A Road Bike Tour

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Raimund, Leif and Iris

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired

Road bike Tour to the Mont Blanc Circle


That' s what Wiki says:

Monte Bianco or Mont Blanc Italian and French, (respectively meaning "White Mountain") is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union.[1] It rises 4,810.45 m (15,782 ft)[2] above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. It is also sometimes known as "La Dame Blanche" (French for "The White Lady").

The mountain lies between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France and the location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the Arve Valley in France.

The two most famous towns near Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France—the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain from Courmayeur to Chamonix.

Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.

The Mont Blanc massif is popular for mountaineering, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

We assembled at Martigny/Switzerland and started the tour in May 2003 from here on.

1st day of ride:
Martigny, via
Col de la Forclaz, our first climb with a very beautiful view over the valley.
One road of Martigny is
linking this town over the Great St. Bernard Pass to Aosta (Italy),which made our decision much more easy how and were to go: we did the Mont Blanc Circle, returning to Martigny via the Great St. Bernhard Pass.
Passing Charmonix with the impressiv Aquille du Midi and the huge lay down glacier we ended this day at a little hotel located at Les Saisies.

for more details see:

we passed Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe and climbed again..




On the way to Charmonix:


2nd day of ride:
A very windig road via Baraque de Roselend leaded us to Bourg Saint-Maurice.

Wiki says:

Bourg-Saint-Maurice (Latin: Bergintrum), popularly known as Bourg, is a commune in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

It is the last large town along the Tarentaise valley in the heart of the French Alps.




Bergintrum was a place on the Gallic side of the pass of the Alpes Graiae, lying on the road marked in the Antonine Itinerary between Mediolanum (modern Milan) and Vienna (modern Vienne). D'Anville (Notice, etc.) places it, according to the Table, between Axima (modern Aime) and Alpis Graia. The distance from Bergintrum to Axima is marked viiii M. P. The Alpis Graia is usually identified with a settlement at the watershed on the pass of the Little Saint Bernard, which divides the waters that flow to the Isère on the French side from those that flow to the Dora Baltea on the Italian side. This is the place D'Anville calls l'Hôpital, on the authority of a manuscript map of the country. D'Anville first proposed the identification of Bergintrum with Bourg-Saint-Maurice; although he acknowledged that xii, the distance in the Table between Bergintrum and Alpis Graia, does not fit the distance between Bourg-Saint-Maurice and l'Hôpital, which is less. Modern scholarship confirms the identification (see, e.g., Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 17.).

Bourg Saint-Maurice is located on bottom of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard which we climbed this day as well.

We found a little hotel at La Thuile, nearby the Aosta valley.



What Wiki says:

La Thuile is situated in the Alps at the extreme north-west of the country, close to the French alpine town of La Rosière. La Thuile is situated along a road going from Pré-Saint-Didier in the north-west up to the Little St Bernard Pass in the south-east linking Italy to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and the Isère Valley in France.


3rd day of ride:

Starting at La Thuille, we have been climbing the Col San Carlo.

A hidden beautity.




Aosta valley has been a rather long downhill...

Saving energy for the next climb: the Grand Saint -Bernard.



What Wiki says:

Great St. Bernard Pass (Fr. Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, It. Colle del Gran San Bernardo) (el. 2469 m.) is the third highest road pass in Switzerland. It connects Martigny in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland to Aosta in Italy. It is the lowest pass lying on the ridge between the two highest summits of the Alps, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. The pass itself is located in Switzerland in the canton of Valais, very close to Italy. It is located on the main watershed that separates the basin of the Rhone from that of the Po.[2]

Great St. Bernard is the most ancient pass through the Western Alps, with evidence of use as far back as the Bronze Age and surviving traces of a Roman road. In 1800, Napoleon's army used the pass to enter Italy, an event depicted in Jacques-Louis David's Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass and Hippolyte Delaroche's Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, both notable oil paintings. Having been bypassed by easier and more practical routes, particularly the Great St Bernard Tunnel which opened in 1964, its value today is mainly historical and recreational.

Straddling the highest point of the road, the Great St Bernard Hospice was founded in 1049. The hospice later became famous for its use of St. Bernard dogs in rescue operations.

A never ending climb...


A rather long downhill leaded us back to Martigny.