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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
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Ref CY47

Mountain bike FranceFROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA: DIGNE - NICE V3 Spectacular last part of the Chemins du Soleil riding to the Mediterranean Sea

A stunning 7-day ride across the Southern part of the French Prealps, from the famous Terres Noires to the Mediterranean coast. We ride playful and technical singletrack along the gorges and emerald waters of the Trévans, the Verdon and the Esteron, enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the Southern Alps and enjoy many swimming spots. After crossing the craggy and remote hinterland of Nice, we literally plunge into the Mediterranean Sea. A fantastic end of the trip on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

Guided version: from 895€ - DetailsSelf-guided version: from 620€ - Details Duration : 7 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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Technical level :   Physical level :  

This tour is E-MTB compatible

Highlights

  • The staggering gorges of the Verdon, the Trevans, the Daluis...
  • The diversity and remoteness of the terrain, not far from the pulsating life of the cote d'azur
  • Refreshment stops at wild rivers every day
  • The palette of colours: the mauve of lavender, the emerald of the torrents, the ochre of the cliffs
  • The arrival at the Mediterranean Sea, the highlight of our trip

Description

Comments

  • 2 versions available: V2=2 wheels / V3=3 wheels.
  • This is the last of three parts of the MTB route Chemins du Soleil (Sunshine trails)
  • Double room option possible: see trip details

Grand Traversee of the Pre-Alps

Les Chemins du Soleil - Sunshine trails

From Lake Geneva to the sea... This circuit is the third part of the Grand Mountain Bike Traversee of the Pre-Alps called Les Chemins du Soleil, which consists of 3 one week circuits.

This mountain bike classic can be ridden in several stages or in one go for the foolhardy! A long traversee that takes you from the Alpine scenery of the northern Pre-Alps to the provençal atmosphere of the southern Pre-Alps and finally to the Mediterranean Sea.

Bauges, Chartreuse, Trièves, Dévoluy, Buëch, Verdon, Esteron, Nice hinterland... One after the other the mountain ranges open up on this alpine mountain bike trip, concocted with very little hike-a-bike and road sections.

On track for the Grand Traverse of the Pre-Alps!

  • Part 1, Lake Geneva (or Lake Annecy) - Grenoble: The Savoie Lakes (ref CY41, CY49). The northern Pre-Alps and their wild mountain ranges: a traverse of the Bauges and Chartreuse ranges via the lakes of Annecy and Bourget (the largest lake in France).
  • Part 2, Grenoble - Sisteron: The Chemins du Soleil (Sunshine Trails) (ref CY43, CY44). A transition from the northern to the southern Pre-Alps through the agricultural landscapes of the Trièves, before reaching the mediterranean vegetation of the Buëch Valley. Superb mountain biking!
  • Part 3, Sisteron - Nice: From the mountains to the sea (ref CY46, CY 47). The crossing of several gorges (Verdon, Trévans, Estéron) with the Mediterranean Sea at the finish line.
Day 1: Digne-les-Bains - La Clappe

Itinerary start: Rendezvous on the first day is at 9 am in front of Digne-les-Bains railway station.

We leave the cute little spa town of Digne nestled in the middle of the pre-Alpine peaks. A quiet warm-up in the Mardaric valley before things get serious: through a pine forest, we set off for an ascent to the crests of La Blache. A superb singletrack descent rewards our efforts... First of all, it twirls through the forest, then it takes us to a part of the the famous Terres Noires (literally black lands)... The path leads us on a balcony over a small river. A little gem to start with! After passing through two typical villages with stone houses, we start a short but demanding climb (believe in the grip on black earth!). Once again, a fantastic reward with a ridge route on black earth. We reach our gite perched above the Asse valley.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Ascent: approx. 1500 m

