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ViaRhôna, roaming along the Rhône river

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Special Family-friendly Options

Meanwhile the 306 km of greenways which are in progress on ViaRhôna, the cysle route already offers numerous possibilities for family cycling outings. We highlight these easy stretches in this Special Family-friendly section, so get on your bikes... in quietness!

greenway between belley - chanaz

Greenway Chanaz <> Belley <> Virignin – 17.5 km

South of Belley, the cycle track follows the west bank of the Canal de Dérivation du Rhône up to the Pont des Ecassaz bridge.
Take care:
- along the small portion where you need to stick to a cycle lane on the road leading to the Massignieu-de-Rives campsite.
- crossing La Balme, which, for the time being, we strongly recommend families avoid. Instead, we advise turning back to return to Belley.
Greenway Sault-Brénaz > Lagnieu - 7 km
This is a pretty stretch of greenway going along beside the Rhône for 7km. Join it at the CNR dam at Sault-Brénaz, continuing along to Lagnieu Bridge. Facing the cliffs of the mountainous Bugey area opposite, this stretch offers a lovely view of the Château de Vertrieu. Take care though in the so-called ‘mixed zones’ as some motorized traffic is allowed along those parts.


greenway between la Balme and Saint Genix sur Guiers

Greenway La Balme <> St-Genix-sur-Guiers  - 14 km

From La Balme, famed for its impressive gorges, you first follow a pretty road taking you through woods, then a greenway that runs beside the Rhône. The greenway offers magnificent viewpoints onto Mont Tournier’s cliffs dominating the river.

You can continue on to Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers via the cycle track set up along the road. This route is accessible to all.

 



 

Greenway Brégnier-Cordon > Groslée - 12 km

At the southern tip of the Jura Range (where the départements, or counties, of Ain and Isère meet) this stretch is accessible to all. Follow the cycle track alongside the Brégnier-Cordon diversion canal from La Bruyère Bridge via Brégnier-Cordon and Evieu. From Evieu to Groslée, make the most of an easy stretch to appreciate the wild side of the Rhône; there are numerous viewing points along the way.

 


Greenway Sault-Brénaz > Lagnieu - 7 km

This is a pretty stretch of greenway going along beside the Rhône for 7km. Join it at the CNR dam at Sault-Brénaz, continuing along to Lagnieu Bridge. Facing the cliffs of the mountainous Bugey area opposite, this stretch offers a lovely view of the Château de Vertrieu. Take care though in the so-called ‘mixed zones’ as some motorized traffic is allowed along those parts.

 


along the Rhone in Lyon

Greenway Jons > Lyon - 29 km

This unmissable ViaRhôna stretch takes you through the outskirts of the great melting pot of Greater Lyon. A lovely cycle track follows a canal right into the Grand Parc at Miribel-Jonage. At this urban oasis, many sports and water-sports are on offer for children and adults alike. Unbroken greenways lead you on to the urban nature park of La Feyssine before you arrive in Lyon itself, cycling beside the Rhône, without ever having to cross the path of a single car!

 

 



 

Saint Romain en Gal and Vienne by bike near Lyon

Greenway Loire-sur-Rhône > St-Romain-en-Gal - 7 km

South of the city of Lyon, this lovely shaded greenway leads you under poplars from Loire-sur-Rhône to Saint-Romain-en-Gal, the latter rich in historic museums and monuments, many associated with Roman times, as its name indicates. Reminders of the history of Rhône river navigation are also strong around here. Cross onto Barlet Island, set on a secondary branch of the Rhône, to stop at one of its outdoor cafés, or guinguettes. Reaching St-Romain-en-Gal, a stylish footbridge leads over the Rhône to Vienne, an intensely historic town.



 

Greenway between Saint Romain en Gal and Sablons

Greenway St-Romain-en-Gal > Sablons - 33 km

Lovely greenways leading you along at the foot of steep vineyards, including those of the prestigious Côte-Rôtie appellation, and into the first dense Rhône Valley orchards allow you to appreciate a fine range of landscapes. Nature here has been transformed by man, but thanks to the hides in the nature reserve on L’île au Beurre, appreciate the river’s wild side.

Do take care on the road into Sablons and at the various crossroads.


Greenway Sarras > Saint-Jean-de-Muzols - 14.5km

Taking you into fertile territories in the département (or county) of Ardèche, on the west bank of the Rhône, here you come to parts where wine-making and culinary traditions are strong. Fruit trees, market gardens and vines planted on steep terraces abound as far as the eye can see. Arriving at Arras-sur-Rhône, you can spot the remnants of a feudal castle, its tower reaching almost 100ft in height. Note that at Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, a quiet little road with little motorized traffic allows you to reach the point of departure of the Train de l’Ardèche, a much-appreciated historic train.


Greenway La-Roche-de-Glun > Bourg-Lès-Valence - 15 km

Leaving the area around the Ardèche town of Tournon-sur-Rhône, explore the surprising old branch of the Rhône (a lône) encircling La Roche-de-Glun, its rich biodiversity appealing even to demanding nature lovers. Along this beautiful greenway covering some 15km, you’ll cross the Isère River via a specially adapted footbridge, then pass by a spot dedicated to bee-keeping, set up by the CNR company; it makes a great place to take a break. Take care approaching Bourg-lès-Valence, where you have to cross a major county road, or route départementale.


