San Remo to Saint Raphael Ride

8 days
from
£1,149
View Trips
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 6 reviews >
Trip code: 
MSN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Drop Bars
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

 This tour brings us from the Italian to the French Riviera, following the best parts of the coast and taking on a number of stunning climbs from the Milan-San Remo and Paris-Nice bike races. We will discover the hidden gems of the Riviera as we cycle between picturesque hill top villages and over iconic mountain passes like the Col du Madone, Col du Braus and the Col du Vence before ending the tour in the picturesque coastal town of Saint Raphael. However it’s not just the cycling that makes this area so special, there are an abundance of great restaurants, cafes, bars, boulangeries and also the fantastic weather. It’s no wonder that so many professional riders are based here, and rare that we don’t bump into several during our tour! 

Highlights

  • Perfect weather for an early or late season cycling holiday 
  • Enjoy delicious food and wine from Italy and France 
  • Spot professional teams and riders who train in the area

Key information

  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 100% tarmac roads
  • Hilly route with mountain passes
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader in suport vehicle. Min age 16 yrs
  • 7 nights hotels 

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts 
  • All accommodation (see bellow)
  • All transport and listed activities 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking flight inclusive)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Local bike hire (available on booking)
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

100% tarmac roads with mountain passes 

Day by day breakdown
Day 267.0km/41.0miles
Day 354.0km/33.0miles
Day 4100.0km/62.0miles
Day 564.0km/40.0miles
Day 650.0km/31.0miles
Day 765.0km/40.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Nice and transfer to San Remo; free time to sort out bikes and explore the town.

    We will be met by the guide at Nice airport in the afternoon and transferd to San Remo (approx 1.5 hours). For the night we stay in a 2 star hotel in San Remo, located in the centre of the town. San Remo is the little Monaco of Italy, famous for its flowers, the labyrinthine architecture of the old town and its excellent Italian restaurants! San Remo is also famous for the annual 298 km cycling race (Milan San Remo), that this year had as usual a couple of crashes, and brutally tough conditions that ended in a crescendo with a magnificent sprint win for Michal Kwiatkowski.



    Stay in a 2-star hotel in the centre of San Remo town.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Ride the Poggio climb, featured at the end of Milan-San Remo race; cycle back roads to the Italian Riviera, then into France at Menton.

    After breakfast we try out the bikes on a short loop over the famous Poggio climb which features at the end of the Milan-San Remo race. This climb was added to the race in 1960 to reduce the possibility of a sprint finish, but is now sprinted up in around six minutes by anyone who wants to be involved at the line. We then have a nice ride through the back country of San Remo with a steep climb up to San Romolo and a 920m pass before descending into the village of Perinaldo. From here we ride down through the Italian Riviera then along the coast and into France where we stop in the town of Menton for the night.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Ride famous climbs of the French Rivera including the Col de la Madone.

    Today we take on the most famous cols in the Rivera including the Col de la Madone (13km at 7% average), this ascent is well known to be a test climb to measure the fitness levels of riders before the tour and is a regular ascent for Chris Froome and Richie Porte. On the way to La Madone we can stop for a short visit to Sainte Agnes, listed as one of the nicest villages in France and from where the views of Menton are superb. At the col we will pass by the villages of L’Escarene and Contes to reach Aspremont.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Cycle over the Col du Broc and the stunning Col du Vence.

    After breakfast we leave Aspremont and cross the river Var before a climb to the beautiful perched village of Carros. Continue to the Col du Broc (9.4km at 4.2%) and to the perched village of Coursegoules before tacking the Col the Vence (943m) from the northern and slightly easier side before a stop to admire the spectacular view of the sea. We then have a long exhilarating descent into Vence, where we spend the night. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Ride through the spectacular Loup Gorges on the way to Grasse.

