Are you a motorcyclist? Enjoy staying in Val Thorens this summer to explore Savoie and its surroundings via its routes and mythical passes. The Tour de France taking these routes again and again has made them popular, and they’ll certainly put a smile on your face bend after bend! And don’t forget the many lakes and viewpoints you’ll be able to appreciate…

To make things easier, we have selected some roadbooks of must-do motorbike rides.

These roadbooks can be downloaded in PDF format and come with GPS converters in GPX (GPS Garmin), ITN (GPS TomTom), and KML (Google) formats.  

Lastly adjust these itineraries to your own pace, riding conditions and what you feel like doing!

1 - Loop via the Cormet de Roselend and its lake



Starting out from Val Thorens, go to Moutiers then on to Bourg Saint Maurice. Things get going seriously with a good winding climb up to the Cormet de Roselend.

During the descent towards Beaufort, take the time to stop and have a drink on a terrace at the edge of the lake, and why not go down to the dam.

Once you get to Beaufort-sur-Doron, enjoy tasting some Beaufort (cheese) at the local cooperative. Finally, by taking the return route, you can visit the very pretty medieval city of Conflans with a panoramic view of Albertville and the valley.

The biker’s tip: I recommend that you take a little 3-km detour when you’re going up to Cormet de Roselend to go to the Ville des Glaciers. It’s a no-through route but has a superb view.

Distance: 185 km
Duration: about 4 hours
GPS tracks: GPX - ITN - KML

2 - Tour of the Vanoise by the Col de la Madeleine and the Col de l’Iseran



A long ride for which you’ll need you to set off well wrapped up to take on the morning freshness but that’s worth it!

You need to be careful during the climb to the col de la Madeleine because it’s narrow and sometimes its surface is a little rough, but the view from the top is amazing. The descent to La Chambre is very nice (great bends).

After a trip through the Maurienne valley, you’ll arrive in Bonneval-sur-Arc. A magnificent little village with stone chalets and flagstone rooftops that are worth stopping to see.

You’ll then go through the col de l’Iseran, the highest paved pass in Europe, and enjoy viewpoints that will take your breath away.

You come back by crossing the Val d’Isère ski resort not far from Tignes, where you’ll go along the lake. Once at Bourg Saint Maurice, follow the road to Moutiers then go back up to Val Thorens.

The biker’s tip: Think of filling your tank up in the valley so you don't run out of fuel!

Distance: 300 km
Duration: about 7 hours
GPS tracks: GPX - ITN - KML

3 - Val Thorens – La Thuile (Italy) return via the col du Petit Saint Bernard



From Val Thorens, go down to Moutiers, go to Bourg Saint Maurice, then follow the road of the La Rosière ski resort. The first part is a very nice route where it’s tight turns and hairpin bends one after the other. Be more careful after crossing the resort, the route becomes narrower, and as it’s not cleared during winter, and damaged by the elements.

While going over the col du Petit Saint Bernard, you can take a break to have a look at the archaeological sites near the route.

You then head down to Italy as far as Thuile. The perfect opportunity to enjoy a good pizza or some fresh pasta!

You head back to Val Thorens via the same route.

Distance: 200 km
Duration: about 4h30
GPS tracks : GPX - ITN - KML

4 - Val Thorens – Suze (Italy) return via the Col de l’Iseran and Mont Cenis lake



If you want to take a second trip to Italy, the next roadbook takes you to Suze. From Val Thorens, head down to Moutiers then go on to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. You then start a long climb to the top of the Col de l’Iseran where you’ll go by the Tignes lake and the heart of the Val d’Isère resort.

After the col, the route gets narrower and the surface less good for the descent to la Maurienne as far as the beautiful village of Bonneval-sur-Arc. The descent continues to Lanslevillard where you head off in the direction of the Mont Cenis lake and the Italian border. The colours of the lake are often beautiful, the perfect place to take a break.

The route then goes onto the Italian side with great switchbacks and straight stretches to Suze.

You come back via the same route or by the La Maurienne valley (Saint Jean de Maurienne/Albertville/Moutiers) if don't want to take the col de l’Iseran again.

The biker’s tip: Think to take warm clothes with you because even in the height of summer, it can often be chilly when you go over the col de l’Iseran (2764m)!

Distance: 360 km
Duration: about 8 hours
GPS tracks: GPX - ITN - KML

5 - Val Thorens return trip via the col de la Madeleine, col du Glandon and col de la Croix de Fer



You need to be careful during the climb to the col de la Madeleine because it’s narrow and sometimes its surface is a little rough, but the view from the top is amazing. The descent to La Chambre is very nice (great bends).

