This summer I will be going to a wedding in Paris at the beginning of July. Our plan was to just do Paris originally, but we are now considering adding London at the beginning or the French riviera for some beach time before or after. For London, it seems relatively straightforward to do that first and take the Eurostar train to Paris. However, I am not sure how it would work to get to some nice Mediterranean beach town for a few days. Also, is it going to be too overpriced and overpacked in the beginning of August to even consider adding the beach component?

Would consider some smaller town with character and some sights rather than a more popular destination for the Riviera. Is this doable by train and without a car? Also, does it make sense to fly out of a southern airport (star and end is NYC, prefer EWR).

What towns should I consider for beach and possibly other site seeing?

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    Taking the train south from Paris to the Riviera is very easy, and very common. Your only issue is that everyone else likes doing it, so cheap tickets can sell out fast! I'd suggest you start with the Seat 61 page for Franche, and go from there
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 22, 2014 at 3:00
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    Go down to Nice, it is well connected and with good frequency. Antibes is 30 minutes from Nice. Cannes another 15-20 minutes more. Nice is cheap and not costly. If you want you can go towards Monaco also. All these places have good beaches. Connectivity is quite good from and to Nice, so you wouldn't need a car. A return ticket to Antibes from Nice cost me around 15-20 euros maybe less also during the Cannes festival, don't remember exactly, booked a day before.
    – DumbCoder
    Dec 22, 2014 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


is it going to be too overpriced and overpacked in the beginning of August to even consider adding the beach component?

Yes it is going to be very highly priced. The train tickets usually go on sale more or less 3 months before the date of travel, but for example iDTGV has started some sales for next summer. Beside the trains, hotels/resorts are going to be expensive and the living costs are relatively high (higher than the rest of France, except Paris).

But all in all, it depends on your budget. I would consider a train ticket Paris-London to be in the same range as Paris-Nice (I checked for about 3 months from now, they are both around 50 euros one-way, it may increase for the summer).

Is this doable by train and without a car?

Definitely, the train network follows the Mediterranean coast, the local trains around Nice are filled with tourists from and to the beach in the summer. There is no real best place to go, and often the smaller towns, the more exclusive and therefore the pricier (this is no set rule, but more a way to say that a smaller town does not mean it is cheaper).

I would recommend you to look at the train network map of regional trains, it lists all stations. The TGV from Paris stops at Marseille, Toulon, sometimes Les Arcs, sometimes Fréjus and/or St-Raphaël, Cannes, Antibes and Nice. From there you can take a regional train. Regional trains do not need to be booked in advance (but you might not have a seat), and they run between every 3 hours (near Anthéor) to every 30 mins (Cannes-Nice), and they can be used for daily trips.

Most stations between Toulon and St-Raphaël are pretty far from the beach, but in most others you have direct access to the beach or you can always take a 30-min train ride to a town with a beach.

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