    Today we leave Vence in the direction of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a medieval village perched on a rocky spur above the river Loup. From Tourrettes we continue to Pont-du-Loup, a historic tourist destination in the “Belle Epoque”, that Queen Victoria regularly visited. We then head north through the spectacular rocky gorges of the Loup river, a picturesque and protected natural zone with a shaded, winding route on a gentle “faux plat”. At Bramafan, descend the opposite side of the gorges to Gourdon, before continuing to Grasse via Caussols and the Route Napoléon.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Take on climbs from the Paris – Nice race towards Fayence.

    In the morning we head North-West from Grasse towards Saint Vallier de Thiey, a charming Provençal village on the Route Napoléon. Continue to Sainte Cézar sur Siagne, known for its karst terrain and caves. Ride through the beautiful gorges of the river Siagne before branching off to the fortified village of Mons to descend into Fayence. Fayence is known for the Paris- Nice race, where in 2017 Simon Yates won the sixth stage, beating Sergio Henao and Richie Porte on the infamous climb into the village.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cycle through the red rock foothills of the Massif de l’Estérel to Saint Raphael.

    After breakfast we have a 300m ascent to the hill top town of Saint Arnoux before a fabulous twisting descent to Saint-Paul-en-Forêt which is the arrival town for the first stage of the Tour du Haut Var cycling race. From here we ride through beautiful rolling terrain, hill top towns and l’Esterel with its red peaks, ravines and gorges before a nice descent to the coast, arriving in St Raphael with time to explore the village and seafront or have a swim at one of the sandy beaches.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Nice airport; fly home.

    After a relaxed morning in Saint Raphael you will be transferred to Nice Airport; fly home.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

For breakfast you can expect a large continental buffet with cold meats, cheese, bread, jams, pastries, cereals and tea and coffee. 

We stay near towns with a good selection of restaurants offering delicious food so you can re-fuel after the days cycling. The French and Italian Riviera’s are well known for having a high standard of food.

Weather

Nice and the French Riviera have on average 200-250 days of sunshine per year. Typically November is the wettest month so we avoid running trips at this time of the year. In the summer months the temperatures range from 25-30c. In the winter you can expect the temperature to be between 10-20c. Due to the wind from the coast, and the mountains to the north and east the weather can be changeable and unpredictable at times. It is not un-common to be riding through clouds and drizzle to then have clear blue skies and sunshine ten minutes later. On every departure you can expect to be cycling in shorts and a jersey only, but we suggest you pack some warm and waterproof clothing.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Drop-bar

Activity Level 6 (Challenging/Tough).

Average daily distance: 60km (37 miles)

6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats) 

The gradients do not get much steeper than 10% but the climbs can be long. Daily distances are realistic, and there are plenty of opportunities for stronger riders to add more kilometres if they wish. The support vehicle is always available for riders who have achieved their personal goal and require a lift up or down any of the hills (though with limited seats).

This trip is on roads away from traffic however we do have to use some busier roads around the lareger towns. The scenery from the route we take is wonderful and all of the roads used are good quality tarmac so we recommend using drop bar road bike for this trip.

You should be aware that cycling of all kinds has its dangers and that accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake. 

Please note: Exodus drop bar cycling holidays are not run in a training camp style, all our daily rides are group rides and we aim to cycle as a group wherever possible. The days are broken up with food and coffee stops so it is likely that we will be outside for the majority of the day (sometimes between 9am – 5pm). It is common for the group to split on the longer climbs, please keep in mind that if you are looking to push yourself on the climbs you might have a wait at the top for other members of the group, however the support vehicle will be there to offer warm clothes and snacks.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

We stay in a great selection of hotels and B&B’s, all ideally located along the route and near large towns with a good selection of bars and restaurants to allow you to indulge in the fantastic cuisine along the French and Italian Riviera. Rooming is on a twin share basis but a single supplement can be arranged on booking.

Due to the point-to-point nature of our drop bar trips, it is inevitable that there is some variance in the style and quality of accommodation used each night. Our priority is to make the riding days as balanced as possible in terms of distance and elevation gain and once we are happy with the route we choose the most appropriate accommodation in our chosen location. In some of the more rural locations there may not be a wide choice of accommodation. 

