Col de Saint Roch

Four roads meet on Col de Saint Roch. Two of these go to higher named passes, Col de Turini and Col de Porte. More often than not, Col de Saint Roch is just a shoulder point on a ride to one of these two summits, especially Col de Turini. But even on a Col de Turini ride, the part of the ride between Contes and Col du Savel is (in my opinion) the second most interesting part of the tour. (The first place is still reserved for the Gorge de Piaon). But that portion between Contes and Col du Savel is also part of ride with Col de Saint Roch as highest point. These two approaches, which make Col de Saint Roch the highest point on a loop, are described here.


01.(00.0km,6m) START-END SOUTH ALT: port in Nice
02.(07.6km,74m) la Trinite
03.(09.6km,97m) Cantaron
04.(10.9km,105m) START-END SOUTH: jct D21-D2104, north of Cantaron
05.(17.0km,225m) Contes
06.(24.5km,592m) Coroaze
07.(36.1km,972m) Col du Savel
08.(37.7km,990m) TOP: Col Saint Roch
09.(44.0km,645m) Luceram
10.(50.7km,360m) profile turns left in l'Escarene
11.(57.3km,197m) road on left goes to Peille and Col de la Madone
12.(65.1km,105m) START-END SOUTH 2: same as point 4


From South. In order to maximize the elevation gain the profile starts on the coast and follows busy metropolitan and suburban roads to Cantaron. North of Contes cycling conditions become much better. Soon the route passes one of the main attractions of this ride, the hilltown Coraoze. A turnoff to the right provides a short detour through the narrow medieval alleys. The cemetery on the highest point of this vallage has the best view. More pictures of this town are on the Col de Turini page.

Back on the main road with the bike, the road traverses around Coraoze, with two small, gentle descends and one slightly larger ascend. Across the ridge, the next goal, Col du Savel is clearly visible. In order to get there the road follows the contours of the heavily eroded crumbly mountainscape. The best views are from the final approach to Col du Savel. This is also the steepest part of the climb. The road is lined with low, meter long, massive brick embankments. They are characteristic for this area. The opposite hillside is dotted with a few isolated stone houses, and the previously traversed pass road, connecting the houses with detouring serpentines.

Past the Col du Savel the viewshed changes from the east to the west and Luceram. A short traverse along a shallow breadloaf shaped mountain leads to Col Saint Roch. The top has a crucifix.

                                    from approach to Col de Ste Roche
telephoto picture of Coraoze, as seen from lower southern approach

From North. (also described upwards) The profile on this side starts at point 4 of the other approach. It follows a pleasant cycling road to l'Escarene. An interesting far view on this part of the ride is the hilltown of Peille. A picture and the description of this route is on the Col du Nice page. The next major attraction is the hilltown Luceram. The climb from here to Col St Roch leads in serpentines up a dry sandy slope, partially eroded into badlands at the top.

Dayrides with this pass as shoulder point are on pages:

Col de Turini , Col de Porte

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