Nestled in the mountain tops of southern France is a quaint little town called Sospel. About 15 kilometres from Menton, and a 40-minute drive from Nice. It’s nothing short of picturesque and it’s a beautiful way of life.
A provincial holiday house, circa late 1800’s has been home for the past two weeks with C’s family. Spending (not-so) lazy days together, eating too many pastries, indulging in afternoon spritz’ and local rose’, and enjoying the sun and coastline has been priority. Bliss. A welcomed treat after a busy 8-day schedule spent cycling some of Italy’s best known mountains (blogpost still to come!). Having covered off almost 13,000m of elevation in those days, it’s fair to say that we’re not at all opposing days like these…
A few (too many) days of indulging meant that getting back on the bike was a slight struggle. Though once warmed up, with thanks to a sneaky (false flat) climb from the villa to the mountains crest, we got to enjoy the descent into Menton (from Sospel).
For those who love narrower roads and navigating a few bumps, some fast French traffic who are impartial to which side of the road they belong, as well hairpin turns on cliffs edges, this route would be perfect. Irrespective of your preference, the scenery is stunning; – beautiful villa’s built into the greenest of mountains or what appears to be cliffsides, a couple of old stone railway bridges that are no longer in use, views of the coastal resort below and winding roads that snake their way through the Provence-Alpes mountainsides. It’s easy to see why this quiet corner of the world is said to be among Lance Armstrong’s favourite cycling paths.
On arrival into Menton, (a colourful coastal city of Cotes d’Azur that borders France and Italy) we simply climbed the mountain back up and into Sospel. With just 15 kilometres separating the towns and 1051m of elevation, the climb was very manageable, also enjoyable.
On reaching Sospel, we treated ourselves to coffee (standard practise really) and a pain aux raison at the local boulangerie’. Delicious. What a way to start the day!