Once in the Maurienne valley, you continue on the opposite side, heading for the col du Glandon. It’s a nice winding route but sometimes narrow. During the climb you’ll have the opportunity to see all the stages of alpine vegetation. From the forests to the mountain pastures, it’s incredible!

The journey continues by going over the Col de la croix de Fer and coming down via Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves. Once you’ve arrived at Saint Jean de Maurienne, head for La Chambre and take the road of the col de la Madeleine to come back.

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



A ride to explore Haute-Savoie and the superb Aravis mountains. From Albertville, take the route of the Col de Tamié in the Les Bauges mountains.

The Fort de Tamié is near the col, giving you the opportunity to visit one of the most important defensive structures in the Alps for free. You can get your fill of sensations thanks to a 300-metre long zipwire flying over the combe de Savoie.

You then come down towards Faverges where you have two choices: 

  • Go along the Annecy lake by its Eastern bank until Veyrier then go to Thônes via Alex. It’s a very nice route but one that can get busy during the summer season! 
  • Cross Val Sulens by the Col des Marais for landscapes that are a bit wilder. It’s also the opportunity to try Biscantin, a flavoured cider of the commune of Serraval. (my preference, detailed route in the downloadable roadbook)

Before Thônes, make your way towards Manigod then join the route of La Clusaz to go up to the col des Aravis. At the col, take the time to take a photo of Mont Blanc with the mountain pastures in the foreground.

The way down towards La Giettaz is beautiful but keep your wits about you as it turns a lot!

To make your way back, head for Ugine then Albertville. There again, you can change your route by going through the Arly gorges, the pastoral route of Héry sur Ugine or the Les Saisies ski resort.

Distance: 225 km
Duration: about 4h30
GPS tracks: GPX - ITN - KML

7 - The great lakes of the Pays de Savoie



The Pays de Savoie lakes were created when the glaciers melted more than 10,000 years ago, and are real jewels.

This journey will give you the opportunity to discover the Annecy lakes and the Le Bourget lake.

From Albertville, head for Ugine then Doussard. Then take the East bank of the lake to Annecy. Take the opportunity to cool down at one of the many beaches (Angon, Talloires, Veyrier, Albigny...)!

From Annecy, then climb the Semnoz where a 360° view of the Alpine foothills are waiting for you. The route then descends to the col de Leschaux, then the communes of Lescheraines and Cusy before going on to the Le Bourget lake. Once at Aix-les-Bains, do a tour of the lake by starting with the Eastern bank of the lake. Why not make the most of taking a cultural break to visit Hautecombe abbey?

Once you’ve made a tour of the lake, you can get back to Val Thorens quickly by the motorway to Albertville or by the Les Bauges mountains (via Mont Revard then Lescheraines and finally Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny).

Distance: 370 km
Duration: about 7h00
GPS tracks: GPX - ITN - KML

8 - Val Thorens – Col du Galibier return by the Col du Télégraphe


You need to be careful during the climb to the col de la Madeleine because it’s narrow and sometimes its surface is a little rough, but the view from the top is amazing. The descent to La Chambre is very nice (great bends).

Then go to Saint Michel de Maurienne and head for Valloire / Col du Galibier. The first part of the climb has a nice succession of dream turns in the middle of the forest to the col du Télégraphe.

Then, the landscape changes drastically and becomes almost lunar until you go over the col at 2642m. Once up there, don't hesitate to come down as far as the col du Lautaret, located only 9km below.

You can follow the same itinerary to get back to Val Thorens, or if you have the time choose to go via the col de l’Iseran (the journey takes a little longer).

The biker’s tip: during the summer season photographers are set up in the final hairpin bends of the col du Galibier, the occasion to have your photo taken on your bike!

9 - The Tour of Mont-Blanc


With fabulous roads and passes through 3 countries (France, Italy and Switzerland), the Tour du Mont-Blanc is an essential outing in the life of a biker.

The roadbook below starts from La Thuile (Italy). To get there from Val Thorens, use roadbook n°3.

In this tour of Mont-Blanc, you’ll have the opportunity to go over the cols of the Petit and Grand Saint-Bernard.

You’ll then take the magnificent Forclaz route in the middle of the vines and overlooking the town of Martigny (Switzerland).

Then, go over the col des Montets and you’ll enter the Chamonix valley with its glaciers. Take the opportunity to go up to the aiguille du Midi to enjoy a breathtaking view!

After crossing the mountain pastures of Mégève and Praz-sur-Arly, the loop is finished off via the Cormet de Roselend, already featured in roadbook no. 1.

The biker’s tip: plan for 2 days if you want to take your time, and especially if two of you are travelling together.

Distance: 300km + 120km to make Val Thorens - Bourg-Saint-Maurice (Return)
Duration: 1 to 2 days