Start in Betws-y-Coed, which has an abundance of cheap hotels and bunkhouses if you want to spend a few days touring the area. Take the A5 north out of the village towards Capel Curig, the road climbs slightly is wide with a good surface and some nice sweeping bends. At Capel Curig take the left turn A4086 towards Mount Snowdon, after a couple of miles you will reach the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, this is where Edmund Hillarys team based themselves while training on Snowdon prior to his ascent of Everest.At the Pen-y-Gwryd take the left fork, the A498 this will take you past Lake Gwynant, there is a pull in here with terrific views of Snowdon and the surrounding mountains. Continue on this road, quite tight corners, some forest sections and another lake, Llyn Dinas. When you reach Beddgelert there are a couple of nice pubs. So why not stop, Have a beer, turn around and do it all again. This is a lovely scenic route rather than a fast knee down type blast, but pretty dramatic.
A great run up the sie of Loch Lomond, Ranoch Moor, & through Glen Coe, on a sunny day it`s one of the good ones.
Rode this in June 2008 - wow. Simply a fantastic road with two significant passes to negotiate, firstly the Col de Telegraphe through woods with dozens of hairpins and excellent road surface. Good stop point at the Col with large restuarant and photo opportunities. Then on to the big one, the Col de Galibier. This pass is above the tree line so has a surreal other world-like quality. Lots and lots of cyclists pounding away up the hairpins, but the views are very open so they are not a problem, just watch out for them coming down on your side of the road! An absolute must and part of the Route de Grande Alpes.
Leaving Le Bourg-D'Oisans look for the D44 which becomes the D526 which becomes the D926 and takes you to the magnificent Col de la Croix de Fer.Cameras at the ready, it is simply stunning.
Additionally, also follow the D926 to the N6 and take the D902 up to the Col du Telegraphe. You will see loads of fit cyclists panting and wheezing on your way up to the top. Ride down the other side of the Col and you come to the pleasant ski village of Valloire. Plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from. Dramatic scenery. Absolute biking heaven. We rode it in July 2008. A must ride route!
Start your journey in Briancon, in the upper town, the walled part. Take the N91 towards the ski route of Serre-Chevalier. It has some long wide stretches and you can really open the throttle. Mountains on both sides, breathtaking. Ride over the Col du lauteret and at the jct with the D902, have a coffee break at one of the cafes to calm your nerves. Head for Bourg dOisans on the N91. Dramatic scenery. Absolute biking heaven. We rode it in July 2008. A must ride route!
If you want to avoid some french motorway riding on the A5 and A31, then this road will not only avoid the toll booths but it will give you a gem of a road. I rode from Troyes, south on the N71, which was great, and turned off at Chatillon sur Seine and found this little beauty.It starts out as the D928 and becomes the D428, but you stay on the same road. It is 60k of pure heaven, I saw 3 cars in an hour, bliss. Lots of twisting bends, some good straights and all surrounded by lush undulating scenery. A road that I am glad I did not miss.
A good fast road, plenty of sweeping bends, couple of deceptive hairpins. A good way to get cross country without using the motorway Stay on the N71 for speed, take the D901 for a more scenic route with more corners, both good roads
Although I have ridden the Gorge du Verdon many times during the last 10 years. I discovered this gem of a road by accident, and what a fantastic road it is. Head out of Castellane on the D952 as if you were going to ride the northern side of the gorge. You ride along a great piece of road with rocky overhangs to your right and a turquoise river on your left.After about 27k you have a turning on your right, the D955, it has some lovely straights with fields and trees to your right and left. Take this road to Comps sur Artuby.
After Comps it just gets better and better and as twisty as a snake. You are constantly taking left and right handers, one after the other...a peach of a ride,take this road into Draguinan. You can stop there for a coffee to calm your nerves. Draguinan is the administrative capital of the Var department and has lots of cafes and bike shops to have a look at. I rode this in late april this year and it is without doubt one of the best roads I have ridden.Then simply turn round and ride back to Castellane again. If you are going to ride the Gorge du Verdon then this road is a must to add on to your trip.
This is a main road from Swiss to Italy and has some traffic. Great corners and views but road surface was slippery from the top to Italy side (in this part it was raining). I really enjoyed the Brig to the top side. Fantastic scenery.
The environment here is wonderful and the road winds and twists along the coast of the French riveria. Can be some tourist traffic but it shouldn't prevent you enjoying it.
