Cycling in Nice: A Guide to the Most Amazing Cycling Routes

Exploring Nice by bike offers a dynamic experience with diverse routes and breathtaking scenery, from the stunning azure coastline to the swift-rising Alpine foothills. During the Covid lockdown, Nice transformed with vibrant painted bike lanes sprawling across the city, notably along the iconic Promenade des Anglais and extending to Cagnes-sur-mer. 

Important tip! While the temptation to ride the tram tracks is strong, it’s technically illegal and may result in a hefty fine of €135. With an abundance of designated bike paths, however, there’s little need to risk it. Remember to avoid using earbuds or phones while cycling and refrain from sidewalk riding to sidestep fines. 

For your convenience, Nice has introduced two new fleets of user-friendly shared bikes, a total of 2000 bikes, with 90% of them being electric. These bikes, designed to cater to both locals and tourists, are strategically stationed in convenient areas, making it easier than ever to explore the city. They are a welcome replacement for the outdated Velo Bleu docking stations.

When to Visit

The mild, sunny climate and the rain shadow cast by the Alps ensure generally favorable weather conditions, with most roads remaining open year-round. Even in winter, cycling up to around the 1,000-meter mark is feasible. Spring and autumn are the optimal times to visit. In spring (April, May, and June), though the weather may be somewhat unpredictable initially, temperatures typically range between 16°C and 24°C.

The weather is excellent during the peak summer months, but coastal roads experience heavy traffic. For those seeking a training camp, avoiding these months is advisable. However, if your visit coincides with a family holiday, heading into the hills offers quieter roads while the family enjoys the beach. September and early October are delightful on the coast, as the tourist crowds thin out while the weather remains fantastic. Rainy days gradually increase from mid to late October, so it’s wise not to delay your visit too long.

Nice to Cannes

Distance: 90.9 km with 498 m elevation gain

Starting from Nice, you’ll pedal along the picturesque seafront bike path, passing Art Deco beach signs, palm tree-lined corridors, and historic hotels. After about 9 km, you’ll reach the airport, transitioning to a less pleasant stretch beside a busy main road, though still on your bike path. 

The bike path ends around 16 km into your journey, near a vast curved apartment block. Be careful crossing the road to join the bike path.

It is located between the train tracks and the sea, offering beautiful views of the Baie des Anges.  Passing Fort Carré, known as the villain’s fortress in “Never Say Never Again,” you’ll enter Antibes’s old town through a huge arched stone entrance. After a brief interlude, emerge onto Cap d’Antibes, greeted by panoramic coastal views. 

Passing the renowned Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc, continue through Juan les Pins and small ports until reaching Cannes. The world-famous Croisette in Cannes features a bike path along the seafront, flanked by iconic hotels and designer shops. The ride concludes with a short climb past the Suquet area’s yellow-painted townhouses, offering breathtaking views down to Cannes and along the coast.

YOLO Scientist Nice to Cannes Bike Trip

Col de Braus—Basse-Corniche Loop

Distance: 111.2 km with 3453 m elevation gain

Col de Braus is renowned for its often photographed twisting mountain road called lacets. While descending this route, Basse Corniche offers another breathtaking experience, especially on quiet mornings out of season. This road winds through the famous seaside resorts of Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and Menton, with cliffs hugging the road and offering stunning views of the emerald sea, grand villas, and luxurious yachts. 

Remember that this ride includes a border crossing between France and Italy, so check passport requirements. If you prefer less climbing, consider an out-and-back trip to Ventimiglia along Basse Corniche, which promises a fantastic road experience.

Tour de France Col de Braus – #TDF2024

Col de la Madone—Col Deze loop

Distance: 100.6 km with 3261 m elevation gain

This iconic ride in the region features two legendary climbs and begins with a challenging 10% slope through the town. Spanning 100 km with 2,500 m of climbing, it showcases renowned ascents like Col de la Madone and Col d’Èze amidst breathtaking scenery. 

The Grande Corniche, leading east from Nice, hosts the Col d’Èze Time Trial, a traditional finale of Paris-Nice. The Madone climb offers serene sea views into Italy and a technical descent to Peille. Ascending further, you’ll enjoy pine-scented air and stunning coastal vistas and reach Saint-Agnès, acclaimed as one of France’s most beautiful villages. A gentle downhill leads back to La Turbie, where you can relax with another coffee before returning to town via the Moyenne Corniche.

The Col Collective Col de la Madone (Menton) – Cycling Inspiration & Education

Col de Vence Loop

Distance: 128.2 km with 3340 m elevation gain

It’s a demanding journey covering nearly 130 km with 2,710 m of elevation gain, yet one that leaves a lasting impression. Once you depart from the hustle of Nice and coastal towns, you enter a tranquil realm of winding roads and untouched landscapes.

The renowned Col de Vence, integral to the Nice Ironman Triathlon and Paris-Nice, captivates with its rugged, desolate terrain reminiscent of a miniature Ventoux. Its manageable gradients allow riders to find their pace and relish the ascent. 

Two other cherished sections, Coursegoules to Le Broc and Saint-Jean-La-Rivière to Aspremont, offer a glimpse into the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes. Coursegoules to Le Broc rewards with expansive vistas of snow-capped peaks to the north, while the route from Saint-Jean-La-Rivière to Aspremont winds along a narrow, dizzying ledge, revealing ancient villages and solitary landscapes that epitomize the region’s allure.

Where to Stay in Nice

HÔTEL LES CIGALES: 16 Rue Dalpozzo, 06000 Nice link | facebook

Villa Rivoli Hotel: 10 rue de Rivoli, 06000 Nice link

Mercure Nice Centre Grimaldi: 6 rue Grimaldi, 06000 Nice link | Instagram

Le Méridien Nice: 1 Promenade des Anglais, Nice link | Instagram

Where to Eat

Café du Cycliste: 16 Quai de Docks, 06300 Nice link | Instagram

Le Café du Cycliste offers a community-centered concept store where cycling gear like jerseys, helmets, bibs, and shoes are available alongside coffee and fruit juice. The bike rental section is open daily, with locker room facilities for post-ride recovery.

La Popote: 2 Rue Blacas, 06000 Nice link | Instagram

Garden Cafe: 37 Bd Gambetta, 06000 Nice Instagram

Recommended Bike Rentals

The Service Course: 1 Rue de l’Ancien Sénat, 06300, Nice link | Instagram

It’s a bike rental, shop, and cafe, too.

Bike Trip: 21 rue de Rivoli, 06000 Nice link 

CCT Bike Rental: link | Instagram

Booking Bikes: 9, rue Massenet, 06000 Nice link 

If you know of any other great routes in and around Nice, we’d be happy to hear from you! Share your experiences, photos, and recommendations in our newly launched WhatsApp community

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