Location: Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France
Length: 23.1 km
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 8
Highest point: 1,002 m (3,287ft)
Operating times: all year
Route: from L’Escarène to Sospel
Col de Braus Road Description
The Col de Braus is a mountain pass that will take you to an elevation of 1.002 m (3,287 ft) above the sea level. It’s located in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the southeastern part of France. Besides the summit, what’s extraordinary about this road, is the road taking you there. It’s a wide road, with a good surface, 180 degrees turns and many hairpins. It also includes some fantastic view that you can see from the engineered stacked hairpins.
The Col de Braus road links Sospel to L’Escarène, and the title of the road is D2204. It also is the main gate to Col de Turini, the famous place where the Monte Carlo rally takes place. It’s a popular road due to the fact that it features several switchbacks held together by walls that doubled up as medieval fortifications. It’s a unique road and driving here is an incredible experience any passionate driver would want to have.
There are two routes that will take you to the summit. One starts in L’Escarène where the ascent is 10,3 km long and the elevation gain 662 meters with an average percentage of 6,4%. Starting from Sospel, the ascent will be 11,2 km long, the elevation gain 639 meters and the average percentage 5,7%. Both routes are great. The one from L’Escarène includes some beautifully stacked hairpins, while the one from Sospel provides some spectacular views.
Driving on this winding mountain road is a real thrill. You will come across many blind curves, hairpin switchbacks and steep ascents. It’s a beautiful climb with contoured hairpins. This pass has also been used for the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia bicycle races. It also is a dangerous road because of the very long drops. Moreover, there are some narrower sections where there’s barely enough room for two cars at once.
The Col de Braus pass goes over the ridge that separates the Nice area from Menton.
The drive is both tough and enjoyable. You will see some magnificent views of the French countryside. Reaching the summit is also rewarding. You can take a break here before heading back as the path down the mountain will also be sinous.
Photo sources: http://azurcycletours.com/cycling/the-climbs/col-de-braus/, https://mariposabicycles.ca/blog/tag/col-de-braus/, https://www.epicroadrides.com/cycling-france/nice-and-cote-dazur/col-de-braus-basse-corniche-loop/, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Col_de_Braus_0603.JPG