a VirtualTourist member from Huntingdon
As part of an 18 day visit to France I will be traveling from Annecy to Nice in early May 2013 and I would like advice on the best way to travel between these two cities. By train, it would appear that I would need to be aboard the train in Annecy before 7am in order to arrive in Nice in daylight (and I do consider this important as I will be traveling alone and like to be settled in by nightfall). I would consider flying but I'm not sure what combination of transport this would require. Any advice on the most sensible way to get from Annecy to Nice would be greatly appreciated.
You can fly from Geneva to Nice with Easyjet. This might be the quickest option.
To get to Geneva you can get a bus provided by www.frossard.eu
You can get direct TGV train from Geneva or Lyon to Nice, or a flight from Geneva to Nice (direct bus from Annecy to Geneva Airport, about 1 h).
Or you travel from Grenble by train (via Digne( or bus (via Sisteron). The train from Annecy to Grenoble takes about 90 mins.
Travel via Grenoble might be slower, but is very scenic.
You should be able to take a regular train to Lyon, a bus (or taxi) to the TGV station and the TGV to Nice and easily get there mid afternoon and leave at 8 AM. Check the following link for information. http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm
I'm not sure you can buy the ticket at that web site, but you can at http://www.sncf.com/fr/
You have to change trains in Lyon but there is a shuttle bus to the TGV station or you can take a taxi. Obviously, the bus would cost less.
Enjoy your trip. We love both Annecy and Nice and the train is a great way to go. We drive and it's a long long drive . . . although very pretty.
Going to Geneva and flying from there as some suggest will not get you to Nice faster. It will take you 2 1/2 hours to get to the airport. Add in the usually buffers and check in time, and the transfer from the airport to Nice afterwards, and you'll see that you're not faster.
There are plenty of trains to choose from, and arriving before sunset should not be a problem. Sunset in Nice in may is after 20:30.
So you could leave for example at 10:53, and arrive in Nice at 18:05. Or you could take the 9:00 departure (which is actually a coach, but run by the railways) and get to Nice by 15:56. So no need to start really early.
Where have you been looking for train times?
One issue you might run in to is that looking at dated to far in the future on some on line planners will yield incomplete results. Use the official french railway website: www.sncf.fr
@beausoleil: In Lyon most TGV and TER trains serve the same station. No need to take a shuttle bus or taxi. The train (or TER coach) from Annecy will bring the OP directly to where the TGV leaves.
Departure 7h53 from Annecy, going through Lyon, or Lyon and Marseille, makes you in Nice mid afternoon, week days and weekends.
Second solution, even with 2 changes, is a little bit faster, and implies slightly less waiting time.
Both option are very simple and straightforward: same stations, time to grab a quick meal and a cup of coffee. Nice trip along the coast from Marseille, but the first part is less scenic...
Later departures are more or less the same.
We have all be duscussing the most rational way (time, cost) to go from Anecy to Grenoble, but forgotten about a somewhat complicated, but most scenic itinerary. And you can do it by leaving say around 6 am from Annecy to Grenoble.
Then connect to the RER train to Gap, change there for another TER train to Sisteron, then a SNCF bus to Digne-les-Bains, and finally the narrow-gauge train down to Nice. I have done this trip once, and it remains unforgettable. And why not stay for a night in Digne, a very pleasant provence town, especially during the summer.
Correction: RER should read TER train of course (the regional trains in France).
Love Richard's idea of staying in Digne-les-Bains. Gorgeous trip; lovely town. Would be worth the effort.
K_V_B--Thank you for the info. I started looking at schedules in January and not being much of a train traveler, it looked sort of confusing at first. Will start checking it out in earnest this week. Leslie
Thank you, micolett, you make it sound like a nice journey. Leslie
Wow, quite a journey. Thank you for your ideas, Richard.