Biking from Nice to Monaco – and back

Along route 6098

Along route 6098

Monaco is just a little ways down the road from Nice – so how could we pass up the opportunity to see another country? We debated the best way to do it. We’d heard lovely things about the train that winds through the mountains or there are tour companies that offer bus trips. We didn’t want to rent another car and the hike seemed a bit too far. I read some blogs about people who biked the whole way, and the idea appealed to me. Although I am NOT a strong biker and I am insanely glad I didn’t rent us road bikes. We instead chose to rent electric bikes.

A friend of my family owns one in a very hilly part of NY and had no problem zipping up the hill to her house with a bag of groceries. I remember being incredulous at the time as it was a particularly large hill. But wow. Those electric bikes are really amazing. Even when we were going uphill for a mile I felt as though I was barely pedaling.

It was a hot day and we somehow managed to leave right at noon. I am not great in the sun, I get heat stroke very easily and the first half hour on the bike was rough for me. Not because I was expending much effort but because of the temperature. So we pulled over in Villefranche-sur-mer for a break. They were having a little market and Brian bought me some plums to boost my blood sugar. After 15 minutes in the shade sipping water we headed off again.

Sweet sweaty kisses

Sweet sweaty kisses

The rest of the way was mostly downhill, so we coasted along the French Rivera, trying to balance on our bikes as we greedily soaked in the view. The route we took involved several tunnels… which were terrifying because they were dark and there weren’t bike lanes. However, mostly due to the Tour De France, the vehicles are used to sharing the road with bikes and everyone was extremely courteous. I felt out of shape when, going uphill on an electric bike, I got passed by a group of road bikes. Ah well. That’s why I’m not entering any races soon.

Dirty Monaco beach

Dirty Monaco beach

Our destination in Monaco was the beach, which, quite frankly wasn’t worth it. The pebbles were smaller than the rocks in Nice but the water quality was dreadful. It seems a bit ridiculous to be swimming in the shadow of mega resorts with garbage floating past us. But we were desperate for a cool down after our ride so we just made sure our mouths were shut tight and popped in quickly.

The ride back was much more relaxed as the sun wasn’t directly beating down on us. We stopped several times for pictures and I turned the power on my bike to full blast. I would highly recommend trying an electric bike and I am definitely going to buy one at some point. I could probably climb the Alps with one.

See the rest of our Monaco photos here.

We rented our bikes from Holland Bikes

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