The Col de Castillon is a personal favourite. Once you’ve negotiated the main road out of Menton and passed the turn-off to the motorway, the road becomes a lot quieter and more scenic. It’s a steady gradient, nothing too strenuous, but once past the first village of Monti, it is without respite.

Col de Castillon hairpins and sea in background

The coast is still just visible beyond a section of stacked hairpins


You pass the village of Castillon with a few kms still to do; shortly after, the road forks with all motorised traffic heading to Sospel taken through a tunnel, leaving the final stretch of road almost completely car-free. The Col is marked by a tiny tunnel of its own as you cross though one valley into another, leaving Menton and the coast behind you, and now with an amazing vista of the Braus to your left, the Turini and the peaks of the Mercantour in front, and the Brouis and Italian Alps to the right.


Col de Castillon view from top looking north


The view from the top, looking north


The descent of the Castillon back down to Menton is one of the best descents in the region. Whilst there are sections of tight hairpins, it is mostly characterised by wide road with long sweeping bends, a real delight.