What is the ViaRhôna?
The ViaRhôna is a cycle path that was developed for experienced cyclists, as well as those looking for a pleasurable bike ride or tourists, and it is suitable for the whole family. It can also be used by pedestrians. It is a long path that goes from Lake Geneva all the way to the beaches of the Mediterranean in the south of France. It crosses 3 regions of France and 12 departments altogether.
It is a part of the Eurovélo network (Eurovélo 17) and runs alongside the river Rhône for 817 km. Cyclists will pass from the green paths over to routes that can also be used by cars but are not too busy. The ViaRhôna is an easy route that is accessible to all, even young children.
In the Drôme, the ViaRhôna crosses through many towns including La Roche de Glun, Valence and Loriol.
The ViaRhôna in the Drôme: A great way to combine exercise and the great outdoors
Altogether, there are 21 stages that make up the ViaRhôna. They are of varying distances, from 27 to 40 km, giving you something to get your legs burning and to sweat all year round!
But it is above all the natural environment and different landscapes that make this such a pleasant cycle path, taking you through the mountains, the wild natural environment of the south of France, through the vineyards and the authentic villages of Provence.
The ViaRhona route through the Drôme
The ViaRhôna runs across the entire department of the Drôme, sometimes crossing over into the Ardèche and passing from the left to the right banks of the Rhône. Itineraries are marked out in the 2 French departments and are split into 5 stages:
The ViaRhôna in Valence: stages 13 and 14 of the route
Stage 13 of the ViaRhôna is the last part of the Lyon-Valence section and begins in Tournon-sur-Rhône in the Ardèche. Then you'll reach La Roche-de-Glun and Pont-de-l’Isère where the 45th passes parallel to this one, before arriving in Valence.
Take the time to explore this historical town. Wander around the lively narrow streets and admire or visit the must-sees of Valence. Take a moment to relax on the outdoor terrace of a local bar and treat yourself to one of the local specialities, the "Suisse" after all that exploring. Stretch your legs in Jouvet Park before ending your visit at Epervière harbour, where stage 13 comes to an end.
If you would prefer to explore the town on foot, the "vélobox " are available to store your bikes on the Champ de Mars (you can pick up a key from the tourist office).
After leaving the biggest river port in France, stage 14 will take you to Livron, Loriol and Printegarde Island, a magnificent nature resserve where you can see sea birds and migratory birds, and some remarkable wildlife. You will then end this first part of the Valence-Avignon section in Le Pouzin.
For more information on the other sections of the ViaRhôna, go to: https://www.viarhona.com/