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ViaRhôna, roaming along the Rhône river

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7: ViaRhôna from Groslée to La Balme-les-Grottes

[ Cycle routes ViaRhôna, Lake Geneva <> Mediterranean sea ] [ ViaRhôna from Genève to Lyon , ViaRhôna autour de Morestel ]
  • 52 km
  • intermediaire Level Intermediate

This ViaRhôna stage takes you through unspoilt countryside beside the Rhône. Hidden in the magnificent landscapes of the southern Bugey, with their mountains and forests, lie splendid lakes and marshes. You pass lovely villages like Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey and Sault-Brénaz, and the more secretive La Balme-les-Grottes, with its great caves and picturesque centre. A lovely greenway links "La Vallée Bleue" to Lagnieu. At Lagnieu Bridge, follow the D 1075 and D 65 to join La-Balme-les-Grottes, Be careful on the road (no signposting).

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The route

New cycle route wich allows to cross "Le Pays des Couleurs" via Morestel, with an alternation of greenways and shared roads.The greenway between La Vallée Bleue and Lagnieu is signposted. At Lagnieu’s bridge, follow the D 1075 road, then the D 65, to reach La Balme-les-Grottes; note that this stretch isn’t signposted yet.



Alternative options

Groslée <> Sault-Brénaz: follow the D 19 road, physically demanding, with lots of traffic.

Lagnieu <> La Balme-les-Grottes: along grassy tracks that you join by turning right after crossing Lagnieu’s bridge (hybrid bike required). 

Railway Stations (SNCF) :


Be carreful, no trains direcly along the route.


Nearest railway stations : Ambérieu-en-Bugey 

13 km from Saint-Sorlin en Bugey

11 km from Lagnieu

15 km from la Balme-les-Grottes


TER (local services) line 35 : Chambéry > Culoz > Ambérieu-en-Bugey > Lyon

TER (local services) line 4 : Annecy > Aix-les-Bains > Saint-André-le-Gaz > Lyon Part Dieu > Ambérieu-en-Bugey

TER (local services) line 3 : Saint-Gervais – Evian – Genève > Bellegarde > Culoz > Ambérieu-en-Bugey > Lyon Part Dieu

TER (local services) line 30 : Mâcon > Bourg-en-Bresse > Ambérieu-en-Bugey


From Morestel :  Saint-André-le-Gaz railway station : 19 km from Morestel

TER (local services) line 54 : Chambéry > Lyon

TER (local services) line 62 : Grenoble > Saint-André-le-Gaz

TER (local services) line 4 : Annecy > Aix-les-Bains > Lyon

TER (local services) line 1 : Grenoble > Bourgoin-Jallieu > Lyon



Tourist Information Centres :


Pays de Lhuis and Izieu Tourist Office

Ph. 04 74 39 80 92


Morestel Tourist Office

Ph. 04 74 80 19 59


Montalieu-Vercieu, La Vallée Bleue Tourist Office

Ph. 04 74 88 48 56

Don't miss :


Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey: a medieval village with castle

Morestel: a well-flowered historic town that has traditionally attracted painters. It’s a lively place, with numerous historic buildings, shops and exhibitions.

Grottes de la Balme: these conceal stalagmites and stalgatites as well as natural bassins of water. A Balcons du Rhône heritage site.

La Vallée Bleue: a big outdoor sports and recreation centre at Montalieu Vercieu

Briord: with a Roman aqueduct

Serrières-de-Briord: for Le Point-Vert outdoor sports and recreation centre


Markets :


Sault-Brénaz : Thursday morning

Morestel : Sunday morning



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Your reviews

  • Light and shadows - AFRF

    Whether you use the temporary routes or the alternatives and links you have to use the country roads. Not too much traffic. D16 via Creys-Mepieu is pretty hilly. The greenway linking Sault-Brénaz to Lagnieu is really lovely. But your sharing the section Lagnieu to La Balme les Grottes with trucks again. So use the alternative. Good hotel Rolland at Montagnieu with very good meal. Sign posts are missing every now and then. No problems when using the GPS

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