SR de Port-la-Montagne
Starting from the port of Toulon (Var), this SR visits the massifs of southern Provence: Siou-Blanc, Maures, Rouet, Estérel, Tanneron, pays de Fayence, Haut-Var, Sainte-Victoire, Sainte-Baume, Fontblanche, Monts Toulonnais (Mont Caume, Mont Faron).
From limestone to crystalline massifs, from mountains overlooking the sea to those bordering the Prealps, landscapes and vegetation are varied. The Super Randonnée mainly takes small quiet roads, without avoiding a few passages in traffic, as it is a populated region. For example, the contrast is striking between the bustle of Toulon and the solitude of Mont Caume, separated only by ten kilometers.
The route can be ridden at the end or at the beginning of the season, and even all winter, if the weather is good (with caution, it can freeze in the Var hinterland). On the other hand, during the summer, access to the massifs is prohibited, because of the fire risk.
Toulon briefly bore the name of Port-la-Montagne by decree of the National Convention in 1793. Whatever the intention of the revolutionaries, riders will experience that Toulon, given its rugged hinterland, deserves this name.
Toulon is served by the Gare de Toulon railway station, offering suburban services to Marseille, Nice and Paris. The port of Toulon is the main port of departure for ferries to Corsica. The nearest airport is the regional Toulon-Hyères Airport.
In general, paved or unpaved DFCI roads (Défense des Forêts Contre l'Incendie, defense of forests against fire) are closed to traffic if the fire risk is high (a map of the daily fire risk is available here).
F1 events at the Castellet circuit (Paul-Ricard): do not plan to finish this SR on an F1 race day on the Paul Ricard circuit, known as the Castellet circuit (which is not located in Le Castellet, but on the DN8 between Cuges- les-Pins and Le Beausset). Gendarmes block even cyclists at Col de l'Age and Grand-Caunet.
Route de Siou-Blanc
Access to forests of Var (summer 2022)
Location of the Castellet circuit
"Malpasset" variant (gravel)
This variant uses an unpaved road (Piste d’Ambon) for 6 km, mostly downhill, in good condition but sometimes stony, passable with 23 mm tires. It leads to the site of the ruins of the Malpasset dam, which collapsed on December 2, 1959, causing one of the biggest French civil disasters of the 20th century. The variant bypasses the Capitou area which has heavy traffic. This variant measures a total of 10 km (instead of 9.5 km by the normal route). There is a ford where you risk getting your feet wet. Not recommended at night and in rainy weather. Riding on the Piste d’Ambon is prohibited from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., cycles included.
Malpasset variant, in green on the map
The ruins of the Malpasset dam,
Landscapes of SR de Port-la-Montagne