Cycling around Nice

Not open for further replies.


Actually managed to book one of those £1 Easyjet flights to Nice for myself and some friends in
April. We want to take our bikes and I am sure there is someone out there who can advise on a)
taking bikes on Easyjet and b) riding in the Nice area. It looks quite hilly on my large scale map
but is it ok for a fat lump like me? Any ideas of where to stay that is cheap would also be


"Woody" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Actually managed to book one of those £1 Easyjet flights to Nice for myself and some friends in
> April. We want to take our bikes and I am sure there is someone out there who can advise on a)
> taking bikes on Easyjet and b) riding in the Nice area.

Yep I live here (well Mandelieu actually, not far from Nice). What sort of riding are you
looking to do?

The best areas IMO are between Mandelieu and St Raphael, for both road and off-road riding. Look on
the map and you will see a large range of rugged hills right on the coast, which are a nature
reserve called the Esterel. They are criss-crossed with about 300km of fabulous mountain bike trails
with stunning views of the Med, or cutting down steep valleys with mountain streams. You can easily
spend a day or two exploring all the trails. If road riding is your choice, ride the N7 between
Mandelieu and St Raphael over the Esterel range (steep, but excellent tarmac), then return along the
flatter winding coast road is a great ride which I do almost on a daily basis in the summer. It is
about 80km right round, and is a nice ride as you do not get forced to stop as there are only a
couple of traffic lights on the whole stretch (near St Raph, then two ignorable ones at Theoule).
Try and avoid this circuit on Sundays as unfortunately it also attracts a lot of motorcyclists. But
during the week it is fairly quiet.

You can easily cycle from Nice to Cannes/Mandelieu, though I don't like doing it on my road bike as
there is a lot of traffic and lights, and no cycle lanes. On an MTB or town bike it is fine though.
You might be better off getting the train to Cannes first if unfamiliar with the route and the
aggressive attitude of French motorists and scooters (esp) to cyclists.

If you want further information on hotels around Mandelieu La Napoule etc then stick Mandelieu and
Esterel in Google and you will find the official website and tourist information number. If you do
ring them do me a favour and innocently ask them if there are any cycle lanes between Nice and
Mandelieu (the answer is none at all) but we are having a big campaign to try and get some built so
any tourists asking is to be encouraged!

You could also try cycling from Nice up the Var and Tinee valleys to the ski resorts (Auron, Isola).
The snow will be gone by then. They are fairly spectacular ravine roads once you get out of the Nice
industrial area. It is about 90km to Auron, but is not particularly steep and you can keep up a good
average speed. Coming back is very fast.

There is also some good riding in the Arriere pays behind Cannes and Grasse. I wouldn't really
advise going there though unless you plan on getting a car so that you can transport your bikes to a
decent start off point. It is not much fun negotiating the semi-urban roads between
Cannes/Grasse/Nice as the French are stupidly dangerous drivers when they think there are no cops.

Finally I've already mentioned it twice but I can't warn you enough how utterly fecklessly stupid
French drivers are, largely as speed cameras are unheard of here. There is an appalling accident
rate in the area, and cyclists regularly get killed. So be careful! If you ring the TI, that is
another thing you could ask them about!
On 11 Jan 2003 13:04:43 -0800, [email protected] (Woody) wrote:

>Actually managed to book one of those £1 Easyjet flights to Nice

Oh - I was going to agree: cycling around /is/ nice - but then I realised that wasn't what
you meant....

** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. (BT ADSL and
dynamic DNS permitting)
NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
work. Apologies.
"Woody" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
> I hope you don't mind but I have another few questions you may be able to help with (might be
> worth a beer or two in April)
> It seems that hiring cycles locally may solve a lot of the logistical problems with taking them on
> the plane. I have had a quick look on Google but haven't seen anything that seems suitable. Are
> you aware of anywhere that hires decent cycles (mtb or road or both) in the Nice/Cannes area?

There are lots. The two that are nearest me are in the marina of La Napoule, and there is another in
Mandelieu, near the middle of the three bridges over the Siagne (look on map). They all hire MTBs
though can't comment on the quality. April will be just before the start of the season, so I don't
know for sure whether the one in Mandelieu will be open. But the one in La Napoule marina is open
all year I think. I would check with the Mandelieu TI before you commit yourself though. Personally
though, I would bring my own bike. I've rarely had much fun on hire bikes.

> What is the weather like in early April? I assume it must be warmer that the UK but I suspect the
> altitude may mean that it is colder than I first thought?

It will be very nice. Even now it is very nice! I have just got back from the road trip I described
and did it in shorts in bright sunshine. Just broke my personal best too! The water will be warming
up by then too. It could rain for a day, so bring a light shower cape but you don't need anything
more than that.
> Last one is a long shot but if you don't ask....Do you know of anyone in the area who would like
> to put up 3 cyclists (all male so no double beds!) and would pick up and drop off at the airport?
> - suitably recompensed of course.

Sorry, can't help there. But have you looked at renting an easycar? They are advertising on the
local radio at the moment of six euros a day.
Not open for further replies.