The mythical Route des Grandes Alpes

The mythical Route des Grandes Alpes

Until the 13th of November, discover the exhibition about the history of the construction of this extraordinary mountain road.

We are at the beginning of the 20th century, and while the tourism and automotive industries are growing up, the French Touring Club decides to build the missing roads between two major holiday destinations : Evian on the shores of the Lake Leman and Nice on the French Rivera.

The titanic construction ends in July 1937 when the route over the Iseran Pass opens.

At that time, the tours by buses operated by the company PLM (Paris-Lyon-Mediterranée) takes 6 days from Evian to Nice. It is now 2 or 3 days on a motorcycle, thanks to a much better tarmac !

The 600 km long route crosses five French départements (Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes de Haute-Provence, Alpes Maritimes), and takes nine legendary mountains passes, five of them are above 2000 m : Col de l’Iseran (2764 m), Col du Galibier (2645 m), Col d’Izoard (2360 m), Col de Vars (2108 m), Col de la Cayolle (2326 m).

Several alternatives are created, as the winter Route des Grandes Alpes via Grenoble and the Route Napoleon.

The exhibition displays over 200 artefacts, documents, posters and a video from archives.

We definitely suggest you to visit this exhibition in Evian when you start your trip on the Route des Grandes Alpes. It is a perfect way to feel how exceptionnal are the roads you are about to ride.

More info on the exhibition here :