Gorge du Cians is a balcony road in France

Gorge du Cians is a very scenic canyon with stunning red rocks located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It’s one of the French balcony roads.

Gorge du Cians

How long is Gorge du Cians?

The road through the gorges is totally paved. It’s called D28. The drive is 21.7 km (13.48 miles) long, running north-south from Beuil to Touët-sur-Var. The deep gorge carved through the mountains by the River Cians is made all the more spectacular by the deep red of the exposed rock. The river descends 1,600 m (5,250 ft) in just 25 km (15 miles) between the villages of Beuil and Touet-sur-Var. The narrowest and most spectacular part of the canyon is at Pra d’Astier, just in the middle of the two villages.

How long does it take to drive Gorge du Cians?

Tucked away on the southeastern part of the country, plan about 30 minutes to complete the drive without any stop. This road is one of the most famous balcony roads in France. A balcony road is a hair-raising lane cut into the sides of sheer cliffs. Located to the east of Gorge de Daluis, a circuit linking both gorges makes an excellent day out, passing through tunnels, past ravines and waterfalls cut into the stunning red rock. 

Is the road through Gorge du Cians difficult?

This road has been improved in the past to avoid the extremely tight passages and to improve traffic up to Beuil and Valberg as these villages are in winter very famous ski regions. To enable this, lots of tunnels have been dug and the famous and tight parts of the old road (Passage de la Petite Clue and Passage de la Grande Clue) have been blocked. In year 2013 it was still possible to circumvent the roadblocks and visit these famous sections with a motorbike. Partly you had to unmount the sidecases of your motorbike – but it was still possible. These sections are not maintained anymore and now it’s simply dangerous for life to try to drive there. Partly just half a meter of the street has remained and the rest crashed into the gorges. Also, the splinters of the red rocks on the street could very soon kill your tires as they are sharp like knifes. The authorities have now blocked these sections in a way that its really impossible to drive there even with a bicycle.