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Via Rhôna — cycling the Rhone Valley Way from Lyon to the Mediterranean

Franziska

Via Rhôna — cycling the Rhone Valley Way from Lyon to the Mediterranean

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

5-9

days

3-5 h

/ day

299 mi

4,250 ft

4,650 ft

The Rhône is the mightiest river in France, flowing for more than 500 miles (800 km) over mixed terrain to connect the Swiss Alps with the Mediterranean Sea. On this ride, you’ll follow this breathtaking force of water through the historic cities of Lyon, Valence, Avignon and Arles to Montpellier. You’ll cycle alongside the sloping vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône, through peach plantations, provincial lavender fields and rice farms, and past the flamingos of the Carmague as you make your way to towards Languedoc-Roussillion. Over eight stages, you’ll roll past steep, rocky gorges and across flat fields — always into the wide horizon.

After leaving the Alps, the Rhône meanders purposefully towards the Mediterranean. On this diverse ride, you’ll follow the river for about 300 miles (500 km) to its mouth, taking the well-established cycle path the whole way. Just bear in mind that in parts, the Via Rhôna is still under construction and can be pretty confusing in some places. The road is wide, however, and in most cases, barely used, and you'll encounter hardly a foot of altitude difference along the entire route. That means you'll be able to cycle for longer than you might expect — perfect for exhausting yourself ready for a night in the tent in one of the numerous campsites you'll pass en route.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    ViaRhôna - E1: Von Lyon nach Condrieu

    Intermediate
    03:06
    31.7 mi
    10.2 mph
    625 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Lyon can be reached quickly from Paris or Basel and is perfect for starting your tour towards the Mediterranean.

    

    Before you go, it's worth taking a stroll around the old town, visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière and catching up on the tourist information on the Place Bellecour with some details

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  • Intermediate
    03:45
    37.6 mi
    10.0 mph
    400 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the campsite, head south. The path from here is perfect for touring and in Condrieu you can treat yourself to a pain au chocolat at the Boulangerie Au Plaisir Des Saveurs.

    

    The landscape changes, it becomes more hilly right and left of the Rhône and on the slopes you can admire the vineyards of the

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  • Difficult
    06:22
    65.1 mi
    10.2 mph
    775 ft
    925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After Tournon-sur-Rhône you will pass through Valence, the capital of the department of Drône. Here it is worthwhile to push a piece and to look at the historic old town. Past the Fontaine Monumentale until you reach the Esplanade du Champ de Mars, from where you have a beautiful view of the surroundings

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  • Difficult
    05:49
    60.0 mi
    10.3 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is a long stage at which the former Pope seat of Avignon awaits you. First you drive south and leave Viviers behind you.

    

    The route takes you past the spectacular cliffs of the Defilé de Donzères and the Pont de Robinet. This place is considered a true gateway to Provence. From here, the cliffs are

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  • Intermediate
    04:02
    43.1 mi
    10.7 mph
    675 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After the many kilometers of the last days a shorter tour with the nice destination Arles is waiting again today.

    

    In the morning, it's worth making a round in Avignon and watching the hustle and bustle around the Papal Palace. Then it's out of town, here the landscape is really flat now. It goes past

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  • Intermediate
    04:15
    44.9 mi
    10.5 mph
    350 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The route today leads you directly through the Camargue nature reserve, past flamingos, rice fields and salt fields. The destination is the Mediterranean.

    

    In the morning, we recommend a nice walk through the city center of Arles, where Vincent van Gogh lived. The ViaRhôna now runs along the Canal du Rh

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  • Easy
    01:46
    16.3 mi
    9.2 mph
    350 ft
    200 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After six long days, the last stage is more like a short drive. Especially in summer, it is worth spending a few hours on the beach. A bit out of the city there is enough space in the sand in midsummer. The tour then takes you right along the Mediterranean coast to Montpellier. The view over the shallow

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    299 mi
  • Duration
    29:05 h
  • Elevation
    4,250 ft4,650 ft

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