Nice’s hinterland is worth a visit with its pre-Alpine cliffs and small villages. A ride on the Train de Pignes is a unique experience.
The hinterland of Nizza
Not only Nice alone is worth a visit, also the hinterland and the region around the coastal city are waiting to be visited. Those who want to make a special day trip can explore the hinterland of Nice with the “Train de Pignes”. The train, which has been running since 1892, owes its name to the fact that passengers used to collect pine cones during the journey up the steep heights in order to gather enough fuel for the locomotive. Nowadays, the train is much more comfortable. There are only about 50 seats available, so reservations are required. A ride through the mountains to Digne costs around 35 euros.
The narrow-gauge railway passes some romantic villages, viaducts and countless tunnels. It takes approximately three hours to get to Digne to the end station, so it is not really worth it to get to the end point in one day. It is much nicer to leave the train at one of the stations and to explore the grandiose prealpine landscape in the frame of a little hiking tour.
A side trip to Peillon
Peillon is a very picturesque little village in the hinterland of Nice that is worth a side trip. Picturesquely, the little houses nestle against the rugged rocks and offer a unique view. Instead of a castle, the Eglise de la Transfiguartion was built here in the 18th century and rises majestically above the village. The small chapel of Peillons is also worth a visit, as it houses tempera paintings from the 15th century.
If you want to go for a hike, you can walk from Peillon to Peille within two hours. Peille is a medieval town that stretches along a hill. The village is dominated by a bell tower in Romanesque style. The history of the village goes back to the 11th century. Peille became famous beyond its borders because the inhabitants once refused to pay taxes to the bishop of Nice in the 13th century. Even when the bishop excommunicated them, the citizens did not change their minds.