Marseilles to Genova - Europe's Epic Express Train Journeys

We promised you spectacular journeys by direct trains and this journey between Marseille and Genova is second to none for sea views that can seen from a train on a single journey.

However, to appreciate the stunning scenery for the full length of this journey, you will need to be travelling between April and September when the days are at their longest.

The coastal views continue until after Albenga and the train isn't due to arrive there until around 20:00.

 On Mondays and Fridays and Sundays year round this train is scheduled to depart Marseille at 15:28 -  but it departs daily between June 11th and October 30th.

We have singled out this journey, from the marginally more frequent trains between Nice and Genova, because of the spectacular views that can be appreciated to the west of Nice.

When setting off from Marseille you won't have to wait too long for spectacular sea views, as the train comes close to the shore as it approaches Toulon.

This view below near Toulon was taken from the right - in this direction from Marseille to Genova, you have to be sat on the right for the sea views and it's those coastal views that make this journey magical.
From Marseille to Genoa by train
West of Toulon the route is inland for around an hour, but there are some lovely views over the Provence country side from either side of the train.

The magnificent spectacle of the Cote D'Azur comes into view soon after train departs from St Raphael-Valescure station and leaves the town behind.

For much of the journey the train is travelling along the shore. The image below is of the marina at Agay which the train passes just before one of the highlights of the journey - the crossing of the viaduct in Agay. 
We opted to take a video of the view from the viaduct - which we're planning on being able to share soon.

From St Raphael to the suburbs of Nice the railway line mirrors the shore line, twisting and turning between the coves -  looking at our notes, the two images below were taken by the beach at Calanques d'Antheor.
To Genoa by train from Marseille

On the train between Marseille and Italy
After the train departs from Antibes it travels right beside the beach for the initial part of the journey on to Nice.

Look at a map of the Mediterranean and you’ll spot a railway route that seemingly skirts virtually all of its northern shore between Valencia in Spain and Palermo in Sicily.
Making this entire journey makes for an amazing itinerary, but more often than not, the sea is so near, yet too far from the railway line.

One of the most spectacular locations where that isn’t the case - and as a result the sea views are stunning, is the railway line between Nice and the Italian border at Ventimiglia.

Though we hold our hands up and admit these images aren't our finest hour, but we made this journey in late April, so the sun was setting by the time we departed from Nice.
Beautiful, but the combination of horizontal sunlight and fairly dirty windows on the train presented a photography challenge!

The image below is of Villefranche sur Mer - which can be seen around 5 mins after the train has departed from Nice-Ville station and begins to leave the city behind.

The light was fading by the time we passed through Monaco, which was a pity as the scenery between there and the Italian border is spectacular, but on a previous journey we were able to capture this image which from memory was taken near Cap Martin between Monte-Carlo and Menton.

The image below near Menton gives an idea on what you can expect to see, but also illustrates why you should try to make this trip in July, the train passes through here at around 18:30.

Once you have crossed Into Italy, the railway betweeen Ventimiglia and Imperia, either side of San Remo, has now been diverted away from the coast into a series of tunnels, but there are fleeting views down the valleys to the sea.

Once the train has exited these tunnels to the west of Imperia, for more than 20 minutes either side of Albenga, there is nothing but the beach between the trains and the sea.

Although as can be seen the light was fading fast on our late April trip, as this train Marseille now passes by here at around 20:00.

Seats have to be reserved on the Thello trains, so ideally you will be sat on the right when heading to Italy, or on the left when heading to France.

For all the practical information you need to know about making this incredible journey - including details of the tickets, trains and stations...

click on the journey to access our unique guides: