On the trail of the Route des Grandes Alpes – from Switzerland to Nice Côte d’Azur in France
A road trip with cult status, 700 kilometers in length and an altitude difference of 15,700 meters: This is the Route des Grandes Alpes, which leads from Martigny in Switzerland to Nice on the Côte d’Azur. The tour through the Alps is one of the most beautiful routes in the world. You have to cross 18 passes in the high Alps. Nine of these passes are over 2,000 meters, including the highest road pass in the Alps, the Col de l’Iseran, at 2,770 meters.
Our sports car tours along the Côte d’Azur is the perfect road trip for lovers of the Mediterranean ambience.
Drive the famous dream road “Grande Corniche” along the French Riviera
The area around Nice is famous for its spectacular panoramic roads, and none is more famous than the legendary Grande Corniche. It is not without reason that the former Roman road between Nice and Menton is considered one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in the world: In tight hairpin bends, it winds around 500 meters above the sea past small villages and high cliffs. And it always offers breathtaking views of the glittering sea, whose turquoise blue is accentuated by the snow-white yachts of the rich and famous. No wonder that even Hollywood became aware of this little spot: The “big cliff road” laid out on behalf of Napoleon was, among other things, the scene of the initial car chase in the James Bond film “Golden Eye”.
Experience the southern French lifestyle while strolling through Nice, St. Tropez and Monaco. Enjoy charm, elegance and the art of living at the Hotel Cantemerle in Vence.
The hotel is located in the middle of a private park of about 1 hectare with centuries-old pine trees on a wooded hill between the Mediterranean Sea and Les Baous de Vence. Far from the noise of the city, but still close to all amenities, you will find here a real, timeless oasis of well-being.
We will get to know each other over dinner on the terrace in the private park of the Hotel Cantemerle. We will present the tours and the France road trip itinerary to you in the evening.
The Grande Corniche is the most famous panoramic road in the world! It was also a spectacular filming location for the James Bond film "Golden Eye". The Ferrari / vintage car chase takes place between Menton and Monaco.
Our day tour takes us from the Hotel Cantemerle via Nice, La Condamine, Mont Bastide, Monaco, Beausoleil, Cap Martin to Menton. On our route you will enjoy spectacular views to the sea and mountain side. Enjoy the Mediterranean and luxury lifestyle feeling of Monaco and the coastal roads of the Côte d'Azur over lunch in selected restaurants and beach clubs by a romantic dinner with sea view and wine tasting. Book now!
For dinner we meet at the hotel or at one of the beach clubs in Cannes or St. Tropez.
Who doesn't know the famous film "Perfume"? Our 2nd day tour takes us from the hotel over narrow roads to Grasse. Due to its long-established perfume industry, the town is considered the world capital of perfume and gained international fame as the location of the novel "The Perfume" by Patrick Süskind. Even today, everything revolves around fragrances. Our sports car tour takes us through the Parc naturel régional des Préalpes d'Azur up to the plateau of Valensole, the famous region for lavender cultivation, the raw material of many perfumes.
Lavender and cereals are grown on the plateau, which covers about 800 km2. Depending on the season, the plateau has a different surface texture: The snow-covered mountain peaks and the almond trees that blossom in March give way in July to the changing mauve colours of the lavender and the golden hues of the grain. Lavender blooms from mid-June - mid-August. So book your appointment now for the 2023 lavender flowering!
We visit one of the most beautiful villages in France "Moustiers-Sainte-Marie". Lunch there at the restaurant La Bastide de Moustiers or restaurant La Treille Muscate.
Pay tribute to the perfumes of Grasse
Grasse… Its name alone conjures up the mythical perfumes that earned the town a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity listing in 2018 for its “Skills related to perfume in Pays de Grasse“. And of course, this prestigious distinction is also a way to protect the town’s magnificent natural heritage of mimosa, violet and jasmine fields, which flourish here thanks to the region’s microclimate.
