HISTORICAL TRAIN - CANYONS & VIADUCTS - WILD NATURE - MEDIEVAL VILLAGES - BAROQUE ART
A unique Train Experience across the Alps to discover an historical French-Italian mountain railway, you will by fascinated by its breathtaking views
over the villages, the narrow canyons, and the impressive viaducts and tunnels, testimony of the very talented French civil engineering of the beginning of the 20th century. Our guide
will comment on board about villages, landscapes and tell you the history of this mountain trainline (length 2h30) in one of the most amazing train track of France. On top of this,
spend a day visiting authentic medieval villages following the antique Salt Road, also called the Royal Baroque Route: full of history and legends & a unique baroque
heritage strew with unique and unknown chapels, churches and monasteries. Come with comfortable shoes and clothes to enjoy this sporty day (7 to 15km of walk, with some uphills)
You spend your holidays on the French Riviera and you are looking for alternatives to get away from the hustle and bustle of the coast & the overly touristic cities of the French Riviera? This unusual day to take a deep breath of fresh air & discover the Alps: the Royal Baroque Route and the Salt Roads is made for you! Anywhere else you can go from the mediterranean sea to the highest peaks in few hours by train.
Let's start the day early in the morning 8.30am, to fully enjoy this full-day excursion, with our guide welcoming you in front of the main and oldest train station of Nice. The Train des Merveilles will amaze you with its route, its special itinerary winding through the alps mountains, following uphill different valleys from sea level until 800 meters high. We will explain you everything about the different valleys where we go through, commenting the views over hills, mountains, rivers, villages, monuments, and through olive cultures and pine tree forests, passing on viaducts and impressive tunnels, witnesses of the French civil engineering of the early 20th century. A unique railway experience through one of the most incredible trainlines in France, commented on board by our passionates guides.
Then, we will jump from village to village according to your interests, we select 2 of them, the nicest and most interesting ones of this special valley : Tende (or La Brigue) and Saorge will no longer be a secret for you! You will love the clean, fresh and invigorating air of the Alps and enjoy walking through off-the-beaten-tracks medieval towns, hidden treasures just a few steps away from the French Riviera, at the gates of the Mercantour National Park. You will have an insight of the National Park through its mysterious Vallée des Merveilles where more than 100,000 engraving stones bear witness to the Alpine peoples since the Bronce Age, a singular heritage of a people who have lived in this exceptional site for more than 5000 years. The Museum des Merveilles, a jewel of playful intelligence, will be a recommended stop to explain all the historical and natural wealth of this unique site in the world.
The lunch will be included in the price with the choice between 2 options : typical local picnic or a main dish in a restaurant.
In the villages of the Roya Valley, in addition to their old medieval towns out of the touristic paths, with mazes of alleys full of history and legends, you will be led to visit their sumptuous baroque treasures : Tende Cathedral, churches and chapels, the quiet and unique Franciscan Monastery of Saorge and much more. Our local guides, experts of the valley, will offer you different options for shorts hikings and maybe the chance to take a dip in a fresh river from the Alps (if needed : bring swimsuit and towel). Sometimes, we can offer the option Our Lady of the Fountains and its incredible frescoes of the Italian Renaissance, true highlights of the valley amongst thousand wonders.
THE ALPINE ROADS BY TRAIN: HISTORY, NATURE & AUTHENTICITY
Highlights of the Train Tour "Train Experience Through the Alps: the Royal Baroque Route" :
OPTIONS Culture & History :
- Franciscan Monastery, its painted cloister, church, choir and gardens, monks' vegetable garden, place of meditation and work for writers (+6€/person, recommended)
- Unique chapel painted in 1492 by one of the forerunners of the Italian Gothic and Renaissance (5€/person, recommended, ask one week by advance if the option is possible)
- Visit to the Museum of Wonders (Free, recommended)
Included : train tickets (back & forth), professional guide, picnic lunch of local specialities (or restaurant, 1 main dish and 1 drink per person (+15€ per person)).
POSSIBLE OPTIONS FOR GROUPS :
BICYCLE OPTIONS: (Only for groups of minimum 7 people)
- ELECTRIC BICYCLES +45€/bike
- VELOS VTC +35€/bike
OPTIONS Restoration :
- Breakfast served by us on the train (+9€/p, please call 48 hours in advance)
- Lunch restaurant (local cuisine +15€/person, please call 48 hours in advance).
OPTIONS Sports and Hikes (Options only available for groups of 6 to 11 people, please call 2 weeks in advance):
- Guided hike in the Vallée des Merveilles and its rock engravings (Bus + half-day hike (min.2h00)).
- 4x4 experience in the Mercantour Park
- Canyoning or river rafting or just swimming
- Ride a donkey or a horse for an unusual ride
- Via Ferrata and Tyrolean ( 2-3h)
- Short hikes around the villages
Possibility to stay one night (or more) at the Hotel, Hostel, Refuge or Camping/Mobilhome/Yourte and to elaborate tailor-made programs over several days with hikes in the Mercantour National Park (Sport or relax days, massages, spa & wellness).
Choose the options you like and ask for the program! We will send you the best possible program according to the planned tours and our availability.