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2016
    Mike Edmunds

    Unforgettable San Remo to Nice Ride

    The daily distance was never going to be the challenge. Averaging 37 miles (60km) a day was fine but there were other factors I did not appreciate before setting off. Keeping your concentration on the roads when there are stunning vistas all around, is tricky. Finding a way to capture a photograph from the best possible angle is another unforeseen problem. Trying to get back on the bike after an incredibly delicious 3 course lunch of fresh local produce is possibly the hardest task. But you forget all these things when you’re riding. I had to pinch myself several times at the rewards of a summit finish. Some of the climbs were tough but the gearing on our BMC Teammachine CLR03 was perfect. None of the gradients ever got above 9% and were generally steady climbs on quiet roads where it would be easy to stop for a photo or have a rest. Our cycling started when we rode up the famous Poggio climb; the ascent felt easy as it is not steep and the knee felt good. This continued throughout the week and a great sense of achievement awaited us all as everyone got to the top of the various cols, mountains and hills. Being first to the top of the climb to Saint Aignes gave me a few minutes on my own to enjoy the breath-taking panorama – definitely one of the many highlights of the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the end of the week, we poured over our top 3 moments on the tour and most people shared the same views. The food, the group dynamic and being able to complete all of the cycling were common answers. My magic moment definitely came on those silent few minutes at Saint Aignes. Looking down on the switchbacks I had ridden up, seeing the start point in Menton and further in the distance, the Mediterranean Sea was something I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bertrand was very French and was always driving ahead or staying behind us to keep an eye out for hazards or set up a snack/drink stop. It was useful to arrive early and meet him as this gave me time to realise that I forgot my water bottles and discover that my bike computer mount didn’t fit on the bars. A bit stressed at my own mistakes, I asked Bertrand what I could do. He pointed me in the direction of the friendly local bike shop in San Remo along the fantastic cycle path and 15 minutes later, I was all set for the following morning.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Measure your bike at home if you are renting the local one through Exodus so that you have a good starting point to ride. Take your own saddle and pedals. Take enough cycling clothes to wear a fresh set every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    With 6 days of cycling, at least one big climb every day, a heavier bike than I was used to and carrying a knee injury from a crash two weeks before departure, it’s fair to say that I was very worried about completing the cycling part of this trip. I knew that I would be able to eat everything on offer – I am very good at that - but sitting in the Challenging/Tough bracket of Exodus’ grading system, hills can be unforgiving and you need to be physically fit enough for the demands. Our party was a mixed bag; three 60-something year old friends from the USA, a young English pair of friends who were keen runners rather than obsessive cyclists (one didn’t have cleats), a couple from New Zealand, 2 Australians looking for warm weather cycling, a solo American and myself. All sorts of different backgrounds and abilities were represented but we all got on well. There was a little competitiveness here and there but the group mostly looked out for and encouraged each other. Jane, the girl without cycling shoes, got stronger and stronger throughout the week and was one of the quicker climbers in the bunch. Advice and information was shared with each other and passed around freely and willingly. Improvements were made by everyone and nobody really got in the support van.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Sigrid Grantham

    Fabulous group spirit - superb rides - let down by accommodation and breakfasts on offer

    A superb team spirit taking care of everyone I. The group regardless of fitness level or previous experience. Fabulous selection of rides in amazing country side in the back country of the French Riviera. However the trip was let down by the choice of accommodation Which wS disappointing to say the least ( with the exception of Vence). For those if us who had paid a hefty single supplement it was not worth it as our rooms in San Remo and Nice were little more than shoe boxes and not a up to even 2 star standard. The breakfasts in all hotels except in Vence were poor and not what a serious rider would expect. No porridge fruit or yoghurt just some dry bread and croissants even the fruit in San Remo was rotten. Lastly the lovely tour leader Bertrand was overworked with having to manage a Group of 10. Fix bikes. Sweep the road for the weaker riders and give clear and precise instructions and road directions all At the same time . There should. E. Driver AND a tour leader riding with the group. Being the weakest (and oldest ) in the group I found myself too ofte. TrAiling behind and despairing if I was on the right track. Despite my fluent French! To sumerise : better accommodation, better breakfasts and a tour leader who leads from within with a driver who drives!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the col de la madone!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bertrand is typically French Very knowledgable. Struggles with English and has sometimes trouble to explain things clearly and concisely

