Take your bike and discover the Via Rhôna! From Lake Geneva in Switzerland to the Mediterranean Sea, follow a route that has been used by successive civilizations for over 2,000 years. Wonderful landscapes, towns, authentic villages, impressive nature, vineyards and delicious gastronomy await you along the way!
Start this great cycling trip from the cosmopolitan city of Geneva. Follow the ViaRhôna that meanders through the mountains and valleys of the Upper Rhône. Bike through the breathtaking landscapes of the Savoie and the Bugey: mountains, lakes, gorges... and pass typical old villages before your stay in the elegant historic city of Lyon.
After visiting the gastronomic capital, the second part of the tour will show you why the Rhône has long been renowned as the route of successive civilizations.
The route descriptions we have made for this trip will be supplied via a travel app, for “GPS” navigation with visual/audio guidance (reading of the track on your smartphone). When you book this self-guided cycling holiday, we will send you explanations on how to use this app and send you an access code. The app contains routes and practical and tourist information. Once the trip has been downloaded, no internet connection is necessary. You can then easily follow the routes we have prepared for you via your phone.
Arrival in Geneva and installation to your hotel. Take the time to discover this beautiful city of Switzerland, also known as the "capital of peace" with its humanitarian tradition, it will seduce you with its international charm and its old town offering a wide choice of delicious restaurants. Enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Lake Geneva.
Your first bike ride takes you from Switzerland to France along the Rhone, you will discover the "Défilé de l'Écluse" and then the first vineyards between mountains and valleys, while keeping in view the sumptuous mountains of the Alps. This part of the trip will be on some busier roads, but the rest of the week it will be much quieter. You will spend the night in the charming little town of Seyssel, on the banks of the river.
Challenge: 59.9km, 1020m ascent, 1141m descent
Leave Seyssel and cycle between ridges and plateau on both banks of the Rhone. Arrival in Chanaz, also called "La Petite Venise Savoyarde", enjoy a pleasant break in one of the charming restaurants along the canal of Savières. Continue on towards Culoz and Belley, peaceful small towns with a rich heritage that punctuates the Bugey mountain. Continue your journey, in a surprising nature to arrive in the region of Champagneux.
Challenge: 54.5km, 485m ascent, 478m descent
Today you pass through Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers, for the greedy, we advise you to stop there to taste the famous brioche pralines! Further away, a little detour towards the village of Glandieu will allow you to refresh yourself with its majestic waterfall, a wonder of nature.Then you cross Morestel, stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, city of painters, flowered city and city in poetry. A lovely greenway links "La Vallée Bleue" to Villebois, this is where you’ll stay overnight.
Challenge: 66.3km, 601m ascent, 630m descent
This ViaRhôna stage takes you through unspoilt countryside of Burgey above the Rhône. You pass lovely villages this morning : Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey and Sault-Brénaz, and the more secretive La Balme-les-Grottes, with its great caves and picturesque centre. Your destination will soon be in sight as you approach the hilltop medieval village of Pérouges, labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Challenge: 55.4km, 411m ascent, 386m descent
This last cycle day cleverly links the parks and lakes of Greater Lyon, including at Le Grand Large and Miribel-Jonage. Then enjoy the magnificent cycle route through central Lyon, along the Rhône’s banks. At the Rhône’s confluence with the Saône, you come to a brand-new quarter marked by contemporary architecture, the most striking building being the Musée des Confluences. Your options for the rest of the day are endless but you can also reward your soul of cyclist with a delicious meal in a "petit bouchon", typical restaurant in the city.
Challenge: 45.9km, 252m ascent, 354m descent
After buzzing Lyon, the itinerary leads through the towns of Grigny and Givors, on to St-Romain-enGal. The historic importance of navigation is clearer here than anywhere else along the Rhône. Museums at St-Romain-en-Gal and Vienne give a good picture of the river’s rich history, from classical to contemporary times.
Challenge: 33.4km, 330m ascent, 344m descent
This remarkable cycling day offers a great variety of landscapes. From Vienne, once an ancient capital of Roman Gaul, to the nature reserve of L’île au Beurre, bearing witness to the Rhône’s wild side, via steeply terraced vineyards, including the prestigious Côte-Rôtie, and the first major orchards along the Rhône Valley, this stage will delight those interested in history, nature and gastronomy.
Challenge: 33.1km, 255m ascent, 270m descent
Your itinerary today runs between steep vineyards and dense orchards. Heading south from Lyon, this is the first ViaRhôna stage to enter the rugged Ardèche, a beautiful département (or French county) on the mighty Rhône’s west flank. Here, the tamed river supports orchards, market gardens and vines producing top-class Saint-Joseph wines. Arriving in Tournon-sur-Rhone enjoy a pleasant break laden with Gallo-Roman history.
