The South of France offers a haven for cyclists, triathletes and holiday makers alike with its warm climate, varied terrains and quiet country roads, not to mention some testing mountains to climb too, so why not visit Nice this summer with your bike. There are also a number of triathlon races which you can enter in the region, ranging from a long distance and olympic distances – everything for the beginners through to the professionals.
Where to visit
Although arriving into the city of Nice itself, where the airport is located, most would prefer to stay slightly outside the built up area and just go to the tourist attractions and to visit the seafront. Other quieter towns along the coast include Cannes, Antibes and St Tropez, and if it’s the sea that you want to head to then Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Bay of Villefranche sur Mer are very much worth a visit.
Heading a little way East skirting the coast, you will arrive at Monaco, with all of its dazzle. Home to many professional cyclists, as well as sports starts and the rich and famous too, Monaco is a hub for all the finer things in life and worth a visit.
If you want to tick off the tourist boxes on your visit to Nice, there are plenty of museums, attractions and interesting things to see. For the arty-types we recommend paying a visit to MAMAC Nice, which is the museum of modern and contemporary art, as well as Musée Marc Chagall, a museum dedicated to the painter Marc Chagall.
Located on the Mediterranean, you’re never short of fresh food in or around Nice. The local delicacy is called Socca, a chickpea flatbread, so this is a must try. More commonly known as one of the most popular dishes from the region is Salade Niçoise, and you won’t struggle to find a menu with this on.
Where to ride
The main climbs in the area are the Col de la Madone, infamous for being the point of reference of many riders, like the UCI World Tour champion Peter Sagan, the Col d’Eze, a regular climb in the Paris-Nice cycling race, the Col de Braus, climbing for 10km at 6.4% average gradient, and the Col du Turini, a lesser known climb but equally as picturesque and testing.
A few rides that we can suggest to get your started:
Long Nice to Nice loop – head out of town towards the Col du Vence, then via the villages of Tourettes sur Loup, Gourdon, Cascades des Courmes, Caussols, Andon, Grèolières, Coursegoules, Bouyon then back into Nice. This route totals 173km with just under 3,000m of climbing.
Climbing the Madone d’Utelle – follow St Jean de la Riviere to the Madone and start to climb. In 2016, Paris-Nice featured a stage from Nice to the top of the Madone, but to ride the climb itself, there’s 14.2km of ascent gaining 844m altitude.
How to travel to Nice
Nice Airport is a large international airport that serves most countries and cities around the world, so this is your first option for where to fly to. The airport sits just over 7km from the city center, around a 20-minute drive traffic dependant.
We’ve selected a few of the airlines that fly into Nice Airport to give you an idea of what the travel restrictions and costs are from bringing your bike with you.
Air France – 23kg weight limit
Flights from within France – 40€ each way for a bike box or bike bag, to be paid at the airport with prior approval from customer service.
Flights from within Europe – 55€ each way for a bike box or bike bag, to be paid at the airport with prior approval from customer service.
Flights from within America or Canada – 125€ each way for a bike box or bike bag, to be paid at the airport with prior approval from customer service.
EasyJet – 32kg weight limit
All flights – £40 per flight when pre-booked, or £50 if booked at the airport, for a bike box or bag
Brussels Airlines (No weight limit specified)
Fights within Europe – €45 per flight when pre-booked, or €50 when booked at the airport, for a bike box or bag
Intercontinental flights – €100 per flight for a bike box or bag.
WizzAir – 23kg weight limit
Flights within Europe – €30 per flight when pre-booked for a bike box or bag, additional fees apply at the airport
If the weather, the training roads, the race opportunities, and the sea aren’t enough reasons to visit Nice, then maybe somewhere else suits you better. But if it sounds like your destination then get it booked in, get your Scicon bike travel bag ready and get yourself to the French Riviera. Whether you’re taking a triathlon/TT bike or a road bike, the Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 range has a specific bike travel bag to suit your needs.