A8 autoroute

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A8 Marker.png

The A8 autoroute, also known as La Provençale, is a 224-kilometer (139 mi)-long highway in France that runs between Aix-en-Provence and the A7 to the Côte d'Azur.


The A8 is an extension of the A7 starting to the west of Aix-en-Provence at La Fare-les-Oliviers. The road passes through the Departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Alpes-Maritimes. It serves the towns of Aix-en-Provence, Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël, Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco and Menton before crossing the border where it becomes the A10 in Italy. It crosses the mountain ranges of Sainte-Baume and of Maures between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus and it Massif de l'Esterel between Saint-Raphaël and Cannes. Following the Grande Corniche the road offers panoramas of the sea between Nice and Menton.


  • 2x2 lanes in the section through the southern Alps from Nice Saint-Augustin to the frontier with Italy, this section has 15 tunnels. There is a speed limit of 90 km/h in the tunnels (70 km/h for large vehicles).


The road has heavy traffic all year round and is especially congested in July and August (in particular around Antibes and Nice. As a result, traffic-management schemes have been adopted between Var to Nice-West similar to those on the Péripherique in Paris. The autoroute is regularly closed on the Nice-Menton section as a result of rock falls onto the carriageways. The sections crossing the Maures and L'Esterel mountains are at risk from forest fires in summer.


Opening dates of the A8[edit]

  • 1956: Creation of Escota, a company to be in charge of all the sections from Aix-en-Provence to the Italian Frontier.
  • 1961: Opening of the toll sections of Fréjus through Mandelieu-la-Napoule to Cagnes-sur-Mer (exit 46).
  • 1969: Opening of the toll section from Roquebrune to the Italian frontier (initially only one carriageway and for lightweight vehicles. Then, in 1970, both carriageways were opened).
  • 1971–1974: Staged opening of the sections between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus.
  • 1976: Opening of the section between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Roquebrune (partly one carriageway only—the doubling of some tunnels was completed as late as 1988).

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google