 

Greenway La-Voulte-sur-Rhône > Le Pouzin - 6 km

South of Valence you encounter charming little historic stops. Near the château of La Voulte-sur-Rhône, enjoy a short but sweet stretch (6km) of ViaRhôna. A portion of cycle track takes you through an unspoilt natural zone. A stylish footbridge crosses the Drôme River, offering a good spot from which to observe the local flora and fauna.

Although short, this stretch provides enough points of interest to warrant a relaxing day’s outing for a family.


Stretch Cruas > Rochemaure

From the port of Cruas, the route runs for 10km along greenways, beside little lakes much appreciated by fishermen. Then you join a shaded road with little traffic for 2.5km, leading you to Rochemaure. Wander around this striking village, with its 12th-century castle perched atop a volcanic pinnacle, while a new modern Himalayan-style footbridge installed on the pillars of a former, older bridge draws visitors irresistibly to the Rhône.
Note that there is a little ramp to negotiate at the level of the village of Meysse, at the place named Pimpie, to reach Rochemaure Dam.


Rochemaure - Vivier by bike in Ardeche

Greenway Ancône > Châteauneuf-du-Rhône – 12.5 km

This surprising section of ViaRhôna greenway starts near the town of Montélimar, and stretches between the bridges at Rochemaure (Ancône) and Viviers. This greenway is unique, as it’s set on an island on the Rhône, with the wild river on one side and its tranquil diversion canal on the other. Enjoy a stop at Montmeillan’s outdoor sports and recreation centre, offering fun for children and adults alike.

There are many stopping areas with picnic tables along the way, adding to the pleasure of a family outing.


donzere bridge

Stretch Pont du Robinet Donzère > Bourg-Saint-Andéol - 11 km

This stretch begins 3km south of the little city of Viviers, at the level of the Pont du Robinet suspension bridge, with its adjoining, once-practical pyramid, and runs for 11km. You soon reach a dam with a protected path through it allowing you to continue on along the riverside levee. The way becomes wilder at Iles des Dames. The little road here is sometimes shaded, sometimes through open fields, following the former meander in the Rhône known as the Lône de la Grange Ecrasée, recalling a barn crushed in the 1796 floods – its ruins are still visible. Arriving at Bourg-Saint-Andéol, architectural treasures await in this town boasting the largest number of listed historic monuments in the whole département (or county) of Ardèche.


Stretch Montfrin > Beaucaire - 7 km

This stretch of greenway follows a former railway line, enabling you to travel peacefully from Montfrin to Beaucaire, along the Languedoc border with Provence. Beaucaire has been designated a Ville d'Art et d'Histoire, in recognition of its artistic and historical riches. It has a vibrant central river port at the start of the canal linking the Rhône to Sète on the Mediterranean.

 


Stretch Gallician > Aigues-Mortes - 13,7 km

This greenway provides a lovely outing linking the port of Gallician to the historic fortified harbour of Aigues-Mortes. Cyclists cross the Camargue Gardoise (the Languedoc side of the Camargue) with its exceptional flora and fauna, following the former towpath alongside the Canal du Rhône à Sète, riding through marshlands before reaching Aigues-Mortes. This amazing old walled port is also surrounded by salt marshes and some vineyards. Climb the huge historic toll-bridge tower, Tour Carbonnière, at the town’s entrance, to appreciate views across the area and to take in the extraordinary landscapes all around.
Two further cycling circuits from Gallician encourage you to explore the vineyards, reedbeds and marshes surrounding the port. The Camargue Gardoise circuit covers 17km, the Les Costières circuit 23km.
An appealing 7km-long cycle track beside the canal also links Gallician to Vauvert.


Stretch Aigues-Mortes > Plage de l’Espiguette - 12 km

This stretch marks the end of the whole cycle route, with Mediterranean beaches easily accessible by bike as your reward. The ViaRhôna trail crosses historic walled Aigues-Mortes via the Pont de Provence bridge and the Pont Rouge bridge near the great Tour de Constance, to then head on alongside the maritime canal. Half way along this you come to the Maison du Grand Site Camargue Gardoise, a visitor centre. Some of the way is along roads shared with motorized traffic, some along a lovely cycle track right beside the canal, leading to the port of Le Grau-du-Roi, with salt marshes on one side, wild marshes on the other. Look out for flamingoes and other aquatic birds. Past Le Grau-du-Roi, a cycle track leads you to the huge Plage de l’Espiguette beach, great for a dip.


 

Stretch Arles > Mas Thibert (Marais de Vigueirat) - 16 km

From Arles’s Pont Van Gogh bridge, a charming greenway takes you through reedbeds alongside a canal to Pont Calada bridge. From there, enjoy great views over ricefields and vineyards. At Mas-Thibert, cross the bridge to explore the Marais de Vigueirat, a national nature reserve located where two ecosystems meet, the marshy Camargue on the one hand, the rock-strewn dry plain of the Crau on the other. There’s a boardwalk trail through the reserve for you to enjoy.
Take care at the potentially dangerous crossroads at the entrance to Mas-Thibert, on the D 24 road.


 

Stretch Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône > Plage Napoléon - 8 km

 

Continuing your cycling trip through the Rhône Delta, at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, a cycle track leads you to the famously beautiful Plage Napoleon, set beside equally magnificent Camargue countryside. You could go for a well-deserved swim from the beach.