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A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

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<img src="traindesmerveilles1©dreamstime.jpeg" alt="Train des Merveilles"/>

South of France Steam

We are proud to offer this highly anticipated, special tour to the South of France riding steam hauled trains over some of the most scenic routes in France. Experience the stunning Doux Gorge line to the gourmet town of Lamastre, an exclusive charter train, the superb viaducts aboard the Cévennes steam train, and steam into the Provence countryside plus a ride along the Mediterranean coast and a fantastic branch line into the mountains.

View Dates & Book

8 days from £1899



Monday 23 September 2024



  • Steam through the beautiful Doux Gorges on the Vivarais Railway

  • Exclusive steam charter on the Velay Express – the highest steam train in France!

  • Ride over fantastic viaducts aboard the Cévennes steam train

  • Marvel at the wonderful coastal scenery between Marseille and Nice

  • Enjoy a scenic trip in the legendary "Train of Marvels"

  • Take a historic journey through the Provence countryside

  • Discover architectural treasures in the medieval villages of Tende and Annot

  • Time at leisure to explore Nice


Also included in tour fare:-

  • 7 nights’ bed & breakfast plus 5 lunches and 1 evening meal

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager



We will depart London St Pancras by Eurostar to Lille connecting onwards via Lyon to Valence. Staying at Hotel Les Negociants for four nights, we will enjoy our first evening meal together.



After breakfast this morning, we will travel by road to Tournon Saint-Jean to experience the Vivarais Railway, an 18-mile metre-gauge line using powerful Mallet steam locomotives to haul the train through the scenic Doux Gorges. A water stop is made at the village of Boucier-le-Roi before continuing past open countryside offering views of villages and countryside, chestnut groves and orchards. After climbing nearly 1,000ft, we will arrive at the small town of Lamastre, witnessing the train turn on its turntable and enjoying a 3-course lunch in a nearby restaurant, before returning by steam to Tournon and by coach to our hotel.

B, L


Today we will take a private coach to Racoules for an exclusive charter of the Velay Express - the highest steam train in France. Riding the metre-gauge line to Saint-Agrève and return, the Velay Express faces a tormented terrain throughout its 17-mile route with 3% gradients and tight curves of the track making it a real mountain railway. We enjoy a light lunch at Saint-Agrève before our return to Raucoules and onwards by coach to our hotel.

B, L


Today, after breakfast, we travel TGV to Nîmes and then by private coach to Anduze for the remarkable Cévennes steam train to Saint-Jean-du-Gard. Winding through tunnels and along viaducts, our journey allows us to discover the valleys of the Gardon and their superb views. We will enjoy lunch together at Saint-Jean-du-Gard before retracing our steps to Anduze and returning, via Nîmes, to Valence.

B, L


After breakfast this morning, we will depart by rail over the old "classique" route to Marseille, changing here for our relaxing and scenic train ride along the beautiful Mediterranean coast to Nice, arriving early in the afternoon. We have the remainder of the day at leisure to explore Nice famous for its sunny climes, gorgeous beaches, and colourful architecture staying for three nights at the Hotel Khla near the train station.



Today we will experience the "Train des Merveilles" (Train of Marvels), perfectly named as it is one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Travelling from Nice to Tende and return, we travel 62 miles to over 3,000ft altitude through sumptuous scenery, crossing numerous bridges and viaducts, and passing through 107 tunnels. On arrival in the fortified, medieval town of Tende, we take lunch together in a local restaurant before returning to Nice by rail.

B, L


Following breakfast this morning, we depart from the metre-gauge Chemins de Fer de Provence railway station on a railcar through the Var Gorge to Puget-Théniers. Here we will board the steam hauled "Train des Pignes" for an historic ride through the beautiful Provence countryside and huge pine forests, past the incredible, charming city of Entrevaux, and onwards to the village of Annot. Here we will enjoy lunch together and time at leisure to discover the architectural treasures of this medieval village.

B, L


After our breakfast, it is time to journey home by rail to Marseille, then TGV to Lille and, finally, by Eurostar to London.


B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Hotel Negociants, Valence

Situated across the square from the train station in Valence’s city centre, this hotel offers a restaurant and bar. Each room will provide you with a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a flat screen TV.


Hotel Khla, Nice

Located close to the railway station, the unique and stylish Hotel Khla occupies a prime central location in Nice providing easy access to the city’s biggest attractions. The air-conditioned rooms offer private bathrooms with a hairdryer, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.



From London St Pancras International:

Standard Class rail travel to/from France, including Standard Eurostar


Supplement for Standard Premier Eurostar upgrade return


First Class rail travel from France, including Standard Premier Eurostar


Join at Valence & Leave at Nice


Single Traveller Supplement



Fare inclusive of:

7 nights’ bed & breakfast plus 5 lunches and 1 evening meal

Eurostar and rail travel to and from France in the class of your choice

All transfers, excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


GUARANTEED FARE – no currency surcharge


Important Note: Whilst the arrangements for all described steam train travel are in place we do reserve the right to make substitutions should it be deemed necessary for whatever reason. Your acceptance of this is a condition of your booking.


Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address
Tour Base Tour Base (Join & Leave at Hotel)
London St Pancras Int London St Pancras Int (LNE)

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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Contact Us
Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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