3 h 00 min
I cycle a lot
In Haute-Savoie, between Lake Geneva and the Vallée Verte area, cycle along following the Franco-Swiss border, perched high above one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Your journey begins at lakeside Thonon-les-Bains, official starting point of France’s grandes traversées alpines (or great Alpine crossings), to be tackled on foot, by road bike or on a mountain bike. Here, your way is shared with the second stage of the ViaRhôna cycle route linking Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean via the Rhône Valley. On the P’tites Routes du Soleil®, you’re heading out to tackle the cycle route through the French pre-alpine ranges. After a fairly short but very demanding climb, you cross the Col du Feu (1,120m in altitude), the first pass in a long line. Then descend into the Vallée Verte, to the banks of the usually peaceful Menoge River. Soon you come to the Col de Terramont (at 1,098m), which is less testing and takes you to Boëge.
779 m 1094 m
Waytypes of the stage
By road: 37,32 km
- Thonon-les-Bains: the Château de Ripaille; the lakeside port; the Pôle Culturel de la Visitation; the Musée du Chablais; Saint-François-de-Sales Basilica...
- Kilometre Zero marker/ La stèle du kilomètre 0: located in front of Thonon-les-Bains Tourist Office. This marks the start of several major French Alpine treks: the Route des Grandes Alpes® (for cyclists, bikers and car drivers); the Chemins du Soleil (for mountain bikers); the Petites Routes du Soleil® (for cyclists); and the Grande Traversée des Alpes via the GR5 (for hikers).
- UNESCO Chablais Geopark: accreditation at global level, recognizing the Chablais area’s exceptional geological, cultural and human heritage.
- Thermal spa: the Parc Thermal de Thonon-les-Bains provides an idyllic verdant setting for an entirely renovated thermal spa establishment. The Versoie spring water from here is put to many uses, and in particular to treat rheumatic complaints. Its diuretic and detoxifying properties are also used to ease problems of the metabolism and nutritional conditions.