Day 2: La Clappe - La Palud sur Verdon

We start this day by crossing the Asse river, then we go back up by a very wild itinerary to the village of Majastres. Passing through the abandoned hamlet of Villard. Between the Chiran ridge and the impetuous waters of the Estoublaisse, our route then alternates between forest and open passages to enter the Verdon Natural Park. We reach Les Bondils, a "hamlet at the end of the world", via the Piste des Belges. Ascent at the foot of the cliff of Notre-Dame, known for its chapel built in a cave. We end up on a small plateau where we discover the superb ruins of the village of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers. The plateau leads us to a beautiful singletrack descent that plunges down to La-Palud-sur-Verdon, the "climbers' village" with a very Provencal atmosphere.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Ascent: approx. 1700 m

Day 3: La Palud sur Verdon - Soleilhas

We start the day with another beautiful and playful descent to get closer to the "Point Sublime" of the Verdon gorges, where we enjoy the unique panorama. We then climb up to the cute little village of Rougon, leaning against a hill. It is here that we start an ascent to the Suech plateau (20 minutes of hike-a-bike). Unique viewpoint on the Verdon fault, and a Mongolia-like atmosphere on the plateau. An unforgettable descent on a balcony track above the Verdon follows. Here we are in Castellane where it will most probably be time to have a snack. Back on our bikes after lunch we climb up to the Saint Barnabé pass. The choice: a demanding climb on a singletrack (for the "purists"!), or a climb on a small asphalted road. We reach the pass, then switch to the other side and set down our mounts in Soleilhas for a well deserved night.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km / Ascent: approx. 1450 m

Day 4: Soleilhas - Saint Auban

This morning we warm up on a small road that leads us to the tiny ski resort of Vauplane. The singletracks that await us are simply magical: a trail facing the Mercantour mountains above a deep valley, singletracks in beaten earth in a beech forest, paths winding through unexpected clearings... Maybe we are even lucky enough to see one of the local inhabitants: the mouflon... Another short hike-a-bike section of about fifteen minutes allows us to reach the Col du Buis. That's it, we can dive into the valley of the Esteron river, a real France Bike Trips' favourite, where lost villages, emerald waters (with idyllic basins for swimming), pine forests and dreamy singletracks mix together! Night in a gîte.

Distance covered: approx. 55 km / Ascent: approx. 1700 m

Day 5: Saint Auban - Aiglun

Going from the upper to the lower Esteron valley is not so easy in these very marked reliefs. Not simple, but how much fun! We reserve you a splendid day which we keep secret... Night in a gîte in Aiglun.

Distance covered: approx. 30 km / Ascent: approx. 1600 m

Day 6: Aiglun - Les Ferres

After a last singletrack along the Esteron river, we leave the valley of the same name, and its capital Roquesteron, by a climb that offers us beautiful panoramas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We reach the track of the Végay canal, for a few kilometres on a perfectly horizontal balcony with an impressive view of the Mercantour and the Italian Alps, and of the perched villages that seem very small, far below us. As we turn around the Estellier mountain, we discover the Vésubie and the Var valleys. Night in a gîte.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / Ascent: approx. 1600 m

Day 7: Les Ferres - Nice

Last day already? We leave Les Ferres and head eastwards, and quickly reach a nice belvedere on the Esteron gorges. Descent in the direction of the Var valley by an alternation of forest tracks and singletracks. We cross the river to pass the left bank. A short section on the road before we climb back up and ride around Mont Cima (878 m). We then take up the last challenge of our week: a trail leads us at the foot of Mont Chauve d'Aspremont (870 m) which overlooks the bay of Nice. End of the trip by a long descent to Nice, part of which on tarmarc, unfortunately unavoidable! What a contrast after these 7 days of wild outdoors! A few laps on the Promenade des Anglais which faces the Baie des Anges. We take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea before we split up at the station, after this extraordinary week crossing the Southern Prealps.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Ascent: approx. 1300 m

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: Separation on the last day at around 2 pm in Nice.

Return to the start point of the journey

It is possible to return to Digne by bus or train (see practical information). We can also arrange a shuttle transfer for your group upon request.

If required Vélorizons can organise a vehicle transfer for your group back to the start point of the journey. See costs and services section.

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