This long round trip has some strenuous sections. However, the varied and spectacular route will make up for the hardest parts.
Maximum altitude : 1999 m
Minimum altitude : 720 m
Positive difference in height : 1800 m
Max. incline : 12%
Nature of the route : loop
Cartographie : Michelin Carte Département Isère, Savoie n° 333
Cultural Informations : Clavans and the peddlers of l'Oisans
Clavans means "the key", since the village has always had the keys to the passes of La Valette and Quirlies, on the former border to Savoy. Its ancient houses still bear witness to the prosperity of the peddlers. It is during the long harsh winter months that those men went out to become peddlers. They would leave l'Oisans with their bundles in autumn to sell their goods across the whole of France and sometimes they would even take haberdashery and small household items as well as local plants, such as sweet-smelling oats, abroad. This plant, which is also known as 'bison herb', grew on the plateau of Emparis and was sold as far as Russia to flavour Russian vodka. Violets were sold for making herbal infusions.
Those travellers were called the 'swallows of l'Oisans', as they used to return to l'Oisans in early spring. Their return would be eagerly awaited by the locals to hear news from all over the world. These peddlers were the forerunners of modern door-to-door selling and sales representatives.
max. 1999 m
min. 717 m
Style : Mountain
Public : SportsmenCyclists
From Bourg d’Oisans, follow the direction of Briançon, cross over the Romanche River and turn left onto the D211, start the road of Alpe d'Huez to La Garde en Oisans.
After the church turn right towards Auris en Oisans on the D211a.
Go through the hamlet of Armentier and continue on la Route des Roches, this balcony road is spectacular, it was the only road to serv Auris en Oisans in the past.
At the end of La route des Roches, turn right to le Freney d'Oisans.
Turn left towards Briançon until Chambon dam.
Cross the Chambon dam and soon after turn left and take the D25 towards Clavans-le-Haut and le col de Sarenne.
From the pass, you will see the Croix de Cassini on the left. Then go back down to Alpe d'Huez.
Clavans means "key" in the local dialect, as the village has always guarded the entrance to the col de la Valette et des Quirlies on the former border with Savoy. Its beautiful old houses testify to the prosperity of farmers and peddlers of Oisans. Long and hard winters drove men to become hawkers to sell throughout France (and sometimes abroad) dry goods, small household items, and plants of the Oisans. Follow the road up to the pass when arriving at Clavans le Haut.