We were surprised at how far out of the way this route takes cyclists, in order to avoid the busy main road. Long, steep climbs in both directions make this a rather unattractive option.


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This is one of just two stretches that have been officially opened so far. We first cycled here in 2016 when the route was ready but the final surface had not been laid.

Other than the smooth surface, we noticed another important improvement – two modal filters that prevent motor traffic from using the cycleway as a convenient short cut. One of these can be found on the outskirts of Salernes, where in 2016 we noticed a significant number of cars. This is certainly something that would enhance other stretches of the EV8, but we are aware that there is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons.

Great cycling through lovely scenery

The stretch starts near the centre of Salernes, just below the Intermarché supermarket, where there is a car park dedicated to the EV8. From here there is a short descent into the valley of the river Bresque, though the cycleway hugs the hillside above the river, offering some lovely views.

The cycleway then slowly climbs on to the plain at Mentone. The climb is very gentle – just 63 metres over 4 kilometres, taking full advantage of the railway line’s original engineering. At Mentone, the forests of the Bresque valley give way to the open plain around Chateau Mentone, a beautiful organic vineyard, auberge and restaurant that is on the Accueil Velo list.

Just beyond is the old Mentone railway station, which served the nearby villages Entrecastaux and St. Antonin du Var. There is a signposted connection to the latter village from the cycleway.

A little farther, and we encounter the second modal filter. What is clear is that this is in place to stop the substantial motor traffic that circulates to the east from using the cycleway to travel west.  We are just 3 kilometres from our destination, but the suburbs of Lorgues are already around us. The village has expanded rapidly since the second world war, from a low of 2,600 in 1946 to over 9,000 today. That expansion coincided with the closure of the railway line, and the municipality naturally took advantage of the old route to develop new streets. In Lorgues, EV8 has the feel of a residential street.

The cycleway skirts the north of the village, and there are multiple ways to access the centre and its many facilities.