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pay for a single room. You will get the worst room in the hotel!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Need better accommodation , otherwise not value for money as you have to pAy for all meals, coffee breaks and drinks yourself !
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Paul Thompson

    San Remo to Nice

    For a novice (never been on a cycling holiday before or competed in any events) this was a tough but fantastic break. Unbelievable scenery, unseasonably warm weather and a knowledgeable guide made for a great trip that has given me an appetite for more. Hotels were as advertised but with genial staff who housed the bikes during the evenings. My only drawback would be the flights. Taking that out of the equation I'd certainly recommend you take up the challenge.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving day 4 and the group letting me sit at the head of the "snake" into Vence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bertrand had wealth of local knowledge which was great to draw on, and the site of the van part way up some of the climbs was more than welcome. He was more than willing to pitch in and help fix the bikes if needed or locate bits we asked for - greatly appreciated!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As an absolute novice I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew but was lucky to have a good base fitness from running in the hills. The only thing I'd say is for those in a similar position is try something easier first and then go for this
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Jen Good

    Great time!!!

    A fantastic week with equally fantasic weather & a great guide (Vincent) with well thought out routes, excellent stop over towns & hotels & a variety of riding. Staying in some places for 2 x nights is also a great idea & chance for a littel respite & get to know a town better! The small town villages are just the best!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it through & all of the amazing towns we visited. These trips that move from place to place are just inspiring, the sort of thing you probably wouldn't do on your own as all of your luggage is transported ahead and being fully supported on the ride & leaving just to pedal being the priority is a total luxury!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! Vincent was most accommodating in all areas! He was very well prepared for daily briefings, details of navigation, timings and directions into busier traffic towns (where possible, escorting us in behind the van, ensuring everyone was accounted for & waited for as necessary) and his fluent language skills necessary for our interpretation! Nothing was a problem!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A fantastic trip that explored roads that may not always be included on the more 'major tourist mapped rides'; a really great route & fantastic support!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    From start to finish Exodus (& our guide Vincent) have been fabulous to deal with! A highly recommended trip! Enjoy!
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Peter White

    Great Way To Spend a European Holiday

    A well supported challenging mix of rides in an iconic & historic area of NE Italy / Southern France

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The daily achievements of putting a stamp on a tough ride with the satisfaction of looking over the picturesque areas we had just ridden.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great, well lead tour by Vincent, excellent local knowledge, he was able to anticipate and assess the need of each of the group to ensure we all could make the most of the time we had on tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't think about it, just do it!
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Andrew Ross

    Spectacular place to ride!

    Fantastic mix of coastal and mountainous riding. Plenty of challenging climbs and fast descents, mostly on quiet roads through the foothills of the alps. Add in a lovely group plus fantastic food and drink and this made for a fabulous early season trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Bumping into a couple of local professional riders at the top of two different big climbs. We saw Michael Matthews on the Madone and Richie Porte on the Col du Braus. It was quite surreal to see Matthews on TV wearing the pink leaders jersey of the Giro d'Italia less than a week later!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was excellent, with good local knowledge, a passion for cycling, and a van full of tasty snacks! The trip ran very smoothly, much of which was down to his hard work throughout the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and get some riding done before the trip as the climbs shouldn't be underestimated. They are lower than in the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites, but remember than many of them do start from sea level!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can't recommend this one enough.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 0208 772 3936