The River Rhone Cycle Route
From the Alps to the Mediterranean
By Mike Wells
Guidebook to cycling the Rhone Cycle Route, an 895km ride through France and Switzerland from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. Divided into 20 stages, each approximately 45km long, the route can be completed by most cyclists in 10 to 14 days. Includes information on preparation, navigation, accommodation and amenities on route.
SeasonsExcept for the prologue and stage 1 in the high Swiss Alps, the route can be cycled between April and October. The Furkapass is free of snow from around mid-May to mid-October, allowing the route to be cycled in its entirety.
CentresA point-to-point route passing through Martigny, Montreux, Geneva, Lyon, Vienne, Valence, Montélimar and Arles.
DifficultyA straightforward route that is generally downhill or level (though there are a few short ascents, and the optional prologue stage involves some 900m of climbing). Mostly asphalt surfaces in good condition that are suitable for hybrid or touring cycles. Much of the route follows dedicated off-road cycle tracks, suitable for family cycling, though there are a few short sections where main roads are used.
Must SeeThe Rhone glacier, Furka pass, Lake Geneva, Château de Chillon, Montreux, Lausanne, Geneva, Lyon, Vienne, Valence, Montélimar, vineyards of the Côtes du Rhone, papal city of Avignon, Roman Arles, Camargue delta.
Guidebook to the River Rhone Cycle Route, an 895km bicycle ride from the Alps of central Switzerland to the Mediterranean Sea, near Marseille, France. The route - which is mostly downhill, except for an optional 15km climb to the start point at Furkapass - is divided into 20 stages (averaging 45km per stage) and can be completed by most cyclists in 12-14 days.
The route uses two waymarked national cycle trails: the Swiss R1 Rhone Route and the French ViaRhona, which together have been adopted by the ECF (European Cyclists' Federation) as EuroVelo route EV17.
The guide provides detailed route descriptions and 1:150,000 mapping for each stage, as well as two route options along either the north or south shore of Lake Geneva. It also includes plenty of practical advice such as preparing for the journey, transport options there and back, what to take, accommodation en route and a French/German glossary.
Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 25 years. He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites’ Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
Mike has cycled the C2C route across northern England and Lon Las Cymru in Wales, as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.
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