From Nice to the summits, cycling for all

7 June 2023

With the arrival of good weather and our legs impatient to be on the move, we are overtaken by a desire to get our bike out. It’s good timing, many routes are waiting for us.

First of all, a beautiful excursion along the coast to warm us up.

1. From Nice to Cagnes sur Mer by the cycle track via Saint Laurent du Var

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.

2. Looking towards the mountains

Not far from Nice, between the sea and the mountains, the pretty village of Levens offers cycling enthusiasts, and in particular mountain bikers, several circuits of all levels. It is more precisely on the Mont Arpasse and the Mont Férion that the Vttists will be able to find their happiness.

Just imagine… 80 km of marked trails. Near the Grand Pré, signs indicate the different routes. You can also hire electrically assisted mountain bikes on site, at a cost of 15 € for half a day or 25 € for a day (remember to book in advance at the Tourist Office).

More information on the mountain bike circuits offered by Levens

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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.

Being well prepared

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.

Booking platform of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
La Colmiane
Saint Martin Vésubie

Carte de la métropole Nice Côte d’azur identifiant les bureaux d’information touristique du haut pays.

3. Between Tinée and Vésubie, on the road

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.

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!

4. Exuberant Nature

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.

5. Electrically assisted MTB roaming to discover

A new route is now 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.

Station d’Auron

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.

Finally, last stop before Nice, the charming village of Bollène Vésubie, near the resort of Turini Camp d’Argent.

An arrival on the sea-front!

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!

6. Cycling events: at the heart of the competitions

The Paris-Nice – March

On a course of 1235 km in eight stages that will bring the riders to Nice.

23 teams of riders are gathered to cross France and a final in the hinterland of Nice.

Paris-Nice @Ville de Nice

The Granfondo, a connected race – February to July

You can register for all or part of the GF Sprinter Nice Métropole connected events.

Discovering the landscapes of the high country of Nice, you will be able to surpass yourself by taking part in this challenge. Push your limits, seek the best time on mythical passes!

The Electro bike festival: a festival to discover the electrically assisted bicycle – June

The great VTTAE gathering on the Metropolis welcomes you in Auron. First of all, the Electrically Assisted Bike Show, where you will be able to discover all the latest innovations. Testing bikes, meeting professionals, exchanging with other riders, all this is possible at the Electro Bike!

These two days are also the occasion for those who wish to compete in Enduro, downhill or electro bike competitions (ascent of the Bonette).

The Gravel Trophy – June

Gravel Trophy is the promotion of a brand new concept: Gravel for gravel. With a bike that is at ease on roads and paths. Its versatility allows you to discover our territory without being limited by the terrain you encounter.

It is a sporting adventure that is offered to you on three courses: the Trophy Discovery, the Trophy Challenge and the Trophy Explore.

The Trophy Explore is a real sporting adventure:

  • 185 km between Valberg and Vence,
  • on Saturday 460 m of difference in altitude,
  • on Sunday 3800 m of D+ and 4900 m of D- for a unique experience and grandiose landscapes.

The Transvesubienne – October

Follow a legendary race and a great adventure in the heart of the magnificent landscapes of the Vésubie. From La Colmiane to Nice, the best riders compete on their mountain bikes in the middle of breathtaking panoramas. The difficulty of the race gives the Finisher status its full value, so 80 km for the classic, with 2700 m of ascent and 4100 m of descent await the riders before plunging towards the big blue.

So we are waiting for you, on your bike, between sea and mountains !

Experience more


Visitor advisor at the Saint-Dalmas Le Selvage Information Office, Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan CVB