From Mountains – Alpes de Haute-Provence
Trans Provence – a biketrip of a lifetime! Spend some unforgetable days on epic trails crossing the french departements “Alpes de Haute-Provence” and “Alpes Maritimes”. Experience the beauty of the Mercantour national park and ride iconic trails in surreal landscapes. Cross the provencal mountains from historic cities through small, dreamy mountain villages to the glamorous Cote d’Azur. We did this amazing trip in 2017 as guided tour…
Cutback to August 2017
Bike guide Markus and shuttle driver & organisation talent Fabian pick up our group of friends along the way to Biancon. The late afternoon arrival leaves just enough time for a short stroll to the UNESCO heritage fortress and the historic center before we meet again for dinner where the plans for the next days are discussed with the group. The depiction of the days- and trails ahead increases our excitement. A few glasses of wine later we´re all ready to hit the pillows.
Overture. Early the next day we drive to Embrun and up the mountains. Shortly after leaving the asphalt road the shuttle drops us off on a forest road and we start to pedal. The gradient is mellow, it’s sunny weather and the high valley is beautiful – a super start into our trip. Soon the pedalling part is over and we have to push and carry our bikes to the first pass. We can see large parts of the trail from here and it looks beautiful! Quickly we get ready and follow Markus on this fantastic trail. With a lot of flow and few technical spots it takes us to a small mountain refuge where we stop for coffee and snacks. What a brilliant start! A short bit on a gravel road takes us to the next trail which takes us down into a rocky ravine. After another hike-a-bike through a fly-infested forest we arrive at a ridge with a trail made in heaven. Along the drop-off and through the forest we fly down to Barcelonette.
Flow heaven. Day 2 starts with a shuttle to Col d’Allos, a famous Tour de France stage. The shuttle is more to our liking, the week will be long enough… The trail starts narrow with a little up and down to a hillock. From here a beauty of a trail takes us to Allos, so many nice corners! After a short uphill and another trail Fabian welcomes us with a picnic with local specialities. We spend some time eating and snoozing in the sun before we have to pedal to the next trail head. Only about an hour uphill through the forest. In a hairpin turn of the forest road an inconspicuous trail branches off. Shortly after it becomes a spectacular trail, partially narrow and technical. Over a last big rock slab we roll into the little village Colmars. Markus offers a bonus lap on the other side of town and recommends a swimming spot for those who prefer to chill in the afternoon.
Grey Earth. After two long epic trails from Col de Champs we arrive in Villeneuve d’Entraunes on the third day, where the iconic grey earth trail is located. The compact mix of sand and grit baked together has a lot of grip and the landscape forms a natural rollercoaster or bobsled run. Biking delirium!