Monte Carlo and the Italian Riviera by Rail
- Take a high-speed TGV service through France to the Côte d’Azur
- Spend a full three days in Monte Carlo, home to the world famous car rally
- Catch a train around the coastline to Rapallo, a great base to explore the Italian Riviera
- Spend time at leisure on the Ligurian Coast, with time to visit the colourful villages of the Cinque Terre
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your trains and hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 8 nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Leave Paris this morning from the Gare de Lyon and speed south through France to the south coast. Just along the French Riviera, you’ll cross into the Principality of Monaco and arrive at Monte Carlo station. Make your way to the Columbus Hotel (or similar) where you have a 4-night stay.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Though we include tickets from Paris in this package, we can also start your holiday in Monte Carlo or tailor your journey to tie in with your European travel plans. Just let us know when you get in touch.
You have three days free to live the high life in Monte Carlo and explore the local area. Monte Carlo is famous around the world for its extreme wealth, its casinos and its annual car rally. A popular hangout for celebrities and royalty, Monaco is also the second smallest sovereign state in the world after the Vatican City.
Along the coast are the French resorts of Nice, Antibes and Cannes, all easily accessible by train. You can also get a direct train from Monte Carlo inland to the city of Grasse, which is world perfume capital. Many of the larger perfume houses here offer tours, but you’ll be able to smell the fragrances as soon as you step off the train!
You can either spend another morning in Monte Carlo today, or catch an early train around the coast and across the Italian border to the historic port city of Genoa (pictured). If you catch an early train, you may want to stop here and have a look around with time for lunch before catching a regional service just down the coast to Rapallo.
When you arrive in Rapallo, it’s just a short walk to the centre of town and your hotel, the Europa Design (or similar) where you will be staying for the next 4 nights.
Enjoy three full days at leisure on the Italian Riviera. Rapallo itself is a lovely resort town with a small but perfectly formed castle and manicured gardens around its sweeping harbour. Up the coast, you have the ultra-exclusive resort of Portofino, once a fishing village but now more likely to be home to super-yachts.
To the south of Rapallo, just over an hour’s journey by regional train takes you to the colourful, gravity-defying villages of the Cinque Terre. All five villages have a train station so you can get around easily and in the summer, there are also regular boat services. Don’t miss a stop in pretty Sestri Levante en route.
It’s time to leave Rapallo today for your onward journey. You can either continue south and head for Pisa and then inland to other destinations in Tuscany. Alternatively, a 4-hour journey from La Spezia will bring you directly to Rome’s central station. Please call or drop us a line for further inspiration!
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Hotel Columbus is located in the centre of Monte Carlo, within easy of the station, the port and the sea front. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed, with en suite bathrooms, flat-screen satellite TVs and a coffee machine. There’s also an onsite restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool with a sun deck.
Europa Hotel occupies an ideal location opposite Rapallo’s famous harbour castle and a few steps from the beach. The hotel’s restaurant has its own peaceful garden and there is also a Plinio Thermarium Spa complete with a sauna and Turkish bath. Rapallo’s central station is just a 5 minute walk away.
Upgrade your accommodation
The Fairmont Monte Carlo occupies an enviable location on the last chicane of the Monte Carlo Rally and Grand Prix routes, overlooking the Mediterranean.
Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool and a piano bar/ restaurant with uninterrupted sea views.
With its lovely location overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio in Santa Margherita Ligure, the Grand Hotel Miramare is the perfect choice for a luxurious stay on the Italian Riviera. Elegantly furnished bedrooms offer views over the park or the sea, with complimentary Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning and a minibar with free soft drinks. There is also a salt water outdoor swimming pool and sun-terrace, a wellness centre, a restaurant overlooking the coast and a choice of two bars.