Thonon-les-Bains / Cluses Route des Grandes Alpes by bike
Elevation of the stage
Waytypes of the stage
Surface of the stage
From Lake Geneva to Cluses via Morzine and the Col des Gets Pass
Route North / South
↗ 1072m ↘ 1012m
From Thonon-les-Bains, you enter the Chablais Range and climb up the Dranse Gorges, the views opening out, the first Alpine meadows appearing. After Saint-Jean-d’Aulps, Montriond Lake (a short detour away, worth making) and Morzine, you cross the Col des Gets pass (1163m), perfect for warming up your calf muscles! Cross the village of Les Gets, then descend towards Taninges. There’s a final rise at Châtillon-sur-Cluses before you ride down to Cluses and the Arve Valley.
Route South / North
↗ 1012m ↘ 1072m
Leaving Cluses and the Arve Valley, the route climbs at first, before redescending briefly to Taninges. After the village of Les Gets, time to tackle the Col des Gets pass (1163m), the last major obstacle along the Route des Grandes Alpes®. The descent towards Thonon-les-Bains and Lake Geneva takes you via Morzine and Saint-Jean d’Aulps. After passing through Alpine meadows, the landscapes narrow as you enter the Dranse Gorges, their sides a mix of great natural walls of rock and wooded slopes. After Morzine, do consider the short detour to Montriond Lake.
- Thonon-les-Bains: the Château de Ripaille; the lakeside port; La Visitation cultural centre; the Musée du Chablais; Saint-François-de-Sales Basilica...
- The Kilometre O marker: in front of Thonon-les-Bains Tourist Office. This marks the starting point of several major Alpine routes: the Route des Grandes Alpes® (for bikes, motorbikes and cars); the Chemins du Soleil (for mountain bikes); the Petites Routes du Soleil (for bikes); and the Grande Traversée des Alpes via the GR5 (a French national hiking path).
- The Pont du Diable Gorges: midway between Thonon-les-Bains and Morzine, in the Chablais Global Geopark, these gorges provide an extraordinary demonstration of the power of erosion, which has carved out the fantastical natural setting here. There’s a walking track through them lasting c.40 mins.