49,96 Km
3 h 49 min
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49,96 km cycling route from Thonon-les-Bains to Morzine-Avoriaz

This is the first or last stage on the Route des Grandes Alpes®, depending on the direction in which you tackle the route, leaves from or ends at Thonon-les-Bains, a resort on the south bank of Lake Geneva, one of Europe’s largest natural lakes, with its French Riviera feel. Note that Thonon-les-Bains is the starting point of the great alpine itineraries, as well as the second stage of the ViaRhôna cycling route, which links Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean. Our objective being to improve the safety of cyclists and their experience of roaming, we propose here an alternative to the historical and signposted Route des Grandes Alpes®.

Elevation of the stage

830 m 1375 m

Waytypes of the stage

By road: 49,99 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 49,99 km

From Lake Geneva to Morzine-Avoriaz via the Col du Feu and the Vallée Verte

Route North / South

↗ 1250m ↘ 720m

Even if the historical and signposted Route des Grandes Alpes® route keeps all its interest, this first stage deviates from it. It offers you, shortly after Thonon-les-Bains, the very serious ascent of the Col du Feu (1,120 m), with Lake Geneva in the background, before the descent to the Vallée Verte. You then reach the gorges of the Dranse, in the heart of the Chablais Unesco Geopark. You go up them, through Saint-Jean-d'Aulps, Montriond and its lake, to the village of Morzine. On the way, the gorges of the Pont du Diable, in a fantastic natural setting, bear witness to the power of erosion.

Route South / North

↗ 720m ↘ 1250m

Starting from Morzine-Avoriaz, this final stretch has a few surprises in store. Natural first of all, with the Pont du Diable gorges, in the heart of the Unesco Geopark of Chablais. Sporting then with, from the Vallée Verte, the ascent of the Col du Feu, short and very intense with its 9,5 % average. A pleasant descent in the direction of Thonon-les-Bains, with a dazzling view of Lake Geneva.

Don’t miss

  • Thonon-les-Bains: the Château de Ripaille; the lakeside port; La Visitation cultural centre; the Musée du Chablais; Saint-François-de-Sales Basilica...
  • The Kilometre O marker: in front of Thonon-les-Bains Tourist Office. This marks the starting point of several major Alpine routes: the Route des Grandes Alpes® (for bikes, motorbikes and cars); the Chemins du Soleil (for mountain bikes); the Petites Routes du Soleil (for bikes); and the Grande Traversée des Alpes via the GR5 (a French national hiking path).
  • The Pont du Diable Gorges: midway between Thonon-les-Bains and Morzine, in the Chablais Global Geopark, these gorges provide an extraordinary demonstration of the power of erosion, which has carved out the fantastical natural setting here. There’s a walking track through them lasting c.40 mins.
  • Morzine-Avoriaz : in the heart of the French-Swiss Portes du Soleil, Morzine-Avoriaz combines the charm of a beautiful village with the bold architecture of a resort with an international reputation. Morzine-Avoriaz has been a traditional cycling destination for more than 40 years, thanks to the many cycling events it has hosted.

Accommodation on the stage

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