Distance Nice - Ventigmiglia - Dolceacqua: 100 km
Climb: 1.000 m+
Main routes: The coast road to Italy M6098
Close to: San Remo, other villages across the Italian and French border, La Turbie
Level of difficulty: Easy-Moderate.
Season: Recommended to cycle out of the main tourist season due to much traffic July-September.
Tip: Bring lights as you pass through multiple tunnels.
Cycling through 3 countries in one day-ride you could also call this ride. Or the 3 C's carbonloading tour: Croissant in France to load your energy in the morning, a Cappucino in Italy after a pizza slize when you hit the village café in Dolceaqua and finish off with a glas of Champagne on a fancy bar terrasse in Monaco before heading back to Nice.
This ride is one to do in the winter or spring months, when the roads near the seafront are not overly crowded and the temperatures in the mountains are still a bit on the cold side.
You can find your way quite easily by following the coast road all the way out of Nice, through Villefranche-sur-mer and the other small places to Monaco. Monaco can be tricky, I recommend cycling through on a weekend or out of rush-hours as traffic can be intense. Look here for an easy way through Monaco to Menton.
Once you are back in France at Roquebrune, follow the road to Menton and the seaside all the way to the Italian border. Cross it - while remembering to smile to the young police guys, who have to stand there all day, as you pedal through towards Ventigmiglia via the tunnel.
Ventigmiglia can be a point of return in itself - however if you pass through the town via the mainroad near the station, you only have a few kilometers to go, before you reach the pretty village Dolceacqua.
Follow the road North when you reach a roundabout just out of the town - and follow the main road. I once tried to follow the signs of a cycling path - finding myself after one kilometer or so on a gravel road in the industrial zone that was not really made for roadbikes! :-) Ciao Italia.
In Dolceacqua time has in general been standing a bit still. One of our guides recently found probably one of the last physical phoneboxes still standing in the world. We are not sure whether it stills operates?
You can pedal back the same way as you came, making it a nice flat pedal with some distance and rolling hills. Or you can discover the mountain roads around the area a bit further to dwell into the Italian mountainside before your return to France.
Lifesparkz Bike Tours
Tina Baltzer, owner of Lifesparkz Bike Tours.