Cycling Côte d'Azur, French coast. A travel diary from French coast to discover Massif de l'Estérel, let's go! Veloce carbon road bike rental in France.

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Ready to start the cycling excursion to the Massif de l'Estérel on French coast.

Today we will let you discover a stretch of French coast enclosed between Sainte Maxime, a small village close Saint Tropez, and Mandelieu la Napoule, a small village close Cannes and Nice, France.

FYI: 
Veloce company provide high quality full carbon road bike, touring and ebike rentals with delivery and collection at accommodations in South France including Côte d'Azur, Pyrenees and Provence.

Information and quote requests to booking@velocerental.com


Now, it's time to start our ride!

We begin our bicycle excursion starting from a fraction of the village Roquebrune-sur-Argens where we head towards Frejus / Saint Raphael to continue towards Mandelieu-la-Napoule, the arrival point of our experience.


Our goal is to discover the Massif de l'Estérel, let's go!


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Gold beaches on the road to the Massif de l'Estérel

This coastal route is particularly interesting because it crosses several panoramic stretches and seaside villages where it is possible to experience the atmosphere of the French blue coast lifestyle.

Obviously, like all seaside villages in the summer season could be possible to find busy roads, for this reason we recommend pedaling on sunrise or sunset. Best periods to enjoy this area are spring, fall and winter time when the weather and temperature are pleasant and the roads aren't busy.

The average temperature in winter time is about 13°C, in spring 22°C, summer 28/30°C and in fall about 20°C.

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The road D559 to Frejus and Saint Raphael direction

Pedaling the road D559 can stop for a break in one of the golden beaches that you can find along the road, take photographs of the coast from the many panoramic parking points or enjoy a soy cappuccino in one of local beach clubs.


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Gold beaches on the road to Frejus and Saint Raphael villages on French coast.

A spectacular journey of about thirty kilometers by bicycle that connects Frejus to La Napoule. An itinerary that runs alongside the promontories of the Estérel massif and seaside villages with their Roman remains and contemporary art museums.

Much of this stretch is occupied by the Massif de l'Estérel, a volcanic rock formation that extends from the coast to the hinterland. 

The massif is crossed by nature trails to explore on foot, by bicycle and in some limited areas also by car. Estérel alternates its red rocks with the Mediterranean maquis and is the habitat of deer, hares, partridges and wild boars.


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Break at the touristic port in Frejus

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Crossing Frejus on the road to Saint Raphael and the Massif de l'Estérel


FREJUS VILLAGE
Along the way we cross Frejus, an inland village extended to the sea.
This village has several ruins that refer to its Roman origin. Founded under Julius Caesar, its port welcomed Antonio's ships after the defeat of Anzio in 31 AD. Remains of the Roman period are the arena, some arches of the aqueduct and the theater where home to events. Frejus also has a medieval center, the Episcopal Cité, with the Gothic Cathedral and the episcopal palace. Among the most beautiful buildings of the Cité there is the Baptistery, in front of the Cathedral, of early Christian origin.

Like all seaside towns on the Cote d'Azur in this village there is a lot of vitality in the marina and in the promenade.


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Break at the gold beaches in Saint Raphael, the port and the old church.

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leaving Saint Raphael the road continue to the Massif de l'Estérel


SAINT-RAPHAEL
The second village we cross on the road is Saint-Raphaël, the corniche to the massif de l'Estérel.

Next to the touristic port of Frejus you can find the Saint-Raphaël village, known for its sandy beaches and the beautiful palm-lined promenade that runs alongside the sea and the whole city. Some interesting sites are the old town with the 12th century St-Raphaël church and the Provencal open air market who run in the morning where you can buy cheeses, fresh fish and olives flavored with peppers and the omnipresent Provencal garlic. Do not miss the fish restaurants on the pier and the beautiful villas hidden among the thick gardens in the hinterland. These are the luxurious residences built by wealthy English and French who at the end of the nineteenth century chose Saint-Raphaël as a vacation spot.

Saint-Raphaël is the gateway to the Estérel corniche.


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Local cyclists enjoy cycling on Massif de l'Estérel coastal route

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Natural cliffs on the road to Massif de l'Estérel

Let's continue the cycling excursion to the Massif of Esterel coastline panoramic route.

Estérel was born 250 million years ago. First attached to Africa, this piece of land separated from it during the formation of the Mediterranean. In the tertiary era, a part of the Esterel even drifted away, Corsica was born!


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The Massif de l'Estérel on French coast, France

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The Massif de l'Estérel on French coast, France

The Esterel massif, between the Mediterranean and Provence, represents a massif of 32,000 hectares over Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Bagnols-en-Forêt and Les Adrets de l'Estérel villages, officially protected in the Forêt domaniale de l'Esterel (National Forest of Esterel).


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The Massif de l'Estérel on French coast, France


This panoramic road is particularly interesting because it crosses stretches where you can enjoy natural coves full of Mediterranean bush and descents to the sea where you can stop to rest or swim into the blue. 


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cycling the coastal road on the Massif de l'Estérel on French coast, France

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Natural coves full of Mediterranean bush


Crossing the Esterel massif the road go down to Cannes direction crossing Théoule-sur-Mer, with the beach very popular with the inhabitants of Cannes, and La Napoule with its fourteenth-century crenellated castle on the coast.

La Napoule is part of the municipality of Mandelieu-La Napoule at the foot of the Tanneron massif. We finish our cycling excursion in Mandelieu-La Napoule, this village is famous to be the town of the flowered Festival of the mimosa, which has participated in the development of the economy of the area, is celebrated every year by the inhabitants.

Officially celebrated for the first time in 1931, since then the Festival of Mimosa has always had great success, with its parade of flower floats.


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The road continue to Mandelieu La Napoule
break at the panoramic point to see Alps and the coast


We would share this video we have known in one of our Cycling in Europe Reddit community conversations. From the middle of the video Mike cycled the same coastal route we showed you in this post.






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