The Col de Turini is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, France. It’s right up there on our list of favourite climbs. At an average gradient of 5%, it’s not too steep but it’s 27 kilometres long. 27km!
As a climb it’s got everything. In some places the road meanders lazily along the side of the mountain and in others, it offers tight switchbacks with shear drops. Wide open views of the surrounding Cols are present for most of the climb before the road enters dense pine forests towards the summit.
Don’t underestimate the length of this climb. You’ll need to ensure you’ve got enough fuel onboard before you start your ascent. Unless you’re an über climber, you’ll have anywhere between 1hr 15mins to 1hr 45mins of climbing ahead of you. After you’ve started the climb, there’s nowhere to refuel until you summit. You’ll be in a world of hurt if you hit the wall on the way up.
At the top you’ll find a handful of small restaurants. Grab some cake and coffee before you descend.
We climbed the Col de Turini in mid-April on a beautifully sunny day. Yet, there was still snow at the top. The difference in temperature at sea level in Nice at the start of our ride compared to the temperature at the top was unbelievable. The descent down the other side of the mountain was, for the large part, shaded… and freezing. Layer up and stay warm.
We can’t emphasise how amazing this climb is. Make the effort to do it, you will not be disappointed.