Challenge: 61.3km, 438m ascent, 448m descent
After a halt at Valence’s southern river port of L'Epervière, your route leads you back onto the western, Ardèche bank of the Rhône. The Ardèche is known for its exceptional caves, archaeological sites, characterful villages, châteaux and nature reserves. Continuing south along ViaRhôna and cycle on the recent Himalayan-style footbridge at Rochemaure is a great experience, built using the pillars of the Vieux Pont, it is an historic bridge over the Rhône. Here you are at the gates of Provence: "Montélimar" where a human presence has existed for more than 50,000 years. Renowned for its nougat, Montélimar is a pleasant town where it is good to stroll in the old city center.
Challenge: 70.9km, 460m ascent, 503m descent
Leaving the beautiful city of Montélimar, cycle beside branches of the Rhône and pass through historic towns: Viviers, with its medieval spirit; Bourg-Saint-Andéol, its treasures including a rare sculpture of a Mithraic deity. Today your short itinerary is packed with heritage treasures, especially religious ones, including cathedrals, chapels and grand clerical residences. Those who love history as well as nature can enjoy their fill.
Challenge: 28.5km, 205m ascent, 236m descent
Today is your last cycling today, and not just anyone. The program of the day : Pedaling through a impressive nature with the scents of Provence and across the charming village of Pont-Saint-Esprit. In the afternoon you reach the beautiful city of Orange. Of the numerous Roman buildings and monuments originally built, you still can see parts of the City Wall, the Arc de Triumph and the Theatre (UNESCO heritage), the stage wall of which the Sun King, Louis XIV, described as the most beautiful wall in his country.
Challenge: 50.6km, 304m ascent, 308m descent
End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the history city of Orange.
All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.
For this trip you can choose between Comfort and Comfort +. The accommodations for a Comfort+ trip, will be in 3*/4 * hotels wherever possible (supplement applied).
The bike rental includes the drop-off fee for the bike’s return
SCOTT Sub Cross, 24 Speed
The bikes come with pannier, handlebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
SCOTT E-Sub Tour
The bikes come with pannier, handlebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
12 Nights included
2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)
Tourist tax included
Breakfasts and 1 Dinner (day 4 - Villebois) included during the trip
Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest
24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline
Luggage transport to your next accommodations. Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum)
For time tables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).
We strongly advise you to download the sncf mobile app prior to departure.
If you want to travel on a train with your bike, you can find more information via this link.
Parking informations on request
We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.
The international Geneva Airport is served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines. Also, possibility of arrival in Lyon Airport. From Lyon you can take a train to Geneva, see below.
You can get to Geneva by train. On the end of your trip you can take a train from Orange.
For time tables and further information look at the website of the SBB or check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).
From Paris to Geneva (approx. 5h15 - 540 km/335 mi) / From Lyon to Geneva (approx. 1h50 - 150 km/93 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
My cycling tour along the Viarhôna from Geneva to Orange was everything I hoped it would be! I experienced the beautiful french landscape, great accommodations and many interesting cities. I would definitely book with this company again.
The GUIBO was excellent. Very easy to use and navigate, however, we were never able to get voice guidance to work (operator error possibly). We liked to be able to read about what was along or close by the route for that day. Including as much information as possible in that regard would be great.
We found the schedule for lunch and dinner challenging at times. It would be great to have some mention of typical times for meals in France, particularly in the smaller towns. Overall, we had an excellent time, great biking, food, wine and enjoyed the beautiful countryside.
Overall, the hotels were very adequate. We enjoyed the smaller boutique type establishments. We loved the small towns/villages of historic value. We particularly liked our excursions into small villages and visiting ruins. We ventured to Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey, Saint-Montan, Viviers, and Chateauneuf on the shorter ride days. All enjoyable.
We weren't big fans of the Ibis/Novatel brand hotel. The location, particularly in Lyon was not our favorite. The bike ride from Lyon to Vienne was definitely our least favorite day of riding. Also, staying in Bourg-Saint-Andeol would have been preferable over Pierrelatte, though the hotel was enjoyable with the pool.
We were not told about the check in time of 5 pm in A deux pas du Rhéby (Villebois). Fortunately when we arrived we rang the bell and the owner, Thierry was just about to leave, but was nice enough to accommodate us and let us in…he even got cold beers for us. All accommodations had comfortable beds.
Accommodation in Seyssel (Hotel de Rhone) was very good (upgrade from normal I believe) and the food in their restaurant was excellent. Second night in Les Vieilles Portes (Champagneux) was charming and appreciated that the owner Jean Richard had made reservations for us at a local restaurant up the hill. He even drove us to the restaurant, which was so kind.
We found the ebikes a little heavy and were expecting that they would be Scott bikes which appear to be lighter. The gentleman from CycleMundo who dropped off the bikes in Seyssel went over the mechanics of the bike to our satisfaction. I was told that the bikes would simply be at the hotel, so really appreciated the fact that this man was there to explain everything. I found the Guibo app excellent and easy to use. Also nice to have the back up book with more information.