Alpes Isère

Balcony roads of the Vercors

Spectacular and daring, the Vercors balcony roads were constructed in the 19th century to open up the mountain range to the wider world. Well known throughout France, these vertiginous roads are now famous for their exceptional panoramic views and have become a paradise for bikers and drivers.

The construction process, however, was highly dangerous! Tens of years of extreme hardship and dangerous work were necessary: impressive paths cut into the cliff sides, corbels projecting over the void, tunnels piercing the rock, and steep-sided trails at the bottom of the gorges.


From Grenoble, head to Sassenage. The 17th-century castle and gardens are a must-visit, as well as Les Cuves de Sassenage cave, the realm of the Fairy Mélusine. 


From here, take the Vercors plateau road through the Furon gorges to Lans en Vercors, a traditionally built village and headquarters of the Vercors Regional Natural Park.


Continue towards Autrans and Méaudre, famous Nordic ski resorts in the heart of the mountain range, where you can visit numerous farms with slate stepped gable roofs and lanes lined with thackstone.


Travel through the Gorges de la Bourne balcony road, an iconic way into the Vercors with a succession of tunnels and overhangs leads to Rencurel, then onto Choranche. At Choranche, take time to visit the Grottes de Choranche caves before continuing on your journey.


Next step is Pont en Royans, a picturesque village where the houses cling to the rocks and seem to be hanging over the river Bourne.


Get back onto the Vercors plateau via the Petits and Grands Goulets balcony roads carved into the vertical cliff faces.


Then visit Villard de Lans, a health resort in a conservation area popular since the 1920s as a climatotherapy destination. Today it is a family holiday resort that offers a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year.


Return to Lans en Vercors then onto St. Nizier du Moucherotte. This is the highest village in north Vercors and is best known as a memorial site that was awarded a Resistance medal, as well as the host of the ski jumping event in the 1968 Grenoble Olympic Games.


Return to Grenoble via the D106, which gives an exceptional panoramic view over the city and its surrounding area.