Route de Thorenc, a driving road that also goes by the name Route de Gentelly, is a breathtaking balcony road in Alpes-Maritimes. This road is one of our favourite roads in South of France, and also one of the best driving roads in Europe if you ask us. Côte d'Azur is a wonderful driving destination because of the mild weather year-round, and Route de Thorenc stays open in the winter. Occasionally there might be snowfall since the road is high up in the mountains, but from March to November there are usually no driving restrictions.
To reach Route de Thorenc you might drive over other scenic mountain roads as well. Col de Vence and Route Napoleon are two other great driving roads in the same area, and should definitely be driven as well.
Driving the Route de Thorenc
Perhaps you have seen photos of this road in car magazines, as it is a popular destination for car manufacturers to shoot their cars. No wonder as the tunnels carved into the rocks with a beautiful backdrop of the valley creates a spectacular image, with or without car. If you climb up on one of the high rocks that are situated by the side of the road you can enjoy an even more spectacular panoramic scenery of the valley.
The road D2 is long and all of it is a nice mix of hairpin corners and long straights. However the most picture perfect part with the carved tunnels is only about 8 kilometers long. It is located between Gréolières and a roundabout at the D2 / D802 intersection. If you want to stop for coffee or lunch in the area there are a few places in Gréolières, or if you pass by Vence on your route you could stop at Château Saint-Martin & Spa with a beautiful view to the coast from their terrace.