Between the sparkling blue of the Cote d’Azur and the mountains of the Alpes Maritime lies glamourous Nice. Second only to Paris in terms of its desirability as a tourist destination it is also a haven for cyclists.
Just a few kilometres inland, away from the luxury of the coastline, you will find challenging climbs and deserted roads. The mountains may not be as high as the Alps but this makes them accessible virtually all year round, the warm Mediterranean keeping the area a temperate climate consistent.
There are myriads of mountain roads from the well-known such as Col de Madone to the lesser and arguably more dramatic such as the Col de Braus or Col de Turini. You don’t have to ride far from Nice to find yourself on sinuous mountain roads, with stunning views and just a pine-scented whisper in the air.
Nice is easily accessible with multiple daily flights from most UK airports. With the airport itself virtually in the town, you can collect your hire bike and be pedalling within an hour of touching down. Nice has some of the best road riding in the world but what makes it fun for a weekend is the contrast, you can cruise along the corniche road toward Monaco and check out the superyachts or head up into the hills to quaint perched villages. A short 50km ride will bag you some decent climbing and with a longer day out you can really challenge yourself, or even pop into Italy for gelato.