Vercors, Drome and Isere Valley
So, Where are the Vercors?
The Vercors is a unique region of the French Alps stretching across the Drome and Isere departments on the Western flank with Valence in the East, Grenoble in the North and Die in the South and covers an area of approximately 5,000 km sq. This Spectacular National Park is home to 22 cols, 17,000m of climbing and some of the most vertiginous roads in the world. The highest mountain pass stands at 1600m with the highest point of the Grand Veymont reaching 2341m. The Vercors include many cols visited by the Tour de France, including the Col de Machine recognised as one of France's most spectacular roads engineered out of the cliff face over 100 years ago and the gruelling 21km classic switchback, Col du Rousett. Below is a video of Roger on a hair raising descent of the Combe Laval - Europe's biggest gorge which is right on our doorstep.
But what makes this region so special is the enormous diversity in the terrain from Alpine mountain passes, limestone cliffs, forests, grassy plateaux and river valleys, the rolling hills of the Drome and the flatter Isere Valley offering a huge choice of routes along low traffic, well surfaced secondary roads. We have chosen routes along the most beautiful, quietest roads passing through mediaeval towns, walnut orchards, river valleys with lots of photo opportunities and cafe stops.
We are situated in the charming town of St.Jean-en-Royans nestled 240ms at the base of the Spectacular Vercors National Park on the western side of the range where the 'Cirque de Combe Laval' begins. From Velo Vercors, turn right and start climbing! We think the combination of terrain, climate, extensive network of quiet, stunning roads and the cycling culture make the Vercors and surrounding region unbeatable.
St Jean-en-Royans is an historical French town/village with a good infrastructure of restaurants, cafes and shops, including a local supermarket. All our rides start from the front door where there is only local traffic or those heading up the Vercors, so it is quite possible to ride for 2 or 3 hours with only a couple of cars passing you. Even during the peak summer months of July and August the region is a cyclists' paradise.
Great cycling, great hospitality. Will be back. Tim Ralston April 2010
Romans-sur-Isere, Valence and Grenoble
The nearest big town is Romans-sur-Isere (historically famous for its shoe manufacturing) 25kms away with the major cities of Valence 36kms to the South West on the Rhone and Grenoble – the Gateway to the High Alps, 55kms to the North East.
It is possible to cycle all year round but our season generally starts from April to November when the weather has warmed up a little, spring is in the air and the spectacular orchards are in bloom. Summers are lovely, sunny and very warm but cooler the higher up The Vercors you go. Autumns are warm and extremely beautiful with trees and vines changing colours and winter brings the snow and the opportunity to head to the slopes (our nearest ski slope is Font D’urle, some 30 minutes away by car). It does rain, but not much.
Average Temperatures in C (F)
|3 (37)||3 (37)||8 (45)||14(56)||16(61)||22(71)||27(81)||26(79)||22(71)||16(61)||11(51)||6(42)|