If you want to enjoy some dramatic scenery, twisties, the blue med, italian playboys posing in their ferraris and lots of bikes then you need to experience this all too short road. It starts in Santa Margherita Ligure and hugs the coast for about 8k to the very chic and expensive resort of Portofino. The place is teeming with italian glitterati, fast cars and fast bikes. The route is a series of great tight twisties. You simply stay on the SS227 all the way. Italys answer to the french riviera must be experienced at least once. If you feel like blowing some serious cash then stop for a meal in Portofini or ride up to the 5 star Hotel Splendido where a bellini and canapes will set you back £10 a time....but the views from their terrace are to die for.
Beautiful scenery as the road twists and turns alongside the bright blue lake, the southern half is particularly spectacular. The northern half doesnt have so many drops off the edge so is the safer bit if you fancy a play. Highly recommended. From the D900 at St Vincent les Forts (a name on a map with nothing there!) you get a spectacular view of the road you have either just ridden or are about to ride depending on which way you are going.
An often overlooked little gem of a road, constant cornering with swoopy climbs and descents. Most route finders will either send you round the motorway (boring) or round the coast road (too busy). The locals know about this road so expect to see little hatchbacks travelling very quickly, and watch for cyclists torturing themselves up the climbs. A superb shortish (by French standards) blast, not to be missed if you're in the area, not found in many guides because not many people know about it (until now).
A spectacular run alongside one of Frances deepest gorges, the middle bit on the edge of the gorge has to be treated with respect, its a very long way down if you go over the barrier, bring a parachute. The bits that arent on the edge of a cliff, particularly the west end where you run down through a series of superb corners towards teh bright blue lake are great for a bit of scratching. The bridge in the middle across the gorge is well worth stopping on, just stay away from the edge. Highly recommended
This route takes in Lake Maggiore in both Italy and Switzerland.Leave Stresa from the steamer station at the southern end of the lake on the SS33.Stresa is a stylish lakeside town with some stunning hotels on your left as you head towards the village of Baveno. Once through Baveno look for the SS34 signposted to Verbania.You then stay on this road until you reach Ascona. The ride is on roads with good surfaces, pleasant but not severe twisty roads and with some stunning scenery all around you,you will get a feast of mountains and of course the beautiful Lake Maggiore on your right hand side. The village of Cannobio with its small harbour, antique shops and cafes is well worth stopping at for coffee. You can ride your bike into the heart of the village and park opposite the many cafes with views over the lake. Ascona in Switzerland is a great stop for lunch with a wealth of restaurants facing the lake. You can park your bike under the shade of the plane trees if it is a hot day. You may wish to ride the whole of the lake and therefore continue around to the eastern shore. If you do, you may wish to ride to Laveno where you can get a ferry that will take you across the lake to Intra and then ride back through verbania and Baveno to stresa. That will up your mileage to about 126k. A nice gentle ride with scenery to die for ...enjoy
One of my favourite rides. The journey from Nice airport along the A8 for a couple of k and the N202 is ok but pretty uninspiring. But once the road becomes the D2205 WOW !!! it's worth the wait. A beautiful road surface, some long sweeping bends, some very fast straights, lots of short tunnels in the mountains, cliff edges.....it's got the lot.Carry on the D2205 until you see the signs for Auron on the D39. I have ridden this road probably 30 times and never tire of it. Although you pass through a number of villages it's probably worth waiting until you get to Auron for a meal break, loads of choice and pretty competitive price wise. I have ridden up here in march before, stopped in Auron for the day, skied with friends and then ridden down mid afternoon. An absolute joy of a road.
This section from Le Lavandou to Ramatuelle is truly spectacular. You will have the beautiful azurian blue med on your right hand side as you ride a truly stunning coastal road with some great twisties. You will stay on the D559 for about 28k, passing through Cavaliere, Le Rayol and Cavalaire sur mer until you get to La Croix Valmer. At Le Croix Valmer turn right at the traffic lights from the D559 onto the D93. The D93 is full of very tight twisties for the next 10k, riding through more forested areas but with some stunning sea views.At the junction with the D61 turn left and the Perche village of Ramatuelle is only 1k ahead. Some great restaurants and bars in this lovely village. A good place for lunch. This route is one of my favourite rides and will take about 2 hours to do the 90k excluding stops. It can get busy in the summer on the D559, so best times are april, may and June and September and October. Enjoy it, you won't be disappointed.
Leave Collobrieres on the D14 and at the fork in the road take the left hand being the D41. continue on this road for 20k, then turn right onto the N98 and follow for about 5k. Turn right onto the D559 which will bring you into the small coastal town of Le Lavandou. Total distance for this section is only 26k (end of part 2).