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Imagine wending your way through picture-book mountains, across breathtaking landscapes or along a dazzling coastline in one of France’s legendary trains—Le Tire-Bouchon, La Ligne des Hirondelles, or the Mont Blanc Express. Built and maintained in partnership with their regions, these unique lines take you on a trip through history, even as they boost local economies, preserve regional traditions and promote eco-tourism. Choose from ten unforgettable journeys, and explore one of these protected areas—reachable only by train.
Touring trains by SNCF:
Choose the Allier line for a guided tour through the spectacular Gorges de L’Allier. And if you love fine food, take the train gastronomique from Langogne to Pont d’Alleyras and savour a meal at Chef Philippe Brun’s award-winning restaurant.
On the Hirondelles line, the scenery will take your breath away as you thread your way along viaducts in the Jura Mountains with an on-board guide. Experience the architecture of the royal salt works at Arc-et-Senans, and visit the crafts market in Saint-Claude. From outdoor sports to fine food, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in the Jura.
The Côte Bleue train takes you past 32 kilometres of coastline from Marseille to Miramas--home to the famous Mediterranean inlets called calanques. At each stop, the beach is just steps away. It’s an unforgettable way to visit this protected area with its dazzling turquoise waters.
The Mont-Blanc Express carries you to the heart of the Mont-Blanc massif, a fabulous 80-minute trip with views of the famous Mer de Glace, Vallée Blanche and Aiguille du Midi. Trains run year-round on this route, a single-track, metre-gauge line with gradients of up to 9%, built in 1908.