Biking trips and roadbooks in Savoie

Are you a biker? Take advantage of a stay in Val Thorens this summer to discover the Savoie region and its surrounding area via some legendary roads and passes. Popularised by the Tour de France, these roads will put a smile on your face turn after turn! Not forgetting the many lakes and viewpoints on offer...

To make life easier for you, we've selected a few roadmaps of the must-do motorbike tours.

These roadbooks can be downloaded in PDF format and are accompanied by GPS tracks in GPX (Garmin GPS) and KML (Google) formats. 

And don't forget to adapt these itineraries to your own pace, traffic conditions and desires!

1 - Loop via Cormet de Roselend and its lake

Leaving Val Thorens, head for Moutiers then Bourg Saint Maurice. This is where the serious stuff begins, with a lovely winding climb up to Cormet de Roselend.

On the way down to Beaufort, take the time to stop for a drink on the lakeside terrace and why not head down to the dam.

Once you arrive in Beaufort-sur-Doron, enjoy a Beaufort (cheese) tasting at the local cooperative. Finally, on the way back, you can visit the pretty medieval town of Conflans, with its panoramic views over Albertville and the valley.

Biker tip: I recommend taking a diversion of just 3 kilometres on the way up to Cormet de Roselend to get to the Ville des Glaciers. It's a dead-end road with a magnificent view.

Distance : 185 km
Duration: Approx. 4 hours
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

2 - Tour de la Vanoise via the Col de la Madeleine and the Col de l'Iseran

It's a long walk that will require you to set off dressed in the early morning chill, but it's well worth it!

The ascent to the Col de la Madeleine requires vigilance due to its narrowness and not always perfect surface, but the view from the top is superb. The descent to La Chambre is very pleasant, with some lovely curves.

After passing through the Maurienne valley, you'll arrive in Bonneval-sur-Arc. A magnificent little village of stone chalets and slate roofs, well worth a stop.

You will then pass over the Col de l'Iseran, the highest road pass in Europe, and enjoy breathtaking views.

The return journey takes you through the resort of Val d'Isère and not far from Tignes, whose lake you will pass alongside. Once in Bourg Saint Maurice, follow the road to Moutiers and then back up to Val Thorens.

Biker tip: Remember to fill up with petrol in the valley to avoid running out of fuel!

Distance : 300 km
Duration: approx. 7 hours
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

3 - Round trip Val Thorens - La Thuile (Italy) via the Petit Saint Bernard pass

From Val Thorens, descend to Moutiers, join Bourg Saint Maurice, then follow the road to the Rosière ski resort. The first part of the route is a very nice road with a succession of hairpins and hairpins. Be more careful after crossing the resort, as the road becomes narrower and, as it is not cleared in winter, more damaged by the elements.

When crossing the Petit Saint Bernard pass, you can take a break to discover the archaeological sites close to the road.

You then descend into Italy as far as La Thuile. It's the perfect time for a good pizza or fresh pasta!

The return to Val Thorens takes the same route.

Distance : 200 km
Duration: Approx. 4.5 hours
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

4 - Round trip Val Thorens - Suze (Italy) via the Col de l'Iseran and Lake Mont Cenis

If you fancy a second trip to Italy, the following roadbook will take you to Suze. From Val Thorens, go down to Moutiers then on to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
A long climb then begins to the summit of the Col de l'Iseran, where you will pass by the Lac de Tignes and the heart of the Val d'Isère resort.

After the pass, the road becomes narrower and the surface less good for the descent into the Maurienne to the beautiful village of Bonneval-sur-Arc. The descent continues as far as Lanslevillard, where you need to turn off towards Lake Mont Cenis and the Italian border. The lake often has beautiful colours, making it the ideal place for a short break.

The road then changes to the Italian side, with some superb twists and turns as far as the town of Suze.

You can return by the same route or via the Maurienne valley (Saint Jean de Maurienne/Albertville/Moutiers) if you wish to avoid the Col de l'Iseran.

Biker tip: Don't forget to pack warm clothes, because even in the middle of summer, the Col de l'Iseran pass (2764m) is often cool!

Distance : 360 km
Duration: Approximately 8 hours
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

5 - Return journey to Val Thorens via the Madeleine, Glandon and Croix de Fer passes

The ascent to the Col de la Madeleine requires vigilance due to its narrowness and not always perfect surface, but the view from the top is superb. The descent to La Chambre is very pleasant, with some lovely curves.

Once you're in the Maurienne valley, head straight on towards the Col du Glandon. The road is very winding but sometimes narrow. On the way up, you'll be able to see all the different levels of alpine vegetation. From the forest to the mountain pastures, it's splendid!

