South of France - The French Riviera to Biarritz by Train

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French Train Travel Holiday

With a train travel holiday from the French Riviera to Biarritz you can relax and watch the world go by instead of driving or spending too much time at airports - without seeing the real France as it's been for centuries.

French trains are so fast and well-connected in the 21st century that a flexible Eurail pass can give travellers a wonderful, good value French train holiday.

Nice in the south of France is a great place to start your French train travel holiday as you check out the famous beachfront Promenade des Anglais, including the landmark Negresco Hotel. Head south along the French Rivera to Cannes for its glamorous French lifestyle which includes the famous Cannes Film Festival in the month of May.

And a little further south, Marseille is the perfect port to travel by train from the west coast right across to the west coast to the famous wine region of Bordeaux, and glamorous Biarritz on the Spanish border.

Travelling by Eurail inland from Marseille near the French Riviera

As you head east from Marseille, you'll see the fortified French town of Carcassonne, with its pretty waterways and boats.  It's beautiful provicial French countryside here, with bright yellow sunflowers reaching for the sky, reminiscent of a Monet painting

Pretty soon you're in fascinating Toulouse, between the Dordogne region and the Pyrenees mountains to your left, dividing France from Spain.  You're half way across France in less than four hours on a smooth, comfortable train.

Make sure you get off at Lourdes, the famous religious town at the centre of a number of apparitions of the Mother of Christ in 1868. Lourdes is a fascinating experience to walk from the train station down the hill through the small market town to the sacred grotto.

Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at Lourdes

Here you'll find pilgrims from around the world at the end of their journey, many with crosses they've carried for many miles.  At the entry to the church built on this religious site, you can see just a few of the hundreds of thousands of crosses that have been carried to Lourdes over the years.
Many hundreds of crosses at the end of the pilgrimage to Lourdes

The atmosphere here is uplifting to say the least, and everyone is friendly. In town, you'll find all manner of religious icons to remind you of a special place.

Aboard your train again, it's three hours to the famous French wine region of Bordeaux on the west coast, passing through superb vineyards in comfort before you arrive in this big old French city with its landmark cathedral.

Only two hours south is the famous French beach playground of Biarritz, a great place to finish your trip across France.  Make sure you finish in style by staying at the famous Hotel du Palais, the former palace of Emperor Napoleon III.

Biarritz's famous main beach

The Hotel du Palais is the iconic standout in this Basque town on the Spanish border, and your accommodation is near Biarritz beaches.

Biarritz's magnifique Hotel du Palais

Hotel du Palais' L'Hippocampe restaurant with fine French cuisine

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