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> > > > The grand tour of the Cols (Circuit n°17)
Partnerships> The grand tour of the Cols (Circuit n°17)
This long and original route is the one taken by cyclists of the Tour de France. Along the way are the Cols of Lautaret, Galibier, Télégraphe and La Croix de Fer; giants of the road handed to you on a plate!
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This almost 174 km circuit start in Bourg d'Oisans. Be sure to leave early, as there is many a breathtaking view to enjoy along the route. The faithful lookout, Mont Blanc, signals to you from its position of icy solitude. On the RD 1091, follow signs for Briançon to the Col du Lautaret which welcomes you with its ↘alpine gardens; a real gem of its kind. Founded in 1899, it has over 2000 species of altitude plants from the world over. This lavish collection, displayed in a magnificent setting at an altitude of 2,000m, is the best in Europe. Stop off at the ↘Atelier du Lautaret, where you will discover a full range of honey and home-made honey-based products (gingerbread, trail mix bars, nougat, jam, syrup, vinegar, propolis… and the most recent products, soap and moisture lotion). Véronique and Jérôme will be happy to explain their work (how the hives work and how they collect the honey and make the different products). Véronique also runs demonstrations on soapmaking using honey, beeswax and propolis. The road then carries on to the Col du Galibier, a historic mountain pass that has regularly featured in the Tour de France since 1911. As for the roads, well, you can’t possibly get bored! Airy mountain passes and switchbacks ensure that you are always on the look-out for something new. Continue bravely on over the Col du Télégraphe to the resort of Valloire. When you arrive at Saint Jean de Maurienne, you have two choices. You can either take the D926 to the Col de Croix de Fer (a spectacular road, with lots of tunnels) or follow the D80 towards the Col du Mollard-Saint Sorlin d’Arves, to explore ↘the strange church of Saint Sorlin, that is covered with wreathes made of wrought iron and glass beads. A few kilometres from Le Glandon, join up with the Col de la Croix de Fer on the D926. The view of the ↘Grand-Maison dam then opens up before you: a splendid construction in a totally unspoilt setting. In Le Rivier d'Allemond think of a stop at the ↘GAEC Chévrerie de l'Eterlou - La ferme du Rivier to taste their cheeses. Return to Bourg-d'Oisans via Allemond, on the D926.
Source: APIDAE

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