Please contact us to start planning your AV Cols and Villages Tour Package.
The AV Cols and Villages Tour
Our Cols and Villages Tour is a semi-custom trip offering 4 - 5 days of cycling on the Côte d'Azur. The trip offers a tour of the most well-known mountain passes and the most beautiful medieval villages in the area. Each day, you will ride through several villages, stopping strategically for coffee, lunch or a snack in spots that make it hard to keep your camera in your pocket. You will stay in a different village each night so you have time to visit the local attractions and enjoy the ambiance of authentic medieval towns.
Ride the challenging cols of the Tour de France and Paris-Nice at your own pace each day. Rides may be lengthened to the maximum distances indicated below, or kept short and sweet so you can focus on the scenery and spend more time visiting the villages.
This tour is available for individuals and small groups up to 8 people, from May through October. Please contact us to confirm dates. This is a semi-custom tour; the suggested itinerary below (destination villages and ride routes) may be customized for your group.
Day 1: Minimum 50km - Maximum 110km
Nice - St. Agnès
Ride along the coast or in the mountains to Monaco, where you can enjoy coffee, a snack or lunch in Monte Carlo after visiting the city à vélo. Continue towards the charming coastal town of Menton, where you will take on the legendary Col de la Madone, best known as Lance Armstrong's favorite training climb. This scenic pass starts at sea level and takes you to 920m, with views that will (almost) make you forget the steep sections! Finish the day in the village of St. Agnès, the highest coastal village in Europe, also classified as one of the most beautiful medieval villages of France. Explore the village fortress, its 11th century château ruins, medieval garden and artisanal shops.
Day 2: Minimum 100km - Maximum 140km
St. Agnès - Levens
You will leave the coast to head inland towards the epic Col de Turini, featured 3 times in the Tour de France and also known as a highlight of the Monte Carlo Rally. This 15.3km climb with hairpin turns is the highest mountain pass in the Maritime Alps, culminating at an impressive 1607m. With 1107m of elevation gain and a tough 7.2% average grade, it is a difficult yet rewarding climb. Stop for a snack or lunch at the summit before heading to the village of Levens. If you choose to lengthen the ride, we will be adding another climb to your itinerary before you settle down in the medieval village. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Levens was settled thousands of years ago by the Ligurians. Explore the historical attractions in this charming town and choose from a variety of restaurants that serve regional specialties.
Day 3: Minimum 70km - Maximum 120km
Levens - Mont Vial
You will descend out of Levens to head into the Vallée de l'Esteron, where you will climb up Mont Vial, either via the Col St. Raphael or along the valley of the Esteron River. Enjoy the contrast of perched villages, river, mountains and sheep as you climb to your hotel in one of two mountain villages. This area is one of the best-kept secrets of the Maritime Alps, offering a taste of authentic unspoiled village life. Choose a villa with pool and a spectacular view in the small village of Revest-les-Roches, or a bed and breakfast in the heart of Gilette for your third night's accommodations. Take advantage of the chance to relax and soak in the views and the local village culture, lounge in the pool, play a game of pétanque or stroll through the village on your final evening of the tour.
Day 4: Minimum 70km - Maximum 110km
Mont Vial - Nice
You will leave the mountains of the arrière pays niçois and make your way back to the coast, passing through several villages on your way to the Col de Vence, often featured in Paris-Nice. With 620m of elevation gain and a 7% average grade over 9.5km of mountain roads overlooking the Mediterranean, you will see why it is a favorite training climb for many local pro riders. Descend towards the coast immediately after climbing the pass, or extend your ride through the scenic canyon roads of the Vallon Rouge before returning to Nice.
*Optional Additional Day: Excursion to the Col de la Bonette - the highest through road in Europe! (to be added after Day 2 or Day 3 on the Itinerary)
Take an excursion to the highest road in the French Alps, and the highest through road in Europe, the Col de la Bonette. It is an Hors Catégorie climb of the Tour de France and has been featured in the 2008 Tour, where riders made their way to the 2802m (9,193ft) summit at the Cime de la Bonette Restefond - the highest point reached by the Tour de France! This legendary 26km long mountain pass has been part of the Tour de France route 4 times. It is as beautiful as it is challenging, and will take you past the tree line to a 360 degree view of the surrounding Alps. You will have the possibility of returning to the valley immediately following the climb, or riding through Italy via the Col de la Lombarde for a very long and challenging loop.
*Base Price (4-8 Participants): $1550 per person
Included in the Base Price:
Choose your level of additional support:
~Follow vehicle: $500 per day/ per group
~Ride Guide: $350 per day/ per group
~Pro Massage: $150 per person/ per hour (group rates available)
~Azur Vélo Jersey: $80
~Private 2hr guided group tour of village attractions: $200 per group
per village tour
~Col de la Bonette Excursion (1 extra day and night, breakfast and dinner, vehicle group transfer to and from depart village with bikes): $400 per person + $500 group charge
~Additional night(s) accommodations in Nice (before and/or after the trip): price varies depending on accommodation
*Base price for 2-3 participants: $1850 per person