Col De La Bonette - France

The Col de la Bonette is one of the most famous roads in the Alps, due to the fact that it is, at 2802M, the highest road in Europe. The actual pass finishes at around 2715M with an addition taking it to the full height, a recent addition that the French added to retain the title.

As surprising as it is, the Col de la Bonette ascent is not as difficult as would be expected of the highest road in Europe, the road surface is very smooth and the scenery breathtaking. As the beautiful sweeping roads get higher there is a fantastic contrast between the greenery at the base of the pass and the barren, almost volcanic atmosphere at the top. The way the route is set out means that as you get in to the driving rhythm, the roads tests you more and more, a test that brings its rewards in the form of one of the most stunning panoramas in Europe, accompanied by a plaque to confirm your exploit.

The run down the Col de la Bonette is much the opposite, once at the summit of the pass, the road down can be seen for the next 3 miles, looking more like a race circuit than a mountain pass. As you get further down the pass the corners become slightly more testing, but the road surface gets better, due to the regular passage of the tour de France.

The Col de la Bonette pass definitely merits a place in my top 10 just due to it’s staggering figures, 2802M deserves it, however that is not all, this pass is a fantastic test for people who really appreciate driving and brings rewards worthy of any mountain pass. Although it is fairly testing at times with some of the route becoming very narrow, it is a road that anyone can enjoy, with everything a real connoisseur needs to get the most out of his car.

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