Col de Turini is a Treacherous Alpine Road with a Legendary Driving History

Col de Turini is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,610m (5,282ft) above sea level, located in the Alpes-Maritimes department of 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.

Col de Turini

Where is Col de Turini?

The pass is located in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the southeastern part of France, near the Italian border.

How long is Col de Turini?

The road to the summit is entirely paved. It’s called D2566 (Route de Turini), part of the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes. The pass is 44.9 km (27.89 miles) long, running from Sospel to Lucéram.

Is Col de Turini difficult?

The road to the summit features a long series of hairpin turns that wind up the side of the mountains. With 34 tight hairpins to challenge you and jaw-dropping scenery, the Turini is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and coolest driving roads in Europe. Located in the deep pine forests above Menton, it has been named one of the world’s greatest roads and is something of an engineering masterpiece. 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 aplenty, 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. The road is steep, hitting a 9% maximum gradient through some of the ramps.

Is the road to Col de Turini open?

Set high in the Alps, the road is lethal in bad weather and can often be covered in snow and ice, making it one of the most treacherous roads in the world. It is one of the most famous balcony roads in the country.

What’s Col de Turini famous for?

The road is one of the most dangerous and challenging stages of the Monte Carlo Rally. It 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. Until a few years ago, 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. This helter-skelter road has won the respect of all drivers, both old and new. It is a mythical stage incorporating all of the characteristics that have made this event one of the most difficult rallies, but at the same time probably the most exciting and splendid. To this day, this stage created for itself a great history and has an aura without equal, becoming a legend. It has been featured in Tour de France and Paris–Nice races as well.