When you come to Nice, you pass the Alps and land in the relaxed Mediterranean town that has grown due to its location at the azur blue sea in the center of Europe.
The mountains that protect Nice from cold winds of the North and give land to amazing landscapes are called the Alp-Maritimes. This area is every cyclist’s heaven and it attracts cyclists from around the World!
You can cycle here all-year-round. We recommend March-July and September-November. Summers get hot, so you want to make an early morning start! You can ride throughout winter if you stay at the coastal routes, where you benefit from the pleasant temperatures at the coast.
There are so many treasures to discover in our beautiful region and we cannot cover all in one blog post. In this one, we will cover some of the classic rides East of Nice.
When you swipe through instagram about cycling in Nice or Monaco, you are likely to find a billion photos from the roads to Col d’Eze.
Col d’Eze is a 10 km climb that you can do from several entry points. The classic climb starts out of Nice where you follow the Grand Corniche North-East out of Nice. It is a long steady climb with magnificent views towards the Cap Ferrat and the ocean. Once you pass Col d’Eze, you can continue up a small road towards Fort de la Revère and find this look-out spot:
The climb is a classic element of the Paris-Nice, one of the professional riders’ spring classics that takes place every year in March.
Did you know that you can race the last stage of the Paris-Nice in the Paris-Nice Challenge amateur race that takes place the day before the pro-riders’ final day of the race? If you join this, you will also get to climb the classic hairpin climb from La Grave and up to Peille.
What is Peille, you may ask?
Peille is a tiny village built up on a mountain road in 640 m. height in the backcountry of Nice.
Cycling to Peille is probably one of the most well-kept secrets of cycling spots. So perhaps, we should just not tell you more about this piece of more or less unspoiled road that is known as a local playing ground for the World’s top riders. It is a beautiful stretch of road that curves into the backcountry of Nice.
You can reach it as an extension of a ride passing Col d’Eze and continuing to La Turbie. Here you follow the road that will pass Monaco Golf Club and further into the backcountry. (Alternatively you can reach Peille by cycling North-East out of Nice in the lowland and through La Grave. From this side you can challenge yourself with a hairpin climb up to Peille with some steep sections.)
Col de la Madone de Peille
When you come from the coast side through the mountains, you will pass a road up to the famous Col de la Madone from the Peille side (road sign St. Agnes). Add additionally 5-6 km climb and you are at the Col de la Madone. From here you can descent on the side to go down to Menton and back to Nice via the coast road.
There are so many routes to discover when cycling from Nice. In blog-posts to come, we will tell more about e.g. Col de Vence and small villages as Aspremont that the Tour de France will pass through many times in Summer 2020.