Behind Grasse’s celebrated perfumery savoir-faire lie a host of traditional skills, including perfume plant growing techniques, selection and processing of raw materials and the art of composing one-of-a-kind perfumes. In other words, Grasse perfume reflects the absolute mastery of traditions dating back to the 16th century. The figures say it all: the perfume industry in Grasse comprises no less than 64 firms employing around 4,600 staff.
In the afternoon we drive back to the Hotel Cantemerle via the dream roads. On the way we make a coffee stop in Fayence.
Gorges du Verdon
Near the municipality of Sestriere, the river has carved a furrow in the limestone massifs of Haute-Provence, thus forming the Verdon Gorge, colloquially known as the Grand Canyon du Verdon, which is overlooked by rock faces up to 250 metres high. Over 20 kilometres long and up to 700 metres deep, the Verdon Canyon is one of the largest canyons in Europe, along with the Tara Gorge in Montenegro, and is the main component of the Verdon Regional Nature Park named after it. Over long stretches, the canyon forms the border between the Var department in the south and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the north. It is divided into three sections:
- The "Prégorges" between Castellane and the bridge at Soleils
- The canyon between the bridge and l'Imbut
- The canyon between l'Imbut and the bridge at Galetas
The canyon flows into the Lac de St. Croix reservoir. In the area of today's reservoir, which was created by the construction of the Sainte Croix dam, the village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon was located before 1973, which was completely destroyed by the flooding and rebuilt elsewhere. Today, the commune is one of the youngest in France. With an average water temperature of up to 24°C
Our tours are planned along the Côte d’Azur. The tour start can also be planned in Germany or Italy. A possible tour would be from Genoa via San Remo, Cap Martin to Monaco, Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez to Marseille. Possible race tracks for a driver training and trackday would be Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet or Circuit du Var near Le Luc.
The Circuit du Var is located in Le Luc about 100 km west of Nice and 40 km from St. Tropez. This circuit was the test track of the former AGS Formula 1 team (1986-1991). The 2.2 km long and 9 m wide track consists of nine different curves and meets all the requirements for Formula 1 cars
Helicopter and Yacht Tours on the Côte d’Azur
To make your sports car tour an unforgettable experience, we will be happy to organise a helicopter tour or transfer as well as a boat trip on a chartered boat or yacht for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us!
The journey to the starting point of the tour in Chamonix/Switzerland is either in your own sports car or we provide you with one of our rental vehicles. We would be happy to make you an appropriate offer.
We drive about 2000 kilometers in 7 days/6 nights. The tour ends in Lugano.
We plan with a minimum of 8 participants. A maximum of 14 participants can ride in 7 vehicles. We drive in small and exclusive groups!
We drive the Grand Alpes Tour over many mountain passes to Nice. We plan 3 days/2 overnight stays for the journey and crossing the Alps. From the Hotel Cantemerle we plan several day trips along the coast (Grand Corniche Road) and into the hinterland. The return journey takes us along the coast road to Genoa and then to Lugano, where we stay overnight and in the evening we have dinner in an Agriturismo in a vineyard.
We cross 13 of the 18 Alpine passes of the Grand Alpes Road. The tour through the Alps is one of the most beautiful routes in the world! Among other things, we drive the highest road pass in the Alps, the Col de l'Iseran, at 2,770 meters. You can expect selected hotels, multifaceted and exciting day tours on the Cote d'Azure. Regional cuisine in selected restaurants, a good mood and lots of sun and sea!
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce, BMW and Audi. Whether coupe, convertible, Targa or SUV. We are pleased to send you an individual offer!
Our sports car tours are always guided tours. We accompany our tours with experienced instructors in our own instructor vehicle, which also serves as a replacement vehicle during the tour! Since we are on the road as a group, we also go to dinner together and to the planned social programmes. However, there is also enough time to retreat once in a while!
All our tours have been researched, developed and ridden by us. There are no surprises with us! The hotels, restaurants and their owners are for the most part known to us personally.
