Côte d'Azur

The Côte d'Azur (blue coast) known to English speakers as the French Riviera, that extrodinary piece of coastline along the Mediterranean coastline in the southeast corner of France which runs into the Italian Riviera. It includes the small independent city-state state of Monaco. North is the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and to the very west, the lively sandy beaches of Saint-Tropez

The British started coming here in the 18th century, making it one of France's first resort region with solid train services running into the area in the 19th centruy, drawing the high-class from Russia and aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and well known famlilis and artists such as the Rothschild family, Edith Wharton, Picasso, Henri Matisse, Aldous Huxley and Somerset Maugham with celebrities  Elton John and Brigitte Bardot owning homes in the area.

Speaking cycling, there is a reason why so many pro's base themselves here (other than the tax benefits of Monaco). Côte d’Azur is open to two-wheels for about 300 days per annum, the road quality is superb, the passes are open all year round and the tremperatures are mild enough to ride close to the coast in January and February giving you the ability to reach climbs topping 1200m and 1600m come March.

"When I realised that each morning I would see this light again,
I could not believe my luck."

Henri Matisse
(French Artist who moved to Nice for health reasons in 1917)

Riviera Climbing

Col de Turini 1,604 m
La Madone d’Utelle 1,193 m
Col de Braus 1,002 m
Col de la Madone 925 m
Pas de la Faye 981 m
Col d'Eze 507 m

Col de la Porte 1,057 m
Col Saint Roch 992 m
Col de Vence 962 m
Col de Brouis 879 m
Col de Castillon 728 m
Monte Ceppo (Italy) 1,498 m
Passo di Teglia (Italy) 1,388 m
Passo Gouta (Italy) 1,212 m
Colle Langan (Italy) 1,130 m
Passo Ghimbegna (Italy) 892 m
Poggio, San Remo 169 m


Côte d’Azur offers all types of terrain to the cycling enthusiast and as mentioned above, you can pretty much well ride all year round.
Jan-Feb-Mar: stick close to the coast, where you can reach 1200m comfortably, you will need winter gear but its comfortable and pleasant. Always a jacket for descents
Apr-May: things start to really warm up now and you will find the odd day you will need full winter kit. Keep that jackey for descents
Jun-Jul-Aug-Sep-Oct: beautiful riding all over the area, warm, keep hyrdrated, jacket in case of rain
Nov-Dec: you will start to notice the higher climbs are getting cold, so start to stick close to the coast again.

La course au soleil

The Race to the Sun (Paris-Nice): has been running since 1933, held every March racing over 8 days from the cold conditions in Paris and making its way to the sun on the Côte d’Azur. Part of the UCI World Tour, this is the second on the calendar and the first in Europe.
Sean Kelly (Ireland) left quite a stamp in the 80's winning seven consecutive titles. The roll of honour includes greats such as Indurain, Contador and Merckx.
Team Sky has dominated the most recent victories: 2015 Richie Porte (AUS), 2016 Geraint Thomas (GBR), 2017 Sergio Henao (COL).
The race was created by Parisian media mogul Albert Lejeune, he used it to promote his newspaper Le Petit Journal (Paris) & Le Petit Nice (Nice)


Sauté of Veal aux olives
Ratatouille Niçoise
Sauté of Veal aux olives
Calissons d'Aix en Provence
Salade Niçoise
Soupe au Pistou
Tians de Légumes
Aïoli Garni
Codfish Brandade
Daube à la Provençale
Pumpkin gratin
Tians de Légumes
Calissons d'Aix en Provence

Wines and Spirits

AOC (Appelation d'Origine Contrôlée)
Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence
Coteaux de Pierrevert
Coteaux Varois
Côtes de Provence


Ugni Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc
Bourboulenc Blanc

Col de la Madone (Photo: CyclingTips)

Cycling Battle Locations

Pissaladière - Local Cuisine

Final Local Cuisine - Pissaladière

Nice Coastline

Ride and Recover by the Ocean

"Thanks for sharing the secret roads of the French Riviera
The food choices, the boutique accommodations,
the freedom of choosing our own meals and wines
A true 5-Star cycling tour without the massive cost"

John. T
(New Zealand)


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