The walk then continues over the Col de la Croix de Fer and down to Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves. Once you reach Saint Jean de Maurienne, head towards La Chambre and take the Col de la Madeleine road back home.

6 - Col de Tamié - Col des Aravis - Héry sur Ugine

A trip to discover Haute-Savoie and the superb Aravis massif. From Albertville, take the road to the Col de Tamié in the Bauges massif.

Close to the pass is the Fort de Tamié, a free opportunity to visit one of the most important defensive works in the Alps. You can also enjoy the thrill of a 300m zip line over the Combe de Savoie.

The descent then heads towards Faverges, where you have two options:

  • Drive along the eastern shore of Lake Annecy to Veyrier, then on to Thônes via Alex. A beautiful route, but very busy during the summer!
  • Cross the Val Sulens via the Col des Marais for wilder landscapes. It's also an opportunity to discover Biscantin, a flavoured cider from the commune of Serraval. (my preference, detailed route in the downloadable roadbook)

Above Thônes, follow the signs for Manigod and then join the road to La Clusaz to climb to the Col des Aravis. At the pass, take time to take a photo of Mont Blanc with the mountain pastures in the foreground.

The descent to La Giettaz is beautiful, but keep your eyes peeled as it twists and turns!

To return, follow the signs for Ugine and then Albertville. Once again, you can vary the route, passing through the Arly gorges, the bucolic route d'Héry sur Ugine or the Saisies ski resort.

Distance : 225 km
Duration Approx. 4.5 hours
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

7 - The great lakes of the Savoie region

Created by melting glaciers over 10,000 years ago, the lakes of the Savoie region are veritable gems. On this walk, you'll discover Lake Annecy and Lac du Bourget.

From Albertville, head towards Ugine and then Doussard. Then follow the eastern shore of the lake to Annecy. Take the opportunity to cool off on one of the many beaches (Angon, Talloires, Veyrier, Albigny...)!

From Annecy, climb up to the Semnoz, where a 360° view of the pre-Alps awaits you. The road then descends over the Col de Leschaux, then the communes of Lescheraines and Cusy before reaching Lac du Bourget. Once in Aix-les-Bains, drive around the lake, starting on its eastern shore. Why not take a cultural break and visit Hautecombe Abbey?

Once you've circumnavigated the lake, you can return to Val Thorens quickly via the motorway to Albertville or the Bauges massif (via Mont Revard then Lescheraines and finally Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny).

Distance : 370 km
Duration: 7h00 approx.
GPS tracks : GPX – KML

8 - Return Val Thorens - Col du Galibier via Col du Télégraphe

The ascent to the Col de la Madeleine requires vigilance due to its narrowness and not always perfect surface, but the view from the top is superb. The descent to La Chambre is very pleasant, with some lovely curves.

Then join Saint Michel de Maurienne and head for Valloire / Col du Galibier.
The first part of the climb offers a series of dreamy bends in the middle of the forest as far as the Col du Télégraphe.

The landscape then changes dramatically, becoming almost lunar in appearance until you reach the col at 2642m. Once up there, don't hesitate to descend to the Col du Lautaret, just 9km below.

The return journey to Val Thorens is via the same route, or possibly via the Col de l'Iseran if you have time (the journey is a little long).

Biker tip: during the summer season, photographers are on hand at the last hairpins on the Col du Galibier, giving you the chance to get a photo of yourself in action on your bike!

9 - Tour of Mont Blanc

Taking in fabulous roads and passes across 3 countries (France, Italy and Switzerland), the Tour du Mont-Blanc is a must-do in any biker's life.

The roadbook below starts from La Thuile (Italy). To get there from Val Thorens, use roadbook no. 3.

http://moto-trip.com/balade-moto/tour-du-mont-blanc-depuis-la-thuile

On this tour of Mont Blanc, you'll pass through the Petit and Grand Saint-Bernard passes. You'll take the magnificent route de la Forclaz through vineyards overlooking the town of Martigny (Switzerland). Then, crossing the Col des Montets, you'll enter the Chamonix valley and its glaciers. Take the opportunity to climb the Aiguille du Midi for breathtaking views!
After crossing the mountain pastures of Mégève and Praz-sur-Arly, the end of the loop takes you past the Cormet de Roselend, already suggested in roadbook no. 1.

Biker tip: allow 2 days if you want to take your time, especially if you're travelling as a duo.

Distance : 300km + 120km to do Val Thorens - Bourg-Saint-Maurice (return journey)
Duration: 1 to 2 days

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