Waytypes of the stage
From Sospel to Nice via the Col d’Èze and Col de Castillon
Route North / South
↗ 1000m ↘ 1356m
After Sospel, you immediately tackle the climb to the Col de Castillon pass (703m). There’s nothing too taxing though along these 7km, with just a 366m shift in altitude. Then enjoy the 20km descent to Menton beside the Mediterranean. Pause to explore this resort before continuing west along the famous corniche roads to climb to the Col d’Èze pass (507m), having risen high above Monaco. After climbing 442m in altitude, you reach the pass and find yourself just 17km from Nice. Your cycling efforts are coming to an end – just the little Col des Quatre Chemins pass (274m) to negotiate before you reach the Promenade des Anglais via a cycle lane, after a short urban stretch taking you from Mont Alban Fort down via Nice’s port.
Route South / North
↗ 1356m ↘ 1000m
Head off from the Promenade des Anglais via the cycle path leading east to Nice’s port. This short urban stretch ends at the Mont Alban Fort, then you tackle the first modest climb on the cycle route, leading to the Col des Quatre Chemins pass (274m), a dozen kilometres from Nice. Further on, along the Grande Corniche, things begin to get serious, with a 10.4km climb. The first significant pass on the Route des Grandes Alpes® heading north, the Col d’Èze takes you to 507m above sea level. Continue along the Riviera’s famed corniches for c.20km, enjoying plunging views down on Monaco before reaching Menton. After this resort, you leave the Mediterranean behind, heading for the Col du Castillon pass, involving a 702m shift in altitude across some 15km. Finally, you just have to glide down the 7km to Sospel, the first true little mountain town along the way.
- Sospel, Menton and the French Riviera: from the Mediterranean coast to the Mercantour’s summits, travel along the marvellous Roya and Bévéra Valleys, dotted with fine examples of Baroque Alpine art.
- Tour Bellanda, Nice: for magnificent views of the Baie des Anges, plus a stone marker celebrating the great Alpine cycling and hiking routes: the Route des Grandes Alpes®; the Chemins du Soleil (for mountain bikers); the Petites Routes du Soleil; and the Grande Traversée des Alpes via the GR5 hiking path.
- Mont Alban Fort: a rare piece of 16th-century military architecture to have survived in a good state of repair, this little fort, perched at 220m above sea level, guards the eastern side of Nice and boasts stunning views.
- Nice: attractions include the historic old town (Vieille Ville) and the great Baie des Anges, with its broad Promenade des Anglais. It’s also the gateway to grand Alpine nature. We love Nice!