There are limited local bus services between the mountain villages, but they are slow and unreliable, as many only operate during school term times.

Car & Motorcycle

It might only be an hour or two north of Nice, but make no mistake: you’re in the Alps proper in Haute-Provence. Heavy snowfall means the highest cols (passes) are usually only open between May and September. Access roads have signs indicating whether the pass is ouvert (open) or fermé (closed), or you can check in advance with local tourist offices.

A road map is indispensable: GPS units have a nasty habit of leading you up steep, narrow roads that really aren’t designed for cars and frequently don’t have guard rails. Also look out for deep gullies along the roadsides – if you run a front wheel into them you’ll need a tow truck to get you out. Snow tyres are required on many roads during winter.

The main passes that close in winter are:

Col d’Allos (2250m) Links the north–south D126/D908 from Allos in the Vallée du Haut Verdon to Barcelonnette in the Vallée de l’Ubaye.

Col de la Cayolle (2326m) Links the Vallée du Haut Var with the Vallée de l’Ubaye along the D2202/D902, running north–south from St-Martin-d’Entraunes to Barcelonnette.

Col de Restefond la Bonette (2802m) Europe’s highest mountain pass links the D64 from St-Étienne-de-Tinée in the Vallée de la Tinée to Barcelonnette in the Vallée de l’Ubaye.

Col des Champs (2095m) The east–west D2/D72 road connecting St-Martin-d’Entraunes in the Vallée du Haut Var with Colmars-les-Alpes in the Vallée d’Allos.