France, Spain & Italy by train

Rail trip from Madrid to Rome

France, Spain & Italy in 2 weeks

14 to 18 day Southern Europe rail tour. Travel to: Madrid, Barcelona, Marseille, overnight stop in Montpellier, Nice, optional daytrip to Monaco , Venice, Rome.

Kick start your trip in Southern Europe by dancing to the rhythms of the Spanish capital, Madrid. Then speed north by rail to Barcelona, where the creative works of Gaudi await your amazement. Then step over the border to Marseille, the trendy metropolis of Southern France, before moving on to Nice to soak up the Mediterranean sun. Hop over to luxurious Monaco for a day trip and witness the life of this small but mighty kingdom. Next, travel by rail to Italy for a gondola ride and romantic stroll through Venice. Finish off your Southern Europe trip in the historic city of Rome, where ancient civilization meets the 21st century in this blend of sublime culture!

This trip is perfect for you if you love:
Great food, sunny weather, historical cities & Mediterranean Coast.

Type of traveler
This tour is suitable for everyone! For families & seniors, we recommend you choose a slightly slower travel pace when you configure your trip.

What’s included in the price

All you need to travel swiftly by train:

  • Train tickets (Eurail / Interrail Pass, learn more)
  • Reserved seats for your trains
  • Itinerary summary detailing your trip & documentation
  • Handling, printing and shipping

No additional fees or taxes.
Hotels and sightseeing are not included.




  • Prices include all rail tickets for 1 adult
  • Huge discounts for children!
  • Free shipping of your train tickets
  • No additional fees or taxes
  • Free cancellation within 72 hours

Destinations in this Southern Europe rail tour

For a touch of Spanish flamenco, French finesse, and Italian flair, check out this remarkable mix of cities. You can find our recommended hotels and sightseeing on the destination pages.

Royal palace, Madrid, SpainMadrid
Always alive – Inviting locals – Understated architectural charm

Madrid info | Hotels in Madrid


Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, SpainBarcelona
Dream-like architecture – Sun-drenched beaches – Lively culture and cuisine

Barcelona info | Hotels in Barcelona


Marseille, FranceMarseille
Lively local street art – Historical old port – Full of personality

Marseille info | Hotels in Marseille


Nice, FranceNice
Sun-soaked beachside – Eternally entertaining – Colorful art museums
 
Nice info | Hotels in Nice


MonacoMonaco (optional)
Seaside luxury – Glamorous society – Exciting atmosphere

Monaco info


Venice, ItalyVenice
Romantic gondola rides – Hidden surprises – Colorful locals

Venice info | Hotels in Venice


Vatican, Rome, ItalyRome
Timeline of history – Feast of Roman art – Infamous cuisine
 
Rome info | Hotels in Rome

Your Southern Europe trip itinerary:

Travel by train from Madrid to Barcelona

Departure station: Madrid Puerta de Atocha
Arrival station: Barcelona Sants
Duration: 3 hours approximately
Type of train: AVE. Direct High Speed
Train Facilities on board:
General Facilities: Cafeteria, Press, Music, Video.
1st class travel: Selection of meals and wines, appropriate for each time of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Important: Check in for AVE trains starts 30 minutes before departure, so make sure that you arrive at the train station on time.

Travel by train from Barcelona to Marseille

Departure station: Barcelona Sants
Arrival station: Marseille St. Charles
Duration: 1.5 days (Spending the night in Montpellier is recommended, because the trip is quite long. To make it less intensive, we recommend an overnight stay halfway the trip in Montpellier)
Number of changes: 4
Number of nights (recommended): 1
Type of train: Regional trains (no reservations needed).

Route description:

  1. From Barcelona to Portbou: Take a regional intercity train from the train station Barcelona Sants and get off at Portbou, a small town situated at the border between Spain and France, on the Spanish side. These trains don't require any reservation, so you could choose the departure time yourself. Just hop on the first train which schedule matches your travel plans best, take a seat and enjoy the journey. We recommend leaving Barcelona early in the morning, in order to make sure that you make the most of your travel day!
  2. Transfer from Portbou to Cerbere: In order to continue your trip, you need to catch the next connecting train from Cerbere, a town situated across the border (on the French side). Transfers between Portbou and Cerbere can be made: on foot (30 minutes walk); by taxi or by train (5 minutes, regional train, no reservation needed).
  3. From Cerbere to Montpellier: There are several regional trains (no reservation needed) running from Cerbere to Marseille. However, none of these connections are direct trains, therefore we recommend taking the train from Cerbere to Montpellier and spending the night in this stylish city.
  4. From Montpellier to Marseille: After a good night of rest, travel on to the next destination: Marseille. Depending, on the time you choose to travel, you might have to change trains in Avignon, but you could also take a direct regional train to Marseille. The choice is yours.

