Nice is the 5th largest city in France. The climate is mild throughout the year and the surrounding nature is truly breathtaking. Nice became known during the 18th century as an increasing number of English aristocratics spent their winters there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais (Walkway of the English) owes its name to these visitors. Nice is also known for its unique light and attracting artists such as Picasso, Chagall and Matisse.
Today, international access is easy thanks to Nice Airport, which is the second largest airport in France based on the number of visitors. With this blog article we want to share the 7 best motorcycle roads around Nice and inspire you to visit us.
The 3 Corniches
Between Nice, Monaco and Menton there are three roads offering spectacular views across the Mediterranean: the Grande Corniche at the top, the Moyenne Corniche in the middle and the Basse Corniche along the coast.
The Grande Corniche (D2564) offers views of the Mediterranean on one side and on the other you have rustic villas, pine trees and cacti. The road is twisty, so please watch out for other traffic.
The Moyenne Corniche (N7) also offers amazing views. Make sure to visit the city of Eze. There are plenty of picture opportunities overlooking Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cap Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Nice.
The Basse Corniche (N98) takes you past Villefranche-sur-Mer, St-Jean Cap Ferrat, Cap d'Ail, Monaco and Cap Martin. Best to avoid in August due to heavy traffic.
The Route Napoléon
The Route Napoleon is a fantastic motorcycle road. The surface is smooth with sweeping bends, altitude changes and great vistas. The Route Napoleon leads to the Gorges Verdon known as the Grand Canyon of France. You can ride into the canyon and enjoy the spectacular views. If you are not prone to vertigo, take the Route des Cretes, a narrow road leading you along the edge of the canyon.
The Routes de la Lavande
The Routes de la Lavande take you across parts of the Drôme, the Vaucluse and the Alpes de Haute Provence. Riding across small villages surrounded by hills and taking in the scent of fresh lavender is an exceptional experience. In summer, everything revolves around lavender in the area. Lavender distilleries open, flower festivals take place and producers sell their honey, oils, perfume, soaps and dried flowers. Make sure to ride across the region between July and August. That’s the time before the lavender harvest.
Grande Route des Alpes
With 17 mountain passes, the Route des Grandes Alpes is legendary in the cycling world. The Route des Grandes Alpes is an epic part of the Tour de France. The Col du Galibier, Iseran, Turini, Izoard and Colombière are stunning. This is motorcycling at its best. You could spend several weeks on this road and wouldn’t get tired of riding it.
Col du Turini
The Col de Turini is part of the special stage of the Rally Monte Carlo. If you’re after hairpins, this is the way to go. Once you get up the Col de Turini, you can stop your motorbike for a coffee and enjoy the view of the mountains and the rivers running in the valleys. But make sure you fuel up your motorbike on the way, as petrol stops have to be planned carefully on this road.
Col de la Madone
The Col de la Madone is famous for being Lance Amstrong’s personal training route while he lived in Nice. The road starts in Menton and gets narrow towards the top snaking through a couple of tunnels. All of this adds to the beauty of the climb. Please remember to watch out for cars and cyclists.
Col de la Bonnette
The road from Nice to the Col de la Bonette is a biker’s cream come true taking you across multiple skiing ressorts. At 2715m the Col de la Bonette is the highest road in Europe. You will enjoy spectacular views across the South of France. Remember to bring a warmer motorcycle jacket, as temperatures tend to drop when reaching the summit. On the other side of the Col de la Bonette, you have a village called Barcelonette. A good place to stop and catch your breath after riding these sky high mountain roads.
As you can see, Nice is a great departure point for motorcycling. With this article, we have just scratched the surface of the region’s best roads. There is plenty more to explore. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help.
Posted by: Jeff Fielding