The Mimosa is a symbol of a winter Côte d'Azur, blooming from January to March in a mild climate and creating a sort of contrast between azure blue and sunny yellow. Winding between the coast and the forest of the Tanneron massif, it guides you through your senses (color and scent) to discover the richness of the French Riviera, its authenticity, its unique terroir, its festive atmosphere, its unsuspected heritage !
This was one of these Sunday rides, that has everything in place - the weather (not too hot, not too cold, perfect sunshine all along), the people (cyclists valuing the romantic side of cycling), the nature (mimosas, obviously), the food (bless you carbs, so vital during intense physical efforts !). We started off our tour in Cannes surroundings (JLP) to then continue all the way by the coast and enter into the very heart of Tanneron massif.
After first part of steady but quite tough climbing with, of course, some photo-drone stop, we reached the village of Tanneron for the first time (the mimosa capital). With boulangerie open and a lunch break approaching (it was already almost noon) we didn't miss the opportunity to recompense our efforts with a huge, baguette sandwich made with special type of cheese from the region ! Right before the departure, one of the participants would spot a flat and so the time he change it we could enjoy this longer break in the end-of-January sun. A true bliss!
We went on to continue the route, direction St. Cassien Lake - this part would be an extension to the regular cycling Mimosa Tour as it requires very good fitness level and doesn't feature the mimosas ;)
However, it was a very pleasant detour, as this way you get to climb the Tanneron massif twice and you can feel completely guilt-free of the ridiculous amount of cheese and bread you just let on board. The lake itself is a very popular spot for all the paddle board, fishing or kayaking enthusiasts or swimmers (especially in the season, when you are looking for a quieter alternative from more touristy coastline) !
Last part of our tour was basically climbing all the way back to the Tanneron village and enjoying the golden hours with the very smelly company of mimosas! There's always a local market organized in the village each Sunday - giving you a chance to try the local specialities like Mimosa syrup, honey (not with mimosa flavor unfortunately - the bees are off in the wintertime aparently;)), or figues jam. The Tanneron forests and massif is a well-known getaway to all the families and hikers from the region - you wouldn't believe how packed was it on the way back, so many locals came to pick up the mimosas and decorate their homes with it - it's a true must-have flower in each French Riviera interior ! ;)
So that's it when it comes to perfect Sunday ride in Cote d'Azur wintertime - remember the tirade - PEOPLE + PLACE + POWER = PERFECTION :)
If you want to book this tour with me as your very much private and best local guide in the region - check my availabilities in the calendar below :
DISCLAIMER : full picture rights and credits belong to Ivan Blanco, best amateur cycling photographer and artist in one person ! You can reach him via his personal blog : https://theworldisahandkerchief.com
If you are planning to come visit the French Riviera region - don't hesitate & start browsing for some nice accommodation now :