The ViaRhona is a real invitation to cycling adventure, linking the majestic Alps to the bewitching charm of the Mediterranean. An enchanting route that takes you through breathtaking landscapes and places steeped in history. Ready for an unforgettable journey? Hop on your bike and let yourself be guided along this discovery trail between the mountains and the sea via the Rhône valley.

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From the source of the Rhône to the shores of the Mediterranean

The ViaRhona route stretches for over 800 kilometres, from Lake Geneva in Switzerland to Beaucaire in France, following the Rhône river.

The diversity of landscapes is breathtaking: the peaceful shores of Lake Geneva, the verdant vineyards of the Swiss Valais, the corridor between towns, villages and vineyards of the Rhône Valley, the steep hills of the Vercors, the fragrant lavender fields of the Drôme Provençale and, finally, the golden beaches of the Mediterranean coast.

At each stop, a new panorama unfolds before your astonished eyes of rural and urban landscapes.

The ViaRhona, more than just a path, is a historical vein. Born of the river that lends it its name, it has been the scene of commercial and cultural exchanges since Antiquity. The Rhône, the region’s lifeblood, has shaped the civilisations that have settled here, from the Romans to the Gauls, influencing lifestyles, trade and agriculture.

This French and European greenway is part of the continuity of these exchanges, which have now become more popular with tourists.

Viarhona along the Rhône

Pedal along the Traces of History along the Rhône

The ViaRhona passes through areas rich in history and cultural heritage. From Geneva, a European hub, to the emblematic Avignon bridge crossing, you’ll be pedalling in the footsteps of the Romans, the Gauls and the kings of France.

Don’t miss historic cities such as Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vienne and its Roman remains, or Arles and its ancient monuments. At every stop, you’ll have the chance to discover the testimonies to the past that line this cycle route.

All along the ViaRhona, you’ll pass through picturesque villages and famous vineyards.

Stop off in Seyssel for a glass of local wine, or wander through the medieval streets of Saint-Gingolph. You can also take advantage of the exceptional panoramas offered by the route, such as the breathtaking cliffs overlooking the Rhône at Condrieu or the breathtaking views of Mont Ventoux from Montélimar. Don’t hesitate to make a diversion to admire the spectacular scenery of the tributary valleys and its unspoilt nature, such as the Dolce Via greenway that runs alongside the Eyrieux.

Greenway and Viarhona in Arles

Fauna and Flora on the ViaRhôna

Biodiversity is at the heart of the ViaRhona journey. Between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean, you’ll see a wide variety of fauna: migratory birds flying over wetlands, beavers and coypu populating the banks of the Rhône, colourful insects foraging on wild flowers…

As for the flora, enjoy the apricot and peach orchards from the Drôme and Ardèche southwards, as well as the olive groves and vineyards that stretch across the panorama. A veritable showcase of nature awaits you along this cycle route.

Fauna and flora on the Greenway

The ViaRhona route

From Lake Geneva to Beaucaire, then on to Sète and Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, from Switzerland to the Mediterranean via the regions of France, these are the stages of the Viarhona or Eurovelo 17.

From Switzerland to Lyon

The Swiss section begins in an Alpine setting, on the shores of Lake Geneva with views of the snow-capped peaks of the Alps. Crossing the border, the road merges into the still wild valley of the River Rhône. The blue of the Swiss Rhône mixes with the muddy grey at the confluence with the Arve.

Along the way, two major cities, Geneva and Lyon, offer an unmissable cultural stop-off, combining ancient history and modernity.

From Lyon to the Mediterranean

After Lyon, the ViaRhona gradually reveals a more Mediterranean side. Fruit trees alternate with vineyards and fields of lavender and olive trees. Picturesque villages such as Tain-l’Hermitage invite you to sample the local produce. The approach of the sea is heralded by golden sunlight and refreshing sea air.

This section passes through historic towns such as Avignon, famous for its bridge and the Palace of the Popes, and Arles, rich in Roman remains. As you approach the Mediterranean, the landscape opens out onto the vast expanses of the Camargue, with its wild horses, pink flamingos and salt marshes.

For a more detailed, step-by-step itinerary with a map of the Viarhôna, go to the dedicated page :

Web link

Practical advice for a cycling trip on the ViaRhôna

To make the most of your cycling trip on the ViaRhona, a few practical tips are essential.

Before setting off, check that your equipment is in good condition (bike, helmet, panniers, etc.) and prepare a repair kit for any unforeseen problems. As far as accommodation is concerned, you should opt for gîtes and bed & breakfasts with the Accueil Vélo label, so that you can enjoy a welcome that’s tailored to cyclists.

Don’t forget to ask about drinking water points and local shops for refreshments along the way.

Finally, check the weather forecast regularly and dress accordingly. And don’t forget that the strongest wind is the Mistral: it blows from north to south, and going upstream can be exhausting. A downstream route is preferable, especially without an electric bike.

Bike+train on the ViaRhona

Would you like to take the train between two stages, down or up the Rhône valley?

Here is a map of railway lines and stations in the Rhône valley, around Lake Geneva and in Switzerland:

And for more cycling

Want to continue on to the Alps? The Rhône route in Switzerland is a continuation of the ViaRhôna, with 350 kilometres of hard and natural surface between Geneva and Adermatt through the Valais.

Along the Rhône valley, there are several other greenways and cycle routes to discover, including :

In connection with the Rhône river

Activities, leisure, Rhone River
Hotel, rental
Activities, visits, tickets, leisure
Activities, visits, tickets, leisure