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Southern Europe

Le Train de la Rhune – Sare, South West France

Le Train de la Rhune, France

Le Train de la Rhune railway is a scenic rail route in South-West France, in the beautiful Basque Country near the Spanish Border. The train takes passengers on a 10 km journey from Sare (near Saint-Jean-de-Luz) to the summit of the La Rhune Mountain, ascending to 905 metres in 35 minutes. First built in 1924, the railway is steeped in history, surviving two world wars and even occupation of the land during WWII. Ride on the Train de la Rhune and you’ll be treated to beautiful flora, the chance to see rural Basque ponies and a 360-degree view across the Atlantic Ocean and Pyrenees

Prices from: €19.50
Departing from: Col de Saint-Ignace, France
Journey length: 35 minutes
 

Le Train de la Rhune route

The train departs from Col de Saint-Ignace and travels to the summit of the Rhune mountains, travelling for 10km with a journey time of 35 minutes. The train journeys up the mountain on a narrow-gauge railway, resulting in spectacular panoramic views from all sides of the train. On the train, and upon reaching the summit, passengers will be able to see the diversified fauna and flora of the national heritage site, such as Basque Country ‘pottoks’ – a breed of rural ponies living wild and free. During July and August 15 trains leave a day from 8:20 to 5:30, while nine trains leave in April, May, June, September and October. 

Le Train de la Rhune train

All of rolling stock used today dates back to the train’s 1920s origin and have been painstakingly restored to their former glory (albeit with modern amenities and more comfort). Walls are panelled with local chestnut wood, banquettes are plush and brass handles are polished. The small Col de Saint-Ignace train station is also repainted every year. The train and its carriages are old school and charming, and due to its small size the train is known as the Petit train de la Rhune

Why we love it

The views on the train are incredible, and while the journey only lasts 35 minutes passengers will see sparkling ocean and the majestic Pyranees. It’s also right on the border of France and Spain, making for a delightful stop over on your journey between the two countries. 

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