37 km to be covered in whole or by portion according to your desires. Smell of the sea spray, the sea is omnipresent, the horizon is open, the km run at full speed but sometimes the breathtaking landscape invites us to contemplation.
A little extra for those who don't have bikes, no excuse, the whole route is marked by "Vélo Bleu" stations! You can even take them in Nice and return them in Cagnes sur Mer.
Now, lets go further, and rise to the heights that call us.
Electric bike assistance opens new horizons. Never would I have imagined a few years ago riding from Nice to Vésubie or Tinée on a bike, too much difficulty, fear of failure, a little laziness too.
But now, everything is possible, at our own pace, with family, with friends, let's go ! And there are more and more of us.
So considering the distances, of course it's a question of organization, it's a whole itinerary to prepare.
By mountain bike on a track for wild nature lovers or by road bike for the amateurs of this activity.
In all cases with or without electrical assistance it is possible to organize beautiful tours on our territory.
First of all, find the right bike adapted to your practice. For the bikes with electric assistance, some advice, first test the autonomy of your battery according to your level of assistance to guarantee you stress-free stages.
Its often a good idea to test by renting, before deciding whether or not to buy.
Secondly, we have to anticipate the logistics. And check, the openings of shops, restaurants and various types of accommodation, especially in the villages of the middle and high country.
Bike information websites are not always up to date and some blogs have news from 2015 or 2016. What could be more frustrating than to have planned a refreshing stop at the top of a pass and find the door closed. Without mentioning if your teenager followed you and you promised him an ice cream!
With organization, that's not going to happen to you.
Your best informants are the information offices of the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau or the gîtes d'étapes on the spot.
Numerous possibilities await you from Nice, towards the Tinée and the Vésubie.
For example, from Nice you will go up through the Tinée valley, with an incursion to the Col de la Couillole. In Roure, a very good address to discover: the Auberge du Robur, its rooms in a preserved setting and its gastronomic restaurant where Déborah will delight you with an inventive and seasonal cuisine.
Then go up to La Bonette, go back down to Saint Etienne de Tinée, then Isola 2000 and the Lombard pass are waiting for you.
From there, you will go back down to Saint Sauveur sur Tinée and finally, final ascent to the Colmiane (col St Martin) and back to Nice via Saint Martin Vésubie, Roquebillière and Lantosque.
The route can be done in whole with stages, or split up at your convenience.
4 major passes to climb, that should be enough to stretch your legs!
From Nice, where nature is already exuberant, you will have the sensation of going back up the thread of the season. At the top, the birch trees are barely budding, the crocuses are coming out, the greenery is not yet there. It's the in-between of spring.
On the way up, the bouquets of Spanish lilac (Centrantus ruber) will fill you with wonder on the roadside. These large bunches of fuchsia flowers manage to grow on steep walls, in the middle of rocks sometimes black, sometimes red, the surprise awaits you at every bend.
We leave the green to cross rocky gorges and see the snow still on the highest parts of our route.
What a contrast !
Nature alert: in the Haut Pays an encounter with wildlife is frequent, deer, hinds, chamois and mouflons are often found at the roadside for our great pleasure. They are not attracted by the asphalt, however the salt used on the roads is necessary for them and they come to lick this salt in spring.
Beware the fawns that you sometimes see in the ditches are not abandoned. Their mother watches a little further away and awaits your departure. Don't touch them, their survival is linked to their mother and you wouldn't help them at all, on the contrary.
In June 2021 a new route will be available : Itinérance VTTAE from Auron to Nice, on 261 km.
Super services will be available at each stage: bike recharging stations, washing and inflating stations and of course explanatory panels with a map of the route and the villages crossed.
Departure from Auron, a village resort at an altitude of 1600 m, a first stage at Saint Dalmas le Selvage, a mountain village with authentic charm, and the next day the ascent of the mythical Col de la Bonette which has already hosted the Tour de France 4 times, in 1962, 1964, 1993 and in 2008.
Next stop in Saint Etienne de Tinée, a village with all shops open all year round. The lake will offer free swimming in July and August.
Then you will go up in the direction of Isola 2000 for a mountain stage on tracks. The rest of the route goes down to Vésubie.
In Saint Martin Vésubie, a dynamic village, many shops and restaurants await you to recharge your batteries and not only those of the bike ! The Vésubia Moutain Park center will allow you to refresh yourself thanks to its aquatic space.
From there you will reach Roquebillière, with in summer a beautiful biological swimming pool (Contact in season : 04 93 02 03 84).
Finally, last stop before Nice, the charming village of Bollène Vésubie, near the resort of Turini Camp d'Argent.
Arriving in Nice with a plunging view of the sea and then passing on the Promenade des Anglais, it's just wow.... stunning! After 7 days in the mountains in the middle of chamois and transhumant herds, a dive in the azure!
Each stopover village offers accommodation in stopover gites, bed and breakfast or hotels, depending on local possibilities. Booking is imperative to ensure that you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.
Have a good trip and enjoy, a whole world of wonders awaits you between sea and mountains!
So we are waiting for you, on your bike, between sea and mountains !
For health and organisation reasons, access conditions to certain services and places may be modified or restricted.
We advise you to check this information before your visit.
Photo credits : TURPAUD, PIERINI, OTM, AURON.