France, Haute-Savoie (74), Le Chablais, Evian, lac Léman, ferry de la CGN
Col de l'Iseran (French Alps)
Briancon - French Alps - France
Col de la Colombière
From the shores of Lake Geneva to Briançon by car
This is one of the most beautiful mountain roads. From Thonon-les-Bains to Briançon, the route des Grandes Alpes is sure to amaze you. Passes, dams, natural lakes, unique panoramas to pause for unforgettable photos. La Vanoise and its chamois, Tignes and its alpine pastures and Bonneval-sur-Arc, ranked as being among France’s most beautiful villages, before your arrival in Briançon, the highest city in Europe and a masterpiece of the Vauban heritage.
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Before taking to the road, enjoy Thonon-les-Bains. Situated between lake and mountain, tiered on two levels, Thonon offers multiple viewpoints. The vastness of Lake Geneva, the picturesque Port de Rives, the elegance of the seaside villas of the Corniche. It’s time to set off on the Route des Grandes Alpes with essential stop-offs that include gorges du Pont du Diable (the walls of which reach around 60 metres in height) and Avoriaz where you can take a relaxing spa break. Before night falls, head to le Grand-Bornand and the dizzying pass of Colombière.
MyTripTailor advice : don’t miss the stop at Reposoir to discover the magnificent Chartreuse of the same name
After Val d’Arly, enjoy the next stage of the journey to Beaufort to visit the Roselend dam. The road descending from the Col du Pré enables you to discover the reservoir in all its austere solitude. Afterwards, head to Vanoise Regional Park, where ibex, chamois and marmots roam.
MyTripTailor advice : a visit to the Fairytale House in Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe will delight the children.
After Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, take a break at the Tignes natural lake, bordered by a basin of treeless alpine meadows, from the bottom of which rises, majestically, the long snowy slope of the Grande Motte, which dominates the rocky circque of La Balme. Before arriving at Modane, (your next step), don’t miss Bonneval-sur-Arc, chosen as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
MyTripTailor advice : The Esseillon fortifications is a set of monumental fortifications in the heart of the Maurienne, a paradise for children.
Leaving Modane, head in the direction of Valloire and then Col du Galibier (2,645m) which offers a remarkable panorama. After passing Col du Lautaret (2,057m), stop-off at Ecrins National Park. Visit the Ecrins National Park House to learn about the Massif des Écrins that straddles two departements and two regions and don’t miss a visit to the city of Vauban in Briançon. Its fort and its walkway offer beautiful views of the city and surrounding mountains.
MyTripTailor advice : If possible, before Briançon, stop-off in Serre-Chevalier (natural warm waters).
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