EPIC DRIVES

COL DE TURIN, FRANCE

10th September 2020

Epic Drives France

In stark contrast to the raw, coastal elements of Norway’s Atlantic Road, we have Col de Turini – pretty much your quintessential, sweeping South of France glamour cruise. Or, with a little less ooh-la-la and a touch more sacre bleu, one of Europe’s lesser-known destinations for putting pedal to metal.

Begin your journey in St Tropez (where else?) waking up in the lush, landscaped gardens of the Muse Hotel. Hop into the driver’s seat and you’ll curve along the the Cote d’Azur coastal road, through Sainte-Maxime, before taking a turn off the D559 and up the D8 road where you begin the scenic climb to Fréjus. Do stop at Restaurant L’Orlando in the port to indulge in a traditional Marseille bouillabaisse; a stew of fresh shellfish and saffron, mopped up with crusty baguette.

If you have time for a detour, swing by the futuristic architectural marvel “Palais Bulles”, created by iconic French designer Pierre Cardin. Otherwise, the coast road continues along towards buzzy, star-studded Cannes. To experience the city like a native, cruise past the designer shops on the seafront then head a minute or two into the town for time-honoured home-style dishes at La Brouette de Grande Mère.

Nestled between Cannes and Nice sits the town of Antibes on the eastern neck of La Garoupe. (If you’re feeling road weary, head for some R&R at the iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.) From the city limits, a sharp left turn towards the St-Laurent-du-Var then introduces the highlight of the route. Located in the Alps with an elevation of more than 1,000m, the Col de Turini mountain pass is one of the most distinguished roads in the world. Its winding stripe of tarmac demands all your attention and all the power of our recommended ride – the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. The road may seem like it leads nowhere but the thought of a destination is insignificant with some of the most breathtaking views in the country.

Epic Drives France
Epic Drives France
Epic Drives France

Which Car?

ASTON MARTIN DBS SUPERLEGGERA

This classic continental blast demands a classic grand-touring coupé, and this V12 monster will do the job better than most – pure comfort and practicality combined with torrents of power a mere toe-curl away (like, 0–62mph in 3.6s kind of power). It’s the flagship of Aston Martin’s newly refreshed range – a pumped-up version of the core DB11, whose wild success has underpinned the Warwickshire marque’s return to profitability at the hands of CEO-on-the-move Andy Palmer. A true, 715bhp, twin-turbo, 5.2-litre British muscle car, whose sinuous lines will still grace the waterfronts of the French Riviera with appropriate poise.

astonmartinedinburgh.co.uk

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Epic Drives Norway Related

EPIC DRIVES: ATLANTIC ROAD

The golden, sandy links of the northwest coast provide the dramatic setting for one of the UK’s top-five golf clubs – not to mention a sweeping, undulating A-road blast to get there, followed by a cruise through the spectacular Ribble Valley.

Great Drives Birkdale

GREAT DRIVES: BUNKER DOWN AT BIRKDALE

The golden, sandy links of the northwest coast provide the dramatic setting for one of the UK’s top-five golf clubs – not to mention a sweeping, undulating A-road blast to get there, followed by a cruise through the spectacular Ribble Valley.

GREAT DRIVES: MAKE IT AT THE MACHRIE

Here’s a fine excuse to tour the brooding west coast of Scotland: a drive almost as rewarding as a hole-in-one on the historic links of the newly refurbished The Machrie on Islay. Given the Isle’s fame for whisky, why not tour a distillery or eight, too?