The roads of the Vercors are known especially for being spectacular, with breathtaking routes! Whether by car, motorbike, bike or on foot, you will be enchanted by these riches and road curiosities that have become, from their creations, tourist hotspots.
A little history and landscapes to discover!
Indeed, before the 19th century, the movements were mainly by mule paths, between the massif and the plain rather than between the different parts of the massif. The boom in the transport of wood then influenced the policies to undertake important works to open up the Vercors massif, creating modern access routes… always accessible, to our delight.
In 1827, the Sassenage-Villard de Lans link was the first road opened to the Vercors, while the construction of the other roads would follow at a frantic pace, not without difficulty, to drill tunnels, suspend roads on the side of cliffs with rudimentary means: peak, mine bar, dynamite, men secured by a simple rope around the waist…
We invite you to explore them on a sunny day, a weekend or on holiday; each has its own history and uniqueness, but all will surprise you and leave you with unforgettable memories.
- The Big and Little Goulets
This corbelled road, accessible since 1854, runs along the Valley of the Vernaison, between Sainte Eulalie in Royans and the Barracks in Vercors. Laces, aerial sections in ledges, tunnels alternate this route where lookouts allow to admire the cliffs, the Vernaison below and to smell the magical nature in this place.
Arriving at the Barracks, after crossing the tunnel built in 2008, to secure this historic road that has become dangerous (the large gullys are no longer accessible) your path can continue towards Vassieux, the Chapelle-en-Vercors and the Rousset pass, heading south or going up to Saint-Martin in Vercors, the 4 Mountains…
- The Col du Rousset and its tunnel: open door, between the Vercors and Provence!
The first tunnel pierced in 1866 (replaced by a new one in 1979) allows to connect directly Pont-en-Royans to Die, without passing through the banks of the Isère. Orientation tables reveal a magnificent panorama from which one can also observe the majestic flight of vultures reintroduced into the Vercors, since 1996.
Die – Royans Bridge: the 60 km RD76
- The Gorges of the Bourne
Opened in 1872, it is a road under surveillance and in regular work to secure its route. Even if it has lost some of its panache, this road remains unavoidable, especially in winter, when it is overhanging with stalactites of ice, provoking a feeling “icy” … Its construction was a strategic priority to trade with the region of Pont-en-Royans and the plain of southern Grésivaudan, then tourist.
Villard de Lans – Royan Bridge: D531 over 24 km
- Nan Gorges: impressive sensations…
Since 1894, this road has been narrow, dizzying and sensational. Its route created with rudimentary techniques, has retained its authenticity and allows access to the village of Malleval; protected site since 1945. Adrenaline junkies will be thrilled!
Cognin les Gorges – Malleval: RD22 over 9 km
Cognin les Gorges – Malleval – Rencurel: RD22 then RD35 for 44 km
- Combe Laval – The Machine Pass
Its creation in 1898 was strongly driven by the coal miners who exploited the huge forest of Lente. Also built by man’s hand, this road clinging to the cliff and overlooking “La Combe” is one of the most frequented by tourists. Views extend over the Isère valley and as far as St-Jean-en Royans.
St Jean en Royans – Vassieux en Vercors: RD76 over 32 km
- The Ecouges; a strategic necessity!
Based in Saint-Gervais, 800m below the Forest of the Ecouges, the royal foundry of naval cannons of Louix XIV has led to the creation of an access route, to quickly supply the charcoal needed for the operation of the blast furnaces. But it was in 1883 that a real road was created, between meadows and orchards, then meandering between the limestone walls and waterfalls, not to mention the crossing of the narrow and obscure tunnel… an entry into the bowels of the Vercors.
St Gervais – Balme de Rencurel: RD35 over 21 km
- The Road to Presles
Opened in 1885. A succession of open tunnels, passages carved directly into the rock, tight bends, this road offers a stunning view of the Allier Plateau and the Vercors Highlands. For those who still need sensations, it is possible to follow up on the Nan Gorges.
Royans Bridge – Presles: RD292 over 11 km
Royans Bridge – Nan Gorge – Cognin Gorge: RD292 over 27 km