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Col d'eze // Classic climbs near Nice
Altitude: 507 m
Gradient: 5% in average. Sections of 7-8%.
Main routes: The classic start point is from Nice via Grande Corniche (10 km). You can climb via roads from more towns; Villefranche-sur-Mer and Eze (from Moyenne Corniche).
Close to: Nice, Nice Observatory, Reserve de la Revère, La Turbie, Eze, Monaco
Level of difficulty: Easy-medium
Season: All year round
Tip: Try to climb from Nice first via Moyenne Corniche to Villefranche-sur-Mer and here continue climbing via the road M33. It is a climb with less traffic and spectacular views to the coast. If you continue to climb to Fort de la Revère, you get an amazing view towards Nice along the coast.
Col d'Eze is one of my favourite climbs in the Côte d'Azur and I have ridden it around a 100 times in the few years that I have lived here. I basically live by the foot of it. When I just want to go out for a few hours on the bike, this climb is in my backyard and is often a first choice. Why?
It offers stunning views to the seaside as well as to the Alps-Maritimes when you reach the top. It offers climbs that challenge you, yet are doable. The roads are in good condition. It is a gateway to so much more amazing routes in the backcountry of Nice, Monaco and Menton.
The classic way to climb Col d'Eze starts from the North-Eastern part of Nice, just out of the Riquier and St-Roch neighbourhoods. Find Boulevard Bischoffsheim (M2564) and follow this road up and out of the city. It is known as 'Grande Corniche'. The first few km are some of the hardest as you find some of the most steep sections of the total climb here and the views on the first section are not yet that exciting.
However, at cirka km 4 you get a chance to relax and take a sip of water as the road evens out a bit before the 2/3 of the climb. This offers a bit more easy steady climbing before you hit a few km of more aggressive gradients again on the last third (km 6-9). Yet - on this part of the climb you get the amazing views towards Eze, Cap Ferrat and all of the blue sea.
The last km is nearly flat - enjoy the ride!
When you reach the top, you can make a very nice climb extension if you continue on the road towards La Turbie/Eze. Turn left towards the Reserve de la Revère and follow the hairpin road towards a big parking area just before the Fort de la Revère. You will travel through a national park full of bushes and trees, before you can make a stop at the top and take in the scenery.
Another option is to follow the same road to La Turbie. You get a very nice section with a slight of descend and a brilliant wide road with great views. Welcome to a cyclist's paradise.
You can make a loop and return to Nice via Moyenne Corniche passing through Eze and Villefranche-sur-Mer - or return the same way that you already climbed.
Col d'Eze offers variations for cyclists who look for a bit more technical rides. You can challenge your climbing by taking the Moyenne Corniche (M6007) until Eze. In Eze make a left turn at M46. If you climb Col d'Eze from that side, you are up against a 2 km section with 8-15% gradients.
Another option is to follow the Moyenne Corniche and make a left turn just after you have passed Villefranche-sur-Mer (M33). This is a gentle and steady hairpin climb which brings you up to the last 3rd of the classic Col d'Eze climb on Grande Corniche.
Col d'Eze is the last climb of the professionals' Spring classic Paris-Nice from which they descend quickly into the final goal of the race at the Promenade des Anglais.
It is a climb for well-trained beginners as well as professional road bike cyclists. You find every sort of cyclist out on their daily training on these roads!
From Col d'Eze you can continue your cycling adventures to La Turbie, Col de la Madone, Peille, Cap d'Ail, Monaco and Menton. More to come on these roads in upcoming posts!
Lifesparkz Bike Tours
Tina Baltzer, owner of Lifesparkz Bike Tours.