Spring started already in February in the Côte d’Azur with days of 20C midday and the mimosa flowerbed brighting up the hills in the Riviera. The warm winter days have cooled off some by now in the start of the ‘real’ Spring month March. Local riders, who are spoiled by the mild mediterranean climate, tend to stay at the roads near the ocean rather than climbing the cooler peaks. We will introduce you to 3 popular routes in the Côte d’Azur Spring.
By February the bright yellow flowers, mimosa, lighten up the hills of the Côte d’Azur. Near Cannes, you can especially find an area that is known for its mimosa, Mandelieu-la-Napoule and Tanneron.
Cycling through Cannes and Cannes la Bocca you reach Mandelieu-la-Napoule, from where you can climb the mimosa route up to Tanneron, which is a village in approximately 500 meters above sea level. It is a steady climb from which you can look down to the bay of Cannes. You can extend the ride by cycling to the lake Lac de Saint-Cassien and make a loop in the backcountry or the Estérel.
You only have to cycle 5 kilometers out of the city center of Nice before you start climbing into small roads and the Nicois green hills. You soon forget the city feeling as the landscape around you changes. After 15 minutes of cycling you will pass playing grounds for the local ‘boules’ club where locals enjoy chatting and chilling under olive trees while throwing their ‘boules’.
If you follow the roads connecting villages in the Var riverdale, on one or both sides of the river, you pass through a spectacular ‘rolling hills’ landscape. A bit up, a bit down. Don’t consider the ‘rolling hills’ too light as you can meet smaller passages of a hill of 25%!
Col d’Eze, la Turbie and Peille
Some of the very classic riding out of Nice, or out of Menton, is to ride up to La Turbie, a small village approximately 500 meters above sea level. From either the Nice or Menton side you can do a steady climb of circa 10 km, 6% gradients in average, while you have a magnificent view to the sea overlooking Monaco or Cap Ferrat. As you reach La Turbie, you can add a bit of climbing and discover the cute village Peille (photo) by following the mainroad inland.
Peille is pretty and quiet. A perfect place to travel for a small escape out of the city’s hustle and bustle. It can be on the cool side in Spring and you want to bring a wind west for the descend, but it is worth the effort.
We welcome you to cycling in the Côte d’Azur in the Spring!