a rich historical past and a wander through its little streets shows traces of Roman Antiquity. For some fun with your kids, get on a raft and descend the thundering – but tameable – waters of the Var River: get wet, paddle way and get a lot of laughs as you get your fill of thrills. The trip then continues on to Entrevaux, the gateway to visiting the Verdon, on the territory of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. When you get off the train, you can’t miss the Citadel which proudly dominates the village. The 30 minutes’ walk to get there is well worth it! And lastly, the train will get you to Annot which will delight all hiking enthusiasts. Take the Chemin des Grès and see the carved rocks, which contrast with the surrounding vegetation.

From Saint-André-les-Alpes to Digne-les-Bains

Provence under Alpine influence

The trip continues to the north-east of the Verdon Natural Regional Park! Our nature exploration continues when we arrive in Saint-André-les-Alpes, a town in a lovely setting. Don’t forget your rucksack and go to the “Deux saints” (Paul and Pierre) to admire the Lake of Castillon. You can then go down to the lake. On the menu: peaceful swimming and nautical activities. Then you get back on the train for Barrême which is the meeting point of many routes, including the Route Napoléon. This is the kingdom of lavender and it’s well worth taking the time to visit the Musée de la Distillerie to find out more about it. And now it’s the last stage of your trip on the rails of the little Train des Pignes. Enjoy the steep terrain of Digne-les-Bains to take to the heights in a via ferrata , you’ll come away with long-lasting memories of this feeling of flying given by the recently equipped zip-line.