Important: Please keep in mind that you will have to change trains several times , so make sure that you check the train schedules and plan your journey beforehand, at least one day before departure.

Travel by train from Marseille to Nice

Departure station: Marseille St. Charles
Arrival station: Nice Ville
Duration: 2.5 hours approximately
Type of train: TGV Direct. High Speed Train
Facilities on board:
1st class:
Access to lounges at the station in the following cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Rennes, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lyon Part Dieu and Lille Flandres
Free newspapers, magazines and drinks at your disposal
Free WiFi in the lounges and at the station
Welcome drink and snack on board
Possibility to order a cold meal at your seat (payable on board)
Extra comfortable and spacious seats with extra legroom
Power points at your seat

2nd class
Payable WiFi service on some services, available to all customers.
Bright carriages
Comfortable travel for families

Important: Depending on the departure time you choose, you might be traveling on regional trains TER, with fewer facilities on board but they provide you the opportunity to enjoy the local culture while travelling. Travel time is the same as TGV trains, the main difference is that TER trains don't take reservations.

Travel by train from Nice to Monaco

Departure station: Nice Ville
Arrival station: Monaco - Monte Carlo
Duration: 20 minutes approximately
Type of train: TER, Regional Intercity
Included ticket: Point to point ticket, to be purchased at the train station in Nice Ville. The price for a return ticket is € 7,00.
How to get there? In the morning, go to the train station Nice Ville and hop on the first train that heads to Monaco Monte Carlo. The journey will take 20 minutes approximately and you will witness the natural beauty of the French Riviera from your train window.
When to go? Our advice is that you catch one of the earliest trains in the morning and return to Nice when the sun goes down, in order to make sure that you make the most of the experience. Trains between these two cities run regularly, so you will have enough train connections throughout the whole day.
Important: The reason why you need to purchase a point to point ticket at the train station is due to the fact that there are no travel days left on your pass, but we didn't want to miss the opportunity to recommend going there on a day trip. It's definitely worth it! Therefore, this is an optional day trip, which means that you can either choose to visit Monaco or rather stay and enjoy one more full day in Nice. The choice is yours.

Travel by train from Nice to Venice

Departure station: Nice Ville
Arrival station: Venezia Santa Lucia
Duration: 4 hours approximately.
Number of changes: 3 (in Ventimiglia and Milan)
Type of train: Regional trains and High Speed trains.
Route description:

  1. From Nice to Ventimiglia: Take a regional intercity train from the train station Nice Ville and get off at Ventimiglia, a small Italian town situated at the border between Italy and France. The total train ride lasts less than an hour. These trains don't require any reservation, so you could choose the departure time yourself. Just hop on the first train which schedule matches your travel plans best, take a seat and enjoy the journey. We recommend leaving Nice early in the morning though, in order to make sure that you make the most of your travel day!
  2. From Ventimiglia to Milan: Depending on your arrival time in Ventimiglia, you will travel from Ventimiglia to Milan around 11:00 in the morning or 16:00 in the afternoon. It all depends on what time your train has left from Nice earlier in the morning. This train takes reservations, but we will arrange it all for you so you don't have to make any extra bookings at the train station upon arrival in Ventimiglia. The train ride takes 4 hours approximately.
  3. From Milan to Venice: Travel from Milan to Venice in the afternoon. The train ride takes 2.5 hours approximately and Le Frecce trains have all the facilities you would wish for; and most importantly: they are very comfortable! It is the perfect way of transport after spending the whole day 'on the road'. Don't forget to take your reservation for this high speed connection with you!

Important: Please keep in mind that you will have to change trains several times , so make sure that you check the train schedules and plan your journey beforehand, at least one day before departure.

