Regional
Overview

 

 

 

March 5th 2013

 

 

 

 

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Region 9 - Mont Blanc and Savoyan Alps

 

overview map of region 9A little bit west of the Valais Alps the main Alp ridge bends to the south and forms with the Mont Blanc group the most powerful huge ice riff of the European Alps. This is where the borders of Switzerland, France and  Italy meet in the triangle to an enormously high almost 40km long ridge. The area includes in the outer northeast still a small corner of the canton Valais, in the north the valleys of Haute-Savoie, in the south a bit of the Aosta valley and in the west some of the mountain ranges and some of the most beautiful Savoyan pass roads.

Seven passes are lined up here like pearls on a necklace, if you add the side trip to the Col d'Iseran we even talk about eight pass roads, whereby the famous Col de la Iseran pass is even a few meters higher than the Stelvio pass, Queen of Alps roads. Cormet de Roselend, Col du Pre and Col de Saisies with their altitudes below the magic number of 2,000m may not sound so great however, they run through an outstanding landscape. Only the Col du Saisier does run through a not so thrilling ski resort, but the road itself with endless curves is great to ride on.

Entry into the tour is best from Martigny and then you should start the tour clockwise across the Col du Grand Saint Bernard. This pass is particularly evident in the early morning in a ghostly light which for sure will leave a deep impression. Due to some very high passes, a tour is recommended only at the earliest in June, better in July. We had tried it once in late May and mid October and failed both times. Sudden snowfall had shut down the Petit Saint Bernard and made it impossibel to continue our trip on the French side.

Not to miss the monastery on the Grand Saint Bernard with the dog breed, the famous Berhardiner dogs, the Lac du Roselend and last but not least a roasted lobster with garlic pesto in a street cafe in Chamonix with direct view to the Mont Blanc. The small restaurant in Chamonix is located on the west side, when you are coming down the tunnel, right behind the railway crossing on the right hand side. What else do you need.
Accommodation can be found in one of the popular motorcycle travel magazines, such as the
Alpentourer or the TOURENFAHRER or on one of the biker websites like Bikerbetten.de. The following recommended hotels therefore only meet our standard.

hotel

Hotel Rarnerhof

6 single rooms and 9 double rooms in Valais style, shower, TV, WLAN. Beer garden. Located right in the center of Valais, therefore  short access to the French passes. Getting ideal through the  Loetschberg train car transport.

bedroom with breakfast starting at 75,- SFR, half course at 100,- SFR

CH-3942 Raron/VS

www.rarnerhof.ch

GPS N46°18’36” E007°48’0”

hotel

Hostellerie Bon Rivage

50 double bedrooms, most with lake view, shower /toilet, TV, Internet, parking. Upscale regional cuisine. Located near Lake Geneva. For French Switzerland moderate prices.
Recommendation of Alpentourer TOUR GUIDE.

single bedroom with breakfast starting at 93,- Euro
double at 120,- Euro

CH-1814 La Tour-de-Peilz/Vaud

www.bon-rivage.ch

GPS N46°27’4” E006°51’30”

hotel

Hôtel La Reine des Alpes

25 rooms with bath or shower, toilet, TV and phone. 1/2h from  Lake Geneva below the Morginspasses (1,369m). Picturesque waterfront location in the mountains. Garage.
Recommendation of Alpentourer TOUR GUIDE

double bedroom with breakfast at 90,- Euro
half course plus 22,- Euro

CH-1875 Morgins

www.lareinedesalpes.com

GPS N46°14’15” E006°51’32”

Alpine pass name

period opened

altitude

from - to

driving time

distance

Col de la Forclaz

the whole year

1,527m/5,010ft

Martigny - Chamonix Mont Blanc

45 min

42km/26mls

Col des Montets

the whole year

1,461m/4,793ft

Argentiere - Chamonix Mont Blanc

30 min

36km/22.4mls

Col du Grand Saint Bernard

June - September

2,469m/8,100ft

Martigny - Aosta

90 min

74km/46mls

Col du Petit Saint Bernard

May - October

2,188m/7,178ft

Les Lances Pre - Saint Didier

45 min

57km/35.4mls

Cormet de Roselend

June - October

1,968m/6,457ft

Albertville - Seez

50 min

40km/24.9mls

Col du Pré

May - October

1,703m/5,587ft

Bourg-St-Maurice - Lac de Roselend

40 min

54km/33.6mls

Col des Saisies

the whole year

1,633m/5,358ft

Bourg-St-Maurice - Flumet

90 min

76km/47.2mls

Col d’Iseran

July - September

2,764m/9,068ft

Val d'Isere - Bonneval-sur-Arc

50 min

32km/19.9mls

Alpentops.de - TOP Alpen-Sites

 

We are member of the Alpentops 20, a platform of websites that cover travel in the Alps regions and supply significant additional information for trips in the European Alps. Owner of the site is Stephan Fennel from the agency DP Destination Publishing KG - the well known Alpentourer Magazin - which we highly recommend. The website has a translation engine for multiple languages and provides up to date information for travel in the European Alps.

 

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