Route Napoleon is a 325 km stretch of modern road, the Route nationale 85, winding through the spectacular mountains of Provence. The road follows the route taken by Napoleon in his 1815 escape from Elba to Grenoble.
This asphalted road begins at Golfe-Juan, where Napoleon disembarked on 1st March 1815, beginning the Hundred Days that ended at Waterloo. It took Napoleon and a thousand men a whole week, but today you can drive the entire route in about eight hours. Perhaps you’ll want to split it up into smaller sections and enjoy the fantastic scenery over a few days. From the coastal town of Golfe-Juan in the Alpes Maritimes, the Napoleon Road crosses scenic mountains. This 325-kilometre long tourist road also passes through pretty towns and villages worth stopping at including. It leads from the French Riviera to the southern Pre-Alps. It is marked along the way by statues of the French Imperial Eagle.
Just follow the sign of the brown eagle on the roadside. The Route Napoleon road itself is a fantastic design, with cambered corners and fantastic scenery. In contrast with the mountain passes this route is more designed for speed and the ability to really appreciate the performance of the car. The road was inaugurated in 1932. Running through Provence, it begins at Golfe-Juan, turns to Cannes in the French Riviera and then to Grasse. Going southwestward, the route passes Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey. Before reaching Castellane, where the Napoleon Bridge is found, there is Château de Brondet. Going up over the Col des Leques at 1,146 m, passing through the Clue de Taulanne and the small village of Barrême, the route reaches Digne-les-Bains. The road goes somewhat westward following the Bléone river until Malija. There is a castle where Napoleon spent a night. Going southwestward again, the next big town is Sisteron. After passing by Gap, Route Napoléon goes up over the Col Bayard at 1,248 m, to Corps. Further north is La Mur and then the route then leads all the way to its destination at Grenoble.