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ViaRhôna, roaming along the Rhône river

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ViaRhôna from Genève to Lyon

[ Cycle routes ViaRhôna, Lake Geneva <> Mediterranean sea ]
  • 322 km

Heading out from magnificent Lake Geneva, this ViaRhôna section meanders through the mountains and valleys of the Haut-Rhône, or Upper Rhône, and on to the elegant historic city of Lyon. The landscapes as you cross Savoie and the Bugey are breathtaking, with gorges, lakes and marshes, and the typical old villages prove a delight. This section is physically challenging and incomplete as yet, but it includes some lovely Rhône-side greenways that are accessible to all.

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The 9 stages of the section « ViaRhôna from Genève to Lyon »

  • 1: ViaRhôna from Saint-Gingolph to Thonon through Evian

    1: ViaRhôna from Saint-Gingolph to Thonon through Evian [30 km]

    On the south bank of Lake Geneva, straddling the Franco-Swiss border, the town of Saint-Gingolph stands at the start of the ViaRhôna cycle route through southeast France. West along the lake, backed by mountains, the thermal spa resorts of Evian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains are highlights, great for stays and lake views. Note that the stretch from Saint-Gingolph to Evian is only suitable for experienced cyclists. We strongly recommend that families with children start the route from Evian or Thonon.

    Difficulty: Expert view the detail
  • 2: ViaRhôna from Thonon to Geneva

    2: ViaRhôna from Thonon to Geneva [46 km]

    After Thonon-les-Bains, the ViaRhôna cycle route leads you along a mix of cycle tracks and quiet roads, through villages in the Bas-Chablais area. Don’t miss the stunning medieval villages of Yvoire and Nernier right by Lake Geneva. There are numerous other short detours to make to little ports and beaches, great for a dip. Reaching Chens-sur-Léman, while awaiting the continuation of the ViaRhôna cycle route further west into France, we suggest you carry on along the signposted cycle route into Switzerland leading you as far as Geneva.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • 3: ViaRhôna from Geneva to Vulbens

    3: ViaRhôna from Geneva to Vulbens [33 km]

    This ViaRhôna stage keeps within the Franco-Swiss border area. You start in the splendid Swiss town of Geneva, beside its famous lake. Known as a buzzing international city these days, Geneva has preserved its traditional Swiss feel too. This ViaRhôna stage leads you via signposted small roads and greenways into the vineyards close to town and on through verdant countryside towards the Alps.

    Difficulty: Expert view the detail
  • 4: ViaRhôna from Vulbens to Seyssel

    4: ViaRhôna from Vulbens to Seyssel [27 km]

    This ViaRhôna stage takes you up and down through spectacular scenery, offering splendid views over the Rhône Valley. You go through the dramatic Défilé de l’Ecluse before reaching Seyssel, an important river port since ancient times. Today it’s a charming stop, both for cultural activities and leisure ones based around the river. This stage uses roads that can be busy, so it is only recommended for experienced cyclists.

    Difficulty: Expert view the detail
  • 5: ViaRhôna from Seyssel to Belley through Chanaz

    5: ViaRhôna from Seyssel to Belley through Chanaz [33 km]

    This ViaRhôna stage goes along both banks of the Rhône. This route is provisional. It leads between crests and plateaux, through landscapes marked by lakes and waterfalls. Then you come to a land of vineyards and gastronomy set below the Bugey Range, passing delightful little historic stops like Belley, Culoz and Chanaz. This physically-demanding stage is along a mix of greenways and roads.

    Difficulty: Expert view the detail
  • 6: ViaRhôna from Belley to Groslée through St-Genix-sur-Guiers

    6: ViaRhôna from Belley to Groslée through St-Genix-sur-Guiers [39 km]

    This ViaRhôna stage meanders through the beautiful Bugey area, between the majestic Rhône and the Lavours Marshes, below the imposing Grand Colombier Mountain. To the south, enjoy the Haut-Rhône plain, the mountains and the vineyards, arriving at the Pays de Lhuis and Izieu through magnificently varied countryside. On this stage, you follow greenways and laid-out roads, except when going through La Balme’s tunnels, where the road is narrow and very busy .

    Difficulty: Expert view the detail
  • 7: ViaRhôna from Groslée to La Balme-les-Grottes

    7: ViaRhôna from Groslée to La Balme-les-Grottes [52 km]

    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).

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • 8: ViaRhôna from La Balme-les-Grottes to Jons

    8: ViaRhôna from La Balme-les-Grottes to Jons [36 km]

    At the Bugey area’s southern edge, this ViaRhôna stage distances itself slightly from the Rhône to head up to the Balconies on the Rhône, boasting traditional villages, castles and vineyards. At Anthon, the Ain River joins the Rhône, creating a remarkable natural site in stark contrast to Lyon’s sprawling metropolis not far off. Continue to Jons (a village on the edge of Greater Lyon), the Canal de Jonage and the Grand Parc de Miribel-Jonage. This provisional stage follows small roads.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • 9: ViaRhôna from Jons to Lyon

    9: ViaRhôna from Jons to Lyon [26.5 km]

    This ViaRhôna stage 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. The route is along greenways, but without specific signposting.

    Difficulty: Family Favourite view the detail