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“When they go low, we go high.” Michelle Obama’s famous phrase wasn’t written about the V65 cycle route along the Mediterranean, but it could have been.

This is a sister route to EuroVelo 8 across the south of France. While EV8 is crossing the mountains of the Var, V65 is hugging the coast. When EV8 returns to the coast at Cannes, V65 heads inland – and uphill.

This is no lesser route than its better-known EuroVelo counterpart: it might even be more rewarding in places. The coastal section, from Sanary sur Mer and Toulon to Fréjus, is largely a broad asphalt path, protected from the inevitably busy coast roads. Sailing past the heavy traffic on a smooth bike road with great sea views is an experience to be savoured.

There’s currently no route between Fréjus and Grasse. The proposed route will follow a valley where currently only an autoroute and a few forest tracks run. If you have the legs for it, we’d suggest instead that you ride the stunning Estérel Massif, a steep, gravelled climb with utterly breathtaking views via the Col Notre-Dame and Col des Trois Termes. From here you can rejoin the route via EV8.

The V65 route restarts at Grasse for a tough passage on (mostly) quiet roads past appealing hillside villas. The valley of the Var provides a swift descent down to the coast and the glorious promenade into Nice.

Note that a few sections of the route currently follow busy roads.

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