Tour Reports
Route description and places to stay along Stage 7 of this great Alpine tour.
Stage 7 – Castellane to St Martin du Vesubie
Distance – (Stage 7a “Purple” – 148km) (Stage 7b “Green”- 157km)

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Detailed information about St. Martin du Vesubie »

From Castellane there are two routes back onto Route des Grandes Alpes, route 7a (map marked in purple) brings you through an area of Provence few tourists ever find themselves.

Near Saint Auban Route 7a

It winds through unspoilt rural roads and villages, passing small but extraordinary gorges and fascinating perched villages untouched by tourism and a must for the true explorer.

Near Aiglun, Route 7a, the roads themselves are an adventure!

Route 7b (map marked in green) is a faster run bringing you back up much of Stage 6 to Valberg than St Martin du Vesubie. I’d recomend route 7a, it’s a slower road but it will give you an insight into a usually unseen region of the Alpes-Maritimes that is truly a tranquilly beautiful area and once you hit the busy coast it will seem like a paradise. It’s also the weekend playground for local bikers, take note however, as its remote there are no petrol stations until you get to Puget on the D6202.

Hidden church, route 7a

Plan to spend an afternoon or preferably a night at St Martin du Vesubie with its bitter-sweet history, originally a Roman settlement around the 1st century it later became a fortified town during the Saracen incursions. More recently it became a Jewish haven during WWII when the Alpes-Maritimes was under the control of the Italian Fourth Army from November 1942 to the Italian Armistice in September 1943. During this time the Italian Fourth Army were sympathetic to the Jews who flocked to the area, after the armistice of 1943 however the German authorities moved in and rounded up thousands of the Jews in the area and transported them to Auschwitz, only a few children survived the purge having being taken in by the local French. Another thousand or so crossed up over the surrounding mountains into Italy, a few joined the partisans, most however were eventually caught and ended up in the camps or shot.

The town it’s self is a great place to spend an hour wandering around old buildings, churches, shops, restaurants and cafe’s, almost uniquely there is also a little stream actually running down the centre of the main street. In my book however there is a far more interesting spot just a few kilometers north of the town, and it’s got wolves!

Boréon Valley, near St Martin du Vesubie

APLHA wolf park, nestled in the striking Boréon valley holds the 10 hectare park with 3 wild wolf packs and allows tours into the park where you can, if your lucky get up close to the wolves and tells the story of how after the wolf’s extintion from the French Alps the wolves suddenly and naturally reappeared to the area 19 years ago, tickets are about 12 Euro and you should plan to be here for at least 3 hrs, bring walking shoes and leave the leathers in a hotel.

Wild Wolves in ALPHA Park

Route Grande Alpes photo gallery »

Route Instructions

Biker friendly hotels along Stage 7 of the route:

Hotels – St Martin du Vesubie
Camping 06 – Alpes-Maritimes

Download This Route »
Note: You will be asked to log in or register with to gain access to downloadable .KML (Google Earth), .GDB (Garmin), .GPX (Generic) files.

Road conditions – check the status of the Cols/Passes:
InfoTrafic: Alpes Du Sud – Apline Pass Status
Bison Fute – Traffic/Road Info
French Autoroute Traffic Info

Next Stage 8 – St Martin du Vesubie to Menton »

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