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Old 08-15-2004, 05:54 AM
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I have read portreviews, but now have more questions. As I am down to counting days before my trip, I am finalizing my plans and have decided to take the train and do as much of the Fr. Riviera as I can on my own. Here are my questions: 1). Obviously I can't see everything if I am relying on public transportation, so from Villefranche - which direction should I go? To Nice/Cannes or in the other direction to Monaco/Monte Carlo?

2). Is it possible to get to Eze by train?

Thanks for any tips, suggestions or opinions?
suzi
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Old 08-15-2004, 05:54 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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I have read portreviews, but now have more questions. As I am down to counting days before my trip, I am finalizing my plans and have decided to take the train and do as much of the Fr. Riviera as I can on my own. Here are my questions: 1). Obviously I can't see everything if I am relying on public transportation, so from Villefranche - which direction should I go? To Nice/Cannes or in the other direction to Monaco/Monte Carlo?

2). Is it possible to get to Eze by train?

Thanks for any tips, suggestions or opinions?
suzi
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:09 AM
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I would suggest that you go to Monaco. It is a short distance and you can walk everywhere from the train station. The station in Nice is quite a ways from the beach and not in the best part of town. Cannes is well over an hour's ride from Villefrache and train service isn't all that frequent, however, on the other hand, Cannes is pretty cool.

Eze is difficult to get to as you would need to take a bus up to it from the train station, again frequency of service is an issue.

If it were me, I would hit Monte Carlo in the morning and then make mmy way back to Villefranche for the balance of the day. There is tons to do there and it is the essence of the French Riviera.

When you leave the tender port, turn to your right and follow the harbor's edge all the way down to the beach. after the last restaurant on your left hand side you will see a stairway leading up the hill (you may hear the train if one is passing by) Half way up the hill, turn right into the underpass and then up the stairs on the other side. This will take you to the train station where you must prepurchase tickets. The southbound train departs right in front of the trains station on the same side. The north bound train departs on the ocean side, so you must go back through the underpass to get up to the tracks for the northbound train.

Have a GREAT visit!

Tom
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:02 PM
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Suzi,
If I had to choose between Monaco or Cannes, I would select Monaco. It is so picturesque and there are many sightseeing opportunites. Traveling from Monaco and then allowing time to really explore Ville-Franche is a good way to go, because you will be able to experience 2 extremes of the French Riviera - but both spectacular in their own right! I know I regret not having had enough time to really see more of Ville-Franche.
Nancy
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Old 08-15-2004, 07:20 PM
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You raised a good issue Suzi. I agree with Tom that it's a bit much to try and reach Eze by public transport, but when I was at Villefranche in May, we found it quite easy to do BOTH Monaco and Nice in one day. Just follow the crowds to the "chemin de fer". Trust me, you won't be alone and even if you don't have Tom's instructions, just head in a right-ish direction from the tender dock and tilt your head up watching for the tracks. For us, Nice was delightful because we were there on a Saturday and were able to wander through the morning market munching on baguettes and cured ham. Be sure and read the inscriptions on the walls showing where freedom fighters fell during WW2. We enjoyed a stroll along the Promenade Anglais, toured a local casino and then headed back to the train station where there are loads of trains for the prim and proper Monaco. Here's another idea. Just get on a train in either direction and hop off at any one of the small stops which are less touristy. Stroll the town, have a cafe and hop back on one of the many trains. Oh dear - so much to do and so little time... Be sure and leave some time for un petit looksee in Villefranche. Using public transport, it is always a good idea to be back and close to the tender well before the last trip to the ship. Consider it "insurance."
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Old 08-16-2004, 07:27 AM
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I couldn't agree more with Stewart. On my last trip I was returning from Cannes and the train simply rolled right through Villefranche and stopped at the next town, Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Since I had the time, I decided to see if I could walk back to Villefranche. It was, without a doubt, one of the most quaint and untouristy towns I have seen on the Riviera. I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. In fact, my wife and I had talked about staying there for a few days for a vacation.

The return walk to Villefranche was also wonderful. I went by some walled mansions that must have cost tens of millions of euro.

That is the problem with Villefranche . . . Too much to see, too little time. VBG.

Tom
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:38 PM
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Thank you all - you have certainly helped me make my decision. After reading Port Reviews I know I want to end my day with a visit to Villefranche and will do Monaco for sure. As was suggested, I am going to try to get in a visit to Nice or just hop off the train and explore on my way back to Villefranche. Thanks again!
Suzi
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:32 PM
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Be sure to let us know what you discovered when you get back. We want to share in your experiences.

Tom
 
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