Clue de Saint Auban

Clue de Saint Auban, a balcony road in France

Clue de Saint Auban is a spectacular gorge created by the Esteron River, located in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It’s one of the French balcony roads.

Situated in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, the road through the gorges is called D2211. It’s a challenging paved road snaking its way through the clue on a ledge and passing a chapel cut out in the rock where a service is held every September. The road is steep. It’s a roller-coaster journey through forests and mountains to finally climb up the clue of St. Auban, one of the deepest, steepest and most spectacular clues in Provence. The road has been a key stage of the famous Rally Monte-carlo.

The most demanding section of the drive is 7.3 km (4.53 miles) long, running from Saint-Auban to Briançonnet. For this distance, the narrow one-lane road contours up the sheer ravine wall with a roof of rock overhead much of the way. It runs as a single track road along the mountainside for some distance with nowhere to pass another vehicle. Here one says a prayer that nobody is coming towards you until the road widens some kilometres further.

This road is one of the most famous balcony roads in the country. A balcony road is a hair-raising lane cut into the sides of sheer cliffs. It’s a kind of road not for those who fear heights. There is little room for error on these roads. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and narrow unlit tunnels. When you take this road as picturesque as it is narrow, with its many surprising meanders, drive carefully, and above all don't miss the parking spaces that have been provided.

 

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