Valley of the Roya Tourist Information
The train de merveilles from Nice is one of the most scenic railway routes in Europe. Everyday from 1 June to 30 September, and every weekend until the end of October, there is a professional guide on board. You can sit back and watch the amazing scenery as you listen all about the local history, the villages along the way and how this extraordinary railway line, including helicoidal tunnels, was built. Although you can stop off at any of the villages, it is probably worthwhile going all the way to Tende to hear the full commentary.
In July and August there is a bus from Tende to Casterino, gateway to the Mercantour national park - famous for its Bronze Age rock drawings. At the Tende tourist office you can pick up information and enjoy your own tour of the town and stop off for lunch. Don't forget to pop in to a local deli to buy a delicious cheese called tomme de Tende.
If on a day trip buy a carte Isabelle (1 June-30 September) at Cannes station and you can travel as far as Tende. It is essential to book your seats. Do ensure when boarding the train in either direction that it does not go via Ventimiglia in Italy or you will have to change train.
Interesting towns and villages en route are: L'Escarene, Sospel, Breil sur Roya, Fontan and Saorge - both a 15 minute walk from the station, Saint Dalmas de Tende , La Brigue and Tende Do make sure you have a current timetable with you.
Alternatively you can drive the route which is quite easy. It can be done in a day but is worth at least one overnight stop especially if you want to visit the magnificent Mercantour National Park. Many of the churches in the towns and villages have marvellous Baroque music festivals and also stunning paintings from that era.