If you’re looking for a flat ride, riding Nice to Cannes is for you. It’s not going to match the experience you’d have in the hills behind Nice, but it’s a great choice for an easy coffee ride.
Route map and profile
Distance: 88 km
Elevation Gain: 640 m
Max Grade: 6.8 %
All metrics in this guide are approximate
Antibes and the Cap d’Antibes were the parts of the ride we loved the most.
Cap d’Antibes is a haven of aristocratic villas, quiet coves and great views down the coastline. It’s a great place for some laps, if that’s your sort of thing.
Cycling through Antibe’s 10th Century town wall and then up and over the ramparts was fun too.
1. Nice to Antibes (via Baie des Anges): 0-23 km
You leave Nice on the bike path that runs along the historic seafront, past Art Deco beach signs, through corridors of palm trees and past hotels oozing with history. After around 9km you pass the airport and there’s then a less pleasant stretch beside the busy main road, though you’re tucked away on your bike path.
After about 16 km, near the vast, curved apartment block that looks like an ocean liner, the bike path finishes. Take care crossing over to join the road, which has a narrow hard shoulder and is sandwiched between the train tracks and the sea. This is the Baie des Anges. The smell of salt and seaweed washes over you and the crashing waves are a soothing antidote to the traffic.
2. Antibes to Cannes (via Cap d’Antibes): 23-44 km
Passing Fort Carré on your left (used as the villain's fortress in the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again), you soon head into the harbour past gleaming yachts and then through the huge arched stone entrance into Antibe’s old town. Up a short slope and you’re on the ramparts, with the old town on one side and the sea on the other.
A short spell through the modern town and you’re out onto Cap d’Antibes. Here you’ll find far-reaching views back around the coastline to Antibes and Nice. Surrounded by the calm Mediterranean, the pine trees hide the homes of the rich and famous; ornate villas mix with sleek, modern homes set around small coves. You’ll also pass the famous Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc which, since 1870, has been one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious hotels.
Leaving the Cap behind, you’re soon into Juan les Pins. From here it’s a succession of small ports and towns until you hit the next significant stretch of bike path that takes you away from the busy main road and into Cannes.
The Croisette in Cannes is world famous. Thanks to Covid-19, there’s now a bike path along the seafront. On your right you pass iconic hotels: the Carlton, Hotel Martinez and Majestic, intermingled with designer shops and, on your left, the enormous Palais des Festivals.
The ride ends with a short climb up cobbled streets and past the yellow painted, tall, thin townhouses of the pedestrianised Suquet area. You pop out into the square in front of the Église Notre-Dame d’Espérance. Enjoy the great views back down to Cannes and along the coast.
3. Cannes to Nice: 44-88 km
Your return pretty much follows the way you came. You can cut off the Cap d’Antibes if you want, though we prefer to ride it both ways, as it’s one of the best sections of the ride.
You’re spoiled for choice on this stretch of coastline. You’ll find places to stop for a coffee pretty much wherever you fancy. We’d suggest coffee with a view in Cannes or alternatively Juan-les-Pins has some good options.
We stayed in a light and airy two bedroom apartment in historic Place Garibaldi in the centre of Nice. It’s a great place to stay, and an excellent location for riding, with easy access to the bike path along the promenade (and out to the hills as well).
For more on where we stayed and other accommodation suggestions, take a look at our ultimate guide to Nice for cyclists.
Read our tips for cycling in Nice before you set out.
If you want to do like the locals, consider adding some laps of the Cap d’Antibes before retracing your steps back home.
Though the paths were in great shape when we visited, doing 30km/hour on the bike path is not good form, especially through town. If you’re happy to ride at a more leisurely pace, the path is fine - we saw lots of “serious” cyclists using it as even when it's busy, it can be quicker than the road due to all the traffic lights.
At Cagnes sur Mer there is a 10km/h speed limit, which is sometimes enforced, so cycle very slowly or get onto the road. Rich from VeloGuide also mentioned to us "Just after Juan les Pins it's best to get back on the bike path until just before arriving in Cannes, then on the road until the start of the Cannes bike path (here)."
(via Moyenne Corniche, L’Escarène, Sospel and Col de Braus)
(aka Corniche d’Or) loop
(via the Basse Corniche, Ventimiglia and Sospel)