There are numerous beautiful areas in France where a sports car tour is recommended, such as Champagne, Alsace, the Vosges and above all the Cote d'Azure. Here luxury, sea, celebrities, luxury hotels, great coastal roads and mountain passes in the hinterland are close together! The legendary Formula 1 race also takes place in Monte Carlo/Monaco every year in May!
On our sports car tours through France, you will also get to know the sights of the Unesco World Heritage Site
Visit Nice, capital of Riviera Tourism
A UNESCO-listed site July 2021, designated “Nice, Capital of Riviera Tourism”, this stunning Riviera town is world renowned as one of France’s most beautiful cities.
An iconic destination par excellence, Nice has evolved around the leisure industry and was initially a coveted winter tourism hub until the late 19th century. The wealthy bourgeoisie flocked to the “Winter Parlour of Europe”, boasting a temperate climate and gorgeous scenery ranging from olive and orange groves to dazzling Mediterranean sea views…
Various travel diaries also contributed to the city’s renown, including a work by Scottish writer Tobias Smollett published in 1766 entitled “Travels Through France and Italy”. The city was an entertainment hotspot too: bedecked in their tuxedos and long dresses, holidaymakers paraded at the theatre and opera house, or relaxed at the local library. They marvelled at the Nice carnival, fairs and other traditional celebrations. Summer tourism took off from 1920 onwards. The fame of the city’s ever-blue sunny skies and healing, crystal-clear Mediterranean waters stretched far beyond the French border and Nice soon became a favourite stop-off on the Côte d’Azur.
Southern France is a beautiful region with many charming medieval villages to explore. If you’re planning a road trip through the area, there are several destinations you won’t want to miss.
Carcassonne – This walled city in the Languedoc region is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved medieval fortifications in Europe.
A walk in the heart of Unesco Nice
What are the top things to do in Nice? From the port to the historic quarter, you’re bound to come across at least one remarkable heritage site in this harmonious, ornamental and flower-filled city, hovering between land and sea.
Head to the mythical Promenade des Anglais, baptized in 1844 when walks along the sea front had become very fashionable. Just imagine Queen Victoria strolling with her court along the hotels and palaces of Colline de Cimiez hill, including the Excelsior Regina Palace where she stayed…
Open your eyes and observe the many cosmopolitan influences found in the architecture of Nice’s palaces, chateaux and Saint Nicolas Cathedral.
Today, Nice hopes to give visitors a great new excuse to tour the Côte d’Azur: the city is a candidate for the “European Capital of Culture” title in 2028!
In the evening we take the shuttle to one of the legendary beach clubs such as Nikki Beach in Saint Tropez, VIP ROOM in Saint Tropez, Gotha Club in Cannes, Jimmy’z Monaco or Club 55 in Saint Tropez, Annex Beach Club, Baoli in Cannes (depending on availability!).
It sounds like you are planning a driving tour of France to explore medieval towns, châteaux, lavender fields, and beautiful towns in the south of France.
Here is a suggested itinerary for your trip:
Arrive in Paris and spend the day exploring the city's medieval architecture, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle.
Drive to the Loire Valley region, known for its many châteaux. Visit Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château d'Amboise.
Explore the medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canéda in the Dordogne region. Visit the town's Gothic cathedral and the Château de Beynac, perched on a hill overlooking the Dordogne River.
Drive to the picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence and explore its medieval old town, filled with charming squares and fountains.
Visit the lavender fields in the Luberon region and stop in the medieval towns of Gordes and Roussillon.
Explore the beautiful town of Avignon, which boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site medieval fortress and the famous Palais des Papes.
Head to the coastal town of Nice and explore its old town, filled with narrow streets and colourful buildings.
Return to Paris and depart from France.
Of course, you can adjust this itinerary to fit your preferences and time constraints.
Enjoy your trip!
For our – instructor-led – sports car tours we provide the following sports car models to choose from: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren Audi R8 or RS models, Mercedes-AMG, BMW M models, Bentley, Rolls Royce and much more.