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A little information about the Rhône Cycle Path

The Rhône is one of the most impressive rivers in France. However, it originates in Switzerland, more precisely in the canton of Valais. From there, the Rhône flows a little over 800km, first through Switzerland, then France before finally flowing into the Mediterranean. Enjoy varied landscapes, tear through fragrant lavender fields, rich yellow sunflower fields and colourful orchards, and explore the art and culture that can be found along the Rhône Cycle Path.

The most beautiful stages and bike rides on the Rhône Cycle Path

Rhône-Route

Join the Rhône during the first stage in Switzerland. Cycle from Oberwald through a variety of landscapes, enjoy the sun and look forward to a lot of culture and nature.

Geneva – Lyon

Follow the Rhône south from Lake Geneva and be indulged on every level. The gourmets among you will lick all ten fingers in Lyon.

Lyon – Orange

From the culinary Metropolis of Lyon, follow the last section of the Rhône Cycle Path. Meet historical sights, beautiful landscapes and delightful villages on your way to Orange and enjoy the time on your bike

Course of the Rhône

Source of the Rhône

As briefly mentioned above, the Rhône rises in the Swiss canton of Valais. The Rhône glacier is the source of the Rhône, with the mighty river rising at the foot. The Rhône flows down the Swiss Alps into Lake Geneva before leaving and soon reaching France.

River length

The Rhône is about 812km in length with 267km of the river in Switzerland, and 545km in France. Thus, the Rhône is the fourth longest river flowing through France.

Cycle Path

If you decide to cycle along the Rhone, you can expect to find a well-developed network of cycle paths. Most of the bike paths along the Rhône route are paved and are rarely made of gravel or dirt tracks. In Switzerland, the route between the individual stages is signposted as the “Rhône-Route”, while in France you will find signs for the Via Rhôna – and of course our signage too.

Elevation profile

Rhone Cycle Route elevation profile

Questions & answers about the Rhône Cycle Path

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The Rhône Cycle Path starts in the small Swiss village of Andermatt and leads to Geneva all the way to the French border. In France, the long-distance cycle route is increasingly referred to as Via Rhôna. 

The Rhône Cycle Path is about 350 kilometres long in total.

The ideal time to travel the Rhône Cycle Path is from mid-March to the end of June and then again in autumn from September to November. These are generally the best times for a successful cycling holiday.

The Rhône Cycle Path is classified as an easy or medium tour. This means that these cycling tours are particularly suitable for beginners, families and cyclists whose main focus is on fun and enjoyment. Most of the cycle paths along the Rhône are asphalted and very well developed. Only sometimes do you cycle short sections on dirt tracks and gravel roads.

The daily stages on the Rhône Cycle Path are between 50 and 70 kilometres per day.

On our cycling tours along the Rhône Cycle Path, you will stay in well-selected, cosy and beautiful 2-4 star hotels.

On our cycling tour from Geneva to Lyon you will experience two different countries, cultures and highlights. Already on the second day, you cycle across the French border and get to know the savoir-vivre up close. The view of Mont Blanc, the vineyards and the gourmet capital of Lyon will certainly convince and amaze you.

The next cycle tour follows this route and leads from Lyon to Orange. On this route, the spectacular museum "des Confluences" and the beautiful surroundings around Tournon sur Rhône await you. The charming medieval old town is sure to please.

However, if you would like to enjoy the Swiss flair to the full, we recommend the Rhône route in Switzerland. Between Brig and Geneva, the route combines three different types of landscape.

The most beautiful cities along the Rhône Cycle Path

Montreux

The pretty town of Montreux is located on the beautiful Lake Geneva, where the Rhône rests. Due to the southern climate, Montreux plays host to many tourists who spend their summer holidays here. Also, the Montreux Jazz Festival takes place here every July and attracts music lovers from all over the world. On the shores of Lake Geneva you may notice a statue. It is of Freddie Mercury, who in his final years spent a lot of time here because Queen had a recording studio here.

Montreux France

Geneva

Geneva – the city of millionaires – is located at the mouth of the Rhône from Lake Geneva. Geneva is particularly well-known for its watchmaking and is considered one of the most important watch cities in the world. Well-known watch manufacturers such as Rolex are based in Geneva. But the art of chocolatiers is also found here. Visit the many attractions that this enchanting city has to offer.

Geneva

Lyon

The favourite place for all those with a sweet-tooth is probably Lyon! Because Lyon is known not only for its numerous elite universities, but also for extremely fine cuisine. Great chefs, such as Paul Bocuse, have contributed to the food scene in Lyon. Sights such as Sain-Jean Cathedral, Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the many murals will make your stay in Lyon extremely interesting.

Orange

The historic town of Orange is famous because of its many Roman buildings. The Triumphal Arch of Orange or the Roman theatre are some of the city’s most famous landmarks and are the reason why UNESCO added it to its list of World Heritage Sites. Look forward to a nice tour ending in this tranquil city and enjoy France to the fullest.

Useful information about your cycling holiday on the Rhône

Food on the Rhône

On the route from the source of the Rhône to its mouth in the Mediterranean, you will come across all sorts of goodies. Near Lyon, for example, is the world-famous Bresse chicken. Also known far and wide are the fabulous Lyon sausage and the sinfully good nougat from Montélimar. And the wine lovers among you will of course all be delighted, because the Rhône flows through famous wine regions such as Burgundy and Beaujolais. But the culinary highlight of your trip will probably be Lyon – the capital of food!

Did you know…

  • …that the hit Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple was inspired by an event that took place in Montreux on Lake Geneva? The song is about the great casino fire in 1971. Deep Purple were in Montreux at the time attending a concert.
  • …that the inventors of the cinema, the Lumière brothers, came from Lyon?

  • …that the water of the Rhône needs more than 11 years to flow through the entire Lake Geneva?
  • …that Vincent van Gogh immortalised the Rhône in several of his works? He himself spent several years of his life in Arles, near the Rhone.
Antonia Kreiseder

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Antonia Kreiseder
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