The Col de Turini is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1,607 m (5,272 ft) above the sea level, in the Alps in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in France. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world. Helter skelter corners and changeable weather conditions mean this road is far from safe. Lethal in bad weather, this road can often be covered in snow and ice making it one of the most treacherous roads in the world.
The road to Col de Turini includes a long series of hairpin turns that winds up the side of the mountains. The pass is traversed by the D 2565 road. Col de Turini is famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally which is held on the tight road with its many hairpin turns. Until a few years ago, the Col de Turini was also driven at night, with thousands of fans watching the “night of the long knives” as it was called, due to the strong high beam lights cutting through the night.
There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The pass lies near Sospel, between the communes of Moulinet and La Bollène-Vésubie in the Arrondissement of Nice. It has been the arena where the best drivers in rally history have demonstrated their skills for the assembled fans.
The col has featured several times in the Tour de France. There are 3 possible routes to reach the summit. From D 2565, the ascent is 15.3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.107 meters, and the average percentage is 7.2 %. From L'Escarene, the ascent is 30.2 km long with an elevation gain of 1.532 meters and an average percentage of 5.1 %. And from Sospel, the ascent is 24 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.244 meters, and the average percentage is 5.2 %. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.
This road is usually open all year, but during winter months, it can be closed when the access is not cleared of snow. This helter skelter road is one of the most dangerous and challenging stages of the Monte Carlo Rally . With 34 tight hairpins to challenge you and jaw-dropping scenery, the Col de Turini is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and coolest driving roads in Europe. Road closures can be frequent, so check conditions before traveling in winter!.
The drive is definitely worth it. The Col de Turini has been the arena where the best drivers in rally history have demonstrated their skills for the assembled fans. Difficult and dangerous, this stage has caught out many drivers. Larousse, Thérier, Waldegård, Delecour, McRae, Grönholm or Solberg are just some of the many drivers that have had trouble over the Turini stage.
The main risk on this curvy and narrow mountainous road which rarely permits speeds over 30km/h is coming around a blind corner and discover a vehicle proceeding toward you. It has been named as one of the worlds’ greatest roads and is something of an engineering masterpiece. The 24km pass cuts through the mountains between Sospel and La Bollene with 34 impressive hairpin bends to navigate as you climb up to 1.607m. The bottom section is quite open and flowing, but narrow, and with several blind corners. Hugging the mountainside, and going through it, up through the trees, the road becomes more challenging, with hairpin bends a plenty, rock on one side and drops on the other, the top section is extremely twisty, with rocks sometimes in the road, not a road to lose concentration on.