Travel by train from Venice to Rome

Departure station: Venezia Santa Lucia
Arrival station: Roma Termini
Duration: 4 hours approximately
Type of train: Direct High Speed
Facilities on board:

  • Air conditioning
  • Restaurant/bistro
  • Bar
  • WiFi Internet
  • Power sockets

Practical travel information

Whilst traveling, you will need to always carry your pass and reservations with you, as well as your passport. Before starting your Eurail Trip, you’ll need to fill out some details on your pass. But don’t worry, we’ll guide you through it! We will send you a guide which exactly explains how to use your pass with your order.

Madrid's Airport, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (MAD) is an international airport located only 12 km from the city center.

How to get from Madrid-Barajas to the City Center and back?

By Metro de Madrid:
Line 8 towards Neuovos Ministerios has one stop for Terminal 4 and one stop for Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The ride to the center of Madrid takes around 15 minutes. Single Underground Ticket + Metro Supplement is €5.

By train:
Local network service Cercanias departs from Terminal 4. The ride to Madrid's central train station Estacion de Atocha is 25 minutes. Single ticket is €2, 60.

By taxi:
Taxis are accessible from all 4 terminals. The price for a taxi ride from Madrid Barajas to the centre of Madrid is around 30€.

By bus:
Lines 200, Expres-203, N27 Expres, or 101 depart from the terminals to Madrid City center.

The main airport in Rome is Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (better known as Fiumicino):

Travelers on intercontinental flights will arrive at / leave from this airport, situated 30 km away from the city.

How to get to the city centre from Fiumicino and back:

By bus/ private shuttle:
Airport Connection Services (Shuttle Bus): It will take you directly from Fiumicino Airport to the city centre. Price: From € 27 For more information, see here.

Airport Shuttle. Transfers to/from your hotel, quick and easy.
Price: €25/one person; + €6 for each additional passenger. Max. number of passengers: 8 For more information, see here.

Regular Public Buses:
SIT: Connections (from Fiumicino Airport to Roma Termini (central train station) Price: Tickets available on the bus. For more information, see here.

By taxi:
Single ride: €48 aprox. Tip: Try to catch a ‘Comune di Roma’ taxi, as the taxis registered at Fiumicino Airport are more expensive.

FAQ about this trip

Yes you can! Modify your trip by filling out the form on this page.

Our trips can start on any date, all year round! The price is the same, regardless of when you leave or how long you stay in each city, because we use a rail pass for your train travels. You can pick the start date of your choice on the checkout step after clicking "Book Trip".

All you need to travel swiftly by train:

  • Train tickets (Eurail / Interrail Pass, learn more)
  • Reserved seats for your trains
  • Itinerary summary detailing your trip & documentation
  • Handling, printing and shipping

No additional fees or taxes.
Hotels and sightseeing are not included.

That's up to you! All our trips are customizable in length. We make a recommendation for the number of nights in each city, but you are free to stay longer if you like. You can choose how long you would like to stay in each city on the booking page, after you click "Book Trip".

This trip is only available in first class.

Many Eurail passes for adults are only available in first class and that is the reason why this trip is not being offered in 2nd class.

Travel first class for more space and comfort. First class may also include more amenities than second class (for example, a welcome drink). This will depend on the type of train and railway company.

All our tours are independent tours. This means that you will travel by yourself, without a tour guide. To help you plan your trip, we provide many sightseeing tips for the cities included in our trips. Go to our destination overview page to find links to the cities and the sightseeing. Sightseeing can be booked via our partner Viator. They also offer many guided tours.
To help you book your hotel, we have listed hotels in 3 price categories for you in each of the cities included in our trips. Hotels are selected based on great ratings, good location and a good price. You can find these recommendations by going to the city pages via our destinations page. You can book hotels via our partner booking.com. Just click on the link on the city page.

Why travel Southern Europe with a rail pass?

We want to help you travel through Europe in the easiest, and most enjoyable way possible. This is why we organize for you to travel with a Eurail / Interrail pass. This rail pass allows you to cover vast distances and multiple destinations with only one ticket. Read more about travel with a Eurail Pass/ Interrail Pass here.

Freedom & flexibility

Stay flexible for certain parts of your journey. For example, plan spontaneuous day trips.

Save costs

By offering you a train pass, we are able to bring you trips at an attractive price. And our prices are fixed throughout the year!

Added benefits

You will receive a guide where you can find added extras, such as discounts on local transport and sightseeing.

Do you like our train travel holiday concept, but you are looking for different destinations than we currently offer? Our custom trip research team might be able to help you! Read more about our train trip modification service.