We can’t miss an opportunity to include a spectacular and historic road on the Rally route. In addition to the Route Napoleon, globally recognised as one of Europe’s greatest drives, this year we are taking a slight detour just North of Monaco and taking on the famous Col de Turini.
Any rally fans in our ranks will recognise the mountain climb (and descent) from the Monte Carlo Rally, one of the hardest rallies in the world, where one minute you are on perfectly dry, sun drenched tarmac, the next, you are facing snow and ice.
If you don’t know it from the world of rallying, any Top Gear fans might well recognise it from the latest series, where Chris Harris and his intrepid co-driver Monsieur Jordan took on a stage of the rally in the new Alpine A110. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it for you, for those that did, please let’s not have that ending to someone’s trip.
Stolen straight from Wikipedia:
The Col de Turini (el. 1607 m) is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in France. It lies near Sospel, between the communes of Moulinet and La Bollène-Vésubie in the Arrondissement of Nice.
It is famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally which is held on the tight road with its many hairpin turns. Until a few years ago, the Col de Turini was also driven at night, with thousands of fans watching the “night of the long knives” as it was called, due to the strong high beam lights cutting through the night.
The Col de Turini has also featured three times in the Tour de France (1948, 1950 and 1973). The climb averages 7.2% over 15.3 km when approached from the East starting at the valley of the river Vésubie.
This pass was featured in the first episode of Top Gear series 10 when the presenters went in search of the greatest driving road in the world.
Thanks Wikipedia, for your limited information on the Col de Turini but your amazing ability to swallow up time diving in a link clicking black hole of trivia.
Back to the Col.
The road to Col de Turini includes a long series of hairpin turns that winds up the side of the mountains. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the world. Helter skelter corners and changeable weather conditions mean this road is far from safe. Lethal in bad weather, this road can often be covered in snow and ice making it one of the most treacherous roads in the world.
Col de Turini is famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally which is held on the tight road with its many hairpin turns. Until a few years ago, the Col de Turini was also driven at night, with thousands of fans watching the “night of the long knives” as it was called, due to the strong high beam lights cutting through the night.
This road is usually open all year, but during winter months, it can be closed when the access is not cleared of snow. This helter skelter road is one of the most dangerous and challenging stages of the Monte Carlo Rally . With 34 tight hairpins to challenge you and jaw-dropping scenery, the Col de Turini is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and coolest driving roads in Europe. Difficult and dangerous, this stage has caught out many of the best rally drivers in history. Larousse, Thérier, Waldegård, Delecour, McRae, Grönholm or Solberg are just some of the many drivers that have had trouble over the Turini stage.
The main risk on this curvy and narrow mountainous road which rarely permits speeds over 30km/h is coming around a blind corner and discover a vehicle proceeding toward you. It has been named as one of the worlds’ greatest roads and is something of an engineering masterpiece. The 24km pass cuts through the mountains between Sospel and La Bollene with 34 impressive hairpin bends to navigate as you climb up to 1.607m. The bottom section is quite open and flowing, but narrow, and with several blind corners. Hugging the mountainside, and going through it, up through the trees, the road becomes more challenging, with hairpin bends a plenty, rock on one side and drops on the other, the top section is extremely twisty, with rocks sometimes in the road, not a road to lose concentration on.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it.