La Turbie Things to Do
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The base of the Trophy has a Latin inscription that lists the 44 Gaulic tribes that were conquered by the Romans. There are also bas reliefs that decorate the lateral parts of the facade.
La Turbie is starting point for many interesting long or short walks with spectacular viewpoints.
There are six or seven waymarked trails radiating from La Turbie, down the via Alpina to Monaco, East to the perched village of Gorbio and Roquebrunne, west to Fort Revere via the Grande Corniche to Eze, the heights of Monaco and the Golf country club, Mont Angel, and the Tete du Chien.
The Tourist Office is friendly and pleased to supply walkers with guide maps. Some of the trails are cyclable a la VTT
There is precious little by way of refreshment while out in the country and carrying liquids is essential along with something to keep the sun of your head. If like me you also carry ten kilo of photographic gear, remember to pack the polariser, as the haze is significant, and switch from auto-white balance to daylight to ensure you capture the blue of the sea and sky.
Like the titles says ... La Turbie and the top on which La Trophee des Alpes is built are - like many along the "Corniches" of the Cote-d'Azur - good for wonderful views along the blue coast.
La Turbie Transportation
The Lignes d'Azur Route 116 from Nice signboarded for Peille is the key - a 14 km ride out of Nice (new start location - Tram to Vauban/Gare Routiere St Angely) high above Monaco. The tourist leaflets refer to driving the upper Corniche, - no one mentions the cheap and convenient bus service - number of tourists on board apart from me - none. When I asked the driver: "Monsieur, La Turbie?" He kind of paused before replying. "Shall I tell him or not?" visibly went through his mind.
The bus does not display its route number - only a loose signboard by the drivers window saying "Peille" . There are no written leaflets which give times or stops. Boarding at the Bus station is the only sure way of knowing you are on the right bus. There is only the one bus and the same driver merely drives the same bus there and back three or four times a day.
The route has only three usable trips per day out of Nice: 10.45, 14.15 and 17.15 (check!)
The return bus is at La Turbie at 12.10, 15.35, and 18,00 So basically you can go out on the 10.45, a hour or so to get there, and return on the 15.35 Total cost 2 euro 60 cents.
En route you will see some of real Nice - the HLM public housing projects around La Trinite, the huge out of twn Auchan supermarket, lots of winding hillside roads, and the Laghet retreat
La Turbie Off The Beaten Path
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At the highest point of the Eastern Riviera within the Parc de la Grande Corniche, 700 metres above sea level - twice the height of Eze Village below - is the Fort de la Revere - The Fort of Dreams. During WW2 the French collaborator Vichy government held British pilots here many of whom made daring escapes. Despite talk of renovating the fort, it remains closed to the public. Instead they have built an educational "Maison de la Nature" .There are a few picnic tables now but no commercial services.
From La Turbie (accessible byTAM bus 116 from Nice, 10:45am except Sundays) a one and a half to two hour walk along unmaintained track, the "randonnee" has familiar wayfinding marks (yellow rectangle). A few hundred yards west of La Turbie, towards Nice, official signposting of the Parc Grande Corniche indicates the start of the track which initially passes private villas but soon turns into a narrow footpath winding up across open country to the first viewpoint of La Forna, with spectacular panorama overlooking La Turbie towards Italy. Two routes are available from there - route La Simbola - the coastal track, or cross country direct to the Fort.
The coastal walk is preferred, and the track passes through several tunnels, and past remains of derelict WW2 fortifications. Wild flowers and butterflies are in abundance, and the odd cyclist or walker, but rarely more than one or two. Arriving at the Fort, the panorama is breathtaking. The view East takes in the Esterel and Cap d'Antibes, closer, Nice airport, the Cap de Nice, the bay of Villefranche, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu, and finally looking below, the perched village of Eze. Wow!
Simply stunning, and we've not looked West yet...
Though there is a small car park at the fort, to drive here (route de la revere terminating at the Fort) is really to take the reward without making the effort, so respect to the two-legs over the four wheels. Drivers will also miss the incomparable unfolding lanscape and panoramas, as this is walking country only.
From the Fort there is a signposting to the "sentier botanique" - a narrow footpath scrambling down to Eze Village, or a road and footpath back to Col d'Eze which has at its conclusion a bar and a welcoming pint. From the Col d'Eze bus will take you back to Nice.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
La Turbie and it's great monument "La Trophee des Alpes" is overshaded by mass-tourist attracting Monaco and Nice. Furthermore closeby Eze and Roqubrune-Cap-Martin attract thousands of visitors as well, leaving La Turbie to the outsider. Still, it's easy to combine with visits to the previous mentioned destinations. It's worth it.
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